The Associate Relations (Previously: Advocacy) subcommittee is guided by the following objectives of the Cape SAJBD:
- to act on behalf of the Western Cape Jewish community in all matters affecting its relationship with the government and with provincial, local and other authorities, whether statutory or non-governmental;
- to promote harmonious relations between the Western Cape Jewish community and all sections of the population in the Western Cape;
- to maintain fraternal relations with Jewish communities and institutions in other lands
- to further respect for and the application of fundamental human rights for all sections of the population of South Africa
The Advocacy subcommittee is made up of volunteers from the board and community co-optees. Each member of the subcommittee is able to choose a portfolio within this subcommittee that they will be responsible for (i.e. minority rights, political relations, economic empowerment, media relations). Each portfolio may submit projects to the subcommittee that attempt to address a relevant issue. Subcommittee members will then vote on which project they want to pursue. The agreed projects are forwarded to the board for approval. Each project has one (or a few) project champions (managers) who are responsible for operations and fitting within an allocated budget.
While some of the board’s work is necessarily confidential, there is huge scope for volunteerism if the appropriate platforms are created. Advocacy serves as ambassadors to the community, which requires a level of professionalism and a familiarity with the board’s position on a spectrum of issues. In order to create a volunteer platform, a comprehensive induction course is required with specific training on the position of the board on certain matters and messaging which enters the public domain. This is a work in progress. Advocacy encourages the co-option of candidates from the community (to the subcommittee) who have been vetted by the board for this function.
The Cape SAJBD is committed to safeguarding the religious and civil rights as well as the status of the Jewish community. The Antisemitism & Legal subcommittee considers whether these objectives can and should be met using legal means. It also is tasked with combatting antisemitism within the prescript of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, as well as the Criminal Procedure Act and the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.
Antisemitism & Legal will consider various antisemitic transgressions as well as complaints arising out of antisemitic conduct received from our community, with the mandate of either taking immediate action or in more serious matters, presenting to the full board and advising on the options available.
Antisemitism & Legal also considers such issues as the legal framework within the Cape SAJBD functions relating to its mandate and jurisdiction and, where necessary, interpretation of those laws and documents, as well as those of the affiliate organisations to assist in resolving any disputes.
One of the key responsibilities of the Cape SAJBD is to ensure the wellbeing of all our constituents in the Western Cape. The Western Cape with its total area of 129,462 km² means that we have a rather large commitment in providing service to all Jews in our province.
While the focus of the board’s work is centred around the urban area of the Cape Town Metro, it is often forgotten that many Jews live in the outskirts and in smaller communities within the greater Western Cape. The wellbeing of these communities and Jews fall in the ambit of Country Communities.
The focus of County Communities’ work is to ensure:
- Connection to Jewish Identity
- Support in matters of antisemitism
- Ensure that the Jewish way of life remains protected and possible
- Cemetery repairs and maintenance
- Connection of Jewish community
- Keeping the communities up to date with issues affecting the wider community
This portfolio is critical in ensuring that all Jews feel a deep and positive connection to their Jewish Identity and do not become lost souls. “The Cape SAJBD is for all Jews living in the Western Cape and not only the main center of Cape Town.” The country communities have always played such an important and vital role in the building of communal structures in the Cape, and we must ensure that we continue to provide service to these communities.
The Generation Next portfolio’s vision has been to connect, engage and empower young adults across the spectrum of diverse, existing, and previously unengaged organisations, and to ensure that the voice of young adult leadership is heard and contribution to our community, valued.
We also work to support young adult organisations with leadership development and strategic resources, workshops, and think tanks to meet the challenges that they face.
We encourage young members of the community to stand up and get more involved. Take an interest in your community!
The Social Justice subcommittee gives effect to the Cape SAJBD’s constitutional objective to “further respect for and the application of fundamental human rights for all sections of the population in the Western Cape.” Through collaboration and engagement, it aims to link Board resources to projects that are uplifting and strengthening marginalised and impoverished communities.