exploring the concerns of the South African Jewish community
Looking at the Jewish Community Survey of South Africa, Deena Katzen reflects on the shifts in thinking amongst young Jewish South Africans and suggests that the Jewish community might be out of touch with how the youth think about and engage with the world around them.
IN the five years since I’ve been involved in Jewish student organizations, I have been asked countless times, “What does it mean to be a young Jewish person in South Africa today?” I have always found this difficult to answer because of the diverse nature of the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of Jewish youth today. However, despite this complexity, this question is a fundamental and foundational one, and one which is all too often glossed over by communal organizations.
The way in which young South African Jews think about and experience the world around them has shifted significantly over recent years. The Jewish Community Survey of South Africa (JCCSA), released in 2020, offers some interesting insights into these developments and shifts amongst young Jews.
"It is clear that as young people we need to continue to build a better future for ourselves, and inspire the push towards a more open, safe and accepting society and community. The question is whether we will continue to do this from within South Africa?"