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Posted 8 tamuz 5779 / 12 july 2019


What’s Nu @ Sydenham Shul?

At the Forefront of Jewish Life

Your Family Shul Where Everyone is Welcome

By Rabbi Yossy Goldman


Dear Friends,

It’s school holidays and I’m told by reliable sources there were many Minyanim of Jews in the Kruger Park this week and probably next week too. Enjoy! Definitely one of my favourite places.

Rochel and I are off to see the wizard of Oz. Well, not exactly the wizard, but we are going to Australia and hope to see our children and grandchildren, Yisroel (Izzi), Batsheva, Zeli and Esta in Melbourne. I was very honoured to have been invited by the Rabbinical Council of Victoria to be their Guest Presenter at a Rabbinic Retreat Seminar outside Melbourne. We’ll also be doing a Shabbaton for one of the communities there and I’ll also be giving lectures on Anti-Semitism in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney - all in 10 days. In Perth, the talk is on Tuesday 16 July at Chabad; in Melbourne it’s on Sunday 21 July after the Fast at South Caulfield Shul and in Sydney on Monday 22 July at Central Synagogue, Bondi. Please tell your Aussie friends to come. Hope to meet lots of old friends.

I’m not the only one away. Yudi is off to Israel for Tianna Krok’s Bat Mitzvah celebrations. Choni G. is invited to sing there too. Mazel Tov to Dovi and Toni, and grandparents Dennis and Irene Fine. So this week we look forward to hearing one of our singers, Josh Marcus, step us as Chazan. Yudi, Doron and our Singers are off this Shabbos and next. I must say, last Shabbos was a most inspired and inspiring davening. The singing was full of life and energy and people were tapping their feet. Please G-d, we look forward to our Bimah music getting better and better as we go along.

I think our Shul Survey is already a great success. To have received some 400 replies to our Questionnaire is an outstanding result! Well done to all who responded. The information is now being collated and will be used to help us plan our Shul strategy going forward into 2020 and beyond. Stay tuned.

Our CAR RAFFLE is now in the final stretch!

You can Win a Car! Sydenham Shul in partnership with Smile Foundation, offers you the chance to win a Kia Picanto for ONLY R50!!! Tickets or books of tickets to sell are available from the Shul office with cash only; or online with credit card at But hurry! Raffle closes 31 July.

This Shabbos, the Shul Brocha is in the Seeff Hall. Afterwards, there will be only one Shiur this week but it’s a very hot topic: My Halacha of the Week will address the big moral question that has been in the news lately, Assisted Suicide, in the Main Shul.

A big Mazel Tov to Michael and Mandy Bloch on Lisa’s forthcoming marriage to Shimshon Gansberg of London! Mazel Tov to the mechutonim, Mendy and Dena Gansburg, and grandparents, Cecile Zeller, Leon and Hazel Zeller, Elaine Bloch, Binyomin and Dobra Baila Shlanger, Yitzchok and Chaya Gansburg. May you build a Binyan Adei Ad! Please G-d, may it be a good beginning for the Blochs!

MAZEL TOV to Dr Carlos and Elena Libhaber on the birth of a granddaughter in Boston. Muchas nachas!

And a Mazel Tov in advance (as I’ll be away) to next week’s BAR MITZVAH boy, Yonatan Hurwitz, his parents Errol and Elaine Hurwitz, grandparents, Matty Saus, Chaim and Lynette Honigman, Joe and Karen Hurwitz. Rev Ilan Hermann, who is an old friend of Errol will be officiating. Enjoy!

We wish a Refuah Shleimah to Daphne Tasman, Julian Hersch, Peter Michels, and Miriam Levine. Hoping to hear better news from all of you.

MEMORIAL PLAQUE: A new plaque has been put up in memory of Nimy Kahanovitz by his sons, daughter, and families. May Nimey’s memory be blessing. Thank you. If you’d like one for your own departed loved ones, please call Shirley on 011 640 5021.

Maturing Artfully: A Blueprint for Growing Up” is the title of a talk to be given by Rabbi David Lapin on the occasion of his 70th. It’s this Saturday night, July 13 at 7.15 p.m., at Maharsha Girls High where there will be a Melava Malka as well. All welcome. Rabbi Lapin’s Motzoei Shabbos Shiurim were famous during his years here at Keter Torah community. We wish him many happy and healthy returns.

