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Meeting with Mauerberger

Telfed Chairman, Batya Shmukler pictured with siblings Dianna Yach and Jonathan Yach 

By many accounts, 2018 is being heralded as a transformative year in the philanthropic arena.  This sentiment was evident in the recent visit to Telfed of members of the SA-based Mauerberger Foundation Fund (MFF), Chairperson Dianna Yach and Director Jonathan Yach.  Together with brother (and Vice Chairman) Derek, they are the grandchildren of the late Morris Mauerberger who established the fund in 1938. Morris passed on the philanthropic torch to his son-in law Solly, and then his daughter, Estelle, who led the Foundation for more than 20 years before handing over the Chair to the next generation.

It is this ‘next generation’ which is turning things around in the way charitable giving is handled.  Increasingly, leaders in families, foundations and businesses understand that philanthropy consists of much more than the transactional act of writing cheques. Today, it is seen as a strategic investment that can be transformational — both for society and for the donor.  Amongst the topics discussed at the gathering were the motivation of donors and avenues for future collaboration with Telfed on areas of mutual concern. CEO Dorron Kline explicitly noted the 89% increase in emigration from SA in the last four years, a factor that has put greater strain on existing resources to ensure successful absorption.

Long-term supporters of Telfed and many other global charitable institutions (particularly in Israel and South Africa), siblings Dianna and Jonathan shared their vision for the ongoing projects of the MFF, one of which is the introduction of the Mauerberger Research Award for Transformative Technologies for Africa, administered through the Haifa Technion.  This is to encourage Israeli scientists to brainstorm solutions to development needs in Africa (such as healthcare, water, agriculture and the environment) with African colleagues  – and in doing so, also advance the role of women in science.  Dianna observed that she hoped that this initiative will impact positively on millions of lives in Africa.

Innovations such as these from ‘the next generation’ demonstrate that philanthropic leaders are more interested on working side by side with their beneficiaries to resolve social problems, giving not just of their treasure, but also of their talent. 

The meeting between the MFF Trustees and senior Telfed officials served as an opportunity to learn more about the many projects that the Foundation supports (including education, research, agriculture, the arts and assistance for the underprivileged). In so doing they continue the family tradition and epitomize the words of Peter Strople – “Legacy is not leaving something for people. It is leaving something in people.”

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