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קהילת יהודי דרום אפריקה

South Africa

Republic of South Africa (RSA)

The southernmost country in Africa.

21st Century

Estimated Jewish population in 2018: 69,000 out of 56,500,000

South African Jewish Board of Deputies

Telephone: +27 11 645 2523
Fax: +27 11 640 1662
Email: sajbd@sajbd.org
Website: www.sajbd.org

President: Mary Kluk, also WJC Vice-President
National Chairman: Jeff Katz
National Director: Wendy Kahn

סוג מקום:
מדינה
מספר פריט:
211457
חובר ע"י חוקרים של אנו מוזיאון העם היהודי
מקומות קרובים:

פריטים קשורים:
Goldreich, Arthur (1929-2011), professor of architecture, abstract painter and anti-Apartheid activist in South Africa. He grew up in Pietersberg in the Northern Transvaal, moved to Israel in 1948 as a Mahal volunteer, fought with the Palmach during the War of Independence, and then returned to South Africa in 1954, where he became well known as one of the country's most successful artists.

In 1955, he won South Africa's Best Young Painter Award for his figures in black and white. Goldreich was political active with the anti-Apartheid movement. In 1962 he was a key suspect in the clandestine operations of the anti-Apartheid underground. He, together with lawyer Harold Wolpe, had used South African Communist Party funds to buy the Lillies farm in Rivonia, north of Johannesburg. Goldreich with his family lived as the tenant of the farm while permitting the underground leadership of the banned African National Congress to meet there secretly. Nelson Mandela hid there, posing as a gardener. Goldreich and Wolpe had also helped to locate sabotage sites for the military arm of the ANC. After a raid in 1963, 17 ANC members, including Goldreich and Wolpe were arrested. Before they could be tried the two broke out of a Johannesburg jail and fled to Swaziland disguised as priests to avoid being identified by the potentially pro-South African British colonial authorities (At the time Swaziland was not yet independent).

Goldreich then returned to Israel where he became a leading figure in the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. In 1966 he became the head of the academy's Industrial and Environmental Design Department, and helped transform it into an internationally recognized center for design, He found the architecture department at Jerusalem's renowned Bezalel Academy, from where he saw architecture and planning evolve as tools for territorial expansion after the 1967 war. He became very critical of Israel's settlement policy. The Israeli governments, he said, was more interested in territory than peace.
1917 - 1994
רב

נולד בסאטו מארה (סאטמר), רומניה, אז חלק מאוסטרו-הונגריה. בנם של שמואל חיים ורחל אנגל. למד בישיבות הנודעות של ניטרה ופרשבורג בברטיסלבה, סלובקיה (אז צ'כוסלובקיה) ושם קיבל סמיכה לרבנות בשנת 1937. בתקופת מלחמת העולם השנייה נשלח למחנה עבודה בהונגריה, הועבר לחזית המזרחית ואל שטחי הכיבוש של הוורמאכט. שוחרר על ידי הצבא האדום ב- 1945. באותה שנה הצטרף לארגון ההגנה בפראג, הרפובליקה הצ'כית.

אנגל עלה עם משפחתו לישראל ב- 1948 והשתתף במלחמת העצמאות. ב- 1949 התגייס לשירות קבע כרב וקצין מנהלה בתל השומר עד 1956, ואז נקרא לדרום אפריקה להעניק שירותי דת לקהילה הקטנה. עד 1970 כיהן כרב, מורה ושוחט בקהילות דטנדרטון, ולקם וויטבנק. ב- 1970 נתמנה לרב הראשי. בתפקידו זה נסע לאורכה ולרוחבה של דרום אפריקה ושל ארצות דרום מערב אפריקה במטרה להגיע אל יהודים מבודדים ולהעניק להם שירותי דת וחינוך מגוונים.

אנגל הרים שתי תרומות חשובות: יצירת תוכן יהודי אור-קולי מגוון שכלל מגזין לילדים שערך; ואיתורם ומיפויים של בתי עלמין יהודיים, כולל רישום של כל אדם שקבור בהם, על מנת להבטיח שתהיה מצבה לכל קבר ולדאוג לתחזוקה מכובדת.

הוא התכוון לפרוש ב- 1982, אולם נענה לבקשתן של קהילות פוצ'פסטרום וקלרקסדורפ, שם כיהן עד 1993. במשך 37 הקדיש עצמו ליהדות דרום אפריקה. בכל מקום היה ביתו פתוח לכולם, בכל מקום נהג במידת הכנסת אורחים אמיתית ובייחוד במקומות בהן היו יחידות צבאיות עם חיילים יהודים. החיילים זכו תמיד לאירוח ידידותי בבית הרב. אנגל היה אדם חברותי, חם ודואג עם יכולת הקשבה ואמפתיה יוצאת דופן, שתמיד נתן עצות מתאימות. אדם בעל אמונה עמוקה, מורה דרך רוחני לא רק לבני קהילתו אלא גם למשפחתו – וזאת על אף המרחק הגאוגרפי הגדול. תארים ותפקידים נוספים חבר בליגה הדרום אפריקנית היהודית וב HOD: Hebrew Order of David; רב צבאי במחנה מידלבורג.
התחתן ב- 1945 עם עדינה רייך, ואב לבת ששמה אסתר.

יצחק אוכברג (1937-1878), איש עסקים, ציוני ונדבן, נולד באומן, אוקראינה. בגיל שבע עשרה היגר לדרום אפריקה שם הפך ליזם מצליח מאוד ואיש עסקים מוערך. הוא התחיל את עסקיו באמצעים דלים ביותר ורכש את הונו בזכות השקעות נכונות בנכסים ומכירה של ספינות ישנות.

ההתקפות על היהודים של מזרח אירופה בשנים שלאחר מלחמת העולם הראשונה הביאו להרס מוחלט של קהילות יהודיות שלמות. ב-1921 כאשר הידיעות על הזוועות המתרחשות באזור הגיעו למערב אוכברג יזם ומימן מבצע להצלת ילדים יהודים שנותרו יתומים.
הוא הצליח להשיג היתרים מיוחדים ממשלת דרום אפריקה שיאפשרו לו להוציא מאתיים ילדים יתומים מהתופת של מזרח אירופה. במקביל הצליח לשכנע את הקהילה היהודית לשתף אתו פעולה ולהקל על קליטתם.

במרץ 1921 אוכברג יצא למסעו האפי לאסוף קבוצות של ילדים יתומים מוכי גורל. הוא נסע בין הכפרים והעיירות בכל אמצעי תחבורה שעמד לרשותו, ביקר בבתי יתומים ונאלץ לעשות החלטות כואבות בקשר ליתומים אותם רצה להציל. אחים, בני משפחה אחת, לא הופרדו ורק ילדים בריאים יכלו להיכלל בקבוצה שלו. לאחר שחצה את האזורים המוכים ביותר באוקראינה, ביילורוס ופולין הוא הצליח להעביר את היתומים שלו דרך וארשה ודנציג ללונדון ומשם לדרום אפריקה אליה הגיעו באנייה בספטמבר 1921. בדרום אפריקה שוכנו הילדים בשני בתי יתומים יהודים: אורניה בקייפטאון וארקדיה ביוהנסבורג. הילדים קראו לו "אבא אוכברג" והם מעולם לא שכחו את האיש שהציל אותם והבטיח להם עתיד טוב יותר במולדתם החדשה.

אוכברג היה יהודי גאה וציוני נלהב. "אני מאמין בכל ליבי שהבעיה היהודית תגיע לפתרונה הסופי רק בארץ ישראל," אמר לאחר ביקור בארץ ישראל ב-1926. הוא האמין בכך כל חייו. ב-1929 שימש כנציג הקהילה היהודית של דרום אפריקה בקונגרס הציוני ה-16 בציריך.

כשאוכברג נפטר ב-1937 נודע שבצוואתו הוריש תרומה גדולה לקרן הקיימת לישראל. זאת הייתה התרומה האישית הגדולה ביותר שהועברה לקרן הקיימת לישראל מאז ועד היום.
בכספים שקיבלה נקנה שטח אדמה גדול ליד זיכרון יעקב עליה יושבים היום קיבוץ דליה וקיבוץ גל-עד (אבן יצחק). נדיבותו לא ידעה גבולות ותרומות נוספות הוענקו לארגונים רבים בדרום אפריקה שפעלו למען מיעוטי היכולת, ללא הבדל של צבע, דת ואמונה. באוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים הוקמה קתדרה לחקלאות ע"ש בתו רות אוכברג שנפטרה בגיל שבע עשרה. זאת בנוסף לאגף יצחק ופאולין אוכברג בבניין וולפסון שבהר הצופים, בו נמצאים היום הספרייה של הפקולטה למשפטים ושני מכוני מחקר.

להנצחת האיש ופועלו הקימה הקרן הקיימת לישראל את האתר המרשים בפארק מנשה הצופה על האדמה שנרכשה על ידי אוכברג. במקום עומדת מצבת אבן שהוקמה מחדש לזכרו וכן "גבעת השמות" ועליה לוחיות קבועות בסלע הנושאות את שמות כל אחד ממאה שבעים ושבעה היתומים שעשו את המסע המופלא לדרום אפריקה ולחיים טובים יותר.
טקס חנוכת האתר נערך ב-2011 והשתתפו בו נכבדים רבים ושלוש מאות צאצאים של היתומים. רבים מהם עשו את הדרך הארוכה מקנדה, ארה"ב, דרום אפריקה, בריטניה ואוסטרליה כדי לכבד את זכרו של האיש שבזכותו הם קיימים.

Rabbi

Born in London, England, he started his career as a teacher at the Jews’ Free School in London, and then he was principal of the Hebrew National School in Birmingham, England, from 1860 to 1866. He was minister to the Hebrew congregation in Melbourne, Australia, from 1866 to 1875 and then he served as principal of the Aria College for training Jewish ministers in Portsmouth, England. In 1882 Ornstein went to Cape Town, South Africa, and headed its Hebrew Congregation (est. 1841) until his death. He sought unsuccessfully to found a Jewish public school but he started and ran a private 'Collegiate School' for Jewish boys which gave both a Jewish and a general education; its boarding house also accepted girls.
Goldreich, Arthur (1929-2011), professor of architecture, abstract painter and anti-Apartheid activist in South Africa. He grew up in Pietersberg in the Northern Transvaal, moved to Israel in 1948 as a Mahal volunteer, fought with the Palmach during the War of Independence, and then returned to South Africa in 1954, where he became well known as one of the country's most successful artists.

In 1955, he won South Africa's Best Young Painter Award for his figures in black and white. Goldreich was political active with the anti-Apartheid movement. In 1962 he was a key suspect in the clandestine operations of the anti-Apartheid underground. He, together with lawyer Harold Wolpe, had used South African Communist Party funds to buy the Lillies farm in Rivonia, north of Johannesburg. Goldreich with his family lived as the tenant of the farm while permitting the underground leadership of the banned African National Congress to meet there secretly. Nelson Mandela hid there, posing as a gardener. Goldreich and Wolpe had also helped to locate sabotage sites for the military arm of the ANC. After a raid in 1963, 17 ANC members, including Goldreich and Wolpe were arrested. Before they could be tried the two broke out of a Johannesburg jail and fled to Swaziland disguised as priests to avoid being identified by the potentially pro-South African British colonial authorities (At the time Swaziland was not yet independent).

Goldreich then returned to Israel where he became a leading figure in the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. In 1966 he became the head of the academy's Industrial and Environmental Design Department, and helped transform it into an internationally recognized center for design, He found the architecture department at Jerusalem's renowned Bezalel Academy, from where he saw architecture and planning evolve as tools for territorial expansion after the 1967 war. He became very critical of Israel's settlement policy. The Israeli governments, he said, was more interested in territory than peace.

יצחק אוכברג (1937-1878), איש עסקים, ציוני ונדבן, נולד באומן, אוקראינה. בגיל שבע עשרה היגר לדרום אפריקה שם הפך ליזם מצליח מאוד ואיש עסקים מוערך. הוא התחיל את עסקיו באמצעים דלים ביותר ורכש את הונו בזכות השקעות נכונות בנכסים ומכירה של ספינות ישנות.

ההתקפות על היהודים של מזרח אירופה בשנים שלאחר מלחמת העולם הראשונה הביאו להרס מוחלט של קהילות יהודיות שלמות. ב-1921 כאשר הידיעות על הזוועות המתרחשות באזור הגיעו למערב אוכברג יזם ומימן מבצע להצלת ילדים יהודים שנותרו יתומים.
הוא הצליח להשיג היתרים מיוחדים ממשלת דרום אפריקה שיאפשרו לו להוציא מאתיים ילדים יתומים מהתופת של מזרח אירופה. במקביל הצליח לשכנע את הקהילה היהודית לשתף אתו פעולה ולהקל על קליטתם.

במרץ 1921 אוכברג יצא למסעו האפי לאסוף קבוצות של ילדים יתומים מוכי גורל. הוא נסע בין הכפרים והעיירות בכל אמצעי תחבורה שעמד לרשותו, ביקר בבתי יתומים ונאלץ לעשות החלטות כואבות בקשר ליתומים אותם רצה להציל. אחים, בני משפחה אחת, לא הופרדו ורק ילדים בריאים יכלו להיכלל בקבוצה שלו. לאחר שחצה את האזורים המוכים ביותר באוקראינה, ביילורוס ופולין הוא הצליח להעביר את היתומים שלו דרך וארשה ודנציג ללונדון ומשם לדרום אפריקה אליה הגיעו באנייה בספטמבר 1921. בדרום אפריקה שוכנו הילדים בשני בתי יתומים יהודים: אורניה בקייפטאון וארקדיה ביוהנסבורג. הילדים קראו לו "אבא אוכברג" והם מעולם לא שכחו את האיש שהציל אותם והבטיח להם עתיד טוב יותר במולדתם החדשה.

אוכברג היה יהודי גאה וציוני נלהב. "אני מאמין בכל ליבי שהבעיה היהודית תגיע לפתרונה הסופי רק בארץ ישראל," אמר לאחר ביקור בארץ ישראל ב-1926. הוא האמין בכך כל חייו. ב-1929 שימש כנציג הקהילה היהודית של דרום אפריקה בקונגרס הציוני ה-16 בציריך.

כשאוכברג נפטר ב-1937 נודע שבצוואתו הוריש תרומה גדולה לקרן הקיימת לישראל. זאת הייתה התרומה האישית הגדולה ביותר שהועברה לקרן הקיימת לישראל מאז ועד היום.
בכספים שקיבלה נקנה שטח אדמה גדול ליד זיכרון יעקב עליה יושבים היום קיבוץ דליה וקיבוץ גל-עד (אבן יצחק). נדיבותו לא ידעה גבולות ותרומות נוספות הוענקו לארגונים רבים בדרום אפריקה שפעלו למען מיעוטי היכולת, ללא הבדל של צבע, דת ואמונה. באוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים הוקמה קתדרה לחקלאות ע"ש בתו רות אוכברג שנפטרה בגיל שבע עשרה. זאת בנוסף לאגף יצחק ופאולין אוכברג בבניין וולפסון שבהר הצופים, בו נמצאים היום הספרייה של הפקולטה למשפטים ושני מכוני מחקר.

להנצחת האיש ופועלו הקימה הקרן הקיימת לישראל את האתר המרשים בפארק מנשה הצופה על האדמה שנרכשה על ידי אוכברג. במקום עומדת מצבת אבן שהוקמה מחדש לזכרו וכן "גבעת השמות" ועליה לוחיות קבועות בסלע הנושאות את שמות כל אחד ממאה שבעים ושבעה היתומים שעשו את המסע המופלא לדרום אפריקה ולחיים טובים יותר.
טקס חנוכת האתר נערך ב-2011 והשתתפו בו נכבדים רבים ושלוש מאות צאצאים של היתומים. רבים מהם עשו את הדרך הארוכה מקנדה, ארה"ב, דרום אפריקה, בריטניה ואוסטרליה כדי לכבד את זכרו של האיש שבזכותו הם קיימים.

Novelist, essayist, screenwriter and political activist

Born in 1923 in the Transvaal gold mining town of Springs, she has lived all her life in South Africa. Unlike most other white liberal writers, she chose not to go into exile but to remain and fight against apartheid from within the country. A courageous and respected writer, she published her first book, a collection of short stories, Face to Face, in 1949, which was followed by many other collections. Her first novel The Lying Days was written in 1953. Her style, like her person, is precise, concise, and polished; her writing sensitive portrayals of the fate of individuals in the complex South African society; her theme, the growth of self-awareness and maturity. In collaboration with another South African writer, Lionel Abrahams, in 1967 she published the anthology South African Writers Today, which, like many of her other writings, was banned in her own country. Having been conferred ten important literary awards and fourteen honorary degrees, in 1991 she won the Noble Prize for literature. A prolific writer, Gordimer has published so far a total of twelve novels, among her latest works are Burger’s Daughter (Nov. 1980); The Conservationist (reissued Feb. 1983); The House Gun (Feb. 1999) as well as ten collections of short stories and was responsible for the screenplays of four films.
1917 - 1994
רב

נולד בסאטו מארה (סאטמר), רומניה, אז חלק מאוסטרו-הונגריה. בנם של שמואל חיים ורחל אנגל. למד בישיבות הנודעות של ניטרה ופרשבורג בברטיסלבה, סלובקיה (אז צ'כוסלובקיה) ושם קיבל סמיכה לרבנות בשנת 1937. בתקופת מלחמת העולם השנייה נשלח למחנה עבודה בהונגריה, הועבר לחזית המזרחית ואל שטחי הכיבוש של הוורמאכט. שוחרר על ידי הצבא האדום ב- 1945. באותה שנה הצטרף לארגון ההגנה בפראג, הרפובליקה הצ'כית.

אנגל עלה עם משפחתו לישראל ב- 1948 והשתתף במלחמת העצמאות. ב- 1949 התגייס לשירות קבע כרב וקצין מנהלה בתל השומר עד 1956, ואז נקרא לדרום אפריקה להעניק שירותי דת לקהילה הקטנה. עד 1970 כיהן כרב, מורה ושוחט בקהילות דטנדרטון, ולקם וויטבנק. ב- 1970 נתמנה לרב הראשי. בתפקידו זה נסע לאורכה ולרוחבה של דרום אפריקה ושל ארצות דרום מערב אפריקה במטרה להגיע אל יהודים מבודדים ולהעניק להם שירותי דת וחינוך מגוונים.

אנגל הרים שתי תרומות חשובות: יצירת תוכן יהודי אור-קולי מגוון שכלל מגזין לילדים שערך; ואיתורם ומיפויים של בתי עלמין יהודיים, כולל רישום של כל אדם שקבור בהם, על מנת להבטיח שתהיה מצבה לכל קבר ולדאוג לתחזוקה מכובדת.

הוא התכוון לפרוש ב- 1982, אולם נענה לבקשתן של קהילות פוצ'פסטרום וקלרקסדורפ, שם כיהן עד 1993. במשך 37 הקדיש עצמו ליהדות דרום אפריקה. בכל מקום היה ביתו פתוח לכולם, בכל מקום נהג במידת הכנסת אורחים אמיתית ובייחוד במקומות בהן היו יחידות צבאיות עם חיילים יהודים. החיילים זכו תמיד לאירוח ידידותי בבית הרב. אנגל היה אדם חברותי, חם ודואג עם יכולת הקשבה ואמפתיה יוצאת דופן, שתמיד נתן עצות מתאימות. אדם בעל אמונה עמוקה, מורה דרך רוחני לא רק לבני קהילתו אלא גם למשפחתו – וזאת על אף המרחק הגאוגרפי הגדול. תארים ותפקידים נוספים חבר בליגה הדרום אפריקנית היהודית וב HOD: Hebrew Order of David; רב צבאי במחנה מידלבורג.
התחתן ב- 1945 עם עדינה רייך, ואב לבת ששמה אסתר.
Rabbi

Born in London, England, he started his career as a teacher at the Jews’ Free School in London, and then he was principal of the Hebrew National School in Birmingham, England, from 1860 to 1866. He was minister to the Hebrew congregation in Melbourne, Australia, from 1866 to 1875 and then he served as principal of the Aria College for training Jewish ministers in Portsmouth, England. In 1882 Ornstein went to Cape Town, South Africa, and headed its Hebrew Congregation (est. 1841) until his death. He sought unsuccessfully to found a Jewish public school but he started and ran a private 'Collegiate School' for Jewish boys which gave both a Jewish and a general education; its boarding house also accepted girls.
Goldsmid, Albert Edward Williamson (1846-1904), Colonel in the British army, born at Puna, India. He enlisted in the British army in 1866, was promoted to the rank of captain in 1878, to major in 1883, lieutenant-colonel in 1888, and finally colonel in 1894. His father and maternal grandfather were born Jewish, but had converted to Christianity in order to achieve the social and economic opportunities which were denied to Jews. As an adult, when he became attracted by Jewish culture and by Zionism, Goldsmid formally converted to Judaism and always maintained that being Jewish had not impinged upon his military career. Goldsmid's wife, Ida Stewart Hendriks, was also a convert to Judaism; she had been raised a Christian by her Protestant mother and Jewish-born father.

In 1892 Colonel Goldsmid was selected by Baron de Hirsch to supervise the colonies in Argentina, but resigned from the position when he was appointed to become colonel-in-command of the Welsh regimental district at Cardiff in 1894. In 1899, he acted as chief staff-officer at the camp at the Aldershot base near London, and was entrusted with the duties of mobilization. In 1899, when the sixth division of the South-African field force was mobilized for service in the Boer War, Goldsmid was selected to be chief staff-officer to General Kelly-Kenny with the grade of assistant adjutant-general, and in that capacity was present at the battle of Paardeberg. During the earlier stages of the war, he was commandant of the Orange River, Herbert, and Hay districts. Goldsmid was the highest ranking Jewish officer in the British Army in the 19th century.

Colonel Goldsmid became an ardent Zionist, and was head of the Hovevei Zion movement of Great Britain and Ireland. From 1896-1904 he was associated with Theodor Herzl as the head of the British Zionist movement and the key contact in the failed Zionist effort to establish a British Zionist protectorate in the Northern Sinai area of El Arish. He was one of the founders of both the Jewish Lads' Brigade and of the Maccabeans, of which he became president in 1903.

Swaziland

Renamed Eswatini in 2018, official name: Kingdom of Eswatini

21st Century

Estimated Jewish population in 2018: 50 out of 1,150,000

Swaziland Jewish Community
Phone: 268 7 604 0766
Email: koberamokgadihighschool@gmail.com

לסוטו 

איות נוסף: לסותו

Cullinan

Including Baviaanspoort, Kaffirskraal, Rayton, Sonderwater, Sybrandskraa)

A town in South Africa
Cullinan is situated in the Highveld in the Transvaal (Gauteng - post 1994), 34 km east of Pretoria, South Africa.

The village of Cullinan was founded in 1902 on part of the farm Elandsfontein. It was named after Sir Thomas Major Cullinan, who opened the Premier Diamond Mine, which is situated close to the town, in the same year. Thomas Cullinan spent most of his free time prospecting for diamonds and gold. He found a small diamond pipe on the farm Franspoort near Pretoria. From this he deduced that alluvial diamonds found on a neighbouring farm had been washed down from a pipe on higher ground. He pinpointed the farm Elandsfontein as the possible site for this pipe. However, the owner of the farm refused to sell and it was only after his death in 1902 that Cullinan was able to buy the farm from his daughter. Cullinan's theory proved to be correct and the mine became immensely successful. On 25 June 1905 the world's largest diamond (3,052 carats) was discovered by Frederick Wells, the surface manager. The diamond was named Cullinan, after the founder of the mine, and was sold to the Transvaal government for a nominal sum. It was presented by Gen Louis Botha to King Edward VII for inclusion in the Crown Jewels. The original stone was cut into nine large stones and 96 smaller ones. The largest (Cullinan I) of 530 carats is called the Star of Africa and is set in the royal sceptre; Cullinan II (317 carats) is set in the imperial crown; all of the diamonds are guarded in the Tower of London.

Mixed farming is practiced in the magisterial district of Cullinan.

ASSOCIATION WITH JEWS IN NEIGHBOURING PLACES

The Jews in this district were closely associated with the Pretoria Hebrew Congregation, where many were members. Social contacts were also kept with the Jews of Bronkhorstspruit and environs.

EARLY JEWISH SETTLERS

By 1907 when the Rayton Zionist Association came into being, there were already a large number of Jews in the district.

Heymann Julius Nathan pre 1905 United Kingdom
Julius Heymann ran a concession store at the Premier Mine, Cullinan. When the Cullinan diamond was discovered in 1905, he was asked to transport it to the bank in Pretoria, as he owned a horse. [Info Heyman]

RAYTON HEBREW CONGREGATION

In 1919 New Year greetings were published in the Zionist Record from the Rayton Hebrew Congregation. [1919 Greetings] In the same year, the Zionist Record recorded a donation from the Rayton Hebrew Congregation to the Palestine National Restoration Fund. [File SA p526] These are the only references to the congregation that has yet come to light. Information from oral interviews indicates that the Jews of Cullinan and its environs mostly went to Pretoria for High Holy Day services and were members of that congregation.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR JEWISH EDUCATION

There were no facilities for Jewish education in either Cullinan or Rayton or any of the smaller settlements. The children attended school either in Cullinan or were sent to boarding school in Pretoria. They attended cheder in Pretoria.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR RITUAL SLAUGHTERING

No kosher meat was available in Cullinan or Rayton. This was obtained from Pretoria and from Bronkhorstspruit, when the latter community had a resident shochet.

NO JEWISH CEMETERY

In general, Jews were buried in Pretoria as there was no Jewish cemetery in Cullinan or Rayton.

RAYTON ZIONIST ASSOCIATION

A meeting was held at the home of Mr M Perel in Rayton on Sunday 29 September 1907 for the purpose of forming a branch of the Zionist Association. In speeches made at the meeting, tribute was paid to Mr Wolfsohn, "their eminent and respected leader" for "the great progress that had already been been achieved". A committee was elected with Mr J Goodman serving as the first president. [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342]

Jews living in small settlements (such as Kaffirskraal and Sybrandskraal) were also members of the Rayton Zionist Association which appears to have drawn its membership from the entire district. It was a very active society for a number of years but the enthusiasm was not sustained. A report in the Zionist Record in 1913 noted that the society had shown welcome signs of revival. [File S p292] In March 1914, the society was re-established with Mr M Perel as president and Mr H Schiff as honorary secretary. [File S p383]

STATISTICAL INFORMATION

Information from an oral interview indicates that there were 2 Jews living in Cullinan in 1938 and by 1951 there were six. [Info Katz] The Matzo Board survey conducted by the SAJBD in 1943 recorded 7 Jews in Cullinan. In 1953, according to a survey by the SAJBD, there were 13 Jews in Cullinan. Another report of the SAJBD in that year noted that there were 10 Jewish persons (3 families) in Cullinan. [SAJBD Newscuttings 100A24 Country Communities General] The official census for 1980 and 1991 put the Jewish population in Cullinan at 24 (in 1980) and 14 (in 1991). Based on available material, these numbers seem rather high but may reflect the number of Jews in a wider area.

Information from an oral interview indicates that there were 2 Jews living in Cullinan in 1938 and by 1951 there were six. [Info Katz] The Matzo Board survey conducted by the SAJBD in 1943 recorded 7 Jews in Cullinan. In 1953, according to a survey by the SAJBD, there were 13 Jews in Cullinan. Another report of the SAJBD in that year noted that there were 10 Jewish persons (3 families) in Cullinan. [SAJBD Newscuttings 100A24 country communities general] The official census for 1980 and 1991 put the Jewish population in Cullinan at 24 (in 1980) and 14 (in 1991). Based on available material, these numbers seem rather high but may reflect the number of Jews in a much wider area.

SATELLITE TOWNS

Baviaanspoort Shortly after 1882 two factories were erected to produce gunpowder in the Transvaal, one of which was at Baviaanspoort, west of Cullinan. This factory ceased production during the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). The settlement was established as a work colony and reformatory for alcoholics. It was used during the Second World War as an internment camp, mainly for German enemy subjects. With few exceptions these were civilians who had been, at the start of the war, in Africa south of Ethiopia and in ships in or near South African waters. They were treated as prisoners of war. Today, there is a large prison at Baviaanspoort.

Kaffirskraal The settlement of Kaffirskraal lies about 1 km east of Cullinan.

Rayton Rayton is a railway station and township on the railway from Pretoria to Lourenco Marques, 9 km south of Cullinan. It was founded in 1903 by the Montrose Diamond Mining Company on the farm Elandshoek and named after Mrs Ray Wollaston, wife of the general manager of the company. It is a farming district and serves as a dormitory village for people working in Pretoria.

Sonderwater The township of Sonderwater lies about 3 km south east of Cullinan. During the Second World War Sonderwater was used as a military training centre, with a large camp for prisoners of war. When Italy joined Germany against the Allies on 10 June 1940, Italian soldiers captured by Union forces in Ethiopia and elsewhere were detained at Sonderwater. There were several thousand of them and they became known throughout the country, especially on the farms, as foremen and artisans "hired out" to farmers. Today Sonderwater has a rehabilitation centre for alcoholics, a hospital for tuberculosis sufferers and a large prison.

Sybrandskraal Settlement some 32 km north of Cullinan. It had a postal order, telegraph and telephone agency (1934).

MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

There were Jews from the Cullinan and Rayton district who participated in military campaigns. For example, Joseph Kisner fought in the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899 - 1902) on the side of the British, and at the time of the South African Rebellion in 1914, Sam Bay fought on the side of the Union Forces.

During the Second World War, there were Jewish prisoners of war at the internment camps at Baviaanspoort and Sonderwater. A report in the Sunday Express of 29 September 1940 noted that efforts were being made by responsible organisations on the Witwatersrand to secure the release of 100 refugees at Baviaanspoort. It mentioned further that most of these people were anti-Nazi and Jewish refugees who "until their arrest were doing skilled and useful work, assisting the war effort of this country". Two examples highlight the plight of those interned. Peter Pauly, of German origin and working as a manager on a farm in Tanganyika (present day Tanzania), was first interned at a camp at Dar-es-Salaam and later transferred to Baviaanspoort, near Cullinan. While several German internees were repatriated, this was not an option for Mr Pauly who had two Jewish grandparents. He appealed to the president of the Society of Jews and Christians for help in obtaining his release. The matter was then referred to the Welfare Officer of the SAJBD. The other example concerns two Italian Jews who were stationed at the military camp at Sonderwater. The brothers, Sergio Calmani and Gino Calmani, civilians in Asmara, Eritrea, were interned in October 1942 and transferred as "civilian internees" to a camp at Fort Victoria, Southern Rhodesia (present day Zimbabwe). In February 1943 they were advised that all internees coming from Eritrea were to be sent to the Union of South Africa having been declared prisoners of war. The brothers reached Sonderwater on 3 February 1943. They were still stationed there in April 1945, although they had previously made representation to the International Red Cross. Their appeal was based on the premise that their internment as POWs was illegal, because as Jews they had been prohibited from serving in the Italian army. They applied to be among the first group of prisoners repatriated to Asmara. The SAJBD took up their cause with the Officer Commanding of the POW camp at Sonderwater but in his reply he stated that unless the "Allied Government of Asmara sanctioned their return as being necessary for the well-being of Eritrea no steps can be taken by this HQ to expedite their repatriation". [SAJBD Arch 210.1 File 2 WW2 Aliens & Refugees]

Over the years there have been Jewish inmates at the Sonderwater Prison.