And the SA Jewish Board of Deputies has formulated a Policy on Racism which all Shuls and Jewish organisations have been asked to sign. David Pimstein, our Shul President and I have signed it and we hope all our members will respect it. Basically, as we want others to treat us respectfully and we get very sensitive when non-Jews use disparaging names or titles for us, so should we, naturally, show the same respect to other groups that we would expect them to show us. It specifically mentions not to use disparaging words in Yiddish or Hebrew either. Let’s do our best, guys. It’s the right thing. You can see the full policy here or on the Shul Notice Board.


Now that you’ve (hopefully) filled out the Shul’s Questionnaire, you can get down to doing the Survey of the wider SA Jewish community. It is also very important. The Jewish Community Survey of South Africa (JCSSA) is LIVE!


The JCSSA is a national online survey being carried out by the Kaplan Centre at the University of Cape Town and the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) in London. It presents a tremendous opportunity to gather data about the Jewish population both to help understand the characteristics of the South African Jewish community today as well as to support planning in multiple areas including elderly care, education and charitable giving. All Jewish adults living in South Africa are welcome to participate.


Your views are very important, and your participation is essential for planning for the long-term needs of our community. I APPEAL TO YOU TO PLEASE DO THIS SURVEY! WE NEED YOUR INPUT TO GET THE CORRECT DATA ABOUT OUR COMMUNITY GOING FORWARD. Click HERE to sign up or go to


There is an optional prize draw to win one of three Takealot vouchers valued at R2000 each, open to anyone who completes the survey. For more information you may also want to choose to visit and see for updates. We hope you enjoy completing this questionnaire. If you have any queries, please view our FAQ page or email Thank you very much for participating.

If you have G-d forbid suffered a bereavement recently, please let the office have the details so that we can put in our data base and you will then receive a reminder every year of your Yahrzeit.

You may download the latest Good Shabbos Sydenham by clicking here, so even if you cannot be in Shul this Shabbos you can still enjoy a good read.

Please note: Proof of payments and all account related matters should be sent to and not to the Shul office.

The opening night of the SA Zionist Federation’s (SAZF) 49th National Conference will be held on Saturday night, 27 July 2019 at the Galleria Conference Centre, Johannesburg. The keynote address will be given by Isaac Herzog, his grandfather was Israel's first Chief Rabbi and his father was Israel's 6th President. Today Isaac directs the iconic Jewish Agency connecting all Jewish people to each other. To book either call 011 645 2601 or


This week’s Parsha is Chukas and is very event-filled indeed. Beginning with the most mysterious Mitzvah of all, the Red Heifer, the Parsha continues with the passing of both Moshe’s siblings, Miriam and Aaron, Moshe’s mistake in striking the rock instead of speaking to it. Nonetheless, the miracle happens, and the people are given plenty of water from the rock. Again, the people complain about the Manna and more. This time they are punished by an attack of venomous snakes who bite the people and many die. Moshe is told by Hashem to fashion a copper snake and put it on a tall pole. When the people look up to it (a sign of looking up to Hashem, the Great Healer of all flesh) they will be cured. Now you know where the famous symbol of Medicine of a snake on a pole comes from, Bamidbar, Numbers 21, 9. The Parsha concludes with Israel’s miraculous victories over the mighty armies of Sichon, the King of the Emorites and Og, the King of Bashan.


Shul Schedule:


Candle-lighting Friday 5:14 pm!

Friday Mincha 5:20 pm

Shachris: Big Shul 8:30 am; Shtibl 8:45 am

Brocha in Seeff Hall

Mincha: 4:55 p.m. followed by Shalosh Seudos

Pirkei Avot Chapter 5.

Shabbos ends: 6:06 p.m.


Mincha next week at 5.20 p.m.


Rochel and I wish you all a Gut Shabbos.

The next What’s Nu will appear on my return from Australia so my apologies for the next two weeks.



Posted 8 Tammuz 5779 / 11 July 2019


Tue, 16 July 2019 13 Tammuz 5779