Women of Action in South Africa

The Union of Jewish Women South Africa (UJW) is committed to bettering the lives of all South Africans, offering them freedom from the constraints of poverty, loneliness, lack of education, unemployment and hunger.  Myra Goldenbaum reports on some of the on-going success stories from their smaller branches.

East London

Members of this branch spent time over Easter handing out Easter Eggs and hats in the surgical ward at the Frere Hospital. UJW supports local single mothers by delivering hampers of baby equipment, and they recently donated knitted items and baby clothing that was sent from Australia to the Breath of Life home for abandoned babies. They recently donated a new garden bench to the Masimanyane Women’s Support Centre, a safe house for women in distress.


The Durban branch of UJW organized the second Domestic Workers Appreciation Tea Party in February. It was an outstanding success with top caliber speakers, entertainment, and scrumptious tea attended by almost 200 women.  In March, they treated residents of the Beth Shalom Home to a Pesach Braai or barbecue. Following a successful Golf Day, they gave a financial donation and hand-made knitted items for children to the South African Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Port Elizabeth

For the past 6 years, the PE UJW branch has been sending volunteers every month to the Breaking Barriers of Blindness programme, to help with the rehabilitation of blind children and to prepare food for impoverished and visually impaired people. On Mitzvah Day, volunteers from UJW prepared and served lunch at a local homeless shelter. They recently donated a guttering and water tank system to the Molefe primary school and books to the Karma primary school. They also donated new prayer books to the synagogue in Port Elizabeth.