Giddy Lief

Giddy & Rhona

I was born into a family of charity workers, and from a young age was encouraged to help out wherever I could.

As a teenager I was a Habonim Madrichah and eventually served on the local Habonim Executive. I chose Habonim instead of the old Maginim (Reform Youth Movement) as I went to Carmel School and all my friends went to Habonim.

I attended Johannesburg College of Education and qualified as a Junior Primary Teacher. During my College years I became a debutante and got involved in whatever charity functions were around. I came second in the competition.

I taught in Primary Schools for 20 years, teaching all age groups from Grade 0 to Grade 7.

In 2002 I started teaching on a part time basis at the Hebrew School at Bet Menorah, taking over the running of the school in 2004. In 2007 I joined Beit Emanuel as the Religion School Principal and in 2010 I joined Bet David taking over as the Religion School Principal and also teaching Jewish Studies in the Nursery School on the premises.

I was a member of Lions International for many years and served as president of my club during that time.

Although I have been a member of Bet Menorah in Pretoria all my life and my parents were on the Council for many years, I eventually got involved in Bet Menorah and all the activities in 2001. I was thrown in at the deep end as the convenor of the Membership and Social Activities Committee organized a function and got me on board. When he saw my enthusiasm and results, he stepped down as convenor and nominated me to carry on. I am still in that position today.

I joined the Bet Menorah Tzedakah committee, getting very involved in their projects. Although I am no longer an active member of this committee, I still support all their projects.

I was never an active member of the Sisterhood, but as the Membership and Social Activities started working together with the Sisterhood, I was told I had no choice but to join. This I did in 2007, becoming vice-chair in 2009, and in 2010 I was elected as National Vice President at the conference. Little did I know then what lay ahead!

In 2009 I attended the Beutel Seminar for Leadership in Israel.

In June 2012, SOUTH AFRICAN UNION OF TEMPLE SISTERHOODS (SAUTS) changed their name to WOMEN FOR PROGRESSIVE JUDAISM-SOUTH AFRICA (WPJ-SA) and I was elected as National President.

In June 2014, at the conference in Cape Town, I was re-elected as National President of WPJ-SA.