(lubavitch.com) Some 1000 Johannesburg Jews turned out at a community event to hear Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Chairman of the Lubavitch Educational and Social Services divisions, who visited from New York last week, to address their concerns about the situation in South Africa today.
At its peak in 1980, there were about 120,000 Jews living in South Africa. Those numbers have dwindled to 75,000, and are falling steadily as Jews emigrate for Israel and other countries, escaping the growing violence that plagues South Africa today.
For those who choose to remain, there is comfort in the fact that Chabad-Lubavitch representatives in Johannesburg, Capetown and elsewhere in the country have no intentions of leaving.
“The Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged Jewish people wherever they are to make their host country an abode for G-d,” said Rabbi Krinsky. He shared anecdotes of the Rebbe’s directives encouraging Jews not to run.
The event was organized by Director of Chabad House Johannesburg, Rabbi Dovid Masinter.
“The past year has been extremely difficult for our community,” he said. The event was an opportunity for Johannesburg’s Jews to stand in solidarity at this time, and to get into the spirit of the High Holy Days.