March 13, 2019

From The Desk Of The Mazkirim: March 2019

Shalom Channichim, Bogrim and Parents

A short and sweet update for March – with all of our national projects having been launched and the sign ups rolling in big time, especially for our Grade 10 Shorashim Israel tour and mini machanot, we have never been busier!

Each month a new edition of From the Desk of the Mazkirim will be sent out in order for all to keep up with what’s happening in the different spheres of the movement and to see all upcoming events nationally and within our kenim.

Aleh Ve’Hagshem

Daniel Sussman (Mazkir Klali) –
Eden Plein (Sgan Mazkir) –
Erin Gordon (Sgan Mazkir) –
Dean Goldin (Sgan Mazkir) –

March From the Desk


  1. Foreword From the Mazkir
  2. JHB ken Update
  3. CPT ken update
  4. Durban Report Back
  5. Flyers

Shalom Chaverim,

February was a busy month in HDSA. Activities ran in our kenim (Johannesburg and Cape Town); we launched our April Leadership Seminar, Shorashim Israel tour and Mini-Machanot in both cities. More importantly though, these events have been received incredibly. Programmes are filling up quickly and some, like Shorashim, are already on waiting lists. Most exciting of this all is why these events are filling up so quickly: There is a great energy in the movement currently. As the mazkirim this is driving us. We have before us a movement that wants to grow, educate and inspire the Jewish youth of South Africa. We have been hard at work to channel all this energy positively.

Perhaps for HDSA the theme of February was Kehilla (Community). A significant part of our vision as the 2019 Mazkirut was building a strong Jewish Identity through community and Tikkun Olam (outreach). It is our plan that through using the strong communal networks and organisations, we can empower our members to give back to and grow both the Jewish and South African communities.

In Johannesburg:

We have partnered with South African Board of Jewish Education to run Mock Israeli Elections inside the schools. It looks as though the upcoming election will be one of the most tightly contested in many years. With the merger of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid and new political player Benny Gantz’s Hossen L’Yisrael parties to form Kahol Lavan (Blue and White), it seems like there is a real challenger to the the almost 10 year term of Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu. The new party comes at a time where Netanyahu has just been indicted on 3 separate charges. Understanding and engaging with the 40+ Israeli parties and different election outcomes is fundamental to ensuring a strong connection to Israel for the youth of the community.

We have also partnered with Yad Aharon and are sponsoring a soup kitchen to feed the less fortunate Jewish families in our communities. We hope that this event will be a great success as it pilots a partnership for future Jewish Community outreach. (Flyer attached)

In Cape Town:

We have once again partnered with the SAZF Cape Council and South African Friends of Israel and are sponsoring several weekends on our beautiful Onrus campsite for Christian Zionist churches. These seminars allow the building of strong ties between Jewish and non-Jewish groups in South Africa.

We were proud to have made our annual post-camp donation of hundreds of clothing items, bedding items, pillows and towels to different Jewish welfare organisations as well as the different shelters in the Cape.

We are in the process of finalising a new partnership with the Zonnebloem Sunflower Learning Centre. The centre provides after school care for underprivileged youth who come from working families. Habonim volunteers will begin much needed regular slots to help staff the centre to manage the magnitude of children to whom they cater.   


We are on the brink of launching our Drive for Emergency Comfort Packs for victims of sexual and domestic abuse. We are partnering with WIZO, Cape Council, Jewish Board of Deputies and the Zionist Federation in our comunity to make these packs and EPIC (Empowering People In Crisis) Foundation to hand them over to those in need. HDSA recognises the disproportionately high statistics of sexual and domestic abuse in South Africa to be a national emergency and are getting involved with this project in order to make a difference.
(Flyer below)  

More Nationally: Habonim has over 20 signups for the SABJD Interfaith IEC South African election observer team. The volunteers will patrol voting stations come election day to ensure everything is truly free and fair.

