S. African Jewish Leaders Mull Choices in Period of Turmoil
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S. African Jewish Leaders Mull Choices in Period of Turmoil

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The South African Jewish community stands at a moral crossroads, according to Prof. Michael Katz, newly elected president of the South Africa Jewish Board of Deputies, the central organization of the South African Jewish community.

Katz no doubt was referring to the ever increasing turmoil in his nation over the racist policy of apartheid. The Board of Deputies has gone on record in opposition to apartheid as well as to the imposition of economic sanctions on South Africa to force policy change.

The battle over apartheid seemed to be the unmentioned theme at the Board’s biennial 34th National Congress held here April 4, according to a report by Peta Krost in The Zionist Record and SA Jewish Chronicle.

“Today more than ever we must recognize the tides of great change,” said Mockie Friedman, chairman advocate of the South Africa Zionist Federation. “The Jewish community must be prepared and ready to ride them … In South Africa today, where perceptions of peace and survival are conditional by the polarization between white and non-whites, the Jewish community because of its special unique character has an added degree of vulnerability.” He noted that the Jewish concepts of justice and equality could form a basis for an acceptable solution of its problems. “The voice of organized Jewry must be heard,” Mock said. “We must forge real and profound links with all population groups, must understand their aims and aspirations, in turn they will understand us and Israel, lest it be said, as is being said, that the voice of Jewry remains silent at this critical stage.”

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