In 1920 the Jewish children of the district started a Children's Aid Society in Bronkhorstspruit. Money was raised for the SA Jewish Orphanage. Rosie Mofsowitz of Sybrandskraal collected £1 at a concert given by her. [File SA p603]

JEWISH RESIDENTS

Abrahamson D Resident 1913 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p295]

Aronoff Mr J Resident 1971 Prisoner Prisoner at Sonderwater Prison (1971). [SAJBD Arch 17.7 corresp. Cullinan]

Bay Sam Resident 1913 General dealer.
Had a shop and petrol pump at Sybrandskraal. Served with the Union Forces (1914-1915). [Info Mabel Horn; File SA p95; 1913 File S p295]

Benjamin Mr N Resident 1907 Recorded in Rayton (1907). [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342]

Blomson D Resident 1915 [File SA p27]
Bloom Mr I Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p102 - 1910]

Bloom Mr S Resident 1909 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p140]

Brazil Mr Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Brookstone Leon Resident 1980 Prisoner
Prisoner at Sonderwater Prison (1980). [SAJBD Arch 17.7 corresp. Cullinan]

Brown Mr & Mrs Resident 1966 General dealer.
Lived in Cullinan. Bought shop at Kaffirskraal from Mr Thal. [CC Rabbis corresp. Cullinan]

Calmani Sergio Resident 1943 - 1945 Prisoner of war
Brother of Gino Calmani. Italian citizen of Asmara, Eritrea, interned at camp at Sonderwater.

Calmani Gino Resident 1943 1945 Prisoner of war
Brother of Sergio Calmani. Italian citizen of Asmara, Eritrea, interned at camp at Sonderwater.

Dreyer Mr & Mrs Maurice Resident 1960s General dealer.
He bought general dealer store in Rayton from Mr Taitz. [Info Friedman]

Egnos Mr S Resident 1907 Recorded in Rayton (1907). [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342]

Friedman Hymie & Alys Resident 1940 – 1972
Son of Mr & Mrs Joseph Friedman; born 1923 in Pretoria. In 1940 at the age of 17 returned to Rayton from Pretoria to run his father's farm. Farm sold in 1965. In 1972 moved to Rustenburg. [Info Friedman]

Friedman Mr & Mrs Joseph & fam Resident c.1912 - 1963 Farmer
Came from Skudvill, Lithuania to Pretoria. Bought a half share of a farm in Rayton together with the Liebman family c.1912. Also had a home in Pretoria. At times lived in the city and travelled to the farm three times a week. Children: Hymie (b.1923 in Pretoria) & ? Died on the farm in 1963 aged 84. [Info Friedman]

Glass Mr & Mrs & fam Resident Lived at Kaffirskraal, a farming area in the Cullinan district.

Golach Nathan Resident 1907 Recorded in Rayton (1907). [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342]

Golansky Isaac Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Golomb Mr B & Miriam Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. Miriam moved to Pretoria [File S p102 & 121 - 1910]

Goodman Mr J Resident 1907 Recorded in Rayton (1907). [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342]

Gordon Mr Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Green Mr Resident 1911 Recorded at Kaffirskraal (1911). [File S p141]

Green Mr & Mrs A Resident 1913 Recorded in the Rayton district at Pinclife (1913). Children: a son (b.1913) & ? [File S p293]

Green Mr O Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [file S p121 - 1910]

Green Mr P Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [file S p121 - 1910]

Hack Mr & Mrs Harry & fam Resident 1920 General dealer
Came from Lithuania. Went to live at Sybrandskraal where he farmed for 40 years. Had a general dealers store at Sybrandskraal (1934) and at Kaffirskraal (1927). Children: Mabel (born in Sybrandskraal) & ? Moved to Pretoria. [File V.2 Tel Dir 1927; Info Mabel Horn; CT Dir 1934; File SA p700 1920]

Heymann Julius Nathan Resident 1905 Shopkeeper.
Born March 1867 in England. Married the governess of Sammy Marks' children in Feb 1906. Wife not born Jewish. Ran a concession store at Premier Mine, Cullinan.
Hirsch Mr E A Resident 1945 Prisoner of war.
Interned at Baviaanspoort (1945). [SAJBD Arch 210.1 WW2 Aliens & Refugees]

Holtz Mr R B Resident 1912 Recorded in Rayton. [file S p215]
Isakow Mr Resident Worked in the Kisner business in Rayton for many years. Died in Rayton. [Info Friedman]

Jacobson Mr I Resident 1914 Recorded in Rayton (1914). [1914 Greetings]

Katzenellenbogen Mr J Resident 1913 Recorded in Rayton. Also recorded in Pienaarsrivier and Bronkhorstspruit. [File S p295]

Katzenellenbogen Mr S Resident 1907 Recorded in Rayton (1907). Also recorded in Pienaarsrivier and Bronkhorstspruit. [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342; File S p295]

Kisner H Resident 1927 Recorded in Rayton (1927). [1927 Zionist Record]

Kisner Joseph & Jane Fanny Resident 1907 General dealer; farmer.
Lived in Rayton. Married Jane Fanny Perel, daughter of Mr & Mrs Morris Perel, in 1913. Children: Cyril, Gerald & Sylvia. [state archives death notices cape town; SAJC 14 Nov 1913 p179; SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342; File V Tel Dir 1927; 1922 Dennis Edwards; File SA p708]

Kisner Mr I Resident 1920 Recorded in Rayton.

Kisner Gerald Resident General dealer.
Son of Mr & Mrs Joseph Kisner. Qualified as a geologist. Returned to Rayton to run his father's business until it was sold to Mr Taitz. Then lived in Johannesburg. [Info Friedman]

Klass Mr Resident 1913 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p295]

Kopelowitz Benjamin Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Kopelowitz Mr A Resident 1911 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p141]

Levenstein Willie Resident 1941 Recorded at Sonderwater (1941). He was stationed at the military camp there during the Second World War. [1941 Greetings]
Levin Mr Resident 1913 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p295]
Liebgott Mr & Mrs H & fam Resident 1907 Recorded in Rayton (1907). Children: Clara & ? [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342; File S p109]

Liebman Sidney & Pip Resident c.1912 Farmer.
He bought a half share of a farm in Rayton together with Joseph Friedman c.1912. Later moved to Pretoria, with Sidney commuting daily to the farm. [Info Friedman]
Madnitzky Mr & Mrs & fam Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Margolius Mr Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Margolius Louis & Polly Resident 1912 General dealer.
Recorded at Sonderwater (1912). Owned the firm Margolius Bros. Married Polly Berger of Johannesburg in 1912. [SAJC 15 Nov 1912; File S p295]

Mendelsohn Mr & Mrs J L & fam Resident 1930
Children: Jessel Leon (b.1917) & ? [Zionist Record 1930]

Mofsowitz Mr & Mrs M & fam Resident 1913 Produce & livestock dealer. Recorded at Sybrandskraal. Children: Rosie, a son (b.1913) & ? [1922 Dennis Edwards; SAJC 5 Dec 1913 p127; File SA p603]

Mofsowitz Mr D Resident 1920 Recorded at Premier Mine, Cullinan (1920). [1920 Greetings]

Myerston Mr Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Pauly Peter Resident 1943 Prisoner of war Interned at Baviaanspoort (1943). [SAJBD Arch 210.1 WW2 Aliens & Refugees]

Perel Mr & Mrs Morris & fam Resident 1907
Recorded in Rayton (1907). Children: Jane Fanny (married Joseph Kisner), Dora, Bertha & ? [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342; File P.3 p130; File S p109]

Rabinowitz Max Resident 1907 Recorded in Rayton (1907). [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342; File N p18]

Rechtman Rev Capt R Resident 1945
In 1945 Rev Capt R Rechtman of the Citizen's Force was based at the Chaplain's Office, at the army base at Premier Mine, near Cullinan. [Jewish Chaplaincy Committee corresp. 1946-1961]

Rose Alexander (Eliyah), Bluma & family Resident 1900
General dealer. Alexander Rosenfeld (later changed to Rose) came from London. Married Bluma Hartstein. Alex was builder by trade - may have built the first First National Bank in Johannesburg. Came to Rayton c.1900 and afterwards may have moved later to Cullinan. Ch: Ethel, Reuben (b.1898 in London), Monica. Family moved to Doornfontein later. [Zionist Record. 1910 - File S p121] [Info. David Rose Oct. 2006]

Rosenthal Mr Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Schiff Mr & Mrs Harry & fam Resident 1913 -1931 Shopkeeper; timber merchant. Lived in Rayton and ran Rayton Co-operative Stores (1922). Children: Elijah/Ellias David (b.1913), Sybil & Felix. [File S p338; 1917-31 Greetings; 1927 Zionist Record; 1922 Dennis Edwards; Schlosberg see Bronkhorstspruit p22]

Shain Mr I Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton (1910) and at Kaffirskraal (1911). [File S p117 & 141].

Shapiro B M Resident 1913 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p295]

Shindler Mr Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Sleyan Mr (Jnr) Resident 1913 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p295]

Sleyan/Slegan Mr B Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton (1910) and at Kaffirskraal (1911). [File S p121 & 141].

Solomon Mr Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Strauss Joseph & Friedel & fam Resident 1936 - 1971 Butcher; farmer; businessman. Came to Cullinan as a refugee from Germany in 1936. Son of Julius & Else Strauss. Started out at Kaffirskraal and then moved into Cullinan. Trained in the meat trade. Opened a butchery which developed into a wholesale and retail business. Later also went into farming. Married Friedel Haas. Children (born in Cullinan): Dennis (died 1964) & Marianne. Left in 1964. [Info Katz]

Strauss Julius & Else & fam Resident 1939
Came in 1939 as refugees from Germany. Parents of Joseph Strauss. [Info Katz]

Taitz Mr Resident General dealer
Bought the Kisner business in Rayton and later sold it to Mr Dreyer. [Info Friedman]

Thal Mr & Mrs Resident General dealer.
Recorded at Kaffirskraal, a farming area in the Cullinan district. Sold his shop to Mr Brown.

Wolfsohn Mr Resident 1907 Recorded in Rayton (1907). [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342]

Woolfson Dr & Mrs & fam Resident 1926 - 1934 Doctor
He qualified in Edinburgh, Scotland and was appointed assistant district surgeon for Premier Mine at Cullinan. Children (born in Cullinan): Pip, Leonard & Sonia (b.c.1932). The family moved to Pretoria in 1934. Died in 1937, aged 43. [Info Gordon]

Yellen Mr Resident 1913 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p295]

Zeeman Mr Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

____________________________________________________________________

 

The history of the Jewish Community of Cullinan was researched by The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot and first published in Jewish Life in the South African Country Communities, Volume II (2004): 241-254

The article is published here courtesy of The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot

 

דרבן DURBAN

העיר השלישית בגודלה בדרום-אפריקה.

ב-1969 התגוררו בה 6,050 יהודים. הקהילה היהודית פעילה ביותר, ולה שלושה בתי- כנסת (מהם אחד רפורמי), בית-ספר עברי יומי ומוסדות למיניהם. המועדון היהודי, היחיד מסוגו בדרום-אפריקה, תרם רבות לפיתוח חיי הקהילה (שלא קלטה, אגב, מהגרים ממזרח-אירופה בשיעור הרווח בערים אחרות במדינה). ועד הקהילה משמש גם כסניף ועד הקהילות הארצי. בשנות הששים פעולה ציונית ערה, ופעולה חינוכית בפיקוח מועצת החינוך היהודי, המסונפת למועצה הארצית. באוניברסיטת דרבן חוגים לעברית עתיקה וחדשה.

בשנת 1997 נימנו בדרבן 5,000 יהודים.

פורת אליזבט

עיר בדרום-אפריקה.


משפחות יהודיות היו בין המתיישבים הראשונים בפורט אליזבט, הם הגיעו מאנגליה בשנת 1820, ובית-כנסת ראשון (בבניין כנסיה לותראנית לשעבר) נפתח ב-1862.

יהודים מילאו תפקיד חשוב בפיתוח מסחר הצמר במקום (למשל, האחים מוזנטאל). במחצית השנייה של המאה ה- 19 שני יהודים שימשו כראשי-העירייה.

בשנת 1923 נבחר אדולף שודר היהודי למועצת העיר, כיהן במועצה יותר מארבעים שנה, ובשנים 1942-1940 כיהן כראש-העירייה. אדולף שודר גם היה שנים רבות ראש הקהילה האורתודוקסית ובזכות פעולתו הבין-גזעית נקרא פרוור של אפריקנים בעיר על שמו.

ב-1969 מנתה האוכלוסיה היהודית במקום 2,811 נפש (%1.1 מכלל האוכלוסיה). בקהילה היהודית היו אז שתי עדות, אורתודוקסית ומתקדמת. הקהילה הפעילה בית-ספר יומי יהודי, אגודת צדקה, וסניפים אזוריים של ועד שליחי הקהילות וההסתדרות הציונית.

Zimbabwe 

Formerly: Rhodesia

A country in southern Africa. 

Jewish population in 2018: 200 out of 17,000,000

-----------------------------

Zimbabwe Jewish Board of Deputies
Telephone: +263 4 723 647
National President: Peter Sternberg

 

איסט לונדון

(בראשיתה פורט רקס), עיר-נמל במזרח דרום-אפריקה; מספר תושביה 110,000. היישוב היהודי במקום מונה כ-1,200 נפש ופרנסתו על המסחר, התעשיה ומקצועות חופשיים. היהודים בולטים בחיי הציבור בעיר והיו ששימשו בתפקיד ראש העיר מאז ייסודה ב- 1847. בקהילה שני בתי-כנסת, עדה רפורמית (מ-1958), בתי- ספר עבריים, ארגונים ומוסדות ציונים ואחרים ומועדון יהודי. ראשון המתישבים היהודים היה גוסטב וצלאר מגרמניה (1873); ב- 1881 נתמנה חבר מועצת העיר וב-1889 נעשה ראש העיר. מספר היהודים גדל מהגירה, בעיקר בזמן במלחמת הבורים (1902-1899). הקהילה נוסדה רשמית ב-1901. ב-1903 הגיע מאנגליה עמנואל ליפקין, רב הקהילה ומייסד בית-הכנסת הראשון. כעבור 20 שנה הוקם בית-הכנסת הגדול בעיר.

מלבד וצלאר שימשו בתפקיד ראש העיר דוד לזרוס (1948-1947, 1966 1968), אברהם אדלסון (1959-1957) וליאו לאדן (1964-1962).

פרטוריה

בירתה המינהלית של דרום-אפריקה.


יהודים הגיעו לפרטוריה עם ייסוד העיר ב-1855, הם היו פקידי ממשל, שהממשלה הבורית הביאה עמה מהולאנד. אחד מהם, מ' דה-פריז, נעשה תובע כללי וחבר האסיפה המחוקקת.

תפילה בציבור נערכה לראשונה בביתו של הצלם דניאל קיש; שם גם נערכה האסיפה הראשונה של אנשי המקום (1890). הרב הראשון שכיהן בפרטוריה היה הרב א' יפה, שהתמנה לכהונתו בשנת 1891.

ב-1969 התגוררו בפרטוריה 3,550 יהודים (%1.2 מכלל האוכלוסיה). בקהילה היו אז שתי עדות, בית-ספר יומי "כרמל", סניף איחוד הנשים, ועד ציוני ומוסדות תיאום.

בשנת 1997 חיו בפרטוריה כ- 3,000 יהודים.

קימברלי

עיר בדרום אפריקה.


קימברלי היא מרכז תעשיית היהלומים של צפון אפריקה. שדות היהלומים בסביבה נתגלו ב- 1870 וכעבור שנה התארגנה הקהילה המקומית; בין ראשוני המתיישבים בקימברלי היו איל- הכספים בארני בארנאטו ואחיו הארי. ראשון הרבנים הקבועים בקהילה היה מאיר מנדלסון. מאז 1906 שימשו בראשות העיר לא פחות מחמישה יהודים; סר דוד האריס ייצג את המחוז בפארלמנט בשנים 1929-1897. עם גילוי הזהב בדרום-אפריקה עברו רבים מיהודי המקום ליוהאנסבורג.

בשנת 1970 התגררו בקימברלי 600 יהודים בין 25,000 תושבי העיר (הלבנים).

Dullstroom

Emnothweni

A town in Mpumalanga province, South Africa.

Dullstroom is situated on the Steenkampsberg Plateau in the eastern Transvaal (Mpumalanga - post 1994), 245 km north east of Pretoria; 53 km south west of Lydenburg; 35 km north of Belfast, in South Africa.

Emigration from Holland to South Africa was strongly encouraged in the 1880s and support committees were set up throughout Holland. Around 1882 a company, under the leadership of Wolterus Dull, was established to strengthen ties between the two countries. The company then bought two farms, Groot Suikerboschkop (Great Sugarbush Hill) and Elandslaagte (Dale of the Eland), in order to establish a settlement. The first Hollanders to arrive were J H Janson Jnr, Anthony de Vletter and the Ottens family. They were followed in 1884-1887 by G H Ahlers and T N H Janson and others. These early settlers experienced great hardship and although some left in search of a better life, many remained. When Wolterus Dull visited the settlers at Groot Suikerboschkop in 1890 he found that a little village had been established. There were about 30 houses, a shop, a post office, a hotel, a smith, a pottery, a water-mill and a school and church. In 1891 the village of Dullstroom was proclaimed and named after Wolterus Dull. It was originally named Dull's-stroom (Dull's stream), but this was later simplified to Dullstroom.

The Dutch settlers were staunch supporters of President Kruger who often came to stay over in the village. He paid two official visits - in 1894 and in 1898. During the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), the mountains around Dullstroom were regarded by both the Boers and the British as being strategically important. Several battles were fought in the region. In May 1900 the British forces gained occupation and the village later served as the mid-station for convoys moving between Lydenburg and Belfast. Dullstroom was virtually razed to the ground during the war and women and children were sent to a concentration camp at Middelburg. Many of the townsfolk had gone back to Holland. Others returned after the war and started to rebuild the village. In 1921 Dullstroom was granted the status of a town council.

Fly fishers in nearby Dullstroom owe thanks to the postmaster, Mr J Gurr, and a watchmaker and jeweller, Mr F C Braun, who lived in the nearby town of Lydenburg. In 1912 Mr Gurr caught what looked like a trout in the Dorps River in Lydenburg. He believed that trout would thrive in the waters of the Steenkampsberg and began rearing fingerlings from ova. Thousands were distributed into many of the local waters from around 1916. After Mr Gurr left Lydenburg, the task of restocking the streams fell to Mr F C Braun. The first stocking in Dullstroom took place in 1927. Today, Dullstroom is one of the most popular Transvaal destinations for trout anglers. The rivers and streams in the area are well stocked and many resorts in the area cater specifically for anglers. The area is also well known for its groves of elm and beech trees which were planted by the Dutch settlers. Verlorenvallei Nature Reserve is the only reserve in South Africa where all three crane species occur. [Discover Dullstroom p2, 3 & 12; Erasmus p179]

Dullstroom is one of the most popular Transvaal destinations for trout anglers. Two residents of Lydenburg, Mr J Gur and Mr F C Braun, are credited with the start of this industry, when they hatched fingerlings and stocked the waters around Lydenburg from around 1916 and those around Dullstroom from 1927.

Max Borkum and Henry Hare, Johannesburg stockbrokers, owned the farm Hiddendale near Dullstroom. [Suzan p285]

As at 2001, the Bert family still own their business, The Old Transvaal Inn, although they are no longer permanently resident in Dullstroom and only spend some weekends there.

EARLY JEWISH SETTLERS

Himmelhoch Yosef & Clara & fam 1896 Talsen, Kurland
Mr & Mrs Himmelhoch came to SA with their four young children in 1896 to settle in Dullstroom. There they had a shop and a hotel. The family endured hardship during the Second Anglo-Boer War, when first the Boers and then the British, commandeered stock from their shop. Clara Himmelhoch recalled how they helped a group of British officers on Christmas Day 1899. They gave them food and built a huge fire in their yard to dry them out. When peace was proclaimed, General Muller presented the family with a gold sovereign. [Rochlin Arch 114 Box 6 File 1]

Rodkin Zevulon 1915 Russia
In 1915 Zevulon Rodkin set himself up as a general dealer in Dullstroom. [From Shtetl to Steelmaking p49]

Sachs Mr S 1904
By 1904 Mr S Sachs was already farming in the Dullstroom district. [Name was listed in Donaldson & Hill's Farmers' Directory dated 1904, see SAJ 1976-7 p434]"

JEWISH PERSONALITIES

Kaplan Isaac Isaac Kaplan, co-founder of Cape Gate (Pty) Ltd, spent four years in Dullstroom as an assistant in his uncle's shop from 1921 to the end of 1925. Cape Gate was founded in August 1929 in Parow by Isaac Kaplan, his brother Solly Kaplan, and Solly Kushlick. It started out as small gate factory and rapidly expanded. In 1932 they produced the first chain-link machine from scrap and the name changed to the Cape Gate, Fence and Wire Works. During the Second World War, Isaac Kaplan became chairman of the Cape Allocations Committee, set up to give priority to whatever steel, wire and other material was available from Iscor to manufacturers in the Cape. The company expanded to the Transvaal in 1962 with the new factory at Vanderbijlpark under the management of Isaac's son, Mendel. The Parow factory remained under the management of the three founders until 1962 when Isaac's other son, Robert, took over as manager. In 1978 the head office in Braamfontein was bought and two factories were opened in Israel. On Cape Gate's 50th anniversary in 1979 the Kaplan Kushlick Foundation was founded which, over the years, has spent many millions of rand on a wide variety of projects in South Africa and Israel. Cape Gate is today (2001) still a family owned company. [From Shtetl to Steelmaking]

MISCELLANEOUS

Mrs Clara Himmelhoch, who was most likely the first Jewess in Dullstroom, in an interview in 1943, recalled with warmth her relationship with the Afrikaans community in the time she lived in the village. On the second official visit of President Kruger to Dullstroom in 1898, she helped the other women to prepare a large banquet in his honour. During Voortrekker celebrations in 1938 there was a Nagmaal in the nearby town of Belfast which she attended wearing Voortrekker costume. She was asked to sign the Voortrekker Book, which she was proud to do and was ‘glad to be among so many old friends from the olden days’. [Rochlin Arch 114 Box 6 File 1]

There were never enough Jews in Dullstroom to form a minyan. They probably prayed with the nearest congregation, either in Belfast, Lydenburg or Middelburg. There are no official census records for Dullstroom for the years selected for this research, nor are there any statistics available from Jewish community records kept by the SAJBD. As at 2001, there were no permanent Jewish residents in Dullstroom, but the Bert family still owned their business and hotel, the Old Transvaal Inn, and spent some weekends in the village.

JEWISH RESIDENTS

Bert Leonard & Sheryl & fam Resident 1983 - 2001 Pharmacist; restaurateur; curio shop owner The Berts originally lived in Graskop until 1977 when they relocated to Hoedspruit, at the time also owned a business in Pilgrim's Rest. They moved to Dullstroom in 1983, where they owned The Old Transvaal Inn.. They moved Johannesburg in 2001.

Himmelhoch Yosef & Clara & fam Resident 1896 Hotelier; general dealer. Came to Dullstroom in 1896 with four young children. Owned a shop and hotel. Also recorded in Belfast (1922). Children: Mary, Beatrice, Danie, Suzanna, Rachel, Charles & Wolf Ze'ev. [Rochlin Arch 114 Box 6 File 1; Belfast, Dennis Edwards 1922]

Hofland Mr J Resident 1934 General dealer [Cape Times Dir1934]

Kaplan Mrs Gertie Resident 1919 [State Archives, Death Notices, CT]

Kaplan Isaac Resident 1921 - 1926 Shop assistant.
Born 23 Nov 1906. Came to work for his uncle, Zevulon Rodkin (married to his father's sister) in 1921 at the age of 15. His job was to go into the country trading with farmers who bartered produce for goods from his uncle's shop. Stayed in Dullstroom for 4 years. Went to live in Wynberg, Cape Town, towards the beginning of 1926. [From Shtetl to Steelmaking p49-52]

Pomeravitz Szafa Resident 1927 Came to South Africa on 10 December 1927 from Antepole, Russia, to join his uncle, Zevulon Rodkin. [Immigration Records]

Rodkin Zevulon & Gittel & fam Resident 1915 General dealer. Zevulon Rodkin (1875 - 1950) was the uncle of Szafa Pomeravitz. Married Gittel Kaplan (1888 - 1953) in 1916. Gittel was the aunt of Isaac Kaplan. One child: Eber Josiah (Jess) born in Dullstroom in 1922. [From Shtetl to Steelmaking p49-53]

Sachs Mr S Resident 1904 Farmer [SA Jewry, 1976-7 refers to Donaldson and Hill's Farmer's Directory, 1904]

Schmahmann Mr B Resident 1922 General dealer; produce/livestock dealer; hotelier Owned the Transvaal Hotel (1922).

Zupan Mr P Resident 1934 General dealer [Cape Times Dir1934]

____________________________________________________________________

 

The history of the Jewish Community of Dullstroom was researched by The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot and first published in Jewish Life in the South African Country Communities, Volume II (2004): 241-254

The article is published here courtesy of The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot

 

Duiwelskloof 

Now called Modjadjiskloof

A town in South Africa.

Duiwelskloof is situated in the Letaba district of the northern Transvaal (Northern Province - post 1994). It lies approximately 450 km north east of Johannesburg; 24 km north-east of Tzaneen, in South Africa.

The village of Duiwelskloof is situated in the northern Transvaal on the railway line between Tzaneen and Soekmekaar. White settlement in this area began with the Voortrekkers who moved to the eastern slopes of the Drakensberg and settled in the district of the Lovedu (Lobedu) tribe, whose leader was the rain queen, Modjadji. In 1886 in a bid to encourage settlers to this northern frontier, the Transvaal Government made available what became known as "occupation farms". Many of these were taken up by those who had flocked to the northern Transvaal gold-fields. The village of Duiwelskloof became the centre of this farming community. It took its name from the farm Duiwelskloof originally owned by Willem Herklaas Viljoen. There was no real road to this area until about 1889 and the name Duiwelskloof (devil's ravine) was given because of the difficulty with which laden wagons trekked through the area in the rainy season. Anger against the new settlers mounted and in 1890 and again in 1894-95 campaigns were fought against the local tribes. With the ensuing peace, more farms were taken up and the village of Duiwelskloof was moved to the farm Skraalhans where there was a better water supply.

Duiwelskloof was linked by rail in 1916. The railway station was originally called Modjadji after the rain queens of the Lovedu (Lobedu) but reverted to Duiwelskloof following strong protest from white residents. The village was surveyed in 1919 and proclaimed in 1920. Before the establishment of a health committee in 1921, the affairs of the village were managed by a body called the Duiwelskloof General Improvement Society. In later years the administration passed to a village management board. The district of Duiwelskloof abounds in natural vegetation and plantations of subtropical fruit and timber. Five kilometres to the south of the village is Westfalia, at one time owned by Sir Lionel Phillips and later by Dr Hans Merensky, who is associated with most of the major mineral discoveries in the Transvaal.

ASSOCIATION WITH JEWS IN NEIGHBOURING PLACES

The Jews of Duiwelskloof were associated with the Pietersburg Hebrew Congregation as some of them were country members. They also joined with Jewish families in the neighbouring towns for Family Days which were mainly held to celebrate the chaggim e.g. Purim and Lag Ba'Omer and occasions such as Yom Yerushalayim and Yom HaShoah.

EARLY JEWISH SETTLERS

Jewish presence in Duiwelskloof began around 1912-13 when Sir Lionel Phillips bought the Westfalia Estate, 5 km from Duiwelskloof, as a wedding present for his son, although Sir Lionel was never resident there. The Jacobsons were living in Duiwelskloof from at least 1914.
Jacobson Mr AJ & Florence pre 1914 The earliest reference to the Jacobson family is in 1914 when Mrs Jacobson contributed to Zionist funds. In February 1919 she was one of seven women who were elected to the Duiwelskloof General Improvement Society, which administered village affairs until the Duiwelskloof Health Committee was established in 1921. [Cartwright, p142]

INFORMAL RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES

There were no formal Jewish institutions in Duiwelskloof and the Jews of the area were mostly members of the Pietersburg Hebrew Congregation.

ZIONIST ACTIVITY

There are records of contributions to Zionist funds from the Jacobson family from 1914. The Zionist Record was distributed to readers in Duiwelskloof (1929). In 1932 a delegation from Pietersburg led by Rev Levine met with the Jews of Duiwelskloof. It was suggested that the two centres work together for Zionist causes. It was further suggested that a Zionist society be formed in Duiwelskloof. [1932 Zionist Record]

In 1937 the Tzaneen, Duiwelskloof & District Zionist Society was recorded as an affiliate member of the SAZF. No other references can be found to this society. [File N p138]

SOCIAL/CULTURAL/RECREATIONAL

The SAJBD used to organise Family Day functions for the Jews of the outlying country communities and the Jewish families of Duiwelskloof used to join these families in Pietersburg to celebrate chaggim such as Purim and Lag Ba'Omer and occasions such as Yom Yerushalayim, Yom Ha'Atzmaut and Yom Hashanah.