So long as the community serves Habonim, it is the role of Habonim to continue to truly serve the community. We hope to give more exciting updates in the months to come about new campaigns and programmes that only better our Jewish identity and community.

Please enjoy the rest of our newsletter.

Daniel Sussman
Mazkir Klali (Secretary General)


We have started this year off with a bang. Our opening Braai was hugely successful and had a great turnout of over 100 channichim. All who attended had a lot of fun and we are incredibly  excited to do more Habonim centred activities with our channichim in Johannesburg during the year. We also have had break visits at all the big Jewish Day Schools in Johannesburg. These visits have felt friendly, energised and fresh.

We have just launched our first Mini Machaneh and although it is still early stages, it seems to be going very well with record breaking Bonim signups and many interested channichim. Nesher also seems eager about the prospect of being madrichim for the first time and the Bogrim body could not be more  thrilled to welcome them in. (Flyer below)

The Johannesburg Bogrim Body is in an excellent space with Bogrim very excited to participate in events and incredibly enthusiastic  about taking ownership over the movement.

As the Ken VP, we are extremely happy at the current state of the Johannesburg Movement and cannot wait for bigger and better things to come going forward.

The JHB Ken VP 2019,

Amber Gordon, Adam Blumenthal, Devon Jacobson and Gina-Lee Ellis–


The first three months of the year in Cape Town can only be described as a huge success. Machaneh’18 saw the largest bogrim body Habonim Dror has seen in years, and this has had an astounding effect on the ken in 2019. With our opening maddie event a huge success, we have seen almost 50 bogrim attending our weekly Friday night meetings ready willing to engage. We have had a games night and TED talks, and have many more plans for interesting events with the hope to engage our bogrim in important content, but also give the space for them to have fun.

In other news, we have officially moved to our gorgeous new bayit which will only bring more people into the ken, and allow us to make the Habo a place madrichim and channichim can call home.

The KenVP this year has placed a huge emphasis on our channchim in Cape Town, with successful school visits happening weekly at all schools with a large number of madrichim attending these visits.

We have also recently launched our Mini-Machaneh 1 2019 with over 80 signups in the first week! The Cape Town ken is in the best place that it could possibly be, and we hope that the year to come only brings us more success! (Flyer below)

The Cape Town KenVP 2019,

Kayla Bagg, Jordan Harris, Hannah Fleishman, Aaron Sher


This past weekend four bogrim took the trip down to Durban to spend some time with our channichim who live there. We left early on Friday morning to get to Durban before Shabbat. Once we were there we settled down at the Young Israel Centre, where Jess and Jason kindly hosted us. The weekend was jam-packed with fun events!

We headed to Izinga shul on Friday night where we ran the Children’s service; we taught the kids a new game and learned about Veyekhal, this week’s Parsha. After shul we went to the Baitz family for shabbat dinner where we were treated to the most phenomenal meal! We also got to spend time with all our channichim who were at Shabbat dinner. On Shabbat morning we went to the Durban Progressive Shul where we took over their Cheder class for the morning, we played games, looked at the Parsha of the week once again and generally got to spend time with the kids.

Saturday night was all about fun, we went bowling at Gateway Mall. We had around 20 channichim at bowling from Izinga, the Progressive Shul and Eden College. Bowling was a great success for a Durban event and the kids had a blast! The weekend fun didn’t end there; on Sunday morning we were able to join the community Purim carnival! Habo maddies ran three different stations to get the kids ready for Purim in two weeks’ time. We ran a shaker making station, where kids made shakers for the reading of the Megillah. The second station we ran was a Hamentaschen station where every child made their own delicious treat in the Purim spirit, lastly, we ran a mask making station where kids were able to make their own masks for dress up on Purim day! On top of it all the parents were treated to cappuccinos and waffles! Overall there were around 30 kids at the carnival. The weekend was a great success and the community event was awesome to be involved in.

We look so forward to our visits in Durban and cannot wait for the next one!