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SAZF Partners in Israel

Pictured L-R: Dorron Kline, Melissa Golderg, Batya Shmukler, Bev Schneider and Nicci Raz at the Telfed Offices in Ra'anana

Although Nicci Raz (Executive National Director of the SAZF in Johannesburg) has only been at the helm for the past three years, it is clear that she is force to be reckoned with.  At her recent visit to the Telfed offices, together with Bev Schneider (Fundraising, IUA/UCF) and Melissa Goldberg (Relationship and Development Director, Beyachad), Nicci’s commitment to protecting and supporting Jewish life in SA was clearly apparent. The visit (in part) came in light of the decision of some of the major local JHB communal organisations to assess new structures and strategies, with a goal to building new relationships and sources of income, as non-profits around the world collectively face a ‘funding crunch’.

Part of the agenda in the delegation’s visit to Israel was to rejuvenate relationships with South African entities and individuals in Israel, and Nicci stoically dedicated an entire day to Telfed, absorbing in depth the various support services that Telfed offers (gratis) to SA community members in Israel.

Reid Hoffman is credited as saying that "No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team." Perhaps this motto was in mind in the visit, where Nicci and her team focused on meeting with SA community lay-leaders, Telfed Chairman Batya Shmukler and members of the organisation’s Directorate, who were keen to receive updates about the situation ‘on the ground’ in Jo’burg, particularly in terms of the relationships and responsibilities of the different communal bodies (Chevra Kadisha, C.S.O., King David Foundation, Israel Centre, SAZF, SAJBD and SA Friends of Israel, inter alia).

Nicci’s astute answers to some direct questions were demonstrative of a leader with an in depth understanding of community issues who (together with SAZF Chairman in Johannesburg, Ben Swartz), is clearly and passionately dedicated to strengthening SA Jewry (and Zionism), a mission shared by Telfed for its community members in Israel.

In the spirit of “All for one and one for all!” one might suspect that Dumas would be pleased to see our two community organisations coming together and looking for ways to collaborate and move forward together, for the good of SA Jewry. Perhaps in a more apt Hebrew saying – “עלה והצלח!” (Rise and succeed..)



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