For I said the world is built upon kindness - Psalms 89:3

It is with great pride that we announce the formation of Canadian Friends of the South African Chevrah Kadisha, an organization that is focused specifically on the difficulties facing South African Jewry. CAFSACK has been launched by a group of dedicated volunteers who are concerned with the financial pressures placed on the Jewish South African community, particularly as a result of the large-scale emigration from the country over the past number of years as well as the demographics of an aging Jewish population.

The shrinking of the community, particularly of those individuals and families that were the supporters of the community welfare organizations, has left many of these institutions in a precarious situation. As all Jewish South Africans are aware, the various Chevrah Kadisha organizations in South and Southern Africa have been swamped with calls for assistance, and the Jewish community in South Africa has become dependant on organizations such as The Johannesburg Helping Hand to provide support to the old age homes, children’s homes, hospitals and even to provide employment services to the greater community.

Every ex-South African Jew living in Canada has a link to our heritage that we left behind. Our heritage includes personal giving of charity, the care of others and concern for the community, a community that we have now left behind. When we left, many of us set aside that part of our heritage, perhaps taking on new commitments. Well, unfortunately, our own community is now calling on all of us for help. Whether we are in Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Vancouver or even in Moosejaw, we all have an obligation to those we have left behind, to those still living in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein or Harare, or, to those buried in the numerous Jewish cemeteries that dot the African landscape.

Regretfully, for many of us outside of South Africa, our connection to the Chevrah Kadisha is solely through the knowledge that these organizations look after the graves of our grandparents, our parents, our siblings or our children. The care and maintenance of Jewish cemeteries needs continual funding, and your donation will ensure that this important function continues to be carried out with care and reverence.

CAFSACK has been founded to provide the means for ex South Africans living in Canada to provide financial aid to our brethren in South Africa. CAFSACK will act as a conduit sending donations received directly to the organizations that are directly involved with the needs of the greater community, the Chevrah Kadisha. All donations will be given a Canadian Tax Receipt.

We need all the support and help we can get. If you wish to assist by volunteering, by sending a donation, or just need more information, please contact our office by phone or fax at (416) 397-4140 or by email at julian@julee.ca