Stand UP South Africa: Kabbalat Shababt and Robben Island

We spent the weekend at the Head South Lodge in sea point. Friday night included a special Kabbalat Shabbat service at the Marais road shul, where we heard the fantastic shul choir. We then had a traditional Shabbat meal with 3 Israeli boys and 1 Parisian boy who have come to Cape Town to study and help out the community with Jewish learning.

Saturday morning was wet and rainy, but that didn’t stop us from having a good time. We ran an activity about youth activism and paralleled the Soweto uprising in 1976 to the Warsaw ghetto uprising. After that the weather cleared up for us and we walked to the Waterfront where everyone had time to walk around the area. On the way home, we saw a baby elephant seal lying on the shore. We concluded Shabbat with Havdallah and went straight into our next activity of traditional African gum boot dancing- so much fun! We spent the rest of the night out on Long Street.

Sunday began early with a cable car ride up table mountain. The visibility was excellent which meant very long queues!! After finally making it up there and walking around a bit, we had to quickly come back down to the bottom of the mountain so we would make it in time for our ferry ride to Robben Island. Our tour of Robben Island was informative and interesting. We walked past Nelson Mandela’s cell, saw the lepers graveyard on which the prison was built, and drove past the quarry.


Once our tour was over we drove to Kalk bay where we are staying for the next 5 nights. We had a delicious dinner in our hotel, and had he unique opportunity to hear a first hand account of life on Robben Island from ex-prisoner, Lionel Davis. He told us his story, and encouraged all of our questions. Tomorrow our volunteering in the Khayelitsha township begins!
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