“Once upon a time there was a businessman and a rabbi who shared a passion for mending the broken society of apartheid South Africa at the time of its transition to democracy. They saw the dire conditions that disadvantaged communities were living in and wanted to do something that would bring lasting change”.
So Dr Bertie Lubner and Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris started Afrika Tikkun. They couldn’t do all this alone so they got the community involved and were soon joined by Herby Rosenberg, Ann Harris and Arnold Forman in Johannesburg and Jack Tworetsky and the late Benny Reich in Cape Town.
Their vision was based on the Jewish value of Tzedakah (compassion, caring and helping) and the African value of Ubuntu (community warmth and sharing).
These values are the abiding and guiding principles of Afrika Tikkun, resonating in the very name with ‘Afrika’ embracing the nurturing, empowering spirit of African Ubuntu and ‘Tikkun’ a Hebrew word which, loosely translated, means restoration.
They focused on the challenges that most affected children’s lives and worked tirelessly to ensure such conditions wouldn’t exist for any child living in South Africa in the future.
“The dreams of the founders continue to motivate an organisation of truly unique people and the platform is expanding exponentially.” Marc Lubner
This month we will be celebrating our founding fathers. They are South African icons in their own right – and the impact of their lives can be felt to this day in everything we do.
“Next week we look back at the contribution of Nelson Mandela to Afrika Tikkun.”.