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

Around 1912-13 Sir Lionel Phillips bought the Westfalia Estate, 5 km from Duiwelskloof, from a German settler, Konrad Plange as a wedding present for his son, Harold. He himself did not live on the estate. He owned a number of farms in the Haenertsburg district (see Tzaneen) which he acquired from 1906. A house was built on the farm known as the "Broederstroom Stud Farm" and the Phillip's moved between their homes in England, Johannesburg and Haenertsburg. After Harold's death in 1926 Sir Lionel took the estate back and in 1928 it was sold to Dr Hans Merensky. It now forms part of the Merensky Trust. [Cartwright p115, 144]

In 1949 the Duiwelskloof Hotel was bought by Mr Lisoos who lived in Zebediela. He also owned the Goldfield Hotel in Pietersburg and the hotel at Zebediela. [Rabbi Abt 1949 SAJBD Corresp]

STATISTICAL INFORMATION

The Matzo Board survey recorded 6 Jews in Duiwelskloof in 1943. Another survey by the SAJBD in 1953 recorded 10 Jews. This number remained static until 1964 when only 1 family remained (2 Jews). The South African Jewry of 1976/7 notes that there were no Jews in Duiwelskloof at this time. This fact was confirmed by Rabbi Engel who recorded no Jews in 1980. By 1994 there was one Jewish family in the village.

ANTISEMITISM

In 1936 there was a lot of anti-Jewish propaganda spread in Tzaneen and surrounds and a number of anti-Jewish meetings were held in nearby Tzaneen. Morris Alexander of the SAJBD undertook tours of several Transvaal towns, including Duiwelskloof, between 1936 and 1939 to talk about the activities of the SAJBD, to discuss the various antisemitic movements active at the time, as well as to strengthen the ties of friendship between the Jewish and secular communities. Rabbi Lapin also undertook similar tours in 1941.

The district of Duiwelskloof and Tzaneen was reported to have been a hotbed of Nazism under Dr Hans Merensky, the owner of Westfalia Estates. Dr Merensky often openly displayed antisemitic sentiments and had received several warnings from the local magistrate. In October 1936, several meetings of a pro-German nature took place in nearby Tzaneen. At one such meeting, a German film was shown to which English and Afrikaans residents were invited. The local leader, Mr Brinkman, an employee of Dr Hans Merensky, spoke about Hitler's ideals and the work of Bohle. In 1937 hundreds of Germans from all parts of the Transvaal assembled on his estate for a three-day rally, acting under instructions of the German Foreign Propaganda Ministry. [Press Reports 1936-8 Sunday Tribune 3/10/37] Many of Dr Merensky's German employees, including a Mr Brinkman, had been interned in 1939. Since their internment the situation had been quieter.

MISCELLANEOUS

In 1938 a gentile woman, Mrs Doris Eland, of the farm Ravenshill near Duiwelskloof, wrote to the Society for Jews and Christians offering to render practical assistance to Jewish refugees. She wrote: "I have been greatly shocked by the recent happenings in Germany and feel a great urge to do something practical to help the Jewish Refugees". She referred to proposals for settling families in parts of East Africa but felt that "they will want a certain training". She noted that “here we have all the facilities for giving a young man insight into a Pioneers Life" and went on to outline the manner in which they could offer housing and training for a suitable youth. [SAJBD Corresp Duiwelskloof]

JEWISH PERSONALITIES

Jacobson Mrs Florence Mrs Jacobson was elected to the Duiwelskloof General Improvement Society in February 1919. She was one of seven women who served on this committee. In 1921 the administration of village affairs was taken over by the Duiwelskloof Health Committee. [Cartwright, p142]

Lovell Miss Aida Miss Aida Lovell, the professional name of Mrs A Osterman, was a musician who performed several times with the Cape Town Orchestra, with the Colosseum Orchestra and gave performances in aid of funds for the General and Children's Hospitals and for the Star Seaside Fund. She was a well-known broadcasting artist and gave a series of musical lectures to various societies in the country. [SA Woman's Who's Who, p455, 1938]

JEWISH RESIDENTS OF DUIWELSKLOOF

Abramowitz Mr E Resident 1922 General dealer [Dennis Edwards 1922]

Abramowitz Mr R Resident 1924 [Tel Dir 1924]

Abramowitz Mr Resident 1922 General dealer.
Owned Abramowitz Bros. [Dennis Edwards 1922; Tel Dir 1924]

Fine Samuel & Rae & fam Resident 1921 - 1936 General dealer.
Children: Doris & Cyril. Moved to Tzaneen in 1936. [Doris Ossip; List of donors Pietersburg Shul Building Fund 1921]

Goldblatt Mrs Resident 1936
Member of the first committee of the Tzaneen, Duiwelskloof & District Zionist Society. Not clear whether she lived in Tzaneen or Duiwelskloof. [1936 Zionist Record]

Hersfield Mr I Resident 1922 General dealer [Dennis Edwards 1922]
Hersfield Mr S Resident 1924 [Tel Dir 1924]

Hirschmann Mr J Resident 1934 General dealer [CT Dir 1934]

Jacobsohn/Jacobson Mr A J & Florence C & fam Resident - 1914
Florence Jacobson (15 Mar 1876 - 19 July 1936) was buried in Pietersburg. Mr Jacobson worked at Letaba Estate (1939), near Tzaneen. By 1949 he was living in Johannesburg. [Wiener; Abt 1949 - SAJBD Corresp; List of donors Pietersburg Shul Building Fund 1921]

Mosenthal Mr Resident 1924 Owned Mosenthal Bros. [Tel Dir 1924]
Myerson M Resident 1936
Member of the first committee of the Tzaneen, Duiwelskloof & District Zionist Society. Not clear whether lived in Tzaneen or Duiwelskloof. [1936 Zionist Record]
Osterman Henry Resident 1941
Died in 1941 and was buried in Pietersburg. [Charlotte Wiener]

Osterman Abe & Aida Resident 1936 Mrs – musician.
Mrs Osterman was known by her professional name, Aida Lovell. [SA Woman's Who's Who, p455, 1938]

Palte Michael Resident Moved to Pietersburg. [Wiener]

Schwabel Constance Marion Resident 1950
Died 21 May 1950, aged 51 and buried in the Jewish cemetery in Pietersburg. [Charlotte Wiener]

Schwabel Mr J M Resident 1934 Attorney [CT Dir 1934]

Shulman Peter & Urna Resident 1993 - Current (2001) General dealer .
Eight children. Still resident in Duiwelskloof as at 2001. [Charlotte Wiener]

Smueli Mr & Mrs & fam Resident 1932
Worked on the Letaba Estate, near Tzaneen. Children: Amichai (b.1932) & ? [1932 Zionist Record]

Sussman S Resident 1920 [File SA p623 & 659]

Yudelowitz Mrs Hannah Resident 1940 - 1962
Nee Osterman. Sent New Year greetings from the Duiwelskloof Hotel in 1946. Died on 22 Nov 1962 and buried in Pietersburg. [Charlotte Wiener; Jeshurun 0ct 1940]

Yudelowitz H Resident c.1929
Buried in Pietersburg c.1929/30. [Charlotte Wiener]

____________________________________________________________________

 

The history of the Jewish Community of Duiwelskloof was researched by The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot and first published in Jewish Life in the South African Country Communities, Volume II (2004): 241-254

The article is published here courtesy of The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot

זאמביה

Zambia

עד 1964 - רודזיה הצפונית

מדינה (רפובליקה בחבר העמים הבריטי) במרכז דרום יבשת אפריקה.


כאשר נערכה החתונה היהודית הראשונה במקום, ב-1810, מנה היישוב היהודי כולו 38 נפשות. האחים זוסמן, שהגיעו לרודזיה הצפונית ב- 1900, היו חלוצי התחבורה המודרנית במקום ביבשה ובנהרות ורכשו את הזכויות למחצבי נחושת, כיום המיכרה הגדול ביותר בזאמביה (בבעלות אחרים). יהודים בלטו בפיתוח ענף המיכרות ונתכבדו על פועלם בתוארי אצולה (דוגמת סר אדמונד דייוויס, סולי יואל וסר ארנסט אופנהיימר).

ב-1921 מנה היישוב 110 יהודים ופי עשרה מזה ומעלה באמצע שנות החמישים, עם התפתחות תעשיית הנחושת בצפון. זוגות צעירים נטו להגירה, ומתבגרים היו נשלחים למוסדות חינוך ברודזיה או דרום-אפריקה.

עד להשגת העצמאות שימשו יהודים במימשל המקומי, גם כראשי-עיר; ומשנות השלושים בלט בזירה המדינית סר רוי וולנסקי, עד שעבר לסולסברי לתפקיד סגן ראש-הממשלה (1953). מ"ג ראב היה חבר בית-המחוקקים (1962-1959) וס"ו מאגנוס היה חבר הפארלאמנט בשנים 1968-1962, עד שנתמנה שופט בית-הדין העליון.

בשנת 1975 ישבו בזאמביה 450 יהודים, מספר תושבי המדינה היה אז 4,750,000.

בשנת 1997 חיו בזאמביה 50 יהודים בלבד, רובם בעיר לוסאקה. מספר תושבי המדינה היה אז 8,275,000.

Barberton

Including Eureka City/Eureka, Kaapsehoop, Noordkaap, Steynsdorp

BACKGROUND

Barberton lies in the De Kaap Valley in the Lowveld, Eastern Transvaal (Mpumalanga - post 1994). It is situated approximately 400 km north east of Johannesburg, 45 km south-west of Nelspruit, South Africa.

Traces of alluvial gold were found in the Barberton area in 1874 by one of the early prospectors, Tom McLachlan. But a rush to the area only occurred some years later when gold was discovered in 1882. Kaapsehoop was created as a centre for the prospectors. Although the finds proved to be uneconomic, Kaapsehoop continued to be a base for diggers working at other sites in the De Kaap Valley. It was here that "French Bob" (Auguste Robert) discovered the Pioneer Reef at what was known as Moodies on 2 June 1883. This was the greatest discovery of gold yet made in South Africa. On 21 June 1884 Graham Barber discovered a rich gold-producing reef, Barber's Reef. Three days later, on 24 June 1884, the mining commissioner, David Wilson visited Barber's Camp, the mining camp of Graham Barber and cousins Harry & Fred Barber, and proclaimed it a township, to be named Barberton. Barberton became the centre of the De Kaap gold-fields.

In May 1885 the richest reef of all, Sheba Reef, was discovered by Edwin Bray and another boom town, Eureka City, arose approximately 15 km north east of Barberton. These discoveries caused the greatest gold rush in the history of the country up to that time. The boom year for Barberton was 1886 when more than 4 000 claims were being worked. South Africa's first stock exchange, "The Transvaal Share and Claim Exchange, Trust and Agency Co. Ltd." opened in Barberton on 13 April 1887. A second stock exchange, "De Kaap Gold Exchange" also operated in 1887. Huge volumes of shares were traded in bogus companies and within a short period, mining operations were hopelessly overcapitalised. Thousands of investors lost their money. Disillusioned prospectors drifted to the newer gold-fields on the Witwatersrand and by 1888 the exodus from Barberton was as great as the influx had been. The outbreak of the Second Anglo-Boer War in 1899 saw the closure of several mines. Eureka City was abandoned with Barberton a virtual ghost town. Only a few companies, like Sheba, remained and later made a success of the local gold-mining industry.

Barberton became a municipality in 1904. Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, author of the classic tale "Jock of the Bushveld" lived in Barberton for some years. There is a bronze statue of the famous dog in front of the town hall. Barberton is a picturesque town, known as the "Jewel of the Lowveld". It is the home of the famous Barberton daisy. Although there is still some gold-mining in Barberton, its main economic revenue comes from cotton, tobacco, citrus, sisal, sub-tropical fruit and timber farming. Barberton is the biggest producer of rice in South Africa.

From the time the gold-fields opened in the early 1880s, Jews were engaged in a range of economic activities in Barberton and its environs. Prospectors, and those involved in related gold-mining activities, abounded. There were stockbrokers, solicitors, general dealers, dentists, hoteliers, tavern-keepers, musicians, a chemist, a doctor, a tailor and a newspaper editor. Barberton became a boom town, one in which many South African mining personalities, among them a number of Jews, had their first 'baptism of fire'. People such as Alfred Beit, Harry Graumann, Isaac Sonnenberg, Sammy Marks, Isaac Lewis, Barney Barnato, Nuna Daniel Davis, Edouard Lippert, and Carl Hanau were all there in one capacity or another and all had interests in one or other of the companies. [Cartwright p34 & p152]

EARLY JEWISH SETTLERS
At the time that the De Kaap and Barberton gold-fields were proclaimed (1882 and 1884 respectively), there were Jews among the early pioneers. For the purposes of this research, the period 1882 to 1900 has been chosen as the period of early Jewish presence in this district.

Abrahams Mr & Mrs & fam. c.1885 to Barberton; 1890s to Eureka City.
Mr Abrahams served as acting rabbi in Oudtshoorn for about a year in 1884. Around 1885 he moved to Barberton where he became a shopkeeper. In the 1890s the Abrahams family lived in Eureka City. Mr Abrahams was a mohel. [Shapiro p11]

Albu Leopold 1875 to SA; 1884 to Barberton from Berlin, Germany
Upon his arrival in SA Leopold Albu worked at the Cape Town produce market. He went to Kimberley in 1876 where he was joined by his brother George. They set up a business called Albu Bros, Produce Dealers, which they kept for a number of years. They became licensed diamond brokers and valuers and invested in diamond claims at Dutoitspan, Bultfontein and Jagersfontein. In 1884 Leopold Albu settled in Barberton. As he had done in Kimberley, he set himself up as a produce dealer so as to be assured of a steady income. His partner in this concern was Nuna Davis. He and his brother George invested in several mining companies. Leopold became a stockbroker on the Barberton Stock Exchange until he left for Johannesburg in 1887.

Bornstein David & Dora 1890s
The Bornsteins were living in Barberton in the 1890s. David Bornstein was a tailor and outfitter.

Cinamon Jacob & Victoria & fam 1880 to SA; 1885 to Barberton district.
From Lodz, Poland. Jacob Cinamon left Poland for England when he was sixteen years old. He was a smous in the Transvaal during the First Anglo-Boer War (1880-81). His wife and two daughters joined him in SA in 1881 when the family went to live in Jagersfontein. The family moved to Burghersdorp for a short period c.1883 where Jacob opened a shop. They then lived in Middelburg, Transvaal, for 9 months before moving to Barberton in 1885. [Jewish affairs 1956 p20-25] Jacob Cinamon ran a tavern, the Springbok Tavern, on the Sheba Road about 5 km outside Barberton. He also had an interest in prospecting. The Cinamon children were the first Jewish children to live in Barberton.

Cohen Ernest 1880s
"Ernest Cohen, who was living in Barberton by the late 1880s, was one of several Jewish musicians who entertained the local populace. He was nicknamed "Alphabetical" because of the number of his initials. [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]"

Cohen Herrman & Fanny & fam 1882 to SA; 1888 to Eureka City
From Plungian, Lithuania Herrman Cohen was born in Plungian in 1847. Only three brothers survived a pogrom, Herrman being the oldest. He went to France and soon after to England where he worked for 10 years. Here he met and married Francis (Fanny) who was born in Altona, Denmark, and was the daughter of Rabbi & Mrs Ben Zion. Herrman came out to SA on his own, first to Oudtshoorn, then to Pietermaritzburg. Fanny and five children joined him in Pietermaritzburg in 1885. In 1886 the family went to live in Swaziland until 1888 when they headed for Eureka City. Herrman Cohen established a bottle store in Eureka City. In 1894 the family moved to Barberton where Herrman opened a produce store. Their oldest son, Baron, ran a store in the valley near Eureka City. Another son, Max, was working in Pietermaritzburg when the family came to Eureka City. He joined them in the early 1890s. With the outbreak of the Second Anglo-Boer War in 1899, three of their sons enlisted with Steinaecker's Horse (regiment) with the rest of the family seeking refuge in Delagoa Bay. They returned to Barberton after the war.

Cohen Hirschel 1884
Hirschel Cohen worked as a stockbroker in Barberton in the 1880s. He and Harry Graumann became partners in the firm ""Cohen & Graumann". They did a lot of work for Alfred Beit and acted as secretaries to Beit's companies and his associates in Barberton.

Cohen Mr & Mrs Bernard & fam after 1888 to Eureka City district
From Plungian, Lithuania. Bernard Cohen, younger brother of Herrman Cohen, came to the Fairview Mine south of Eureka City with his Polish wife and children. There he opened a trading store and also engaged in prospecting.

Cohen Naphtali Herz 1881 to SA; 1886 to Barberton. From London, England Naphtali Cohen went first to Kimberley where he trained as a solicitor in the firm of Messrs Stow & Caldecott. In 1886 he was admitted to the High Court of Griqualand and proceeded to Barberton. Naphtali Cohen was secretary of the Eagle's Nest Mining Company. He had an interest in local civic life and was active in forming a political association in Barberton to promote greater representation and a reduction in taxation. [Men of the Times 1905 p108; Saron & Hotz p143]

Cohen Simon (Zambesi) c.1888 to Eureka City district
From Plungian, Lithuania. Simon Cohen, brother of Herrman and Bernard Cohen, hiked from Delagoa Bay to the De Kaap Valley around 1888. With help from his brother Herrman he opened a tavern. The following year he sent for his fiancée. He later opened an hotel, known as the Zambesi Hotel, between Barberton and the Sheba Mine at a place called Elephant's Kloof, about 9 km from Eureka City.

Cohen Violet 1880s
Violet Cohen was living in Barberton by the late 1880s. She was a musician, one of several Jewish musicians in the town at the time. [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

Cohn Arnold after 1888 to Eureka City
Arnold Cohn, in partnership with Otto Ernst, had a general dealers store in Eureka City, trading as "Cohn & Ernst".

Davis Nuna Daniel 1881 to SA; c.1887 to Barberton. From London, England.
Nuna Davis worked as a speculator at the diamond fields at Kimberley where he was the general manager of the Hatton Diamond Mining Co. from 1881 to 1887, during which period he was also the acting general manager of the Bultfontein Diamond Mining Co. [Men of the Times 1905 p124]. Nuna Davis came to Barberton around 1887 where he successfully put through some good mining ventures. He was a partner of Leopold Albu in his produce dealing business.

De Jong Philip 1880s
Philip de Jong lived in Barberton in the 1880s. He was a musician who had a reputation as one of South Africa's best tenors. [Saron & Hotz p143]

Ernst Otto After 1888 to Eureka City. Otto Ernst, in partnership with Arnold Cohn, had a general dealers store in Eureka City, "Cohn & Ernst".

Feinstein Mr P pre 1889
Mr Feinstein was living in Barberton by 1889 when he served on the committee of the Barberton Hebrew Congregation. [JCL Abstract1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13]

Franklin Mr & Mrs Jacob & fam pre 1890. From Sunderland, England.
The Franklin family came to Barberton from Kimberley where Jacob Franklin had run a bakery. By 1890 Jacob Franklin was a general dealer who owned a store at Pigg's Peak, Swaziland. He commuted daily by horseback from Barberton to his store at Pigg’s Peak. [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A, Salli Kahn p1; Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

Freedman Mr c.1884
Mr Freedman was a prospector on the gold-fields at Barberton around 1884. [SAJYB 1929 p84]

Gluckstein Mr B pre 1887
Mr Gluckstein was editor of a local humorous weekly The Jester, first published in July 1887. [Saron & Hotz p143; the star 23 1963 p8]

Golding Bill pre 1889 to Steynsdorp
By 1889 Bill Golding was running a canteen at Steynsdorp. He was the son of Gerry Golding, a prospector on the gold-fields. [Bulpin - Lost trails on Lowveld p285]

Golding Gerry pre 1889 to Steynsdorp
By 1889 Gerry Golding was prospecting at Steynsdorp. [Bulpin - Lost trails on Lowveld p285]

Grainger/Granger Mr & Mrs & fam pre 1889
The Graingers came from Durban to Barberton in the 1880s. Mr & Mrs Grainger built and ran the Granville Hotel in Barberton, the only family hotel in Barberton for a long time. [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A Wartski]

Graumann Harry 1882 to SA; 1884 to Barberton. From London, England.
As a 14 year old youth, Harry Graumann (later Sir) found employment at a large wholesale firm in Cape Town. He became a commercial broker and was soon known as the "Boy Broker". He went to the Transkei before arriving in Barberton in 1884, with Henry Heller and three other partners. Harry Graumann and Henry Heller started a trading business when they arrived in Barberton. He became a stockbroker at the age of 16 in partnership with Hirschel Cohen. Their firm, Cohen & Graumann did a lot of work for Alfred Beit and his associates in Barberton.

Heller Adolph & Annie-Jeanne pre 1891. From Hungary
Adolph Heller came via London to Barberton and was living there by 1891. Here he had an interest in the gold-fields. [JCL abstracts 1887-1910 29 Jan 1892 p14]

Heller Henry 1884 Henry Heller was a businessman in Durban before coming to Barberton in 1884. He and Harry Graumann (later Sir) started a trading business as soon as they arrived at the gold-fields. He later also became a prospector, approaching Sammy Marks in November 1885 on behalf of a seven-man syndicate, to invest in claims that they had pegged out close to Edwin Bray's new discovery.

Henochsberg Mr pre 1887
By 1887 Mr Henochsberg was living in Barberton. In July 1887 he chaired the meeting at which it was resolved to establish a Hebrew congregation in Barberton. [JCL Abstracts 1859-1887 July 1887 p13 col 2]

Heymann Julius early 1880s to SA; c.1885 to Barberton
From Tavrig, Lithuania. Julius Heymann together with his older brother, Samuel Leopold, came to SA in the early 1880s where they joined their relative, Sammy Marks, in Pretoria. They worked for him at his Eerste Fabrieken Hatherley Distillery Ltd. (This factory, when established in 1883, was the first industry in the Transvaal.) Around 1885 Julius left Pretoria and came to Barberton.

Holt David 1877 to SA; 1886 to Barberton. From Hull, Yorkshire, England
David Holt was born in Hull, Yorkshire, England, in 1858. He came to SA in 1877 and after nine months in Cape Town he proceeded to Kimberley where he became a diamond broker, and a claim-holder in the original De Beers Diamond Mine. After the First Anglo-Boer War in 1880-1881, he became a hotel proprietor at Bultfontein, afterwards proceeding to the Barberton gold-fields. David Holt came to the new gold-fields at Barberton in 1886. He was local secretary for the Kimberley Imperial Gold Mining Company. He remained here for a year during which time he lost his fortune. He moved to the Witwatersrand in 1887 where he opened up as a cigarette merchant. [Rosenthal p174; Saron & Hotz p143]

Jacobs Isaac c.1886 Merthyr, Wales
Isaac Jacobs was in Barberton in 1886 when he organised High Holy Day services that year. [JCL Abstract1859-1887 12 Nov 1886 p7 col2]

Lasker Isadore & Jennie pre 1890
Isadore Lasker married Jennie Lazarus of Barberton in 1890 in what was the first Jewish wedding in Barberton. [JCL Abstracts 1887-1910 31 Oct 1890 p10]

Lazarus Mr & Mrs & fam pre 1889
By 1889 the Lazarus family were living in Barberton when Mr Lazarus served on the committee of the Barberton Hebrew Congregation. [JCL Abstracts 1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13]

Levin Mr pre 1889
By 1889 Mr Levin was living in Barberton when he served on the committee of the Barberton Hebrew Congregation. [JCL Abstracts 1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13]

Lissack Simon c.1884
Simon Lissack was a digger at the Barberton gold-fields around 1884. [SAJYB 1929 p84]

Lowinsky Mark c.1884 Mark Lowinsky was among the many prospectors attracted to the new gold-fields at Barberton around 1884. [Williams p519]
Lyons Mr 1890s
Mr Lyons was living in Barberton in the 1890s. [Fred Cohen: Eureka's Child p46]

Lyons Samuel 1890s
Samuel Lyons traded in Barberton in the 1890s. He was known for the ginger beer which he sold. [Fred Cohen: Eureka's Child p46]

Marks Herbert T & Louisa (Lily) 1887
Herbert Marks, a mining engineer, was engaged in 1887 by the Transvaal Republic as an assayer and analyst in Barberton. [Saron & Hotz p143]

Marks Joseph 1887 From Neustadt, Lithuania.
Joseph Marks was appointed by the Kruger Government in 1887 as a collector of customs in Barberton. [Saron & Hotz p143]

Masur Joseph Solomon early 1880s From Hohensalza, Germany.
Joseph Masur was apprenticed to a prominent Architect for two years in Germany. He came to SA in 1880 and stayed a short while in Port Elizabeth before moving to Kroonstad and from there to the Transvaal gold-fields. Joseph Masur was a part-time prospector who spent some years at the Barberton and Pilgrim's Rest gold-fields. He moved to the Witwatersrand gold-fields by 1885. [Men of the times, 1905 p243 see Machadodorp file]

Morris Mr & Mrs Nathan & fam pre 1887
The Morris family had previously lived in Kimberley. Nathan Morris ran a tavern just outside Barberton. They were living here by 1887. [JCL Abstracts 1859-1887 July 1887 p13 col 2]

Moses Dr 1880s
Dr Moses worked as a pioneer dentist in Barberton in the 1880s. [Saron & Hotz p143]

Myers Mr & Mrs Barney & fam 1880s From Birmingham, England.
By the late 1880s the Myers family was living in Barberton. Their sons Jack and Isaac were among a number of Jewish musicians in the town at the time. The sons moved to the Witwatersrand by the 1890s. [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24&25]

Nellmapius Alois Hugo 1873 to SA; 1882 to Barberton district
From Budapest, Hungary. Alois Nellmapius was born in Budapest, Hungary, to a Jewish mother (nee Neumann) on 5 May 1847. He studied in Holland where he trained as a civil engineer. In 1873 he landed at Delagoa Bay and made for the gold-fields at Mac-Mac, near present day Sabie. He left Mac-Mac shortly after the important gold strike in September 1873 by Alec Patterson and William Trafford on the farm Ponieskrantz (later named Pilgrim's Rest). In early 1878, Alois Nellmapius began prospecting for gold between Lydenburg and what was to be Barberton. He contracted malaria and left for Pretoria later that year. [Saron & Hotz p139; Kaye p18-23] Around 1882 Alois Nellmapius pegged new claims in the De Kaap valley. He did not remain long at the diggings because on 15 January 1883 he was called upon by Piet Joubert to help bring an end to the campaign against the Ndebele tribe. [Kaye p35-40]

Olswang Mr pre 1887
Mr Olswang was living in Barberton by 1887. [JCL Abstracts 1859-1887 July 1887 p13 col 2]

Rose Mr J W pre 1891
Mr Rose was living in Barberton by 1891. [JCL Abstracts 1887-1910 29 Jan 1892 p14]

Rosenbloom Solomon pre 1889 to Steynsdorp
By 1889 Solomon Rosenbloom was working as a digger at the gold-fields at Steynsdorp. He was one of a number of diggers arrested as a leader of a lynching party and sent to Pretoria for trial. The arrested men were all released through lack of evidence. [Bulpin - Lost trails on Lowveld p284]

Schwartz Maurice c.1889 From Vilkomir, Lithuania.
Maurice Schwartz was born in Vilkomir, Lithuania in 1860. His name had been Karnovsky but he had to change it to Schwartz in order to be able to avoid military service and thus leave Lithuania. When he first came to South Africa he worked as a smous and lived in Johannesburg for a short while before moving to Barberton c.1889. In Barberton he became a prospector and trader. [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A Schwartz M & Schwartz Lily]

Seagull Max 1886 to SA; 1887 to Barberton.
Max Seagull came to SA in 1886 from Yorkshire, England and to Barberton in 1887. He worked for some time as a journalist on the Goldfields Times. He moved on to Vryburg and by 1894 was living in Port Elizabeth. [SAJT Markowitz 4/6/48]

Simmons Dr 1880s
Dr Simmons worked as a pioneer dentist in Barberton in the 1880s. [Saron & Hotz p143]

Sonnenberg Isaac (Ikey) 1868 to SA; c.1884 to Barberton
From Floersheim, Germany. Ikey Sonnenberg left Germany for the USA where he joined other Forty-Niners at the Californian gold-fields. He arrived in the Cape in 1868 and in 1869 worked as a smous and diamond dealer at Barkly West. By 1870 he had a general dealers store in Jacobsdal. [Saron & Hotz p325] He settled for a period in Aliwal North where he and his brother Charlie owned a store. He followed Charlie to Queenstown where he married Jeanette Rosenblatt. Leaving her behind he set off for the diamond-fields at New Rush (later to become Kimberley). Around 1875 he prospected for a very short time in the Lydenburg district before trying his luck at Pilgrim's Rest. [Rosenthal ZR Sept 1939] He then moved on to the Witwatersrand gold-fields, becoming involved in the mining of the Blaauwbank Reef and the Kromdraai Gold Mining Co. These ventures were unsuccessful and he went to Bechuanaland in 1884 and soon after arrived in Barberton. [Rosenthal p61; Meiring p144-145; Williams p253-7] Ikey Sonnenberg was very popular and was renowned all over SA as a wit and humorist. He remained in Barberton until 1888 when he went to live in Johannesburg. [Rosenthal p61]

Sonnenberg Theodore early 1880s to SA; pre 1885 to Barberton. From Kaiserslautern, Germany. After his arrival in SA in the early 1880s, Theodore Sonnenberg settled in Kimberley. He soon moved to Klerksdorp before making his way to Barberton. Theodore Sonnenberg came to Barberton in the hope of making his fortune. He stayed for a short while only before moving on to Bechuanaland (present day Botswana) and then settling in Vryburg by 1885. [Sonnenberg p18]

Sonnenfeld Mr A & Hannah & fam pre 1887
By 1887 the Sonnenfelds were living in Barberton. In that year Mr Sonnenfeld was elected president of the newly formed Barberton Hebrew Congregation. [JCL extracts Cape 1859-1887 July 1887 p13 col2]

Starfield Mr c.1890
By 1890 Mr Starfield was already living in Barberton. [JCL Abstract1887-1910 31 Oct 1890 p10]

Strauchbaum David & Bertha pre 1889
The Strauchbaum family came to Barberton from Port Elizabeth. By 1889 they were living in Barberton when Mr Strauchbaum served on the committee of the Barberton Hebrew Congregation. [JCL Abstract1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13]

Wasserberg Mr & Mrs S & fam pre 1890
The Wasserberg family had previously lived in Port Elizabeth. By 1890 they were living in Barberton. [JCL Abstract1887-1910 31 Oct 1890 p10]

Weston Mr & Mrs & fam pre 1896
The Weston family was living in Barberton by 1896 when their son Harry was born. [SAJYB 1929]

Wolfers Rev & Mrs Philip 1889 England
Rev Wolfers was minister at the Hambro Synagogue, London. He also served as the superintendent of classes under the Jewish Association for the Diffusion of Religious Knowledge, London. Rev Wolfers and his wife came to Barberton in 1889 where he was engaged as teacher and minister for the Jewish community.

Wolff Dr Henry A 1886 America
Dr Wolff, a medical practitioner, came to Barberton in 1886. It is not clear whether he was Jewish.

