South African Jews expand help to poor

JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 13 (JTA) — Tikkun, the South African Jewish community’s social service agency, is planning to expand.

Tikkun’s chief executive officer, Herby Rosenberg, told Jewish leaders Saturday night that as part of the expansion, he would soon accompany the group’s chief patron, former President Nelson Mandela, to Sydney, Australia, to help raise money.

Locally, Tikkun has increased partnerships with organizations in Cape Town and is studying requests to become involved in new projects elsewhere in the country.

On an international level, Tikkun has registered in New York for federal tax exempt status and is already operating there.

The group is also in the process of being registered in Britain.

Ann Harris, volunteer coordinator of resources for Tikkun and the wife of the co-chairman, Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris, called at Saturday’s meeting for more synagogues to increase their participation in the “Mitzvah Bin” Project, which is cosponsored by Tikkun and the Union of Orthodox Synagogues.

Workers with the project placed bins at synagogues, where congregants could contribute nonperishable food for street children.

“Many shuls fill their bins with food, but others fill them with excuses. You cannot feed children on the streets with excuses,” she said.

Craig Hummel, chairman of the youth section of Tikkun, told the Jewish leaders that the Jewish community “must participate emotionally and physically in the concerns of the community, bearing its pains and difficulties.”

“We can only ensure our future if we involve ourselves with the economic, social and educational development of the majority of the people of this land,” he said.

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