Mary receives her award

We are delighted that our founding director Mary Kluk has been awarded the Circle of Excellence by the Union of Jewish Women of South Africa, an award for ‘women whose deeds and actions enrich and empower the lives of the people of South Africa.’

Presenting the prize, Linda Nathan spoke of Mary’s longstanding leadership, work ethic and drive, saying ‘in our community you are the true essence of a respected leader, a great educator, a shining role model and a Woman of Worth!’

Circle of Excellence Award brooch

She described Mary’s journey, from her time as Deputy Head Girl at Maris Stella School, her work at YPO, her election as chairman and then national chairman of the SAJBD through to her founding of the Durban Holocaust Centre. ‘Under your leadership as director,’ she said, ‘you have changed lives and broadened the knowledge of so many of the learners who pass through these doors. The Centre, the gift shop and the cafe are true assets for us as a community.’

She added, ‘in addition, you balance your life as a wonderful wife to Graham, a loving mother and a doting grandmother.’

She highlighted how Mary has throughout shown a ‘presence that deserves the utmost respect, strength that is amazing, and a knowledge that is impressive.’