Woolf Mr & Mrs c.1890s
Mr & Mrs Woolf were living in Eureka City in the 1890s. [Fred Cohen: Eureka's Child p21]

Zaffere Mr 1880s Constantinople, Turkey
Mr Zaffere was engaged in mining activities in Barberton in the late 1880s. He was also a business partner of Jacob Cinamon. [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

INFORMAL RELIGIOUS ACTIVITY
By 1886, at the height of the gold-rush, there were about 70 Jews in Barberton. Services for the High Holy Days were organised that year by Mr Isaac Jacobs and held in an unfinished store. Mr S Mendelssohn, of Kimberley, acted as president and Mr Isaac Jacobs as treasurer of the congregation. [JCL abstracts cape 1859-1887 12 Nov 1886 p7 col 2; 4 July 1890 p16] The following year a formal congregation was established.

BARBERTON HEBREW CONGREGATION & BENEVOLENT SOCIETY

The Barberton Hebrew Congregation, one of the first in the Transvaal, was established in 1887, although some sources suggest that a congregation was formed as early as 1883. [Simonowitz p40 & 42; Hertz p17] In 1886 Mr Isaac Jacobs organised services for the High Holy Days and served as treasurer on a temporary committee together with Mr S Mendelssohn, of Kimberley, who acted as president. A report in July 1887 in the Jewish Chronicle London states that “on Sunday, 12 June [1887], a meeting was held at Barberton, for the purpose of forming a congregation and Benevolent Society combined". At the meeting, chaired by Mr Henochsberg, it was resolved that a combined Hebrew congregation and benevolent society would be formed with a two-fold objective, i.e. religion and charity. A committee was elected at this meeting and nearly one hundred guineas were subscribed. Later that year, the newly formed Barberton Hebrew Congregation held its first service for the purpose of celebrating Queen Victoria's Jubilee. In the absence of a synagogue, divine services were held in Mr Sonnenfeld's newly built shop. Two torahs were hired from Kimberley. [Couzin, p11]

In 1888 Rev Myers Woolfson of London was supposed to take charge of the Barberton Hebrew Congregation but was dissuaded to go there by Rev A F Ornstein of the Cape Town Hebrew Congregation and was sent to Oudtshoorn instead. In March 1889, Mr N D Morris, the acting honorary secretary of the Barberton Hebrew Congregation, welcomed the new minister and his wife, Rev and Mrs Philip Wolfers. Mr Wolfers preached at the service held on the following Saturday. This was the first sermon delivered by a Jewish minister at the Barberton gold-fields. In September 1889 the consecration of a new Sefer Torah took place. At the end of the ceremony all the members present enjoyed a banquet in honour of the auspicious event.

When the Barberton Hebrew Congregation was formed, an unfinished store was hired for the High Holy Day services. In 1890 religious services for the High Holy Days were held in the Masonic Hall and were officiated by Rev Wolfers and Messrs Starfield and Feinstein. That year the Barberton Hebrew Congregation began looking for a permanent building to house their synagogue and newly established school. Nothing further appears to have come of this and it would appear that services continued to be held in the Masonic Lodge Hall in Judge St.

There is no clear indication of when the congregation ceased to exist, but Rev P Wolfers left Barberton around 1891/2 to become rabbi of the Johannesburg Hebrew Congregation. No other minister was appointed.

There was no structured Jewish life in Barberton until the early 1980s when the Lowveld Jewish Country Community came into being.

LOWVELD JEWISH COUNTRY COMMUNITY
In the 1980s the Lowveld Jewish Country Community served the needs of Jews in the towns and villages throughout the eastern Transvaal. Jews from Barberton, Sabie, Pilgrim's Rest, Hoedspruit, Komatipoort, Lydenburg, Nelspruit, Schagen, White River, Waterval Boven, Kabokweni, Plaston, Malelane, Karino, Hazyview and Ngodwana participated in Family Day celebrations and occasional Shabbatonim.

Correspondence from October 1980 reflects the interest of the Joint Countries Committee of the SAJBD in enhancing the quality of Jewish life in country towns. Mr B Friedlander of Nelspruit was asked to act as liaison between the Jews of the Nelspruit district and the SAJBD. He went on to serve as chairman of the Lowveld Jewish Country Community when it came into being in 1981. The Lowveld Jewish Country Community was established to serve the needs of Jews in the towns and villages spread throughout the eastern Transvaal with Nelspruit as the main centre. These places included Barberton, Sabie, Pilgrim's Rest, Hoedspruit, Komatipoort, Lydenburg, Schagen, White River, Waterval-Boven, Kabokweni, Plaston, Karino, Hazyview and Ngodwana. On 25 October 1981, it was decided that every family in the district would pay an amount of R10 per annum to cover expenses and that a bank account would be held under the name of the Lowveld Jewish Country Community, with Peta Friedlander and Leslie Raiter (both of Nelspruit) as signatories.

Family Day gatherings were re-introduced in 1981 and were held regularly over the next few years. They were the main focus of the Lowveld Jewish Country Community and served as a valuable link for Jews scattered throughout the district. Communal Seders were held to celebrate Pesach, starting in 1980 when 29 people attended a Seder hosted by the Friedlander family. The first Shabbat services in thirty years were held at the Drum Rock Hotel on Friday 9 March 1984. This was followed by a full Shabbat service the next morning. The services were conducted by Rabbi Zaiden, the Country Communities Rabbi. The morning service was followed by a bracha hosted by Messrs Leslie and Isadore Davimes, owners of the Drum Rock Hotel. During the course of 1984 and 1985, occasional Shabbatonim were held, with Shabbat services on the Friday evenings and Saturday mornings and Family Day celebrations taking place on the Sundays.

By 1986, the activities of the Lowveld Jewish Country Community appear to have ceased.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR RITUAL SLAUGHTERING

During the time that Rev P Wolfers was employed by the Barberton Hebrew Congregation he performed shechita. In a letter written in 1890 describing Judaism in the De Kaap gold-fields, Rev Wolfers noted that “shechita was unknown a year ago”. I now attend the slaughter-house regularly, and though we experience a check in the fact that on bedika (searching) I have to discard an enormous majority of the animals as treif (not kosher), which is due to local influence and cannot be avoided, we hope soon to find a means of lessening the difficulty." [JCL Abstract1887-1910: 25 Apr 1890 p17]

BARBERTON HEBREW SCHOOL

The Barberton Hebrew Congregation established a Jewish school which opened in April 1889. This was the first Jewish school in the Transvaal. The teacher was Rev Wolfers who gave religious instruction, taught Hebrew, and also gave music lessons. Arrangements had been made for both girls and boys to attend the Jewish school. Unfortunately the school did not last for many years. By 1892 Rev Wolfers had already left for Johannesburg and it is unlikely that the school continued after his departure.

BARBERTON JEWISH CEMETERY

By 1885 there was a cemetery in Barberton but it is not known when it was established. When Rabbi Engel visited the cemetery in 1981 there were only 10 tombstones remaining - nine erect and one found lying up against the wall. He found evidence to suggest that there may have been many more Jewish burials but that the graves had disappeared. It was not possible for him to identify Jewish entries in the records of burials kept by the municipality. The earliest of the 10 remaining tombstones is that of Louisa (Lily) Maud Marks who died on 14 August 1889.

The cemetery has not been in use for Jewish burials since 1904. In 1987 the cemetery was badly vandalised. In 1993 it was decided at a meeting of the Country Communities Committee of the SAJBD that the borders of the cemetery needed to be defined and a plaque erected to identify the burial ground as a Jewish cemetery.

BARBERTON ZIONIST SOCIETY

The Barberton Zionist Society was formed in 1898, one of 11 Zionist societies that had been established between April and October 1898, in response to a request from Dr Theodore Herzl for the idea of Zionism to be promulgated throughout SA and branches to be organised in every town and village. [SAJC Aug 16 1907 p135; SA Communal Notebook Abstracts 1892-1927 26/10/1898] When the South African Zionist Federation was established on 11 Dec 1898, the Barberton Zionist Society was one of the first societies to become affiliated to it. The Zionist Record was distributed to readers in Barberton and Kaapsehoop (1929).

BARBERTON ANGLO-JEWISH ASSOCIATION

In 1889 Mr Henry Heller, president of the Barberton Hebrew Congregation, fulfilled his promise to Rev A Lowy of London, to open a branch of the Anglo-Jewish Association in Barberton. Mr Heller was the agent for the Association throughout the whole of South Africa and contemplated forming branches in most of the large towns to carry out the organisation's philanthropic work. [JCL Abstract1887-1910: 8 Nov 1889 p13]

CULTURAL / SOCIAL / RECREATIONAL

A number of Family Days were hosted by Jewish families in the surrounding towns and villages in the eastern Transvaal from as early as 1966. For example, in 1968, Mr & Mrs L Mann of Barberton hosted a Family Day for the Jewish communities of Barberton, Middelburg, Nelspruit, Sabie, Schagen, Waterval Boven and White River. It was well attended as seventy guests were present. In 1972 a Family Day gathering was held at the home of Mr & Mrs E W Smollan of White River. With the formation in 1981of the Lowveld Jewish Country Community based in Nelspruit but serving the entire district, more regular Family Days (with children's programmes) as well as Chanukah and Purim parties were held. In 1982 Mr Stephen Cohen of the SAJBD visited Barberton as part of a trip to the northern and eastern Transvaal in order to learn of the problems of country communities and to reaffirm their link to the SAJBD. [All-a-board spring 1982 p4] More recently, in March 2000 and in April 2001, the Jews of Barberton attended functions at the Crocodile Country Inn at Nelspruit, organised by the Country Communities Department of the SAJBD for all Jews in the district. [Silberhaft visit 261 & 320]

SATELLITE TOWNS

Eureka City/Eureka In 1885 gold was discovered by Edwin Bray at Sheba Reef, on top of the mountains forming the eastern wall of the De Kaap Valley. This reef proved to be the richest of all in the district. The Sheba Gold Mine is reputedly the oldest operational gold-mine in the world, with the second oldest being the New Consort Mine founded a few months after the Sheba. Diggers flocked to the area and to serve the community. Mr J Sherwood started a butchery and a hotel in 1885 - the beginning of Eureka City. The hotel was named "The Queen of Sheba" after his wife and it became the nucleus of the settlement. In 1886 Eureka City reached its peak with three shops, three hotels, a bakery, a chemist, a race course, a music hall and about twenty bars to cater for the 650 inhabitants. It was a boom town, always noted for its fights. The climax came in 1887, when a crowd of toughs calling themselves "The Irish Brigade" took over the town for a hectic week and practically wrecked it. The rumpus caused by the Irish Brigade led to the formation of a defence corps, the Eureka Mounted Rifles. Mining operations gradually ended about 1890 when the fields did not live up to expectation and diggers flocked to the Witwatersrand gold-fields. Eureka City was abandoned and the buildings left to ruin. Eureka City became a ghost town and the name Eureka refers to a railway siding about 20 km from Barberton on route to Kaapmuiden.

Kaapsehoop Kaapsehoop is a hamlet with a post office, two shops, a hotel and a police station. In 1882 alluvial gold was discovered nearby by Bernhard Chomse on the farm Berlin, and previously by Thomas McLachlan at several places in the De Kaap valley. The finds proved to be uneconomic but the town became a base for diggers working at other sites in the De Kaap Valley. The name Kaapsehoop was given by some of the early diggers who saw a resemblance to the Cape of Good Hope and to Table Mountain rising high above the valley. The place was originally called Duiwels Kantoor. Recently it has developed into an important forestry centre.

Noordkaap Noordkaap is a railway siding, 16 km from Barberton in the Eastern Transvaal.

Steynsdorp Steynsdorp is situated approximately 60 km south of Barberton in the Carolina district. In 1885 alluvial gold was discovered and a mining camp, known as Painter's Camp, was established. The town was laid out October 1886 and was named Steynsburg in honour of Commandant J P Steyn of Lydenburg. The name was later changed to Steynsdorp to avoid confusion with Steynsburg in the Cape. Steynsdorp became the centre of the New Paarl gold-field which was proclaimed in 1887 and grew rapidly with the establishment of hotels, shops, a bank, a post office and a newspaper called "The Steynsburg Observer". Jews were present among the early diggers. With the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand and diminishing gold yields, the town declined and eventually vanished, with only one house remaining.

STATISTICAL INFORMATION

Early Jewish life in Barberton centred around the gold-fields and was at its highest during the 1880s. It had erroneously been suggested in an article in the Jewish Chronicle London that at that time there were more than 200 Jews in the De Kaap district. This figure was denied by a local resident who in 1890 stated emphatically that the Jewish population had never exceeded 70. [JCL abstracts 1888/1903 communal outside cape 25 April 1890 p17; 4 July 1890 p16]

The first official census in 1904 recorded 77 Jews. There was a gradual decline in the Jewish population over the years, reflected as follows in community records: in 1943 there were 5 Jews; in 1953 there were 14; in 1965 there were 12; in 1972 there were 8; in 1979 there were 10; in 1980/1 there were 13; and in 1986 there were 3.

NOORDKAAP: Community records for the nearby railway siding, Noordkaap, show that in 1943 there were 16 Jewish people living there. By 1953 the Jewish population had shrunk to three.

BARBERTON JEWISH RESIDENTS (includes Eureka City/Eureka, Kaapsehoop, Noordkaap, Steynsdorp)

Abrahams Mr & Mrs & fam. Resident 1890s. Mohel; shopkeeper.
Came from Oudtshoorn to Barberton where he had been taken on as acting rabbi in 1884. He became a shopkeeper. [Shapiro p11] Lived with his family in Eureka City in the 1890s where he was also the mohel.

Albu Leopold Resident 1884 – 1887. Produce dealer; stockbroker.
He was born in Berlin, Germany in 1860. Came to Barberton in 1884 and left for Johannesburg in 1887.

Bernstein Michael Resident 2000. Sheriff of the court.
Previously in Volksrust. Sheriff of the court at Barberton as at 2000. [Silberhaft visit 253]

Bornstein David & Dora & fam. Resident 1890s. Tailor; outfitter.
Children: Joseph Francis (drowned at sea during WW2), Marie (died in 1918). [Dennis Edwards 1922] [Jewish Times 13/11/42 pg 5]

Breege Mr & Mrs Joel Resident 1965 - 1970. General dealer.
Owned the New Trading Store at De Kaap. [SAJBD Arch 100A343]

Brodie Mr W. Resident 1907. General dealer.
Traded at Eureka (1907). [United Transvaal directory 1907]

Cinamon Jacob & Victoria & fam. Resident 1885 – 1893. Owner of tavern; prospector. Married Victoria Moss, whom he met in Birmingham. Children: Bertha (b.1876), Clarice (b.1879), Hirschel (Harry), Alexander, David and Hymie. The family left Barberton for Durban and were in Johannesburg in 1893. They then went on to Matabeleland. Whilst in Barberton, Jacob invented a safety-ship which he presented to the British Admiralty. Nothing came of this, as he was unable to produce a working model. [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p25]

Cohen Hirschel Resident 1884 - c.1890. Stockbroker.
He was a partner of Harry Graumann in the stock broking firm of Cohen & Graumann. Moved to Johannesburg c.1890 where he became a member of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Cohen Violet Resident late 1880s Musician [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

Cohen Naphtali Herz. Resident 1886 – 1891 Solicitor
Born in London in 1862. He returned to Johannesburg in 1891. [Men of the Times 1905 p108]

Cohen Mr & Mrs Simon (Zambesi) & fam. Resident c.1888 Hotelier.
Brother of Herrman and Bernard Cohen. Came to the district around 1888. Opened a tavern and later opened the Zambesi Hotel, between Barberton and the Sheba Mine at Elephant's Kloof, near Eureka City. Five children: Theresa & others. During the Second Anglo-Boer War, the family was sent to Pretoria by the Boers. They were housed in dreadful conditions until a Pretoria Jew, a Mr Friedman, obtained their release.

Cohen Max Resident c.1890s – c.1902 Printer
Son of Mr & Mrs Herrman Cohen; brother of Baron Cohen. Worked in Pietermaritzburg before joining his family at Eureka City. When the family moved to Barberton in 1894, he joined the staff at Buchanan & Forsyth in the men's department. He then went to work for the printers, AW Bayly & Co. By 1902 he was living in Johannesburg.

Cohen Herrman & Fanny & fam. Resident 1888 Bottle store owner; produce dealer. Brother of Simon (Zambesi) Cohen, Bernard Cohen and related to Arnold Cohn, all of Eureka City. They had 12 children: Baron, Albert, Max, Ben, Joseph, Fred (b.1886), May Dolly, Ethel, Alice, Archie (born in Barberton in 1895) & Adele. Came to Eureka City in 1888. Owned Cohen's Bottle Store. In 1894 the family moved to Barberton where Herrman opened a produce store. At the start of the Second Anglo-Boer War, Herrman enlisted three sons (Baron, Albert & Ben) with Steinaecker's Horse (regiment) and the family moved to Delagoa Bay. They returned to Barberton c.1901. Herrman died in Barberton in 1903.

Cohen Ernest Resident late 1880s Musician
Ernest was nicknamed "Alphabetical" because of the number of his initials. [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

Cohen Baron Resident 1888 – 1922 General dealer.
Oldest son of Mr & Mrs Herrman Cohen; brother of Max Cohen. Ran a store in the Sheba valley near Eureka City. Later moved to Pilgrim's Rest. [1914 Dennis Edwards; 1922 Dennis Edwards; 1907 United Tvl Dir]

Cohen Mr & Mrs Bernard & fam. Resident 1888 – 1907 General dealer; prospector. Brother of Herrman and Simon Cohen. Had a store at the Fairview Mine not far from Eureka City. [Dennis Edwards 1922]

Cohn Arnold Resident after 1888. General dealer; bottle store owner.
Cousin of Mrs Herrman Cohen. In business with Otto Ernst at Eureka City/Eureka. [1914 Dennis Edwards]

Davis Nuna Daniel Resident 1887. Produce dealer; Promoter of mining companies. Born in London, England in 1854. Came to Barberton c.1887. Partner of Leopold Albu in a produce dealing business. Also worked as a promoter of mining companies. [Men of the Times1905 p124]

Davis Mr B Resident 1960 General dealer
Owned Davis & Co. [CT Dir1960]

De Jong Philip Resident 1880s Tenor singer [Saron & Hotz p143]

Dehrman Mr W Resident 1907 Prospector
Prospected at Clutha, near Eureka. [1907 United Tvl Dir]

Ernst Otto Resident after 1888. General dealer
In business with Arnold Cohn in Eureka City.

Feinstein Mr P. Resident 1889 [JCL Abstract1887-1910 1 Nov. 1889 p13]

Franklin Mr & Mrs Jacob & fam. Resident 1890. General dealer.
Mrs Franklin and Mrs Nathan Morris were sisters. Children: Florrie, Bertha, Mossie, Henry & Leo. [Newscuttings 103A Salli Kahn p1; Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

Freedman Mr Resident c.1884 Prospector [SAJYB 1929 p84]

Glick Mr & Mrs L & fam. Resident 1933
Lived at Noordkaap. [File N p126; 1935 & 1936 greetings; Zionist record 1933]

Gluckstein Mr B. Resident 1887 Editor
Mr Gluckstein was the editor of a weekly newspaper called "The Jester" which was first published in July 1887. [Saron & Hotz p143; the star 23 1963 p8]

Golding Mr & Mrs Bill Resident c.1889 Canteen keeper.
Son of Gerry Golding. Ran a canteen at Steynsdorp around 1899. [Bulpin - Lost Trails on the Lowveld p285]

Golding Gerry Resident c.1889 Prospector
Prospected at Steynsdorp around 1889. [Bulpin - Lost Trails on the Lowveld p285]

Grainger/Granger Mr & Mrs & fam. Resident 1889 Hotelier.
Mr & Mrs Grainger came from Durban to build and run the Granville Hotel in the 1880s. They had many children. Four sons (Alex, Louis & ?) served with the British forces during the Anglo-Boer War, with Alex promoted to the rank of lieutenant. [JCL Abstract 1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13]

Graumann Berryman Resident 1902. Camp superintendent; Justice of the Peace. Brother of Sir Harry Graumann. Appointed superintendent of the Barberton Concentration Camp during the Anglo-Boer War. Also served as Justice of the Peace for the town. [Overvaal Musea News v.9 no.3 sep 1982]

Graumann Harry Resident 1884 - c.1888 General dealer; stockbroker; financier. Born in London in 1868. Started a trading concern in 1884 with Henry Heller before becoming a stockbroker and a financier. He left Barberton at the time of its decline c.1888. He went to England for about three years before he returned to South Africa.
Heller Adolph & Annie-Jeanne & fam. Resident 1891
Children: Mona, Muriel, Bernard, Eve, Vera, Harry (Henry) & Esther. The family moved to Durban for the duration of the Anglo-Boer War and returned to Barberton c.1902. Adolph died in 1929 and was buried in Barberton. [JCL Abstracts 1887-1910 29 Jan 1892 p14]

Heller Henry Resident 1884 General dealer; prospector.
Came to Barberton in 1884 where he opened a trading concern in partnership with Harry Graumann. [JCL Abstract 1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13]

Henochsberg Mr Resident 1887 [JCL Abstract1859-1887 July 1887 p13 col 2]
Hershberg Mr & Mrs & fam. Resident 1962.
Transferred to Nelspruit and by 1963 they were settled there. [File F]

Heymann Julius Resident c.1885 [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A Heymann]

Holt David Resident 1886 – 1887 Prospector; businessman
Came to Barberton in 1886 from Kimberley. Was the local secretary of Kimberley Imperial Gold Mining Company. In 1887 moved to the Witwatersrand. [Rosenthal p174]

Jacobs Isaac Resident 1886 [JCL Abstract1859-1887 12 Nov 1886 p7 col2]

Jacobs Sham & Lynda & fam. Resident 1977 - 1982
Married Lynda Samuels, daughter of Joe and Edith Samuels of Barberton in 1977. Children: Angela, Hailee & Myles. Lived in Barberton until 1982. [SAJBD Arch 100A343]

Joel Mr D. Resident 1907 Tailor.
Recorded in Eureka (1907). [1907 United Tvl Dir]

Kaplan Mr R N Resident 1934 General dealer
Recorded at Kaapsehoop. [CT Dir1934]

Lasker/Lascar Isadore & Jennie Resident 1890
Married Jennie Lazarus, daughter of Mr & Mrs Lazarus of Barberton, in 1890. [JCL Abstract 1887-1910 31 Oct 1890 p10]

Lazarus Mr & Mrs & fam. Resident 1889
Daughters: Dora, Jennie (married Isadore Lasker in 1890) & ? [JCL Abstract 1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13; Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p25]

Levin Mr Resident 1889 [JCL Abstract 1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13]

Levy Mr D Resident 1907
Worked for the Sheba Gold Mining Co, near Eureka (1907). [United Tvl Dir 1907]
Lissack Simon Resident 1886 Prospector
Was a digger on the gold-fields around 1884. [SAJYB 1929 p84]

Lowinsky Mark Resident c.1884 Prospector [Williams p519]

Lyons Mr Resident 1890s
Lived in Barberton in the 1890s. [Fred Cohen: Eureka’s Child p46]

Lyons Samuel Resident 1890s Trader.
Lived in Barberton in the 1890s. Sold ginger beer. [Fred Cohen: Eureka’s Child p46]
Makower Charles Resident pre 1939
Involved in mining. He served as captain in the 26 British Liaison Unit, a highly specialised unit, during World War 2. [SA Jews in WW2, SAJBD 1950 p125]

Mann Mr & Mrs Les & fam. Resident 1958 Pharmacist.
Owned De Kaap Pharmacy. Children: Karen (b. 3 Dec 1957) & Errol (b. 2 Aug 1960). [SAJBD Arch 100A343]

Marks Herbert T & Louisa (Lily) Resident 1887 Mining engineer.
Herbert Marks was employed by the Transvaal Republic as an assayist and analyst in Barberton in 1887. Louisa (Lily) died in 1889 and was buried in Pietersburg. [Saron & Hotzp143]

Marks Joseph Resident 1887 – 1890 Collector of customs.
Born in Neustadt, Lithuania, on 26 Oct 1856. Joseph Marks was appointed by the Kruger Government in 1887 as a collector of customs. Died in Barberton in 1890. [Saron & Hotzp143]


Masur Joseph Solomon Resident early 1880s Prospector.
Went to the Witwatersrand Gold-fields by 1885. [Jackson, Trader on the Veld, p9]
Meyer Mrs Karen Fiona Resident 2000
Husband not born Jewish. As at 2000 was living in Barberton. [Silberhaft visit 253]
Miller Nathan & Lindsey & fam Resident 1985 [Arch 32 file 2]

Millstein Mr Resident 1969 [File W p556 - 1969]

Milltive Mr S. Resident 1965 Attorney [SAJBD Arch 100A343]

Morris Mr & Mrs Nathan Resident 1887 Owner of tavern.
Owned a tavern a few kilometres outside Barberton. Mrs Morris and Mrs Jacob Franklin were sisters. [JCL Abstract1859-1887 July 1887 p13 col 2; JCL Abstract1887-1910 31 Oct 1890 p10; Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

Moses Dr Resident 1880s Dentist [Saron & Hotzp143]

Myers Mr & Mrs Barney & fam Resident late 1880s.
Children: Jack, Isaac & ? Jack and Isaac were musicians. [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

Nellmapius Alois Hugo Resident 1882 - 1883 Prospector.
Prospected between Lydenburg and what was to be Barberton in 1878. Left for Pretoria later that year. Returned to prospect around 1882. Fought in the campaign against the Ndebele in 1883 and returned to Hatherley, later called Eerste Fabriek, near Pretoria. [Kaye 35-40]

Olswang Mr Resident 1887 [JCL Abstract1859-1887 July 1887 p13 col 2]

Radomsky Mr & Mrs Resident 1966
Recorded at Kaapsehoop (1966). [Arch 32.1 Duschinsky ]

Rose Mr J W Resident 1891 [JCL Abstracts 1887-1910 29 Jan 1892 p14]
Rosenbloom Solomon Resident 1889 Prospector.
Prospected at Steynsdorp by 1889. [Bulpin - Lost Trails on the Lowveld p284]

Samuels Joe & Edith & fam. Resident 1964 - 1983.
Children: Denese (married Solly Zaslansky), Lynda (married Sham Jacobs), Arlene, Sharon, Philipa and Raymond.

Sandler Mr & Mrs Resident 1965 [SAJBD Arch 100A343]

Schwartz Maurice & Bertha. Resident 1889 – 1896 Prospector; general dealer.
Came to Barberton from Johannesburg c.1889. Married Bertha Franklin, daughter of Mr & Mrs Jacob Franklin of Barberton in 1896 and they settled in Ermelo. Children (born in Ermelo): Edwin (b.1896), Gertrude (b.1900), Lily (b.1903) & Hannah Jessie (b.1908). [SAJBD Newscuttings 103, A Schwartz & Schwartz Lily]

Seagull Max Resident 1887 Journalist
Came from Yorkshire, England to SA in 1886. Came to Barberton in 1887. He worked for some time as a journalist on the "Goldfields Times". He moved on to Vryburg and by 1894 was living in Port Elizabeth. [SAJT Markowitz 4/6/48]"

Simmons Dr Resident 1880s Dentist [Saron & Hotzp143]

Simon Mr Resident 1965 [SAJBD Arch 100A343]

Sonnenberg Isaac (Ikey) Resident 1884 - 1888 Prospector.
Came to Barberton around 1884. Left for Johannesburg in 1888. [Rosenthal ZR Sept 1939 p61]

Sonnenberg Theodore Resident pre 1885 Prospector.
Came to Barberton from Klerksdorp. Moved on to Bechuanaland (Botswana) and by 1885 had settled in Vryburg. [Sonnenberg p18]

Sonnenfeld Mr A & Hannah & fam. Resident 1887 [JCL Abstract1859-1887 July 1887 p13 col 2]

Stanton Debbie. Resident 1981.
Originally from Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). She worked at the Croxon's Garage. Husband not born Jewish. [SAJBD Arch 100A343]

Starfield Mr Resident 1890 [JCL Abstract1887-1910 31 cot 1890 p10]

Stern Sam Resident 1928. Recorded in Kaapsehoop. [1928 greetings]

Strauchbaum David & Bertha & fam. Resident 1889 .
They came from Port Elizabeth to Barberton. [JCL Abstract1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13]

Swerdlow Mr & Mrs Simon & fam. Resident 1928
Recorded in Kaapsehoop. [1928 & 1929 greetings]

Tobias Mr J Resident 1907 General dealer
Traded at Eureka (1914). [Dennis Edwards 1914]

Tobias Mr P Resident 1922 General dealer
Traded at Eureka (1922). [Dennis Edwards 1922]

Tobias Mr B Resident 1922 General dealer
Traded at Noordkaap (1922). [Dennis Edwards 1922]

Uzelac Dr & Mrs & fam. Resident 1980s - 1983 Doctor
Moved to Nelspruit in 1983. Son: Simon.

Wacks Mr & Mrs Resident 1920s Hotelier.
Mr & Mrs Wacks ran the Central Hotel. [info Hackenbroch]

Wasserberg Leo Resident 1912
Lived in Barberton in 1912 when he married May Franks of Johannesburg in Johannesburg. [SAJC 20 Dec 1912 p407]

Wasserberg Mr & Mrs David & fam. Resident 1908. General dealer; coal & produce merchant. Son of Mr & Mrs S Wasserberg. Owned D Wasserberg & Co (1924). [V.4 Tel dir 1924; Dennis Edwards 1922]

Wasserberg Mr & Mrs S & fam Resident 1890.
Came from Port Elizabeth. Children: David, Rosie & ? [JCL Abstract1887-1910 31 Oct 1890 p10; Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p25]

Weston Mr & Mrs & fam. Resident pre 1896.
Children: Harry (b.1896 in Barberton) & ? Harry became an attorney and later moved to Johannesburg. [SAJYB 1929]

Wolfers Rev & Mrs P Resident 1889 -1891/2 Minister.
Rev Wolfers was brought to South Africa by the Jewish community of Barberton who needed a minister for their religious services and for the Jewish and secular education of their children. He arrived in March 1889. He also gave music lessons. He moved to Johannesburg c.1891/2. [Jewish affairs Feb. 1950 p23; JCL abstracts 1887-1910 26 Apr 1889 p13]

Wolff Dr Henry A Resident 1886 Doctor

Woolf Mr & Mrs Resident 1890s
Lived in Eureka City in the 1890s. [Fred Cohen: Eureka's Child p21]

Zaffere Mr Resident late 1880s Prospector; businessman.
Was a business partner of Jacob Cinamon for a short period. He left Barberton after a while and went to the Witwatersrand. [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

Zaslansky Solly & Denese & fam Resident 1976 - 1983.
Married Denese Samuels, daughter of Joe and Edith Samuels of Barberton in 1976. Children: Ilana (b.1979) & Faryl (b.1980). Lived in Barberton until 1983. [SAJBD Arch 100A343]

בולאבאיו Bulawayo

עיר בזימבאבואה ( ,ZIMBABWEבעבר רודזיה).


