‘Mensch’ is a Yiddish word – the language spoken by Jews in Eastern Europe before WW2 – meaning a good and upstanding person. Someone who has integrity,
honour and a sense of right and wrong.

We believe that we all have the power to ‘make a difference’ whether big or small through our professional work,
by volunteering our time or by offering financial or in-kind support.

‘Mensch’ is a Yiddish word – the language spoken by Jews in Eastern Europe before WW2 – meaning a good and upstanding person. Someone who has integrity, honour and a sense of right and wrong.

We believe that we all have the power to ‘make a difference’ whether big or small through our professional work, by volunteering our time or by offering financial or in-kind support.

‘Mensch’ is a Yiddish word – the language spoken by Jews in Eastern Europe before WW2 – meaning a good and upstanding person. Someone who has integrity, honour and a sense of right and wrong.

We believe that we all have the power to ‘make a difference’ whether big or small through our professional work, by volunteering our time or by offering financial or in-kind support.

THE MENSCH NETWORK

Through the Mensch Network we offer capacity-building training, networking opportunities, mentorship and incubation, profiling and collaboration. This results in increased impact of our member’s work, promotes best practice and creates a sense of community in what can often be the lonely work of change-making!

THE MENSCH NETWORK

THE MENSCH COMMUNITY

The Mensch Community casts a wider net building bridges to connect the Jewish community to the wider South African and international communities. By engaging in our, and our Network’s social impact projects and programmes, together we can create sustainable change in South Africa.

THE MENSCH COMMUNITY

THE MENSCH NETWORK

Through the Mensch Network we offer capacity-building training, networking opportunities, mentorship and incubation, profiling and collaboration. This results in increased impact of our member’s work, promotes best practice and creates a sense of community in what can often be the lonely work of change-making!

THE MENSCH NETWORK

THE MENSCH COMMUNITY

The Mensch Community casts a wider net building bridges to connect the Jewish community to the wider South African and international communities. By engaging in our, and our Network’s social impact projects and programmes, together we can create sustainable change in South Africa.

THE MENSCH COMMUNITY

MEET THE MENSCH TEAM

GINA FLASH

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Gina is the founder and Executive Director of Mensch. She was previously the Communications and Social Change Manager for the Cape South African Jewish Board of Deputies, managing the organisation’s communications and social justice community development. Previously she worked in design and communications running her graphic design business with clients in corporate and non-profit sectors.

JODI RAMSAY

NETWORK COORDINATOR

Jodi is an experienced project manager and community builder with over 15 years’ experience in education and training in both the non-profit and corporate worlds. Jodi previously developed and managed a national school-based HIV and AIDS education programme, and is well versed in B-BBEE accreditation assisting corporates with their BEE compliance and transformation processes.

MEET THE BOARD MEMBERS

MEET THE BOARD MEMBERS

LI BOISKIN

CHAIRPERSON

Li is a deeply committed and experienced communal leader both inside and outside of the Jewish community. She is Ex-Officio of the Cape South African Jewish Board of Deputies and served on the National Executive Committee. She is a long-standing executive member of Bnoth WIZO Western Cape and Afrika Tikkun. Li has served on the African Jewish Congress and is a regular volunteer guide at the Cape Town Holocaust and Genocide Centre.

JONATHAN HENNING

TREASURER

Jonathan is passionate about entrepreneurship and business strategy. With a strong financial background and a keen eye for risk, he helps guide Mensch to secure a strong financial position. He has a deep sense of the inequalities within our society and has worked with social enterprises tackling issues such as food security, poverty, education and recycling. Jonathan understands the enormous potential social initiatives can have on socio-economic upliftment.

CARYN GOOTKIN

BOARD MEMBER

Caryn Gootkin is a writer, editor, activist and worked as a lawyer for 11 years.  She is a member of the leadership of homelessness NPO Souper Troopers, and has in the past served as a member on the Cape South African Jewish Board of Deputies (BOD). Caryn was the Deputy Chairperson of The Big Issue South Africa for 15 years. As a qualified lawyer with an academic background in, and flair for, languages, she also provides a wide range of copy editing, writing, rewriting and plain language services.

HELEN LIEBERMAN

BOARD MEMBER

Helen has trailblazed a path for social activism in South Africa for more than 50 years. As founder of Ikamva Labantu she has given her whole life to uplifting people in township communities.  In 2017 she was awarded as Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (National Order of the Legion of Honour) “in recognition of her lifelong commitment to the eradication of poverty, injustice and human misery”. The honour is the highest that France can bestow on a foreign citizen.

DAVID JACOBSON

BOARD MEMBER

David Jacobson is the Associate Director of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture (MFJC), a New York based global foundation working remotely from Cape Town, South Africa. Previously, for 8 years,  he was the Executive Director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies in Cape Town. He has also consulted to the Cape Town Progressive Jewish Community and to the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Cape Town.  He is a former co-chair of Limmud Cape Town and a mentor for the Eliot Osrin Leadership Institute in Cape Town.

ROMI KAPLAN

BOARD MEMBER

Romi Kaplan is co-founder of the new low cost Counselling Hub, Woodstock. She has a post graduate degree in Existential Psychotherapy and holds a MSt in Forced Migration from Oxford University. Romi worked for a number of years for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Refugee NGOs based in Israel (The Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)) and London (TAG). She has also created a number of media projects on the issues of migration and identity. She is a board member of the South African Jewish Museum and Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies, UCT.

MICHALYA S MOSS

BOARD MEMBER

Michayla is passionate about cultivating social entrepreneurship in Africa and has worked extensively in both the public and private sectors. She was the Youth Years consultant for Ashoka Southern Africa and the Deputy International Director for Tevel b’Tzedek, an Israel based international development NGO. Michalya served on the board of directors for the Jewish Funders Network and is an active member of the board to the Abraham and Sonia Rochlin Foundation. She is also on the board of directors for Cadena South Africa, a Jewish international aid and relief organisation.

DIANNA YACH

BOARD MEMBER

Dianna Yach is an equality and human rights activist, lawyer and philanthropist. She is the Chairperson and Honorary Life President of the Mauerberger Foundation Fund, established by her late grandfather Morris Mauerberger in 1938. Dianna serves on the governing Council of the University of Cape Town, where she is also an Adjunct Associate Professor. She is committed to developing ethical leadership and in public private and community sectors to facilitate environments in which all can thrive.

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