Dear Friend

Numbers don’t lie. Whether it’s the markets or a Rand that can’t stop falling, the numbers speak the stark reality. So I was pleasantly surprised when our Shul Facebook page registered a 400% increase in its weekly reach, to connect to over 7000 people. In one week!

No, the numbers don’t lie. Such was the impact of Sunday’s extraordinary Bat Mitzvah Graduation ceremony. Over 500 people gathered as 15 young ladies presented the theme ‘Gratitude is an attitude’. Organized by Rebbetzin Sara Wineberg, cantor Ivor Joffe led 4 musicians and was melodiously supported by choristers Selwyn Shandel & Josh Friedman. Together they created magic. As one congregant, who has been to all 5 graduations, said to me, “I have no kids in the program but I never miss this event”!

Extend our reach further & deeper- click here to see for yourself!

Another great number this week- 13. Is that a P/E ratio? Growth Percentage? Someone’s cholesterol?

No, it’s our son Mendel’s Bar Mitzvah! With tremendous gratitude to Hashem, Sara & I are excited to be sharing this milestone with so many of you. Yesterday morning, Mendel read the Torah and received an Aliyah- thanks to all those who participated! Thanks to each one who has reached out with love and good wishes. We feel embraced by you and are looking forward to celebrating with you over Shabbos and Sunday.

Although I can’t wish myself mazels:), I can wish my Parents and Parents-in-law a hearty mazel tov! Welcome to all those who have come from out of town, your presence adds immeasurably to our simcha. And finally, a blessing: May Hashem bless you to experience joy and nachas, surrounded by much love!

Mazel tov to Paul Berman on receiving the Jewish Report’s Absa Jewish Achievers award for Entrepreneur of the Year! I don’t know if the judges know that both Jewish Report Editor Vanessa Valkin and Paul, are members of our congregation? Nevertheless, I know that Paul is a worthy recipient of this award, due to so many of his extraordinary achievements being purely Jewish in nature, in particular his chairmanship of Jewish Community Services. Kudos also to Paul’s brother and partner, Saul Berman, for together building such a Cape Town institution. A wonderful feather in Cape Town’s cap!

Mazel tov to Arthur and Lauren Gillis on the engagement of their daughter Gia to Darren Kramer. Baruch Hashem, it’s been a real run of simchos, may it always continue with lots of nachas!

Thanks to all those who have already responded to the Rosh Hashanah Appeal, warm thanks! If you know of someone who is in need and could use a boost, please let me know. Of course, we are still open for contributions, which could be made through the Shul. please note with donations that it’s for the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund.

Condolences to Sharon Levy, Andi Hendler and Les Levy on the passing of their husband, father and brother, Philip Levy. Phil was such a stalwart at Marais Road, energetically participating in Services and a regular at the Shabbos day Shiur. He was a true example to so many as to how to live joyfully, despite numerous obstacles. Our thoughts are also with Jonathan, Nicci and Ruth and the entire mishpocho.

On Saturday Night at Midnight, my illustrious uncle Rabbi Levy Wineberg of Johannesburg will present a shiur on the Kabbalah of Regret. Slichot services will begin at 12:40am (till 1:15am). And, yes, refreshments will be served. As I’ve mentioned before, there is no better way to start getting in the mood of the High Holy Days than joining the Midnight Slichot Service. Shana tova!

Shabbat Shalom, Mazal tov, and happy reading!