הקהילה היהודית בזימבאבואה נוסדה ב-1894, והייתה פעילה ובעלת תודעה ציונית חזקה.

משנת 1943 שוכנים בעיר משרדי המועצה הציונית הארצית וועד שליחי הקהילות ברודזיה.

היהודים פיתחו את התעשיה הקלה בעיר, רבים מהם עוסקים במסחר ובמקצועות חופשיים ובולטים בחיי הציבור הכללי.

ראש העיר הראשון של בולאוואיו היה היהודי י' הירשלר; אחריו כיהנו בתפקיד זה א' באש, ב' אלנבוגן, מ' האריס, א' מנשה וי' גולדוואסר. משנת 1956 מתקיימת במקום גם קהילה פרוגרסיבית. כנשיא ועד שליחי הקהילות שימש במשך שבע שנים (עד 1967) איזידור ג'ייקובס. בבית-ספר יהודי יומי למדו בשנת 1968 %75 הילדים בגיל בית ספר בקהילה.

ב-1975 ישבו בבולאבאיו כ- 2,000 יהודים.

בסוף שנות התשעים למאה העשרים חיו כ- 900 יהודים בזימבאבוא כולה בשני מרכזים קהילתיים בולאבאיו והארארה. בבולאבאיו פעלו בית ספר יהודי "כרמל", כמה ארגונים ציוניים, בית כנסת אחד, בית אבות, כמה ארגונים לרווחת הקהילה, ויצא לאור "הבטאון הציוני למרכז אפריקה" (CENTRAL AFRICAN ZIONIST DIGEST).

Stellenbosch

Including Banghoek, Faure, Ida’s Valley, Koelenhof, Lynedoch, Muldersvlei and Vlottenburg

A town in South Africa

Situated 48 km east of Cape Town, in the Western Cape, Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa after Cape Town. In 1679 Governor Simon van der Stel, who was on an expedition to open up the interior of the Cape, pitched his camp on the banks of the Eerste River near an indigenous forest, and named the site Stellenbosch (“Stel’s wild forest”).

The first Dutch people at the Cape were officials of the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, and in 1657 the company created the first free burghers whose numbers were augmented in 1688 by Huguenot refugees fleeing religious persecution in France. By the end of the 17th century there were 1,334 free burghers who gradually spread inland. Some settled at Stellenbosch, where a village had been established in 1685 when the first landdrost (magistrate) was appointed. This remained the only inland magistracy for the next hundred years. Stellenbosch attained municipal status in 1840.

The picturesque town of Stellenbosch is famous for its historical monuments and its old oak trees. The first oaks were planted in Van der Stel’s time but most of those in the town today date back to the early 19th century. As a result of fire damage to the town in the years 1710, 1803 and 1875, the original single-storey Cape thatched houses were replaced by Georgian double-storey buildings that posed less of a fire hazard.

More than 600 farms surround Stellenbosch. Ida’s Valley, Koelenhof, Spier and Coetzenburg are some of the original farms established in Van der Stel’s time and still exist today. Viticulture is the most important agricultural activity, but deciduous fruit and Turkish tobacco are also grown in the area. More than 40 wine estates in the valleys of the Eerste and Berg Rivers can be visited as part of the “Cape wine route”.

Stellenbosch is an important educational centre. A number of former South African prime ministers studied at its university. There are also several prestigious local schools.

Although not a practising Jew, Adam Tas was the first person of Jewish origin to settle near the town in 1697. He was one of the ringleaders who led a revolt against the Cape governor, Willem Adriaan van der Stel, to assert the rights of the burghers, and was jailed for 13 months. According to legend, when he was released, Tas named his farm near Stellenbosch “Libertas” (“Tas is free”). However, there was reference to the name Libertas ten years prior to his farm being named. The governor was recalled to Holland. Today Libertas is an historic site. Descendants of Adam Tas, who spell their names Tasch, are still living in Holland.

Jewish settlement began in Stellenbosch toward the end of the 19th century. Louis and Liebe Abramovitz from Neustadt, Lithuania, came to Cape Town in 1885 with their sons Barney and Max. By 1887 they were living in Stellenbosch where their third son, Sam, was born. There they ran a dairy and grew grapes. The family left for Boksburg in the Transvaal in 1889 because of the detrimental effect of the damp winter months on Louis’s health.

Adolphe and Mashe Rosa Fisher were living in Stellenbosch when their daughter Regina was born in 1890. The Phillips family, Benjamin and Zippe and their son Saul, lived there for the duration of the Anglo-Boer War. During this time, Benjamin became one of the founders of the Hebrew Congregation. He was born in Salant, Lithuania, in 1857 and married Zippe Rachel Kalman in Schkud. Saul was born and educated in Schkud. In 1889 they went to Australia and came to South Africa in 1895, where they settled in Krugersdorp in 1896. The family returned to Krugersdorp at the end of the war.

By 1900 there were a number of Jews in the town. These included Phillip Agranat and his wife, Hanna Rosa; Mr Bloom; David and Rebecca Daitsch (Deitz); Mr S Guinsberg; Mr Hellman; Mr and Mrs M Kruskel; Abraham Ezak Lewis and his wife Bertha Elka; Mr P Nathan; Abraham Neiman and Mr Regazin; Mr and Mrs Brown; Rev Zeidel; Mr and Mrs Blumenfel; and Chaim Louis Siegal.

On Sunday 8 April 1900, members of the Stellenbosch Jewish community attended a Siyum HaTorah at the home of Mr David Daitsch (Deitz). It was during these festivities that David Daitsch, seconded by Mr M Kruskel, proposed the formation of a congregation. The Agudat Achim Hebrew Congregation was duly established with Rev Zeidel as its first minister. The first committee comprised David Daitsch (Deitz) as chairman, P Nathan as secretary, and Messrs P Agranat, S Guinsberg, M Kruskel, Abraham Louis, Neiman and Regazin as executive committee members. The initial membership of the congregation was 40, which soon increased as refugees arrived from the north of the country during the Anglo-Boer War. Services were conducted by Mr Bloom at the home of Mr and Mrs S Brown. Kosher meat was available from the butchery of Mr P Nathan. In 1902, a house was hired in Bird Street and a mikvah was installed to serve the needs of the growing congregation. The house was consecrated as a synagogue in 1903 by Rev A P Bender of Cape Town. This remained the spiritual home of Stellenbosch Jewry for 20 years. The site is now occupied by the Boland Bank building.

By 1904, a Jewish cemetery had been established on the slopes of the Papegaaiberg (a hill on the western side of Stellenbosch) on ground obtained from the municipality by Mr J Senitzky. The first grave was that of Mrs Jacob Opland. The Stellenbosch Chevra Kadisha was formally established in that year. The Oude Libertas Amphitheatre, a landmark in the town, was later built on ground next to the cemetery on the corner of Adam Tas and Distillery roads.

In 1905, a meeting was held in the synagogue at which the president, Mr Agranat, and several prominent members of the congregation made speeches concerning the massacre of Jews in Russia. They called on the mayor, Mr du Toit, to convene a meeting of citizens to secure their sympathy and support for the victims.

In the early 1920s, the congregation purchased a stand in Van Ryneveld Street to build a new synagogue. Although times were tough after the First World War, the response to the building fund appeal was very good. The foundation stone of the synagogue was laid again by Rev A P Bender of Cape Town in 1923. The mayor of Stellenbosch, the Dutch Reformed Church minister, and the magistrate were among the notables who attended the ceremony. A plaque bearing the names of the members of the congregation was erected in the foyer. At this stage, 23 Jewish families were living in Stellenbosch. The first boy to celebrate his barmitzvah in this synagogue was Max Sherman.

The congregation was fortunate in having a resident minister almost continually from the time of its inception. As part of their duties to the members, these ministers attended to shechita and to Jewish education. In 1920, Rev Helman taught 40 pupils in the cheder. A communal hall was built in 1932 next to the synagogue. Some time after its opening, rooms were allocated for use by the Talmud Torah. By 1950 a Hebrew School, with 25 pupils, was run on modern lines under the auspices of the Cape Board of Jewish Education. Rev Isaac Pakter, who served the community from 1945-1955, endeavoured to bring Jewish history and traditions to life, and had an excellent rapport with the Talmud Torah pupils. A regional scheme, operated in the Western Cape country districts, provided Jewish education to the children of the area in the 1970s. In the years from 1975 to 1978, Rev Eitan Holtzman, resident minister of Wellington, travelled to various towns for this purpose.

The Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth, Sir Israel Brodie, was guest of honour when the congregation celebrated its golden jubilee in 1950. A special service was held, followed by a banquet in the communal hall. Another similar celebration was held in 1973 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the laying of the synagogue’s foundation stone.

Stellenbosch’s Jewish community established strong links with the broader community. In particular, the relationship between the Jewish and the Dutch Reformed community was very cordial. A function was held annually when the Dutch Reformed theological students, who studied Hebrew, were invited to meet members of the congregation.

The Stellenbosch Jewish community enjoyed close contact with the University of Stellenbosch. Jewish students felt free to participate in all aspects of university life, including being elected on students’ committees. In 1935 Dr Benzion Shein was invited to the university to speak on “Palestine today”. Over 1,950 students and members of the faculty attended his lecture, which was presided over by Prof. Brummer of the Department of Philosophy. In 1941, a group of 14 professors and five lecturers of various faculties at the university issued a manifesto protesting against national-socialism, and advocated a more democratic society which did not contribute to racial conflict.

In 1955, a historic and unique function took place when students of the university organised a social in honour of the local Jewish community. It was chaired by a third-year theological student, a Mr Louw. Musical recitals took place, one of which was a violin solo by Prof. P Weiss, accompanied by his wife. Games were organised by one of the students, which created a wonderful spirit of friendship between young and old, Jew and non-Jew. Rev Pakter and Rev Treurnicht were blindfolded and had to find each other. Rev Pakter delivered a moving vote of thanks in Afrikaans. In 1960, the SAJBD donated a leather-bound set of 19 volumes of the Talmud to the library of the Stellenbosch University. Rev Pakter was considered a very innovative and energetic minister and instigated many communal and Zionist activities, which received support from the local Afrikaner population. These included the staging of pageants and tableaux of Jewish interest. He was one of the few locally born ministers who served the smaller communities. His upbringing and background enabled him not only to play a worthy part in civic affairs, but also to promote goodwill between the Jewish and non-Jewish sections of the town. He was personally friendly with the head of the Dutch Reformed Church, Dr Snyman, and on visiting terms with all local predikante.

The tradition of cordial relations between the Jewish community and the broader society continued into more recent times. The Transvaler of 13 March 1990 reported that antisemitism had been unequivocally condemned by lecturers of the Theological Faculty and the departments of Semitic Languages, Bible Studies, Greek and Philosophy. Around this time Die Kerkbode, the official organ of the Dutch Reformed Church, issued a strongly worded appeal to all groups displaying antisemitic tendencies to combat this among their followers. Relatively few incidents of antisemitism have been recorded in Stellenbosch.

Attempts by the Jewish community to build bridges between the different sectors of society continue to this day. In July 2003 Tikkun, a Jewish organisation whose mission is to make a meaningful difference to the upliftment of disadvantaged people in South Africa, held its annual “Camp Howzit” in Stellenbosch, bringing children from Herzlia Jewish Day School in Cape Town together with children from the township schools in Khayelitsha and Phillippi.

Jews participated in the economic life of the town in a variety of occupations – shopkeepers, hotel proprietors, garage owners and bakers, while farmers produced wine, fruit and vegetables. Many became well known in the district.

Samuel Zetler was Stellenbosch’s first strawberry grower; he farmed in the district in 1922. Today, his farm Mooiberge is run by his sons Jeffrey, Hershel and Dennis Zetler, although Samuel is still involved. The farm is renowned for its innovative scarecrows in the strawberry fields, and has become a tourist attraction. About half the fruit is exported; the other half goes to all the big supermarkets nationally as well as to the South African yoghurt industry.

Sam Meyer was a well-known cabinetmaker. He was born in Austria where he learnt his trade. After completing his military service, he immigrated to England. The climate did not agree with him and so he moved to Cape Town where he worked for the firm D Isaac & Co before starting his own business. When war broke out in 1914 he was interned as an alien at a camp in Pietermaritzburg. He was released after 11 months on grounds of ill health but was not allowed to live within 30 miles of Cape Town. He therefore settled in Stellenbosch in 1915. His workshop produced a great variety of furniture. Victoria College, which became the University of Stellenbosch, commissioned much of his work. Many Stellenbosch families owned furniture made by Sam Meyer. Meyer never used machines and all work was done by hand. He purchased mainly teak and stinkwood from various local timber merchants such as I Perel & Co and Rabinowitz & Berman.

Prof. Israel Leeman, son of Mr and Mrs Sam Leeman, was born in Stellenbosch in 1936 and was educated at the Paul Roos Gymnasium, Later he studied law at the University of Stellenbosch and graduated with a BA-LLB cum laude in 1958. He taught at Natal University for two years and then at Stellenbosch University, where he was awarded a Union Stipend. He used this scholarship for doctoral research on neighbourhood law in South Africa. He is also a specialist in law relating to privacy. He was senior lecturer in Roman-Dutch Law at the University of Cape Town from 1963, and was appointed to the chair of South African Private Law at that university in 1973. When he retired in 2000, he held the post of Professor of Criminal Law.

Sidney Leeman, younger son of Mr and Mrs Sam Leeman and Israel’s brother, was born in Stellenbosch in 1941. In his teens Sidney organised the Stellenbosch group of the Zionist Youth Movement, and later was chairman of the Students Jewish Association at Stellenbosch University. Like Israel, he also attended the Paul Roos Gymnasium, and after a brilliant scholastic career won a Rhodes Scholarship in 1961. He attained a B Sc at Stellenbosch and an M Sc at the University of Cape Town before taking up his scholarship at Oxford where he gained a doctorate in theoretical physics in 1966. He then taught physics at Birmingham University and at the same time did research in elementary physics. In 1968, he accepted a two-year appointment at the Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv, Israel. He then taught in the United Kingdom and retired at the end of 2003.

Dr Hymie Ebedes, born in Ermelo in 1936, lived in Stellenbosch in 1978. In the period 1970 to 1985 he was instrumental in developing the use of tranquillisers to assist in the translocation of wild animals, in order to reduce stress and mortality. From 1965 to 1975, he was the veterinarian at the Etosha National Park in Namibia. During that time he did research on anthrax in animals. He was chief veterinarian at the National Zoo in Pretoria from 1980 to 1989. Dr Ebedes was actively involved in obtaining giraffes and rhinos for the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem, and also served on the committee for the future planning of that zoo. At his suggestion, a Noah’s Ark was built on a prominent rise at the zoo. It houses an educational centre for children and a restaurant. He was also involved in animal welfare and in game ranching, and wrote about game and its capture.

Samuel Sacks, a businessman and farmer, was a well-known local philanthropist whose generosity extended to all sectors of the community. A week before his death in 1947 he treated the local coloured population to a free dance at the Stellenbosch town hall. Besides making bequests in equal amounts to both Jewish and non-Jewish institutions (unique for South Africa at the time) he left money for a fund to assist coloured students living in Stellenbosch, and also for an orphanage for coloured children.

Felix Gut was instrumental in acquiring for the University of Stellenbosch about 300 volumes on the Holocaust. These now form part of the J S Gericke Library. This project began in the early 1970s, when Gut was living in the Transvaal. He felt he wanted to make a personal effort to counter neo-Nazi propaganda that claimed that the Holocaust was a figment of the imagination. He therefore wrote to the university to ask whether their library would be interested in a collection of Holocaust literature. The offer was gratefully accepted, and this marked the beginning of an extensive exchange of correspondence between them. Felix Gut not only added to the collection but also provided helpful information as well as summaries of the content and origin of each volume. In 1979, at the age of 75, he moved to Stellenbosch where a more personal interaction took place, and he continued to acquire further volumes for the university.

Lazar (Lossie) Ginsburg was chairman of the Stellenbosch Hebrew Congregation for 27 years from the 1960s. He is recognised as a world authority in the field of cold storage of fruit, vegetables and flowers. He published over a hundred papers on this subject as author and 50 as co-author. He was the head of the Fruit and Food Technology Research Institute in Stellenbosch, and served on several government advisory committees.

The Agudat Achim Hebrew Congregation is still active. In 2000 the Stellenbosch Hebrew Congregation donated Torah and bimah covers to the Minsk synagogue in Lithuania. It also gave generously to the Oranjia Jewish Child and Youth Care Centre and to Highlands House, both in Cape Town. In January 2004 150 current and former Congregation members gathered at the Stellenbosch synagogue to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone. They came from as far afield as Canada, the United Kingdom and Israel. Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris, who delivered the sermon, said that the name of the synagogue “Agudat Achim” (“a band of brothers”) was particularly appropriate as so many had returned to participate in the celebration. The shul holds regular Friday evening services conducted by Les and Barry Zetler. High Holy Day services are led by students from the University of Cape Town, and Morrie Marcus officiates on Simchat Torah and Chanukkah.


JEWISH INSTITUTIONS

The Stellenbosch Chevra Kadisha was formed in November 1904. Its chairman in 1907 was Mr S Tolpas.

Bnei Zion Association / Stellenbosch Zionist Society
In 1902, the SA Zionist Federation opened a branch in Stellenbosch under the name Bnei Zion. The president was P Agranat and the chairman, Abraham Lewis In 1903 Mr P Agranat was part of a delegation to the Cape Attorney-General proposing that Yiddish be accepted as an official European language. In 1906, a crowded meeting was held under the auspices of the Bnei Zion Association at the Zionist Library to hear addresses by members of the SA Zionist Federation for the Western Province. They discussed the urgent necessity of supporting the Zionist movement and helping to carry the Basle programme into effect. At the conclusion, a collection was made for the National Fund. The meeting aroused renewed interest in Zionism. In 1912, Stellenbosch was represented at the first Zionist conference to be held in the Cape Province.

Between 1926 and 1932 various speakers addressed the community on behalf of the Keren Hayesod appeal. Theodor Herzl memorial meetings were held in 1928 in 1929 and 1931. In 1929 a meeting was held to protest the Arab uprising in Palestine and the subsequent atrocities. It would appear that the society went through periods of inactivity, as there were reports in 1929, 1931 and again in 1933 that the society was being revived. In 1934 Nahum Sokolow, Dr Celine Sokolow and Adv. H M Bloch addressed a meeting on behalf of the Keren Hayesod appeal. They were met outside the town and escorted to the hall where they were met by a guard of honour waving blue and white flags. In 1936, members of the Stellenbosch Zionist Society attended a Keren Hayesod meeting in Strand, which was addressed by Prof Brodetsky and Mrs Rebecca Sieff of the UK.


The Ladies Benevolent Society was formed in Stellenbosch in 1905 with Mrs P Agranat as president. In 1917 it held a very successful concert in the Conservatorium Hall. Although most of the artists were from Cape Town, some members of the local Jewish community also participated. The proceeds raised were distributed to local charities and war funds. The society became defunct in 1938. Its successor was the Stellenbosch Women’s Zionist Society.


The Young Israel Society was formed in 1919. It was, by all accounts, a very dynamic and vibrant organisation. In the 1920s the members produced plays, some in Yiddish, which went on tour to the neighbouring communities and even to Cape Town. In 1925 the society held a musical and dramatic evening and in 1926, a dance was held at which the mayor, Mr C M Neethling, was the patron.

In 1928 the society split into the Junior and Senior Young Israel Society. Between 1928 and 1932 regular lectures were held. Notable among the lecturers were Mr Aronowitch, sub-editor of The Judean and Mr Padowich, the Zionist propagandist, who spoke on “Zionism and the reconstruction of Palestine” in 1928. In 1931 it was decided that the society should also be opened to adults. It was to have a National Fund section, which would be devoted to Zionist affairs. Members of the society attended the Judean Parliament in Worcester. A debate on “Jews are more imitative than original” was held in 1932. In the same year the society organised a picnic for the children of the Cape Jewish Orphanage. It became an annual event. In 1946 the society hosted a rally attended by members of the Country Zionist Societies.


In 1938 the Stellenbosch Women's Zionist Society replaced the Ladies Benevolent Society. In 1939 the chairman was Mrs S Tollman. In 1958 a rally was held in Stellenbosch of representatives of Western Province Women’s Zionist Societies and executive members of the Bnoth Zion Association and members of the Provincial Committee. At the annual World Bible Day and Rebecca Sieff Award presentations in 1998, which were held at the Green and Sea Point Hebrew Congregation Hall in Cape Town, the Stellenbosch branch received an award for 50 years of service.

The Union of Jewish Women was established in Stellenbosch in 1945. By 1953, when it applied for membership of the SAJBD, it had a membership of 50. The Cultural Group of the UJW, at which Bible studies were conducted by Rev Pakter, was very active in 1956 with meetings being held every fortnight. Guest speakers included Prof P Weiss, Dr H Abt and Dr Moshe Natas. In 1966, the UJW organised “Operation Spring Clean”, and involved a team of young boys who volunteered to give the synagogue building a thorough spring-cleaning. In 1967 the union undertook to raise funds for the decorating and panelling of the hall and foyer of the shul. The main project in 1968 was the restoration of the historic shul house. The UJW was also instrumental in caring for Jewish students at the University of Stellenbosch. It helped to furnish the student “home” provided by the congregation and catered for monthly student lunches.

The UJW served both Jewish and non-Jewish sectors of the community. In 1973, for example, the union “adopted” a young girl from Kayamnandi, a township north of Stellenbosch, and paid her school fees so that she could complete high school. Afterwards she qualified as a teacher.

In 1985 the local UJW celebrated its 40th birthday. A tea was held at the synagogue hall. Guests included friends and representatives of welfare and service organizations and churches, as well as former union members.

In 1994 Stellenbosch’s UJW held several functions, one of which was a picnic lunch for the country branches to meet Helen Marr, president of the International Council of Jewish Women. In 2002 a street collection was held with other organisations to raise funds in support of rape and other victims of abuse. The organisation opened a trauma room at the town’s police station in the name of Myrel Ginsburg who had chaired the committee from 1970 until 2000. The unit has a beautifully decorated bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

Over the years a number of groups were formed to cater for the needs of Jewish students at the university. The Students’ Jewish Circle came about in 1927; Mr Greenstein was the first chairman with J W Fish as secretary.

Some years later the Stellenbosch Students’ Jewish Association was established to foster Jewish religion, tradition and culture among Jewish students so that they could make a meaningful contribution to the Jewish community. Lectures and study groups were held under the guidance of Rev Pakter and the association organised weekly Hebrew classes. In 1959 a communal seder was held for the Jewish students. In that year, 200 theological students and dignitaries from the university attended a Friday night service, which Rev Pakter conducted in Afrikaans. In 1960 Rev Pakter opened the Students Jewish Association centre. In 1972 the Students Liaison Committee was established. One of its aims was to attract non-Jews to lectures and exhibitions of an informative Jewish and Zionist nature. The committee had about 20 members, headed by a committee of three, one of whom was not Jewish.

The Stellenbosch Jewish community also formed cultural societies. In 1927 the Stellenbosch Jewish Dramatic Society produced Jacob Gordin's play “Der Emes”. Between 1946 and 1955 the Stellenbosch Cultural Group held fortnightly meetings that were convened by Rev Pakter.




MINISTERS

1900 Rev Zeidel
1904 Rev H Natas
1905–1910 Rev Jacob Hurwitz
1913–1916 Rev E K Sher
1916 Rev E S Walt
1917–1920 Rev M A Helman
1923 Rev Kassel
1925 Rev J Herison
1929–1934 Rev I Goldberg
1937–1940 Rev I Reichenberg
1941 Rev H Shatz
1945 Rev G Golub
1946 Rev Hillman
1945–1964 Rev Isaac Pakter
1964–1966 Rabbi M Kaye
1967 Rev M Cantor
1968–1970 Rev Eli Lagnado
1973–1974 Rev David Lapin
1974–1975 Rev Philip Koein
1976 Rev Harold Walt



POPULATION STATISTICS

Census

YEAR JEWS WHITES TOTAL

1904 489 8,672 22,291
1936 308 8,261 23,805
1951 272 14,419 41,442
1980 – 22,741 64,027
1991 71 25,315 73,839

Community records:

1943 – 251 (including nine Jews in Faure and five in Koelenhof)

1953 – 283


SURROUNDING PLACES WHERE JEWS LIVED AND WORKED


Banghoek is a village in the Helshoogte Mountains. The name refers to the prevalence of lions and leopards, which were much feared by the local population (“bang” is Afrikaans for “fear”).

Faure is a hamlet 16km south-west of Stellenbosch and 13km north west of Strand.
Ida’s Valley is a small village in the Stellenbosch district at the foot of the Simonsberg.

Koelenhof is a station and post office 8km north-west of Stellenbosch, on the railway line between Stellenbosch and Paarl. There are large brick kilns near the station.

Lynedoch is a village 10km south-west of Stellenbosch.

Muldersvlei is situated 15km north-east of Stellenbosch on the Paarl road.

Vlottenburg is situated south-west of Stellenbosch, on the railway line between Stellenbosch and Eerste Rivier.


__________________________________________________

The history of the Jewish Community of Stellenbosch was researched by The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot and fiest published in Jewish Life in the South African Country Communities, Volume II (2004): 241-254

The article is published here courtesy of The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot

מאניסה

(שמה הקדום מאגנזיה)

עיר בטורקיה מצפון-מזרח לאיזמיר.


יש אומרים כי יישוב יהודי התקיים במקום בסוף ימי בית שני, במאה הראשונה לספירה. בתקופה הביזאנטית היה במקום בית-כנסת בשם "עץ החיים". אחרי 1492 באו למאניסה מגורשי ספרד וייסדו שתי קהילות, ליוצאי לורקה וליוצאי טולדו; כעבור זמן נוסדה קהילה שלישית בשם "שלום". היו אז בעיר יותר מ-100 משפחות יהודיות.

בשנת 1617 פרצה מגיפה במקום ויהודים רבים עקרו לאיזמיר; כרבה של מאניסה שימש באותם הימים ר' אהרן לאפאפא.

מתוך כ-1,200 היהודים במקום בשנות ה-30 המאוחרות של המאה ה- 19 מתו 200 במגפה. עלילות-דם פקדו את הקהילה בשנים 1883, 1893. ב-1891 הוקם בית-ספר ראשון לבנים, וכעבור חמש שנים גם בית ספר לבנות - שניהם בהנהלת אגודת כל ישראל חברים.

בתחילת המאה העשרים ישבו בעיר כ-2,000 יהודים בתוך אוכלוסיה של 40,000. בקרבות בין הטורקים ליוונים אחרי מלחמת העולם הראשונה, בשנת 1919, נכבשה העיר בידי צבא יוון, אך היהודים שמרו אמונים לטורקים, וכשהיוונים נסוגו ב-1922 הועלו באש מוסדות קהילה רבים, ובתוכם הישיבה.

בסוף שנות ה-30 מנתה הקהילה 30 משפחות שהתפרנסו מיצוא תוצרת חקלאית (פירות, טבק, צימוקים) ויבוא של מוצרי תעשייה ומלאכה; היו ביניהם גם חלפנים ובעלי משקים, ואחדים שירתו כרופאים בבתי-חולים ממשלתיים, כשופטים וכמתורגמנים ליד הקונסוליות הזרות.

באמצע המאה ה-20 עזבו כל היהודים את מאניסה. מקצתם היגרו לארצות-הברית, לדרום- אפריקה, למצרים ומקצתם עלו לישראל.

הארארה Harare

(בעבר סולסברי)

בירת מדינת זימבבואה (ZIMBABWE, בעבר רודזיה), מרכז אפריקה.

בסוף שנות ה-1960 התגוררו בעיר כ-2,500 יהודים, שליש מהם ספרדים. לשתי העדות בתי-כנסת נאים, בתי-ספר ומרכזי נוער, לרבות חוגים לחינוך דתי וללימוד הלשון העברית. בית-כנסת רפורמי נוסד בעיר ב-1960.

הקהילה נוסדה ב-1895, ביוזמת יוסף ואן פראג, ראש-העיר היהודי לעתיד. באותה התקופה התחילו להגיע לרודזיה ספרדים רבים, בעיקר מרודוס; הם התפזרו ברחבי הארץ וקהילה ספרדית בסולסברי לא נוסדה אלא ב-1931. היישוב היהודי גדל בעיקר בשנות השישים. חמישה מראשי העיר סולסבורי היו יהודים.

בסוף שנות התשעים למאה העשרים חיו כ- 900 יהודים בזימבאבואה כולה, בשני מרכזים קהילתיים בולאבאיו והארארה. בהרארה פעלו בית ספר יהודי "שרון", כמה ארגונים ציוניים ושני בתי כנסת, ספרדי ואשכנזי.

בלומפונטיין

בירת אוראנג' החופשית, דרום-אפריקה; מספר תושביה 119,000 (1967). ב-1973 התגוררו בה 1,250 יהודים. בקהילה רשת מפותחת של מוסדות ציבור ומרכז קהילתי לפעולות תרבות וחינוך. בית-כנסת חדש הוקם ב-1965. בעיר סניפים של ועד שליחי הקהילות באוראנג' החופשית והמועצה הציונית של הכף הצפונית. בקהילה גם קבוצה רפורמית קטנה.

את החנות הראשונה בעיר החדשה פתח יצחק באומן מהגר מגרמניה, ב- 1848, ובביתו גם נערך ה"מניין" הראשון ביום-הכיפורים תרל"א (1871). הוא גם שימש כיו"ר שני של מועצת העיריה ובנו גוסטאב היה ראש מחלקת המדידות במדינה. במלחמת 1902-1899 נלחמו בני משפחת באומן לצד הבורים. בית-הכנסת הראשון נחנך ב-1903 וראש הקהילה הראשון, ולימים גם חבר הסנאט בדרום-אפריקה, היה וולף אהרליך (בשנים 1924-1902). עם ריבוי המהגרים ממזרח-אירופה עברה הנהגת הקהילה לידיהם. מוריץ לוויזר סייע בהקמת בית- החולים הראשון בעיר וייסד את המוזיאון הלאומי; אשתו סופיה התפרסמה בזכרונות שכתבה על תקופת החלוציות באיזור. עם ראשי העיר נמנו וולף אהרליך (1907- 1906), איוואן הארבורגר (1912- 1914) וסול האריס (1929).

Brits 

Including Bethanie, De Wildt, Hoëwal, Jericho, Losperfontein, Reddingshoop, Skeerpoort, Sonop, Vorentoe, Wolhuterskop

A town in Transvaal, South Africa.

Brits is situated in the Transvaal, on the Crocodile River, about 50 km north-west of Pretoria, South Africa. The town owes its establishment to a station on the Pretoria-Rustenburg railway line. On 17 December 1906 the station was named after Johan Nicolaas Brits, the original owner of the farm Roodekopjes ("red hills"). The area had been inhabited for many years prior to this. Mzilikazi, the founder and first paramount chief of the Matabele tribe (known to the Voortrekkers as Silkaats) fled Zululand in 1824 and established himself in the Magaliesberg Range in the vicinity of Silkaatsnek near present-day Brits. Until 1832 when he moved further north, he spread devastation among the tribes between the Vaal and the Limpopo Rivers. The Voortrekkers were drawn to the area because of the good natural grazing, fertile land, the Crocodile River and the temperate climate. About 11 km south of Brits is an old karee tree under which a peace treaty was signed on 15 January 1864 which ended the Transvaal Civil War. The rebels formed their laager at Silkaatsnek before the decisive Battle of Crocodile. Silkaatsnek was also the scene of a battle between the British and the Boers in 1901. Shortly after the Second Anglo-Boer (1899-1902) a number of Indian labourers came to the district from Natal and worked on farms, in particular the citrus farms, owned by the Boers. They were followed by Indian traders who peddled their wares from farm to farm and in many cases set up trading stores on the farms. In later years, with development around the railway station, many of the Indian traders established their businesses there.

The population increased to such an extent that the first school was established in 1910. The first congregation of the Dutch Reformed Church was formed in 1916. When a village began to develop, the most sought after area was that which lay along the main road from west to east on land belonging to Mr J N Brits. Another main road (later called Rutgers St) ran from north to south. The first business centre of the emerging village lay south of the railway line, in the south western quadrant formed by the intersecting main roads. This area housed the office of the Justice of the Peace (and later that of the magistrate), the police station and the Brits Hotel, the first hotel in the town. It was here that Jewish shopkeepers first made their appearance. In time development shifted across the railway line where Barclays Bank and the Nederlandse Bank opened branches.

Given that there was already a small village developing in the area around the intersection of the main east-west and north-south roads, the son of the landowner, Mr J N Brits (Jnr) was keen to develop this further on land which the family owned around the railway station itself. He divided the land into long narrow parallel strips, each about a kilometre long and a few metres wide. Although there was initially some attempt to expand into this area, there were so many problems that it became almost an impossible task. The idea to encourage development in this area around the station had not been implemented with any sound planning and almost all of the erven did not have access to either roads or water.

The time was now ripe to establish a proper township for the rapidly expanding population. Louis Karovsky, who had bought a portion of the farm Roodekopjes from Hendrik Christiaan Brits, allowed this to be cut up into 940 erven by a surveyor, Mr J H Fehrsen. In October 1923 this defined section was declared the Brits township. In contrast to the attempt by Mr J N Brits (Jnr) to stimulate growth around the railway station, this development was properly planned, surveyed and proclaimed (on 25 May 1924), thus facilitating easy expansion. Many of the residents on the older, south western side of the village, moved over to the newly proclaimed area. Their places were taken by the Indian community. The railway station was called Brits, but neither the first development to the south west, nor the second development around the railway station had official names. This third phase of development on land originally owned by Mr H C Brits and sold to Mr Louis Karovsky, took on the name Brits which was also given to the district.

From around 1918 construction began on the Hartebeespoort Dam some 12 km away on the Crocodile River. When the dam was completed at the end of 1923, this brought prosperity and growth to Brits. The regular water supply stabilized the income of the farmers in the area. Brits was administered by a health committee from 1924 until 1928 when a village council was instituted. In 1944 Brits became a municipality.

The Hartebeespoort Dam provides irrigation for a variety of crops, including tobacco, wheat, citrus fruit, lucerne, vegetables and grapes. Cattle ranching is also of importance to the local economy, especially in the northern parts of the district. The plentiful water supply has also led to the development of many industries, such as factories producing household and industrial gas, optical fibre, fruit juice concentrate, engine components and furniture. There are also flour mills. Granite, chrome, iron and magnetite are mined in the district.

EARLY JEWISH SETTLERS

Although it has been asserted that before 1899 a number of Jewish families had spread out into villages around Pretoria such as Brits, Bronkhorstspruit, Irene, Hammanskraal and Pienaarsrivier, no other information has yet come to light to substantiate Jewish settlement in Brits this early. [s & h p163] By 1910 the Myers family was living at De Wildt and by 1919 a number of Jews were already established in the Brits district, but it is not known when they arrived. For the purposes of this research, the period 1910 to 1923, when Brits was declared a township, has been chosen as the years of early Jewish presence.

BRITS HEBREW CONGREGATION

It is not known when the Brits Hebrew Congregation was first established. Available Jewish yearbooks note various dates, e.g. 1924 (SAJ 1967-68), 1929 (SAJYB 1959) and 1932 (SAJYB 1956-57). The latter two dates are incorrect as there is sufficient proof of the existence of the congregation from at least 1926, when they advertised for a shochet. [1926 Zionist Record] It is likely therefore that the first date may be correct and that the congregation was established in 1924 when there were already a number of Jews living in Brits.

In 1928 the congregation enjoyed the services of a minister, Rev Meyer Kaplan. That year a Pesach service was held at the home of Mr H B Kahn and High Holy Day services were also conducted by Rev Kaplan at the same venue. It was then also that the congregation undertook to build a synagogue and a building fund was established.

When the synagogue was built in 1930, the congregation drew up a constitution and bye-laws and this document was lodged with the Deeds Office on 14 June 1930. The constitution states that the objects of the Brits Hebrew Congregation are: "To take over all assets, including movable and immovable property, and to assume all liabilities, of the following Societies, namely: Brits Hebrew Congregation, Brits Jewish Helping Hand and Burial Society, Brits Hebrew School". [Arch 54.5 corresp.] In March 1935, the Brits Hebrew Congregation became a constituent body of the SAJBD. [File L; File K 31/3/35]

Information on the ministers who served the Brits Hebrew Congregation is very limited and it would appear that they did not remain for any length of time. The last minister, name unknown, left at the end of March 1951. [Arch 54.5 corresp. Lapin Report] In the absence of a minister, Dr Bennie Friedland acted as rabbi and cantor, conducting services and reading from prepared sermons sent to him by the SAJBD. [Sat. Star 22/3/99; info Friedland]

In 1930 when the synagogue was built and the new constitution signed, there were 23 Jewish families. By the mid-1950s this had reduced to only 15 families. [1955 SAJYB] In 1966 Rabbi Duschinsky reported that it was unlikely that the further depleted numbers would ever increase. The close proximity of a large city like Pretoria did not encourage much congregational activity in the smaller town, especially when quite a number of families were either relocating to Pretoria (but retaining their business interests in Brits) or sending their children to school there. [File A/E 22/3/66+] In 1967 it was suggested by the SAJBD that Brits fall under Pretoria in a regional scheme whereby facilities of fully functioning congregations were to be shared. [File W p483]
By 1968 there were 8 Jewish families left. It was around this time that the synagogue was used for the last time and that congregational life effectively came to an end. In 1975 the remaining members of the Brits Hebrew Congregation agreed to a new constitution in which trusteeship of the congregation's assets were vested in the SAJBD. This document was signed on 3 Feb 1975 by Mr I Kahn and Dr B Friedland.

BRITS SYNAGOGUE

In 1928 the Brits Hebrew Congregation, under the chairmanship of Mr I Cohen, decided to build a synagogue on land donated by Mr Louis Karovsky. Until that time, services had been held in private homes, particularly that of Mr H B Kahn. In April 1928 a special service was conducted by Rev Kaplan at the home of Mr H B Kahn and a building fund was launched. [File N p95] Later in the year a social was held in aid of the building fund. At that stage they had collected £100. [1928 Zionist Record]

In 1930 the Brits Hebrew Congregation took transfer of the property, erf no. 646 on Pienaar St. The deed of transfer was signed by Messrs Benzion Schlesin and Solly Abelman in their capacity as trustees of the Brits Hebrew Congregation on 14 June 1930. On 17 October 1930, 200 people attended the opening of the new synagogue. Mr Abelman, chairman of the Brits Hebrew Congregation, presented the key to Rabbi W Hirsch of Pretoria, who formally opened the building. Rev L Katz conducted Mincha, supported by Cantor Zwick of Pretoria. Rabbi Hirsch gave an address. That evening the visitors, including the local magistrate, and the congregation attended a dinner at the Abelman home. Mr Abelman was presented with a Kiddush cup in recognition of his services. Mrs S Cohen presented a Sifrei Torah to the congregation. Four days later, on 21 Oct 1930, following a dinner at the home of Mrs A Kahn, the congregation carried the torah to the Abelman home and from there to the synagogue where members were called up to read portions of the law. [Zionist Record 1930]

The synagogue building measured 1759 sq metres and had two cheder rooms. The benches and bimah were made of hardwood. In 1953 the congregation was given a silver pointer when the SAJBD allocated items of ceremonial silver looted by the Nazis. [File H] In 1956 the SAJBD gave on loan to the Brits Hebrew Congregation a torah which was originally from the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in London. In September 1967 the spiritual head of that synagogue, Dr Solomon Gaon, requested the return of all of the Sephardic torahs because of the influx of Jews of Oriental origin to London. As a result, the torah from Brits was returned on 21 November 1967. The SAJBD arranged for the loan of another torah to the congregation. [File U 46 & 48; Dusch letter 11/3/68 - Arch 54.5 Rabbis Corresp.]

In 1966 there were 12 Jewish families in Brits. High Holy Day services were still being held, with occasional yahrzeit minyanim. The synagogue was reported to be in good condition. However, the number of Jewish families was reducing steadily and the last High Holy Day services were held in 1968. [Engel tour 10] The sale of the synagogue became inevitable.

On 3 Feb 1975 a new constitution was signed by Mr I Kahn and Dr B Friedland in which trusteeship of the congregation's assets were vested in the SAJBD. In that year the Brits Hebrew Congregation gave on loan a Sifrei Torah and breastplate to the Sandton Synagogue Centre in Johannesburg. [file U p131 & 133] Former residents of Brits, in two separate bids, offered to purchase the property but both came to naught. In 1981 the Brits Town Council agreed in principle to purchase the property subject to the approval of the Administrator of the Transvaal. In September 1982 the municipality gave notice of the expropriation of the property for use as a parking lot for a nearby supermarket. They offered to pay R36 025.00 as compensation. This offer was accepted on 28 Oct 1982 and paid out in December that year.

In 1984 it came to the notice of the SAJBD that the municipality had rented out the building to "Die Gemeente van Christus" church. The municipality agreed to give the church notice but noted that their lease was only due to expire in March 1986. It was not renewed and the municipality then decided to use the building as a sports centre. During 1991 the sports centre moved to new premises and the building was left in disrepair, resulting in further representation by the SAJBD. The municipality passed plans for the building to be used as a publicity centre. The original architecture was to be retained. In July 1992 the Brits Information Bureau was opened.

BRITS HEBREW SCHOOL

The only information that has yet come to light on the Brits Hebrew School is that it was in existence by 1930. When the Brits Hebrew Congregation signed a constitution in that year it undertook to take over all assets and liabilities of the Brits Hebrew School and to maintain its functions. [Arch 54.5 corresp.]

Nothing further is known about Jewish education in Brits until 1951 when Rabbi A H Lapin of Johannesburg visited the town on behalf of the Country Communities Committee of the SAJBD. [File I /F 8/3/51 & 11/9/51] He sat in on a Hebrew class attended by 5 pupils. The class was run three times a week by a young woman from the Habonim farm outside Brits. In November 1951 the SAJBD proposed the hiring of a regional teacher who would teach in Brits and in Warmbaths. This idea bore fruit in February 1952 when Mr Shatz was appointed as regional teacher and shochet for a district comprising Brits, Carltonville and Ventersdorp. Around this time the congregation had in its employ a shochet, who was related to a number of families in the town. [File W p81, 82, 85 & 101; arch 54.5 corresp.] Unfortunately, the Brits Hebrew Congregation seceded from the regional scheme almost immediately as they wished to retain the services of this shochet. He did not teach the children and since the small community could not afford to employ a second person, the educational needs of the children were compromised. This unhappy situation in which the congregation was torn between loyalty to a family member and their need for a Jewish education for their children meant that numerous attempts by the SAJBD to engage another shochet/teacher met with little success. Temporary arrangements continually needed to be made with visiting teachers, e.g. in October 1952 classes were conducted by a Mr Weinstein. There were only 2 children left in the class, as two were attending school in Pretoria and another family was preparing to leave Brits. [Arch 54.5 corresp. file I/F 22/1/52, 13/2/52 & 4/3/52]

In January 1957 Rabbi Newman noted that there was no provision for any Jewish education, despite numerous offers of help from the SAJBD. [file A/E 31/1/57] This was still the case in 1966 when Rabbi Duschinsky reported that there were no classes and that many of the children went to school in Pretoria. [file A/E 22/3/66]

BRITS JEWISH HELPING HAND AND BURIAL SOCIETY

The Brits Jewish Helping Hand and Burial Society was in existence by 1930 when the Brits Hebrew Congregation signed a new constitution. In this document the congregation stated that it would take over all assets and liabilities of the above-mentioned society and to maintain its functions. There was no Jewish cemetery in Brits. Local Jews were buried in Pretoria. [Arch 54.5; SAJYB 1959]

ARRANGEMENTS FOR RITUAL SLAUGHTERING

Covering a period from around 1928 until around 1951 the Brits Hebrew Congregation employed various ministers to serve the needs of their community, including that of shechita. However, none of the incumbents appear to have remained in the position for any length of time and when the position was vacant, temporary arrangements needed to be made. For example, in 1945 the congregation reported that their minister had recently left them to take up residence in Pretoria and that he came to Brits twice a week to slaughter, for which he received £25 per month. They appealed to the SAJBD for help in securing the services of a minister who would serve both the Brits and Rustenburg congregations. [SAJBD corresp. Country Communities Applications for Ministers and Teachers]

When the last minister left at the end of March 1951 for Pretoria, he agreed to come to Brits once a week for shechita. This was still the case in September 1951. In November 1951 the SAJBD proposed the concept of a regional teacher and shochet to serve Brits, Ventersdorp and Carltonville. Mr Shatz was duly appointed in February 1952 but the Brits community withdrew from the scheme almost immediately preferring to retain the services of their current shochet. In 1957 Rabbi Newman reported that the Brits community used the services of a visiting shochet from Pretoria. [file A/E 31/1/57] In 1966 the congregation still had the services of a visiting shochet once a week. [file A/E 22/3/66] In 1977 and 1978 Rabbi Baran of Rustenburg performed shechita for the Brits community once a month.

BRITS ZIONIST SOCIETY

Records exist of contributions to Zionist funds from Jews in Brits from as early as 1918. [file N p47] By 1926 a Zionist society was in existence. It was represented at the 10th conference of the SAZF. By 1928 the Brits Zionist Society was paying affiliation dues to the SAZF as a Class 4 society. [file N p99] This continued until at least 1954. [File N p146] The Zionist Record was distributed to readers in Brits and Wolhuterskop (1929). [file N p150]

UNION OF JEWISH WOMEN (BRITS)

The Brits branch of the Union of Jewish Women was founded in October 1946 with Mrs Friedland serving as the first chairlady. The branch celebrated its 10th anniversary in 1956. Five of the foundation members, including Mrs F Friedland and Mrs M Kahn who had served as chairman and secretary respectively since the formation of the branch, were present. Guests of honour included the national president and vice-president of the UJW. [SAJT 25/11/56]

In 1955 the branch paid membership to the SAJBD but due to an administrative delay their application for affiliation was only completed in January 1958. In 1968 the national organising secretary of the Union of Jewish Women of SA notified the SAJBD that as the community in Brits had dwindled to such an extent, there was no longer a branch of the UJW there. The few remaining women had formed an outpost. [Arch 54.5 corresp. 27/2/68]

CULTURAL / SOCIAL / RECREATIONAL

In the 1940s and 1950s the SAJBD assisted the Brits community with visiting rabbis and lecturers. [file W pgs 82,156, 317]. For example, Mrs H Kehr and Mr S W Sulski of Johannesburg addressed a meeting in Brits on 24 April 1945; a lecture was given by Mr L Goodman, principal of the Port Elizabeth Hebrew School, in 1947; Rev A L Kaplan of the La Rochelle Hebrew Congregation visited Brits on 13 April 1954; and Rabbi Dr M Chigier lectured in Brits on 4 November 1957. In Nov 1957 Rabbi A H Rabinowitz and Mr Gus Saron, general secretary of the SAJBD, visited Brits for a public meeting which was filmed and was to be included in a film on the activities of the SAJBD and other Jewish organisations of SA. [Arch 54.5 corresp.]

ANTISEMITISM
In the late 1930s, according to Dr Bennie Friedland who arrived in Brits in 1937, "It was unpleasant for us. The people at the Union Hotel where we stayed were so anti-British they were pro-Nazi. They said 'Heil Hitler' at dinner." He added that little attempt was made to teach English during the war and that school children went out to play during English lessons. [Stengel p75]

There was great consternation within the Jewish community in 1956 when Mr Johan Schoeman, a notorious antisemite from Broederstroom, sent out notices of a public meeting in Brits on 28 April 1956. Mr Schoeman published anti-semitic leaflets and despite attempts by the SAJBD to get the police to intervene, he had never been prosecuted. Mr Gus Saron, general secretary of the SAJBD, went to Brits and met with the mayor, Mr De Wit, who was of the belief that there was little support for Mr Schoeman. His view proved to be prophetic since only three people attended the meeting. [Council of Natal Jewry, public relations committee, minutes of meetings 27/5/56 & 1/7/56; SAJBD Arch 54.5 corresp.]

Strong anti-semitic sentiments were expressed at the first public meeting of the Afrikaner Weerstandbeweging held in the Brits Town Hall in March 1976. The Town Hall was decorated with two large Vierkleur flags, a large banner and insignia resembling swastikas, all reminiscent of Nazi rallies. The participants ranted against Jews and proclaimed their intention of creating an autocratic Third Republic (an obvious reference to the Third Reich) instead of a regime based on the "obsolete British-Jewish parliamentary system". [SAJT 19 Mar 1976 p3]

SATELLITE TOWNS

Bethanie Bethanie is a mission station of the Hermannsburg Missionary Society north west of Brits. It was established in 1864, the first missionary being W Behrens. The name is of biblical origin and is Hebrew for "house of sorrow or misery". Bethanie is situated on the farm Losperfontein which forms part of a large area consisting of 12 other farms and parts of farms inhabited by the Bakwena tribe. [SESA vol 2 p296]

De Wildt De Wildt is a railway station, police station and post office 18 km east of Brits. It was named after the engineer, Mr E de Wildt, who in 1905 surveyed the railway line between Pretoria and Rustenburg for the Dutch railway company, NZASM. De Wildt can be said to be where the National Party was born. In a speech delivered here on 7 December 1912, Gen J B M Hertzog finally broke with generals Louis Botha and Jan Smuts on future relations between English and Afrikaans speaking groups. Today De Wildt is famous for two unique facilities, the first being the herbal centre of Margaret Roberts, an internationally known expert on herbs and herbal products, and the De Wildt Cheetah Research Centre, where cheetahs were bred in captivity for the first time.

Hoëwal Hoëwal is a railway siding to the north of Brits. It lies close to the confluence of the Crocodile River and the Rooikoppies Dam.
Jericho Settlement about 40 km north of Brits.
Losperfontein Losperfontein is a government research station for agronomy and stock-breeding, situated 14 km north-west of Brits. It is named after a Mr Loubser who was involved in an accident with a saddle-horse there. The name Loubser is commonly pronounced Losper. [SESA vol7 p32]

Reddingshoop Settlement in the Brits district.

Skeerpoort The village of Skeerpoort lies on the railway line from Pretoria to Magaliesburg, 24 km south of Brits. The name is Afrikaans for "shaving devil", the mountain pass from which it takes its name. One theory is that it may have been so named by the commando under Hendrik Potgieter which stopped there on a Sunday to trim their beards. Another explanation is that it was a commando led by Casper Kruger, the father of Paul Kruger, which bought soap and shaving equipment from a trader, in order to wash and shave before entering Pretoria. [Raper p503; SESA v.9 p652]

Sonop The village of Sonop lies about 10 km south west of Brits. It was laid out by the Department of Agriculture around 1916 for workers constructing the Hartebeespoort Dam. It was subsequently transformed into a home for those unable to maintain themselves and is administered by the Department of Social Welfare and Pensions. The name is Afrikaans for sunrise.

Vorentoe Settlement north-west of Brits, between Bethanie and Losperfontein.
Wolhuterskop Wolhuterskop is a railway station west of Brits. Citrus is grown here, on the northern slopes of the Magaliesberg.

Wolhuterskop Wolhuterskop is a railway station west of Brits. Citrus is grown here, on the northern slopes of the Magaliesberg.

JEWISH PERSONALITIES

Friedland Mrs Freda Freda Friedland served the Brits Jewish community from around 1940, when she became the secretary/treasurer of the Brits Hebrew Congregation, also looking after the synagogue and acting as the shammash. She continued in this role, as main spokesperson for the Brits Jewish community, until 1982 when the synagogue was sold. She was the first chairlady of the Brits branch of the Union of Jewish Women when it was formed in 1946, a position she held almost exclusively until the branch ceased to function in the late 1960s. Freda Friedland was a foundation member of the Brits Vroue Landbou Unie in the early 1940s. She was a committee member of the Brits Red Cross Society and of the Brits en Distrik Verpleegsterskomitee. [Info Friedland]

Friedland Dr Bennie Dr Bennie Friedland gave sterling service to the community from his arrival in Brits in 1937, acting as minister and cantor when necessary. He was chairman of the Brits Hebrew Congregation from 1951 and he and his wife, as secretary of the congregation, led the Jewish community until the synagogue was sold in 1982. Dr Bennie Friedland was a part-time Medical Officer of Health for the Brits Town Council for about 40 years (since 1937) and part-time Railway Medical Officer for 44 years. He was a part-time medical practitioner on the staff of the Brits Hospital. He was chairman of the Brits Branch of the SA Blood Transfusion service since its inception in 1956. He was also chairman of the Brits branch of the National Cancer Association, and was president of the Brits Rotary Club in 1969. He was lecturer to the Brits Red Cross Society and subsequently to the Brits Noodhulpliga (First Aid Society) for about 20 years. He worked as a doctor in Brits for over 60 years. He died on 3 May 2001, aged 91. [SAJ 1967/8 p244; SAJ1976/7 p180; info Friedland]

Kahn (Jacob) Meyer Meyer Kahn, born in Brits in 1940, the son of Ben & Sarah Kahn, matriculated at Brits High School and then obtained a BA degree (Law) and MBA at the University of Pretoria. He joined the OK Bazaars in 1966 and was managing director of the company from 1977 until 1988, at which time he joined the South African Breweries (SAB) as managing director. He became executive chairman of the SAB in 1990 and it was during his chairmanship that the group more than doubled its turnover and embarked on an ambitious expansion drive. In 1983 he was named one of South Africa's Top Five Businessmen and in 1987, Marketing Man of the Year. In 1989 he was honoured as professor extraordinaire by the University of Pretoria. In 1990 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Commerce and named Businessman of the Year. The following year he won an award for Business Excellence from the University of the Witwatersrand. In 1997 he was appointed chief executive officer of the South African Police Service for a period of 2 years. He was runner up for the Lexus Lifetime Achiever Award in 1999. [Sunday Times 25/5/97; Jewish Times May/June 1997 p2; SA Jewish Report Achievers 1998/99]

Karovsky Louis Louis Karovsky was one of the founders of Brits and owned the land on which the township was proclaimed in 1923. Louis Street is named after him. He not only gave ground for the synagogue, but also for the Christian denominations, such as the Apostolic Church. [De Beer p206-213; Hickey p37 & 92] In the 1920s Louis Karovsky was one of several Jews who participated in Nationalist politics. [Furlong p49] In 1922 he took serious risks in opposing the Government. He was the liaison officer between the strikers' committee and the Nationalist Party leaders, Tielman Roos, General Kemp and Grobler. He went around the countryside collecting food for the strikers from the farmers and was imprisoned for his efforts. His political acumen brought him into contact with the leading politicians of the country and earned him the reputation of political seer with prophetic powers. [SAJT 27/2/59] He played an important role in the 1924 election campaign of the Transvaal Nationalist leader, Tielman Roos. [Shimoni p92]

Sive Aryeh Aryeh Sive, a Zionist pioneer, came from Israel to serve as the first full-time Habonim shaliach in South Africa in the late 1940s. He set up a hachsharah farm to train chalutzim in agricultural methods on the farm owned by Mr Henry Bernstein, well known Johannesburg businessman and communal worker. The group that was to eventually join Kibbutz Tzorah was trained under him on that farm. [Telfed v.23 no.1 Apr 1997] Upon his return to Israel, he served as World Mazkir of Habonim. [Telfed v.23 no.1 apr 1997] During the 1950s Aryeh Sive headed the Upper Galilee Regional Council, which set up cold storage atmosphere controlled plants all over Israel, in an attempt by Israeli apple growers to extend the sale of apples beyond the summer picking season. He became an expert in the field of cold storage and later received the Kaplan Award for his work. This award is for recognition of achievements in raising efficiency and productivity in industry, agriculture and services and was established in 1952. [Telfed v.23 no.1 par 1997]

JEWISH RESIDENTS OF BRITS

Abelman Miss Resident - 1919 [1928 Zionist Record; File N p51]

Abelman Mr & Mrs P & fam. Resident - 1919
Children: Polly Helena (married Max Eisenstadt of Johannesburg) & ? [1926 Zionist Record; File SA pg 434-1919]

Abelman Mr & Mrs Solly & fam. Resident - 1919 General dealer.
Was one of the first general dealers in Brits. Children: Lena, Dr B & ? [1924-44 greetings; 1926 & 1927 Zionist Record; 1942 List of Donors SAJBD; CT DIR 1934; file SA p434; De Beer p207; List of Residents 1945]

Abelman Dr Barnet Resident - 1928 Doctor.
Son of Mr & Mrs S Abelman. [1928 Zionist Record; CT DIR 1934]

Aires Charles Resident 1934 [CT DIR 1934; 1936 greetings]

Amdur Mr M Resident 1934 General dealer .
Traded as M & S Amdur at Jericho (1934). [CT DIR 1934]

Amdur Mr S Resident 1934 General dealer.
Traded as M & S Amdur at Jericho (1934). [CT DIR 1934]

Barron Louis & Cynthia & fam Resident – 1970s
Married Cynthia Lakier, daughter of Mr & Mrs Nathan Lakier. Children: Danny (b.1972), Gregory (b.1974) & Elise (b.1977). [Engel tour 57 & 60]

Baruch Mr & Mrs Adolf & fam Resident - 1919 General dealer; farmer. Born in 1881 in Germany. Came to SA in 1895, aged 14. Farmed in Rustenburg and then in Brits. Was living in Brits by 1919. Then went to Lichtenburg and Bloemhof where he became a diamond digger and buyer. [9/3/61; Star 4/3/65; 1922 Dennis Edwards; File SA p434]

Berkowitz Mr N B Resident – 1926 [1926 Zionist Record; 1926-28 Greetings]

Blumberg Mr Resident - 1926
Worked on the relief works at Hartebeespoort Dam. [File K 28/2/26]

Cohen Mr & Mrs I & fam. Resident - 1928 [1928 Greetings; File N p95]

Cohen Mrs S (Snr) Resident - 1930 [1930 Zionist Record]

Cohen Mr & Mrs Resident – 1945
Recorded at Sonop (1945). [List of Residents 1945]

Danzfus Mr W Resident - 1922 General dealer.
Traded at De Wildt (1922). [1922 Dennis Edwards]

Diamond Mr I Resident - 1942
Owned the Settlers Store at Reddingshoop (1942). [SAJBD 1942 List of Donors]

Diamond Mr R Resident - 1942 General dealer.
Owned Losperfontein Trading Store at Losperfontein (1942). [SAJBD 1942 List of Donors]

Dreier Mr & Mrs Sender & fam. Resident - 1926 General dealer .
Children: a daughter (married Nathan Lakier) & ? [CT DIR 1934; SAJBD 1942 List of Donors; 1926 Zionist Record; 1928 Greetings]

Efune Mr I Resident - 1942
Recorded at Reddingshoop (1942). [SAJBD 1942 List of Donors]

Efune Sam & Sybil & fam. Resident - 1971
Children: Alan, Lesley & Michael (b.1955). Moved to Johannesburg. [Engel tour 10]
Eisenstadt Mrs Resident - 1945 [List of Residents 1945]

Fain Mr H Resident = 1934 General dealer.
Recorded in Losperfontein (1934) where he traded as H Fain & Co. Also recorded as Fain Bros in Brits (1942). [SAJBD 1942 List of Donors; CT DIR 1934]

Fain Mr M Resident - 1940 [Arch 54.5 corresp. 20/11/40 letter from M Sive]

Fairly Mr C Resident - 1919 General dealer.
Owned Brits Supply Stores. [1924 Tel Dir File V; File SA pg 434-1919]

Falkenstein Mr & Mrs M Resident - 1928 General dealer.
Recorded at Wolhuterskop (1928) and at Sonop (1934). [SAJBD List of Donors 1942; 1928 greetings; CT DIR 1934; List of Residents 1945]

Falkenstein Ulrich Resident - 1927 General dealer.
Recorded in Sonop (1927), Wolhuterskop (1928) and Hoëwal (1934). Owned the Zandrift Supply Store in Hoëwal (1934). Applied for naturalisation in 1927. [1927 Zionist Record; 1928 greetings; CT DIR 1934]

Falkenstein Issie & Fanny Resident - 1928
Lived at Sonop from 1928. [info Ann Harris]

Falkenstein Abram & Mina & fam. Resident - 1928
Family came from Krustpils, Latvia (until WW1 in the Vitebsk province) to SA in 1928 to Abram's brother, Ulrich Falkenstein, in Wolhuterskop. [Immigration Records]
Feinblum Mr & Mrs C H & fam. Resident 1942 - 1973
Children: Mr L & ? Chaim died in 1973. Mrs Feinblum left Brits the following year. [Engel tour 36 & 44; SAJBD List of Donors 1942; List of Residents 1945]

Fletcher Joe & Sonia & fam. Resident c.1939- 1948 Butcher.
Came to De Wildt around 1939. Owned a butchery there. Children: Freda & Jessie. Left De Wildt in 1948. [info Lanesman; List of Residents 1945]

Frankel Isidor & Rose & fam Resident - 1924 General dealer.
Recorded at Wolhuterskop (1924). Married Rosie Kirsch (b.1901) of Knysna. Children: Hymie & Leah Rosie. Rose died in 1935. [1924 Zionist Record; state archives cape town death notices]

Freedman Rev Resident - 1948 Minister of religion

Friedberg H Resident - 1919 [File SA pg 434]

Friedenthal Joe & Mrs E & fam. Resident - 1919 General dealer; hotelier.
Owned the Brits Hotel. [1922 Dennis Edwards; CT DIR 1934; 1926-28 Greetings; 1926 Zionist Record; 1919 File SA p434]

Friedland Dr & Mrs David & fam. Resident - 1994 Doctor.
Son of Dr & Mrs Bennie Friedland. Moved to Johannesburg in 1994. [info Friedland]
Friedland Dr Benny Percival & Freda & fam. Resident 1937 - 2001 Doctor. Born 1911 in Kovno, Lithuania. Came to SA in 1921. Came from Pretoria to Brits in 1937 when he bought a medical practice. Was a doctor in Brits for over 60 years. Married Freda Jacobson (b. in Sterkstroom) in Johannesburg on 1 January 1936. Son: David. Died 3 May 2001, aged 91. Freda still resident in Brits as at 2001. [1942 SAJBD List of Donors; the star 4 may 2001; Pretoria Jewish Chronicle - Feb. 2000, March/Apr 2000]

Friedlander Mr & Mrs S Resident - 1928 [1928 Zionist Record]

Furman Mr & Mrs Barney & fam. Resident - 1922 General dealer.
Traded as Furman Bros at Bethanie (1922). Also recorded at Wolhuterskop (1927). Children: a daughter & ? [1922 Dennis Edwards; 1927 Zionist Record; 1928 greetings]

Goodman Mr & Mrs H L Resident - 1926 [SAJBD List of Donors 1942; List of Residents 1945; 1926 Zionist Record; 1926-30 greetings]

Gordon Miss Resident - 1930 [1930 Zionist Record]

Gordon Mr & Mrs Cyril Resident -1931 Pharmacist.
Son of Mr & Mrs Max Gordon. Owned Brits Pharmacy (1942). Moved to Pretoria. [SAJBD List of Donors 1942; 1931 Zionist Record; List of Residents 1945]

Gordon Mr & Mrs Max & fam. Resident - 1931
Came from Johannesburg. Were living in Brits by 1931. Children: Cyril & ? [Max may have died before they left Johannesburg] [1931 Zionist Record]
Greenberg Mr L Resident - 1945
Recorded in Bethanie (1945). [List of Residents 1945]

Greenberg Mr PG Resident = 1942 Shopkeeper.
Recorded in Bethanie (1942). Owned Bethanie Supply Store. Moved to Pretoria. [SAJBD List of Donors 1942]

Gudelsky Mr H Resident = 1934 [CT DIR 1934; 1936 greetings]
Howscha Mr & Mrs Rubin Resident - 1942
Rubin died in 1974. [Engel tour 49; SAJBD List of Donors 1942; List of Residents 1945; ZR & SAJC 4/9/64 p100]

Jacobs Mr Resident - 1920s [De Beer p207]

Jacobsohn Max Resident - 1926 [1926 Greetings]

Jacobson Benjamin Resident - 1945 Attorney [Arch 54.5 corresp.]
Jacobson Robert & Marcelle & fam. Resident - 1945
Married Marcelle Lazarus of Oudtshoorn. Children: Tyla (b.1947), Michael (b.1949) & Karen (b.1950). Moved to Pretoria. [List of Residents 1945; State Archives Death Notices Cape Town]

Joffe Mr & Mrs M Resident - 1942 Shopkeeper.
Recorded at Hoëwal where he owned the Sanddrift Supply Stores (1942). Mr Joffee died c.1954. [List of Residents 1945; SAJBD List of Donors 1942]

Joseph Mr L Resident - 1922 General dealer .
Traded at Skeerpoort (1922). [1922 Dennis Edwards]

Kacev/Katzeff Rev & Mrs W & fam. Resident - 1937 Minister of religion.
Children: Annie & ? [SAJT 7/1/38 p6]

Kahn Hersh Ber & Luta & fam. Resident - 1926 General dealer.
Brother of Isaac Jacob (Issie), Ben & Abe Kahn. The brothers came to SA from Tavrig, Lithuania, in the mid-1920s and stayed at first with their sister, Mrs Rachel Been, in Marikana in the Rustenburg district. Son: Archie. [List of Residents 1945; info Been; 1926 Greetings]

Kahn Isaac Jacob (Issie) & Molly Resident 1926 - 1977 Furniture dealer. Brother of Hersh Ber, Ben & Abe Kahn. The brothers came to SA from Tavrig, Lithuania, in the mid-1920s and stayed at first with their sister, Mrs Rachel Been, in Marikana in the Rustenburg district. Issie went to Swartruggens before settling opening a shop in Wolhuterskop. He then moved to Brits. He and Abe owned Kahn Bros, Furnishers. Isaac died in 1977. Molly later moved to Pretoria. [Engel tour 57; info Been; 1926 Greetings]

Kahn Mr & Mrs Abe Resident - 1926 Furniture dealer.
Brother of Hersh Ber, Isaac Jacob (Issie) & Ben Kahn. The brothers came to SA from Tavrig, Lithuania, in the mid-1920s and stayed at first with their sister, Mrs Rachel Been, in Marikana in the Rustenburg district. Owned Kahn Bros, Furnishers, in partnership with his brother, Issie. In 1929 was engaged to Ray Diamond of Kimberley. Moved to Potgietersrus. [1929 Zionist Record; 1926 Greetings; info Been]
Kahn Ben & Sarah & fam. Resident - 1926 Butcher.
Brother of Hersh Ber, Isaac Jacob (Issie) & Abe Kahn. The brothers came to SA from Tavrig, Lithuania, in the mid-1920s and stayed at first with their sister, Mrs Rachel Been, in Marikana in the Rustenburg district. Married Sarah Feinblum. Children: Jacob Meyer (b.1940) & Raymond. Owned Kahn & Kahn, Butchers. [List of Residents 1945; info Been; 1926 greetings; CT DIR 1934]

Kaplan Rev Meyer Resident - 1928 Minister of religion [1928 Zionist Record; File N p95]

Karovsky Mr & Mrs Louis & fam. Resident c.1918 Businessman; hotelier.
Came to SA in 1908 from Shavli, Lithuania. Living in Brits from c.1918 and left in the 1940s. Married Miss C Joubert (not born Jewish). She stood in as mayoress in the 1930s when Mr T de Wit headed the village health committee. Also owned the Brits Hotel. [De Beer p211-2; 1928 Zionist Record; SAJT 27/2/59; Karovsky]

Katz Rev & Mrs L Resident - 1930 Minister of religion.
Came from Zhager, Lithuania. In 1930 married Miss Tobiansky of Kelme, Lithuania. [UCT Ms & Arch UJW File BC 769]

Klowalsky Mr J Resident - 1934 General dealer.
Traded at Skeerpoort (1934). [CT DIR 1934]

Krom Israel Resident - 1929
Lived at Wolhuterskop. [1929 Zionist Record]

Kwitz Mr & Mrs & fam Resident c.1944 Farmer.
Lived in De Wildt. Children: Lesley & Mendy. [ UCT manuscripts and archives, Union of Jewish Women file]

Lakier Charlie & Estelle & fam. Resident 1951 – 2001 Hardware store owner. Brother of Nathan Lakier. Came to Brits in 1951. Ran a hardware store, Dreiers, with his brother. Children: Roy (b.1953), John (b.1955) & Dennis (b.1957). Still resident in Brits as at 2001. [Engel tour 57; The Star 20/03/99 pg 6]

Lakier Mr & Mrs Edward & fam. Resident - 1971
Son of Mr & Mrs Nathan Lakier. Children: Terry (b.1971) & Mark (b.1973). Went to the USA. [Engel Tour 57]

Lakier Mr & Mrs Nathan & fam. Resident 1945 – 1990 Hardware store owner.
Brother of Charlie Lakier. Married Miss Dreier, daughter of Mr & Mrs S Dreier. Children: Edward, Cynthia (married Louis Barron) & ? Ran Dreiers Hardware Store with his brother. Mrs Lakier died in 1975. [Engel tour 57; Stengel p2]

Lang Mr & Mrs Resident - 1942
In business with Mr Touyz (1942). [List of Residents 1945; SAJBD List of Donors 1942]

Lang Mr M Resident - 1926 [1926 greetings]

Lapidus Mr & Mrs G & fam Resident 1965 - 1971
Children: Gideon, Moshe & Winnie. Moved to Johannesburg. [Arch 100A343 Brits]
Lax Mr Resident - 1927 [1927 Zionist Record]

Legum M Resident - 1928 [1928 Zionist Record]

Levin Mr S H Resident - 1926 [1926 Zionist Record]

Lief J Resident – by 1926 Left Brits in 1926. [1926 Zionist Record]
Lipshitz Mr Resident - 1928 [1928 greetings]

Lurie Hillel & Lily & fam. Resident - 1948 General dealer
Recorded at De Wildt. Children: Luba & Shirley. [Info Lanesman]

Lurie Hymie & Sarah Resident - 1942 General dealer.
Owned Greylingspost Supply Stores in De Wildt. [Info Lanesman]

Lurie Mr & Mrs M & fam. Resident - 1932
Child: Hillel [Zionist Record]

Lurie Mrs S & fam. Resident - 1930
Recorded at De Wildt (1930). Children: Harry & ? [1930 Zionist Record]

Mer Mr J Resident - 1934 Butcher [CT DIR 1934; List of Residents 1945; SAJBD List of Donors 1942]

Moss Mr & Mrs Resident - 1945 [List of Residents 1945]

Myer T Resident -1929 Lived at Wolhuterskop. [1929 Zionist Record]
Myers Mr & Mrs Sam Resident -1910
They were living at De Wildt by 1910. [S A Jewish Chronicle 22/04/1910]

Narbosky/Natboosky Mr J Resident - 1922 General dealer.
Traded at Skeerpoort (1922). [1922 Dennis Edwards; CT DIR 1934]

Plitt Meyer Resident - 1927 General dealer.
Lived at Wolhuterskop. [1927 Zionist Record]
Rabinowitz H Resident - 1942 [SAJBD List of Donors 1942]
Resnick Mr & Mrs & fam. Resident - 1959
Children: Marc Colin (b.1957) & ? [1959 Zionist Record ]

Robins Daniel & Sadie Resident - 1928
Married Sadie Lurie of Johannesburg in 1928. [1928 Zionist Record]

Ruthenberg Mr S & fam. Resident - 1924
Recorded at De Wildt (1924). [1924 Greetings]

Sachs Mr L Resident - 1924 General dealer.
Traded as L Sachs Ltd (1924). [1924 Tel Dir file V]

Salinger Mr Resident -1919 [File SA 434]

Schlesin Mr & Mrs Benzion (Boris) Resident - 1928 Bottle store owner.
Owned Brits Bottle Store (1942). Children: Zara(b.1930) & ? Moved to Pretoria. [1928 & 1930 Zionist Record; SAJBD 1942 List of Donors; List of Residents 1945; 1928 Greetings]

Schlosberg Mr & Mrs S Resident - 1928 Hotelier
Owned the Brits Hotel (1928). [1928 Zionist Record]

Schneider Mr & Mrs C Resident - 1966 General dealer.
Owned Sanddrift Supply Store at Hoëwal (1966). [Arch 54.5 corresp.]

Sief/Siev Mr & Mrs J Resident – 1926 [1926 Zionist Record; 1928 Greetings]

Sieff Mr L Resident – 1934. General dealer; grain & livestock dealer; butcher. Traded as L Sieff & Co in Bethanie (1934). [CT DIR 1934]

Sive Miss Resident - 1928 [1928 Zionist Record]

Sive Maurice Manfred & Joy & fam. Resident - 1930 Attorney.
Applied for naturalisation in 1937. [arch 210.1 refugees 1930-40; CT DIR 1934; List of Residents 1945; SAJBD List of Donors 1942; 1930 Zionist Record]

Smith Mr & Mrs Philip & fam Resident - 1928 Hotelier.
Owned the Brits Hotel, the first hotel in Brits. Children: A daughter (b.1928) & ? [1928 Zionist Record]

Stern Mr & Mrs Heinrich Resident - 1942 [List of Residents 1945; SAJBD List of Donors 1942]

Subel Mr I Resident - 1934 Butcher
Owned butchery at Vorentoe (1934). [CT DIR 1934]

Tobiansky Mrs Resident - 1930 [1930 Zionist Record]

Tooch Mr M Resident - 1930 [1930 Zionist Record]

Touyz J Resident - 1928 [1928 Zionist Record]

Touyz Mr C H (Hyman) Resident - 1942 Farmer c1900.
He came to SA from Latvia, where the family had been farmers for many generations. Served with the British forces during the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) and after demobilisation began farming in the Fort Beaufort area. In 1915 he farmed near Rustenburg and later in Ermelo. After 1919 he went to the eastern Transvaal and then came to the Brits district. In business with Mr Lang (1942). [List of Residents 1945; SAJBD List of Donors 1942; Markowitz 1950 - Jewish Farmers in SA]

Unterhalter Mr I Resident - 1934
Recorded at Wolhuterskop (1934). [CT DIR 1934]

Zelitsky/Zetisky Mr & Mrs B & fam. Resident 1945 – 1962 Hotelier.
Children: Sandra (b.1947 in Brits) & Roy (b.1955 in Brits).

Zetler Mr & Mrs L Resident - 1979 Four children. [Arch 100A343 Brits]

Ziman Mr I Resident - 1922 General dealer.
Traded at Jericho (1922). [1922 Dennis Edwards]

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

The history of the Jewish Community of Brits was researched by The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot and first published in Jewish Life in the South African Country Communities, Volume I (2002): 115-121

The article is published here courtesy of The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot

 

Belfast, Transvaal, RSA

Including Wonderfontein

BACKGROUND

Belfast is situated in the foothills of the Drakensberg, in the eastern Transvaal (Mpumalanga - post 1994). It lies 210 km east of Pretoria; 68 km east of Middelburg; 30 km east of Waterval-Boven, South Africa.

Belfast was established on 30 June 1890 on the farm Tweefontein which was owned by Richard C O'Neill. He had bought the farm near where Paul Kruger's railway line from Pretoria to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo) was to run, opened a shop and applied for permission to lay out a village. He named the village Belfast after the city in Ireland where his father was born. The railway reached Belfast in 1894 and was administered by a village council from 1902. Belfast was proclaimed a municipality in 1966.

Belfast is one of the coldest places in the country. Many rivers and streams of the eastern Transvaal rise on this watershed and are ideal for trout fishing. Agricultural activities in the area are varied and include cattle, dairy and sheep farming. The tulip nursery attracts many visitors in the spring. Belfast is also a mining area with coal, black granite, fire-clay, kaolin, chrome and iron being mined.

Jewish communal life flourished in Belfast in the 1920s. Little information has come to light about Jewish affairs in the district until the 1960s when the Jews of Belfast and Wonderfontein participated in regional Family Days and attended services in Middelburg. They continued to attend services in Middelburg until the 1990s.

Although there were no actual incidents of antisemitism in Belfast, Nazi propaganda was circulated in the town during the Second World War. The Jewish community was not in favour of mass counter-propaganda but believed that a newspaper article would be beneficial. [Arch 68A SAJBD Rabbi's corresp.]

EARLY JEWISH SETTLERS

Himmelhoch Yosef & Clara & fam. pre 1909
By 1909 the Himmelhoch family was resident of Belfast. [File S p63]

Joffa Mr W pre 1909
By 1909 Mr W Joffa was a resident of Belfast. [File S p67]

Marcson J pre 1909 to Wonderfontein
By 1909 J Marcson was living in Wonderfontein. [File S p47]

Rubin Joseph & Gittel 1894 to SA; after 1905 in Belfast area
Joseph Rubin worked as a blacksmith in the Belfast area. He later opened a store. He then bought some land and began speculating on a small scale in maize, horses and poultry. His son, Solly, born in 1905 in Germiston, joined him in 1925 and together they enlarged the business to include sheep, pigs and cattle. They also acquired the farm, Grootpan, in the Wonderfontein district.

Starfield Mrs B pre 1909 to Wonderfontein
By 1909 Mrs B Starfield was living in Wonderfontein. [File S p47]


BELFAST HEBREW CONGREGATION

It is not known when the Belfast Hebrew Congregation came into being. To date the only information that has come to light is that it was in existence by 1926, and that in 1927 the congregation was raising money to purchase a Sefer Torah. [Zionist Record 1926-7] In 1928 the community held a Siyum Hatorah for the Synagogue Fund at the Nowitz home. [1928 Zionist Record]. However, no synagogue was ever built. In 1936 High Holy Day services were held at the home of Mrs C Himmelhoch. Mr J Rubin of Wonderfontein conducted the service. [Zionist Record 1936]

In 1964 it was suggested that Belfast and Wonderfontein should fall under Witbank and share the services of that minister. [File A & E Dusch Report p6] Nothing appears to have come of this suggestion and the Jews of Belfast and Wonderfontein attended High Holy Day services in Middelburg (1960s-1990s).

BELFAST ZIONIST SOCIETY

Early records show that Jews in Belfast and Wonderfontein contributed to various Zionist funds from as early as 1909. [file S p47] The Zionist Record in 1915 reported that a few well-meaning people intended to form a Zionist society to be called the North-Eastern Transvaal Zionist Society. A meeting was scheduled for 6 June 1915 to discuss the matter further. Nothing more is reported on this issue. In 1922 the Belfast Zionist Society came into being. [Zionist archives: Marcia Gitlin papers?] In 1926 Mr Shein addressed a meeting on behalf of the Keren Hayesod appeal. [Zionist record] Individual contributions continued to come in from Belfast and Wonderfontein for several years but no further reference can be found to the Belfast Zionist Society. The Zionist Record was distributed to readers in Belfast (1929).

BELFAST JEWISH BENEVOLENT FUND

The only record of this society is in 1915 when a donation was made by the Belfast Jewish Benevolent Fund to the Relief Fund for Jewish War Victims. Both Jews and Gentiles from Belfast and Wonderfontein contributed to this fund.

BELFAST JEWISH LADIES BENEVOLENT SOCIETY

The Belfast Jewish Ladies Benevolent Society was formed in 1927, with Mrs H Lack in the chair. [Zionist Record 1927]

CULTURAL / SOCIAL / RECREATIONAL

A number of Family Days were hosted by Jewish families in the surrounding towns and villages in the eastern Transvaal from the mid-1960s. The Jews of Belfast attended a Family Day held in Nelspruit in 1966. [File A & E 20/6/66] In 1982 Dr Stephen Cohen of the SAJBD visited Belfast as part of a trip to the northern and eastern Transvaal in order to learn of the problems of country communities and to reaffirm their link to the SAJBD. [all-a-board spring 1982 p4]

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

Shortly after the opening of the main railway line to Belfast in 1894, a branch line was built to a coal mine west of the town. This mine belonged to Sammy Marks, who had acquired all the coal rights parallel to the main line. At one stage there were about fifty families living on the mine mostly in tin shanties. [Van der Merwe p31]

MISCELLANEOUS

Mrs Clara Himmelhoch, in an interview in 1943, recalled with warmth her relationship with the Afrikaans community in the time she lived in the district. During Voortrekker celebrations in 1938 there was a Nagmaal in Belfast which she attended wearing Voortrekker costume. She was asked to sign the Voortrekker Book, which she was proud to do and was "glad to be among so many old friends from the olden days". [Rochlin arch 114 box 6 file 1- see Dullstroom file]

In 1972 the Station Commander of the South African Police in Belfast, Mr Van Rensburg, sent a donation of R2.00 to the SAJBD for the "Israeli Fighting Men" in a gesture of goodwill.

SATELLITE TOWNS

Wonderfontein is a settlement 20 km south west of Belfast.

STATISTICAL INFORMATION

Community records, according to the Matzo Board survey, indicated that in 1943 there were 23 Jews in Belfast. Ten years later a survey by the SAJBD in 1953 recorded 14 Jews in Belfast. In 1964 Rabbi Duschinsky noted 10 Jews (2 families) in Belfast. In 1980 Rabbi Engel noted 5 Jews in Belfast. The Lack family left Belfast in 1994 and the Jacowitz family left in 1996.

WONDERFONTEIN: According to the Matzo Board survey in 1943, there were 4 Jews in Wonderfontein. In a survey conducted by the SAJBD in 1953 there were 5 Jews (1 family) in Wonderfontein. In 1980 Rabbi Engel noted only 1 Jew in Wonderfontein.


BELFAST JEWISH RESIDENTS

Abel Mr & Mrs Harry Resident 1928 [Zionist Record 1928]

Abrahams Mr I (Jnr) Resident 1915 [file SA p48]

Abrahams Mr I (Snr) Resident 1915 [file SA p48]

Aginsky Mrs H Resident 1971
Lived in Wonderfontein. Mother of Mrs Sonia Friedman and grandmother of Boris Friedman. Died c.1971/2.

Blum A Resident 1921 [SAJO Annual Report 1921 p16]
Blum Mr H Resident 1915 [file SA p57a]

Blum Mr L Resident 1915 [file SA p57a]

Charlson Mr H Resident 1915 [file SA p49]
Lived in Wonderfontein. He contributed to the Relief Fund for Jewish War Victims.

Davidson Mr Resident 1921 [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]
De Winter Mr & Mrs Resident 1928 [Zionist Record 1928]

Dwersky Mr M Resident 1921 [1921 Greetings]

Freedman Mr Resident 1921 [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]
Fridman Joseph & Sonia & fam. Resident 1941 - mid-1960s Mill owner.
Lived in Wonderfontein from 1941 and ran Wonderfontein Mills. Children: Boris, Phyllis & Karen. The family moved to Middelburg, Transvaal, in the mid-1960s. Boris continued to run the mill in Wonderfontein as at 2002, commuting from Middelburg. [Info Fridman]

Friedman L Resident 1918 [File SA p321]

Friedman Mr & Mrs Isadore & fam. Resident 1920 [File SA p623; SAJO Annual report 1921 p16; 1921 & 1923 greetings; Zionist Record 1928]

Friedmann Mr B Resident 1922 Hairdresser; tobacconist [1922 Dennis Edwards]

Goodman Mr R B Resident 1934 Hotelier
Proprietor of the Transvaal Hotel (1934). [Cape Times Dir 1934]

Gootkind Mr A Resident 1921 General dealer
In business with Mr Mittel (1922). [1921 Greetings; Dennis Edwards]

Greenberg E Resident 1921
Recorded in Wonderfontein. [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]

Greenstein L Resident 1921
Recorded in Wonderfontein (1921). [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]

Greenstein Mr O Resident 1915
Recorded in Wonderfontein. [File SA p49]

Greenstein P Resident 1921
Recorded in Wonderfontein (1921). [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]

Guites Mr & Mrs H C Resident 1926 [Zionist Record 1926]

Guites Mr L & fam. Resident 1928 [1928 greetings]

Guites Miss Gertrude Resident 1928 [File N p96]

Gutchen/Gutcher Max Resident 1921 [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16; 1921 greetings]

Himmelhoch Yosef & Clara & fam. Resident 1909 General dealer.
Yosef & Clara Himmelhoch came to SA with their four young children in 1896 to settle in Dullstroom. There they had a shop and a hotel. By 1909 they were living in Belfast. Clara ran a general dealers store. Children: Mary, Beatrice, Danie, Suzanna, Rachel, Charles & Wolf Ze'ev. [Rochlin Arch 114 box 6 file 1-see Dullstroom file; 1921, 1925 p142 & 1928 Greetings; 1922 Dennis Edwards; Zionist Record 1926; File S p63 & 47]

Horwitz Mrs R Resident 1927 [Zionist Record 1927]

Israelowitz I Resident 1921 [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]

Jacowitz Mr & Mrs Cecil & fam. Resident 1961 - 1996 General dealer.
Brother-in-law of Leonard Lack. Child: Hillary. Moved to Johannesburg c.1996. [Files F & I 18/4/61] [Arch 68A -SAJBD Corresp.]

Jankelson Miss Milly Resident pre 1936 Teacher
Moved to Potchefstroom. [see Butterworth file - info from Mrs Jankelson]

Joffa Mr W Resident 1909 [file S p67]

Joseph Mr R Resident 1934 General dealer [Cape Times Dir 1934]

Joseph Mr A Resident 1922 Fruiterer [1922 Dennis Edwards]

Kirsch Mr & Mrs Myer & fam. Resident 1921 Hotelier
Ran the Transvaal Hotel. [1921& 1923 Greetings; File V.4 Tel Dir 1924; Dennis Edwards 1922]

Kirsch Mr W Resident 1915 [File SA p57a & p48]

Kirschner Mr & Mrs P Resident 1928 [Zionist Record 1928]

Lack Leonard & Jean & fam. Resident 1915 – 1994 Farmer; speculator. Brother of Harry Lack and Rosa Lack, brother-in-law of Cecil Jacowitz. Owned the farm Paardeplaas. Children: Myrtle, Hazel, Hilton & Sheryl (married the journalist Arthur Goldstuck). The Lacks left Belfast for Johannesburg in 1994. [Dennis Edwards 1922; File W p556]

Lack Miss Rosa Resident 1915
Sister of Harry Lack and Leonard Lack. Engaged to Mr I Per of Johannesburg in 1915. [File SA p40]

Lack Mr & Mrs Harry & fam. Resident 1915 - 1934 Speculator; general dealer; produce buyer . Brother of Leonard Lack and Rosa Lack. [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16; File V.4 Tel Dir 1924; Dennis Edwards 1922; Cape Times Dir 1934]

Leibowitz Mr & Mrs M & fam. Resident 1914
Children: a son (b. 1914) [SAJC 18 Dec 1914, p1006]

Lidwinitsky Mr Resident 1928 [Zionist Record 1928]

Lowenstein Mr D Resident 1921 [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16; Zionist Record 1928]

Mangin/Magin Mr & Mrs C Resident 1926 Tailor [1926 Zionist Record; Cape Times Dir 1934]

Marcson J Resident 1909 Lived at Wonderfontein. [File S p47]

Minsky Louis Resident 1927 1973 Produce dealer.
His business was established in 1927. Mr Minsky was a bachelor. Died 22 Nov 1973 and was buried in Middelburg. [Rabbi Engel; Zionist Record 1928]

Mittel Mr Resident 1922 General dealer.
In business with Mr A Gootkind (1922). [Dennis Edwards]

Myers Mr A Resident 1924 [1924 Greetings p87]

Nowitz Mr & Mrs R & fam. Resident 1921 – 1942 Coal merchant.
Owned Nowitz's Coal Mine. Children: Miss R & ? [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16; Cape Times Dir 1934; 1921 greetings]

Ravid Mr & Mrs W & fam. Resident 1921 Bottle store owner
[1921 greetings; Dennis Edwards - David]

Rosenberg Isaac Resident 1915. General & produce dealer; hotelier; miller. He owned I Rosenberg & Co, general dealers and millers, in Wonderfontein. Also owned the Wonderfontein Hotel. [file SA p49; Dennis Edwards 1922; Cape Times Dir 1934; SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]

Rosenbrock Mr C Resident 1922 Bakery owner
Owned the Belfast Bakery. [Dennis Edwards; Cape Times Dir 1934]
Rothkugel A Resident 1921
Recorded in Wonderfontein (1921). [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]
Rubin Joseph & Gittel & fam. Resident after 1905. Farmer; blacksmith; shopkeeper. Son: Solly (b. 1905 in Germiston) & ? [SAJ 1976 p462; 1928 Zionist record]

Rubin Mr M Resident 1915 Butcher
Lived in Wonderfontein. [File SA p49; Cape Times Dir 1934; SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]

Rubin Solly Resident 1925 - 1939 Farmer.
Son of Joseph & Gittel Rubin, born 1905 in Germiston. Farmed with his father from 1925. They also acquired the farm Grootpan in the Wonderfontein district. Solly farmed until the Second World War when he enlisted for active service. [SAJ 1976 p462]

Shackinovsky Mr L Resident 1915 [File SA p57a]

Shapiro Mr Resident 1928 [Zionist Record 1928]

Smith Mr & Mrs R & fam. Resident 1921 - 1962 Farmer; general dealer. Children: Joseph (b.1914), Sarah [1926 Zionist record; Dennis Edwards; SAJO Annual report 1921 p16; 1921 greetings; Files F & I 22/5/1962]

Smith Miss S Resident 1927 [Zionist Record 1927]

Smith Mr & Mrs J & fam. Resident 1977 - 1979
Worked at Phoenix Sawmills. Came to Belfast in 1977. Moved to Pretoria in 1979.
Smith Mr J M Resident 1915
He contributed to the Relief Fund for Jewish War Victims. [File SA p57a]

Sperling N Resident 1936
Recorded in Wonderfontein (1936). [letter to SAJBD 23 Nov 1936]

Spitz Mr & Mrs P Resident 1926 [Zionist Record 1926]

Starfield Mrs B Resident 1909 - 1917
Recorded in Wonderfontein. [File S p47]

Stern Mr & Mrs I Resident 1928 - 1934 General dealer
[Cape Times Dir 1934; 1928 Greetings; 1930 Zionist record]

Zack Master Jaques Resident 1927 [Zionist Record 1927]

Bronkhorstspruit

Including Balmoral, Bapsfontein, Engelbrechtsdrift, Nooitgedacht, Renosterkop, Susterstroom, Verena, Wilgerivier

A town in South Africa .
Bronkhorstspruit is situated in the south eastern Transvaal (Gauteng - post 1994). It lies 58 km east of Pretoria; 52 km north east of Johannesburg, South Africa.

The town is said to be named for the water-cress found on the river (‘spruit’) and which was called ‘bronkors’ (Nasturtium officinale) by the early settlers. Others suggest that the name is that of a farmer, Bronkhorst. The district of Bronkhorstspruit was the scene of the opening battle of the First Anglo-Boer War (1880-1881). On 20 December 1880 a division of the 94th Regiment under the command of Lt-Col P R Anstruther on its way from Lydenburg to Pretoria was intercepted and attacked by Commandant Frans Joubert and 200 men. Fifty-six British soldiers and 2 Boers lost their lives in a short and decisive battle. A plaque near the town marks the site of the battlefield. Fourteen years later, in 1894, the railway line from Pretoria to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo) reached the area, and a station was built on the farm, Bronkhorstspruit.

About 2 km away from the railway station at Bronkhorstspruit, the village of Erasmus was laid out in 1904 by Cornelius Johannes Gerhardus Erasmus on part of his farm, Hondsrivier. The Erasmus family had farmed in these parts for some years and are said to have been the first whites to settle in this district. The village of Erasmus spread out over a large area, with plenty of vacant tracts of land between the houses. By the early 1920s Erasmus consisted of about 25 houses, a post office, a cafe, a butchery, a flour mill, a general dealer's store and a bottle store. In contrast, at this time, there were only two families living at Bronkhorstspruit in two large 'compounds', one on either side of the railway line. The Schlosberg family compound with its many kraals, workshops, sheds and stores lay next to the railway station. On the other side of the railway line, lay a similar compound belonging to an English Jew called Joseph Roberts.

A health committee was established in Erasmus in 1919 and subsequently replaced by a village council. On 6 February 1935 Provincial Notice No.12 permitted the village council of Erasmus to change the name to Bronkhorstspruit with effect from 1 July 1935. The town is the commercial and industrial centre of a 2700 square km district where mixed farming is practised (maize, groundnuts, sorghum, sunflower seed, cattle and sheep). Milling is the town's chief industry. Large deposits of fire clay are mined and processed for export. [Schlosberg p5, 6 & 13; Erasmus p167; SESA vol.2 p534-5]

EARLY JEWISH SETTLERS

The Schlosberg family were the first Jews to settle in the Bronkhorstspruit district (c.1890) and, together with the Erasmus family who had preceded them, were the first whites to live in these parts. For the purposes of this research, the period 1890 to 1905 has been chosen as the years of early Jewish presence in this district.

Behr Hyman Abraham 1895 to SA; c.1896 to Bronkhorstspruit district.
Hyman Abraham Behr came to SA in 1895 and settled in the Bronkhorstspruit district soon after, as a farmer and businessman. He fought for the Boers in the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) in the Pretoria commando under Gen Erasmus. He was appointed temporary veld cornet in charge of the POW camp at Waterval, and was captured at Elands River after a skirmish near the present day town of Cullinan. He and several of his comrades managed to escape but were recaptured and sent to a POW camp at Simonstown until the end of the war. After the war, he returned to the Bronkhorstspruit district and settled at Engelbrechtsdrift. [Jewish Herald 28/12/56]

Bernstein Jacob 1902 to SA; c.1902/3 to Wilgerivier. Came from Tavrig, Lithuania. Jacob Bernstein left Tavrig, Lithuania, where he was born, in 1902. He made his way to Bremen, Germany and from there to Cape Town. Once there, he was employed on the Cape Town docks packing eggs. He soon made his way to Wilgerivier, where a cousin was living. [Friedman p 1] Jacob Bernstein joined his cousin Simon Bernstein at Wilgerivier (probably c.1902/3). Unfortunately both contracted enteric fever with fatal consequences for his cousin. Jacob then left Wilgerivier and worked for a time in Bronkhorstspruit for Rebecca Horwich. He soon returned to the Balmoral area where he went into his own business, which was part farm, part mill and part hotel. [Friedman p1-2]

Bernstein Simon pre 1902/3 at Wilgerivier. Came from Lithuania.
Simon Bernstein was living at Wilgerivier around 1902/3 when he was joined by his cousin Jacob Bernstein who had recently come to SA from Tavrig, Lithuania. Soon after Jacob's arrival, both contracted enteric fever which resulted in the death of Simon. [Friedman p1]

Caplan Isaac pre 1905 to Balmoral. By 1905 Isaac Caplan was living in Balmoral. He owned a shop, Caplan & Co. at the Douglas Colliery. [SAJC 15 Dec. 1905 p827; United Tvl Dir 1907]

Horwich Morris & Rebecca 1895 to Renosterkop. Came from Rukan, province of Kovno Guberna, Lithuania. Rebecca Horwich, the daughter of Israel & Matla Schlosberg, was born in 1876 in Rukan, Kovno province. Around 1879 she went with her parents and older brother, Joseph, to live in Palestine. The family settled at Yahud, not far from the lands which they farmed and which her father and his associates would later establish as Petach Tikvah, (Gate of Hope), the first agricultural settlement in modern Palestine. Rebecca and Morris were married in Petach Tikvah in 1892 when Rebecca was only 16 years old. Within a few years Morris, a school teacher, left Palestine to study in Vienna. He then proceeded to Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and by 1901 was established as a businessman there. Rebecca remained with her parents in Palestine. Rebecca came to Renosterkop in 1895 with her mother and sisters where they joined her father and brothers who had preceded them to SA. After the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) Rebecca attended a convent in Bloemfontein in order to educate herself before she went to Bulawayo, Rhodesia, where Morris was established in business. They returned to Bronkhorstspruit around 1904.

Itzikowitz Harry 1903 to SA; 1904 to Bapsfontein Came from Routenberg County, East Prussia. Harry Itzikowitz was born in the county of Routenberg, East Prussia, in 1873. He worked as a timber merchant with his father. The family moved to Konigsberg. Harry came to SA in 1903, sailing from Hamburg, Germany. He took the first available train from Cape Town to Johannesburg and within a few days had joined a fellow Koningsberger in Zeerust. Here he worked in a concession store at Doornhoek outside Zeerust. He returned to Johannesburg in 1904. Harry Itzikowitz found a job in Bapsfontein in 1904 an assistant in a general store. Later, after leaving and working for a time in Johannesburg with a firm of wholesale jewellers, he returned as a partner in the store. In three years, 1905-1908, he built up a thriving business selling clocks on hire-purchase to farmers. During this period he became associated with Harry Sidersky, as a partner and a friend. The Bapsfontein business was sold in 1908. [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A Harry Itzikowitz]

Levin Mr pre 1899
Mr Levin worked for Israel Schlosberg in his shop in Bronkhorstspruit. He became known as ‘Kukarakoo’ Levin after an incident during the Second Anglo-Boer War when he supposedly scared off Boer soldiers with a high-pitched battle cry. [Schlosberg p7-8]

Lifschutz Mr S pre 1899
By 1899 Mr Lifschutz was living in Erasmus. He fought for the Boers during the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). [Rabinowitz Papers]

Marcus Abraham 1903 Came from Lithuania
Abraham Marcus came to Erasmus in 1903 at the age of 21. He became a shopkeeper. [Info Marcus]

Schlosberg Israel (Oubaas) & Matla & fam. c.1890 to Renosterkop. Came from Shadova, Lithuania. Israel Schlosberg was born in 1849 at Hotel Wolman, near Shadova, Lithuania, the son of Chaim and Chaya Schlosberg. His father managed two estates belonging to a wealthy Polish magnate, viz. Takotz Hafe and Ruhama. As a young man, Israel worked on the Takotz Hafe estate and later also managed his own farm which he rented from the Pole. He married Matla Sagorsky. Around 1879 Israel, Matla and two children, Joseph & Rebecca, went to live in Palestine. The family settled at Yahud, not far from the lands which they farmed and which Israel and his associates would later establish as Petach Tikvah, (the Gate of Hope), the first agricultural settlement in modern Palestine. Around 1885 Israel came to SA but soon returned to Petach Tikvah and resumed farming. In 1890 he left Matla and their five children in Palestine and went to London where he worked for about 6 months. He then proceeded to Madagascar with his sons, Joseph & Robert, to work at an oil refinery. When this did not work out as planned, they came to SA where Israel's brothers had settled. [Schlosberg; Newscuttings 103A Horwich p2] Schlosberg came to the Bronkhorstspruit district in 1890 and started farming at Renosterkop. He also worked as a smous in the district and ran a shop at Renosterkop. Early business letterheads read: "Schlosberg established 1892". Matla and the daughters joined them at Renosterkop c.1895. Israel later established a shop and homestead at Bronkhorstspruit which he ran with his son Joseph, leaving his other son Robert in charge of the business at Renosterkop.

At the start of the Second Anglo Boer War (1899) when most Jews left for the Cape, Israel refused to leave and abandon his business. His wife, daughters and son Robert stayed on the farm at Renosterkop. Israel sustained great losses during the war because of plundering and theft. As a result the family were forced to move to Pretoria towards the end of 1900. They returned to Bronkhorstspruit after the war and Israel resumed farming, set up his business once again, established a flour mill and bought a coal mine.

Schlosberg Joseph c.1890 to SA; c.1893 to Renosterkop. Came from Ponevezh, Lithuania. Joseph Schlosberg, son of Israel & Matla Schlosberg, was born in Ponevezh, Lithuania. Around 1879 he went with his parents and younger sister, Rebecca, to live in Palestine. The family settled at Yahud, not far from the lands which they farmed and which his father and his associates would later establish as Petach Tikvah, the first agricultural settlement in modern Palestine. Around 1890 Joseph and his brother Robert went with their father to Madagascar to work at an oil refinery. This was not successful and Joseph then worked for a time as a paymaster in the German army based in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanganyika (now Tanzania). Upon his arrival in South Africa (c.1890) Joseph worked as a shochet in Johannesburg for about 3 years. He then joined his father and brother at Renosterkop where they farmed and had a shop. His father later established a shop and homestead at Bronkhorstspruit which he ran with Joseph, leaving his brother Robert in charge of the business at Renosterkop. During the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) Joseph and his father remained in Bronkhorstspruit and were eventually the only residents left in the area. They lived under British rule in Bronkhorstspruit while his mother and sisters were living under Boer rule in Renosterkop. Joseph guarded bridges for the Boers. The family sustained great losses during the war because of plundering and theft. As a result they were forced to move to Pretoria towards the end of 1900. The family returned to Bronkhorstspruit after the war and resumed their business and farming activities. [Horwich interview p3; Schlosberg p12]

Schlosberg Robert c.1890 to Renosterkop. Came from Palestine. Robert, son of Israel & Matla Schlosberg, was born in Palestine. His parents had settled at Yahud around 1879 not far from the lands which they farmed and which his father and his associates would later establish as Petach Tikvah, the first agricultural settlement in modern Palestine. Around 1890 Robert and his brother Joseph went with their father to Madagascar to work at an oil refinery. This was not successful and Robert and his father proceeded to SA where his uncles had already settled. Robert Schlosberg came to the Bronkhorstspruit district around 1890 with his father Israel. They started farming at Renosterkop and also ran a shop there. His mother and sisters who had remained in Palestine joined the family at Renosterkop c.1895. Israel later established a shop and homestead at Bronkhorstspruit which he ran with his other son Joseph, leaving Robert in charge of the business at Renosterkop. At the start of the Second Anglo Boer War (1899) when most Jews left for the Cape, Robert and his mother and sisters remained at Renosterkop while Israel and Joseph remained at Bronkhorstspruit. Robert guarded bridges for the Boers. The family sustained great losses during the war because of plundering and theft. As a result they were forced to move to Pretoria towards the end of 1900. The family returned to Bronkhorstspruit after the war and resumed their business and farming activities. Robert settled in Bethal after the war.

Sidersky Harry c.1905 to Bapsfontein
Harry Sidersky was a business partner of Harry Itzikowitz. From 1905 they owned a business in Bapsfontein selling clocks on hire-purchase to farmers. The business was sold in 1908. It is not clear whether Harry Sidersky ever lived in Bapsfontein. [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A Harry Itzikowitz]

BRONKHORSTSPRUIT HEBREW CONGREGATION

Minyanim for the High Holy Days were held in Bronkhorstspruit/Erasmus from at least 1912. Donations received at this minyan from Mr J Schlosberg, Mr A Marcus and Mr B Marcus were sent to the Jewish National Fund. [File S p262] There is also record of minyanim being held for the High Holy Days in 1918 and 1919. [File N p40 1918; File SA p558 1919]

The Bronkhorstspruit Hebrew Congregation, also known as the Erasmus Bronkhorstspruit Hebrew Congregation, was established around 1928 with the arrival of Rev Wolk. [Arch 54.2 File 1 Questionnaire] The congregation became affiliated to the SAJBD in November 1939, with Mr Abe Schlosberg as its deputy. [Arch 54.2 SAJBD Corresp. 10/11/39] In its early years, the congregation was relatively large, with about 50 - 60 people attending High Holy Day services. It has been said that there was a wonderful family spirit in the congregation during this time.

The last minister left Bronkhorstspruit in 1943. [Arch 54.2 corresp.13/5/49] After that, the congregation relied on itinerant ministers to conduct services, teach Hebrew and perform ritual slaughtering. The following visiting ministers/officials performed various services for the Bronkhorstspruit Hebrew Congregation: Mr Joseph Welcher (1951), Mr Max Walhaus (1954), Rev L Rabinowitz (1955-59), Rev J Kaminer (1965-66), Mr R Abt, Rev Kaplan, Rabbi Engel from Witbank (1967-70).

By 1949 the number of Jews had dropped considerably and services were only held for the High Holy Days and for yahrzeit. For other festivals, members of the congregation went to Middelburg, Delmas or Pretoria. Occasionally children's concerts were held to celebrate Purim and Pesach.

Rabbi Duschinsky reported in March 1968 that there were less than 10 members in the congregation. Despite the fact that this small number did not make regular communal life possible, some aspects were maintained under very difficult conditions. [SAJ 1967/8 p92] By the end of 1975 children were sent to Delmas to attend Hebrew classes, shechita had been discontinued and the subsidy, received by the congregation from before 1959 from the SAJBD towards the cost of a part-time minister, was stopped. In January 1982 the SAJBD noted that the Bronkhorstspruit Hebrew Congregation was no longer in existence and requested that the name be removed from its membership roll. [Arch 54.2 File 1]

BRONKHORSTSPRUIT SYNAGOGUE

Until the synagogue was built in 1933, services were held in a big storeroom, either that of Abraham Marcus or Joseph Schlosberg. Services were also held in the Town Hall. [Schlosberg p6] The synagogue housed a room for the cheder as well accommodation for visiting shochatim or officials.

A survey by the SAJBD in 1930 recorded that in that year the Bronkhorstspruit congregation owned a Sefer Torah (lent to the congregation by Joseph Schlosberg), a pointer and a cup. Lilithea Singer embroidered the names of her parents, Reggie and Sarah Lazarus, on the parochet which the family presented to the congregation. [Arch 54.2 Questionnaire] In 1954 the congregation was given a silver spice box when ceremonial silver was being distributed.

By 1949 the synagogue was only used for High Holy Day services and yahrzeit minyanim were arranged in private homes. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 13/5/49] By 1968 the SAJBD had already requested that the Bronkhorstspruit Hebrew Congregation consider signing a new constitution vesting trusteeship of the synagogue property in the SAJBD. [Arch 54.2 File 2 9/5/1968] Rabbi Engel reported in 1971 that the synagogue was in good condition and had 2 Sifrei Torah. [Engel Tour12 - 1971] High Holy Day services were still being conducted in 1973 with the congregation engaging a ba'al tefillah. In 1982 one of the torahs was sent away for repair.

When the synagogue was sold around 1984 the proceeds were given to Jaffa, a Jewish home for the aged in Pretoria. The Schlosberg Torah was returned to Abe Schlosberg's family.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR SHECHITA

Joseph Schlosberg was a shochet in Johannesburg for three years before joining his father in business in Bronkhorstspruit c.1893. He performed shechita for the community in those early years. It is also assumed that the incumbent ministers employed by the congregation performed shechita as part of their duties.

When the last resident minister left in 1943 the congregation relied on visiting shochatim for assistance. Rev L Rabinowitz travelled to Bronkhorstspruit once a week for shechita from 1955 to 1959, when he cut his hand and had to stop slaughtering. (In October 1956 he reported that most of the 6 Jewish families observed kashrut.) He was replaced by Rev Kaminer who came to Bronkhorstspruit for shechita until 1967. In March 1967 a decision was taken to employ Rabbi Engel of Witbank once a week. In 1970 Rev Perkes of Benoni and Rev Mandelberg of Pretoria came to Bronkhorstspruit for shechita. [File R p237 1970] From the end of 1975, shechita was discontinued and members of the congregation had to buy their kosher meat in either Johannesburg or Pretoria. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 20/11/1975]

ARRANGEMENTS FOR JEWISH EDUCATION

David Schlosberg recalled that when he was about 11 years old (c.1924), the community of 7 or 8 families hired a Hebrew teacher, Mr Burbaitzky, who came every Friday from Pretoria to teach the children Hebrew and prepare the boys for their barmitzvahs. [Schlosberg p9] In the 1930s until the last minister left in 1943 it is assumed that the incumbent reverends conducted classes as part of their duties. After 1943 the congregation relied on itinerant ministers to conduct services, teach Hebrew and perform shechita.

In 1951 Rabbi A H Lapin visited Bronkhorstspruit. He noted that there was no provision of Jewish education and suggested an arrangement whereby Rev Garb of the Witbank Hebrew Congregation would come to Bronkhorstspruit once a week to perform poultry shechita and teach the children. [Arch 54.2 File 3] It is not clear whether anything came of this particular suggestion.

From c.1955 Rev L Rabinowitz travelled to Bronkhorstspruit and taught Hebrew classes once a week. Rev Kaminer taught for a period from 1965. [File P.2 ] From 1967 until 1970 this position was taken by Rabbi Engel of Witbank, whose wife also taught the children for a time. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 6 Mar 1967] From the beginning of 1973 children were taken to Delmas once a week for classes. This was still the case in 1975. In the early 1980s the SAJBD's Mother-Teacher programme was used.

Prior to 1959 and until around 1975, the Country Communities Committee of the SAJBD subsidised the transport costs and salaries of the various ministers who visited Bronkhorstspruit for teaching and shechita services.

UNION OF JEWISH WOMEN (BRONKHORSTSPRUIT BRANCH)

In 1946 correspondence within the SAJBD made note of the fact that the Bronkhorstspruit branch of the Union of Jewish Women (UJW) "has been disbanded for the time being". At that time it was suggested that the organisation be struck off the mailing list of the SAJBD. [Arch 54.2 corresp. memo 14/8/46]

In a report on cultural activities of branches for the years 1947-8 it was noted that Mrs S Kussel spoke in Bronkhorstspruit in 1948 on the importance of the UJW of SA in Jewish and South African affairs. [UJW Report Cultural Activities 1947-48, p6] In 1948 the Union of Jewish Women (Bronkhorstspruit branch) wrote to the SAJBD asking to be included in the Board's lecture scheme. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 15/9/1948] In 1949 Dr Abt, Cultural Organiser, Communal Relations Committee of the SAJBD, addressed the community under the auspices of the Union of Jewish Women. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 13/5/49] Mrs Kehr, secretary of the Country Communities Committee of the SAJBD visited Bronkhorstspruit in 1951 under auspices of the UJW. [Arch 54.2 File 3]

ZIONIST ACTIVITY

From as early as 1909 the Jews of the Bronkhorstspruit and Erasmus district were contributing to a number of Zionist related funds. [File S p44, 67, 71 & 81] The district also included those Jews living at Bapsfontein, Balmoral, Renosterkop and Engelbrechtsdrift. There is evidence of a strong commitment to Zionist causes, thanks mainly to the energy of Mr Joseph Schlosberg, his sister Miss Freda Schlosberg and Mr Beryl Marcus. In 1913 Joseph Schlosberg represented the district at the Second Transvaal Provincial Conference held in Pretoria in November 1913. [File S p350]

The Zionist Record reported on a social gathering held on 16 May 1920 in celebration of the Peace Conference decision and the opening of a subscription list for the Restoration Fund. [File SA p637] A later issue described the event in some detail and included the fact that the opening address was given by the Chairman, Mr B Marcus. [File SA p661] However, in listings (around this time and later) of the societies formally affiliated to and paying federation dues to the SAZF, there is no record of a society for Erasmus/Bronkhorstspruit. Neither has any material yet come to light on any annual general meetings having been held and committees elected. It would therefore appear that although there was considerable support for various Zionist appeals, there was no formal Zionist society in the Erasmus and Bronkhorstspruit district.

The Zionist Record was distributed to readers in Bronkhorstspruit and Erasmus (1929). [File N p150]

BRONKHORSTSPRUIT WOMEN'S ZIONIST SOCIETY

There is no record of when the Bronkhorstspruit Women's Zionist Society was founded but it is likely that it was in existence by 1948. [See undated questionnaire - Arch 54.2 corresp. - 9 Jewish families]. In 1954 it was listed as a constituent body of the SAZF. According to an oral interview the society did not last for very long.

BRONKHORSTSPRUIT YOUNG ISRAEL SOCIETY

The Bronkhorstspruit Young Israel Society was established in 1933. It held its first function on Purim at the Town Hall. [File Q p461] It was a very active society holding debates, a Herzl memorial evening, socials, a tennis tournament, Chanukah evenings, Passover evenings, etc. [File Q 1933-34] David M Schlosberg served on the Transvaal Young Israel Executive. [File Q p499 1933] In August 1934 members of the Bronkhorstspruit Young Israel Society, together with members of the Transvaal Zionist Youth Executive and representatives of several other Transvaal Zionist youth societies, participated in a Youth Parliament which took place in Germiston. [Menorah July 1934 p8]

ERASMUS JEWISH CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY

Towards the end of 1919 the children of the district founded the Erasmus Jewish Children's Aid Society. Money from special donations at their first meeting plus monthly subscriptions for December 1919 and January 1920 was given to the SA Jewish Orphanage in Johannesburg. [File SA p603; SAJO Annual Report 1921, p17] A further donation to the SA Jewish Orphanage was recorded in May 1920. [File SA p657]

NO JEWISH CEMETERY

The SAJYB 1953-54 reports that there was a Jewish cemetery in Bronkhorstspruit. This appears to have been an error as other sources of information (e.g. SAJ 1976 and oral interviews) indicate that there was no Jewish cemetery in Bronkhorstspruit. Burials took place in Pretoria.

CULTURAL / SOCIAL / RECREATIONAL

For a number of years from around 1949, through a lecture scheme run by the SAJBD, various speakers came to Bronkhorstspruit to address the local community. These lectures were held under the auspices of the local branch of the Union of Jewish Women. In 1982 Mr Stephen Cohen of the SAJBD visited Bronkhorstspruit as part of a trip to the northern and eastern Transvaal in order to learn of the problems of country communities and to reaffirm their link to the SAJBD. [All-a-Board Spring 1982 p4]

STATISTICAL INFORMATION

According to the Matzo Board survey by the SAJBD in 1943 there were 64 Jews in Bronkhorstspruit. Community records for 1948 show that there were 38 Jews in Bronkhorstspruit, i.e. 9 families (17 men, 12 women, 9 children). [Arch 54.2 corresp. 19/3/1948] In correspondence of the SAJBD dated 1949 it was noted that Bronkhorstspruit had a dwindling community and that there were only 8 Jewish families. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 13/5/1949] A survey by the SAJBD in 1953 recorded only 20 Jews (6 families). Available South African Jewish yearbooks which cover the period from 1959 to 1965 note 10 Jewish families with the number of Jews increasing from 26 to 36 in that period. Rabbi Duschinsky recorded 36 Jews in 1964. By 1967 two families had left and the number of Jews dropped to 29. Rabbi Engel noted in 1971 that there were 6 Jewish families & 4 single adults (23 Jews) in the town, and by 1980/1 there were 16 Jews. By 1997 only 5 Jews remained in the town. Official census data for the years 1951, 1980 and 1991 indicate 77, 22 and 40 Jews, respectively, but it is only the 1980 census which correlates with community records.

BALMORAL: According to the Matzo Board survey of 1943, there were 6 Jews in Balmoral. Rabbi Duschinsky recorded 3 Jews in 1964. There were still only 3 Jews in 1980/1 according to Rabbi Engel.

ANTISEMITISM

In 1929 the Jews of the district held a protest meeting in Erasmus about the Arab uprising in Palestine and subsequent atrocities. [Zionist Record 1929] There are no recorded incidents of antisemitism in Bronkhorstspruit. In a letter to the SAJBD from Mr Abe Schlosberg in January 1937 mention is made of the excellent relationship between the Jews and gentiles. There appears to have been some change in this relationship during the war years because by 1943 the same correspondent reported "a marked decrease in ill-feeling". In 1949 Dr Abt of the SAJBD noted that "relations with non-Jews are neither strained nor cordial but the view was expressed that the Jews themselves are to blame for not mixing with the gentiles.

SATELLITE TOWNS

Balmoral Village in the eastern Transvaal about 24 km east of Bronkhorstspruit. Balmoral figured several times in battles during the Second Anglo Boer War (1899-1902) and was used for a time by Gen Louis Botha as his headquarters.

Bapsfontein Recreational resort renowned for its music concerts, situated about 41 km south west of Bronkhorstspruit.

Engelbrechtsdrift Settlement approximately 45 km from Bronkhorstspruit.

Nooitgedacht Farming settlement 1.5 km south of Bronkhorstspruit.

Renosterkop Settlement about 40 km north east of Bronkhorstspruit.

Susterstroom Settlement approximately 33 km north east of Bronkhorstspruit.

Verena Settlement about 45 km north east of Bronkhorstspruit.

Wilgerivier Railway siding east of Bronkhorstspruit halfway to Balmoral.

JEWISH PERSONALITIES

Behr David Chone David Behr, son of Mr & Mrs Moses Behr of Bronkhorstspruit, qualified as an attorney. He served as chairman and was on the executive of the Jewish Ex-Service League from 1954 (a position he still held in 1976). [SAJ 1976/7 p133] David Behr was also chairman of the Association of Pretoria Attorneys since 1972 (still there 1976) and was on the Governing Body of the Waterkloof English Medium School 1958-1969. He served in the Second World War from 1940-45 and was awarded the Efficiency Medal. [SAJ 1976/7 p133]

Bernstein Henry (Snr) Henry Bernstein, well known businessman, farmer and communal worker, came to SA in 1912 and worked first in Bronkhorstspruit, then in Balmoral before setting up The Balmoral Trading Company in Johannesburg in 1921. He soon acquired a farm in the Brits district which he turned into a model agricultural venture. He made this farm in Brits available to the Habonim Youth Movement for the training of chalutzim in agricultural methods. He was dedicated to the SA Ort-Oze in which he held various executive positions, was elected chairman in 1954, and was one of its honorary life presidents at the time of his death in 1956. His particular interest lay in the organisation's agricultural training scheme based on the Esrael Lazarus Training Farm. [SAJT 31 Aug 1956; Zionist Record 31 Aug 1956 & 10 Dec 1954] Henry Bernstein had a farm in Brits where he achieved a particular distinction in the cultivation of tobacco. As a result of his experience he was invited in 1950 by the Government of Israel, Department of Agriculture, to advise them on the establishment of a tobacco growing industry there. [SAJT & Zionist Record 31 Aug 1956]

Bernstein Dr Henry Dr Henry Bernstein, the son of Jacob & Nettie Bernstein of Bronkhorstspruit, was appointed Medical Officer of Health for Vereeniging in 1952. He was instrumental in establishing a tuberculosis hospital in Sharpeville which opened in 1955. The following year this hospital was renamed ‘The Henry Bernstein Chest Hospital’ in recognition of his services. Dr Bernstein was also chairman of the Vereeniging Dental Clinic Board for 27 years, a position he still held in 1976. He served in the Second World War and was on the executive committee of the Vereeniging Returned Soldiers Association. [SAJ 1976/7 p139; Vereeniging News, 29/6/56]

Lazarus Reggie Reggie Lazarus was one of the founders of the Bronkhorstspruit Hebrew Congregation in 1928 and served as chairman for many years. He was mayor of Bronkhorstspruit for two years at the time when the Earl of Clarendon came to visit the town, c.1927.

Marcus Abraham Abraham Marcus was one of the founders of the Bronkhorstspruit Hebrew Congregation in 1928.

Miller Dr Bennie Dr Bennie Miller, the son of Mr & Mrs Joseph Miller, became a world renowned authority on tropical diseases. He was Superintendent of Rietfontein Hospital.

Schlosberg Joseph Joseph Schlosberg was one of the founders of the Bronkhorstspruit Hebrew Congregation in 1928. He was an ardent Zionist and worked tirelessly in collecting donations from the Jews in the district for various Zionist appeals.

Schlosberg Israel (Oubaas) Israel Schlosberg was a founder of Bronkhorstspruit. At the time that he came to these parts, there was only one other white family living here, namely that of Doors Erasmus. Israel Schlosberg created a synagogue in Tel Aviv. With the help of the Ben Jacobson Trust and the Isaac and Edith Wolfson Trust, the synagogue has been kept going. In 1987/8 the synagogue was repainted and restored. [Schlosberg p4]

Schlosberg Herzl Joshua Herzl Joshua Schlosberg, born in 1903 to Morris and Rebecca Horwich, lived in Bronkhorstspruit as a child. He went to the Hebrew High School in Johannesburg and later became the first secretary of the Young Israel Society in Johannesburg. He moved to England and was a barrister and author, writing under the pen-name Henry John May. Among his works are ‘Red Wine of Youth’ (1946), ‘Music of the Guns’(1970), ‘I am Black: The Story of Shabalala’ (with J G Williams, 1936), ‘The Foster Gang’ (with Ian Hamilton, 1966), and ‘Little Yellow Gentleman’ (1937). [Adey p134; Jewish Affairs May 1960 p28]

Wingrin Shaun Shaun Wingrin, son of Barry & Joyce Wingrin, received semichah from the Yeshiva Gedolah (founded by Rosh Yeshivah R'Azriel Goldfein) of Johannesburg in 1999. Shaun also qualified as an electronic engineer. [Pretoria Jewish Chronicle Sept 1999 p60]

JEWISH RESIDENTS OF BRONKHORSTSPRUIT

Abrahamson S Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Abrams Sam Resident 1922 Recorded in Balmoral. [1922 Greetings]
Abremovitz R Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Abromowitz A Resident 1915 [File SA p27 1915]

Arenstein/Aronstein Mr J M Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920; 1920 Greetings]
Barris M Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Barris Mr & Mrs I N & fam. Resident 1922 Recorded in Balmoral. [1922 Greetings]

Bayer Mr Resident 1933 [Zionist Record]

Beemer Mr H Resident 1918 [File N p39/40 1918]

Behr W Resident 1915 Recorded in Renosterkop (1915). Served with the Union Forces. [File SA p32 & p54 1915]

Behr O Resident 1925 [1925 Zionist Record]

Behr Mr R Resident 1934 General dealer [Cape Times Dir 1934]

Behr Mr & Mr Abraham & fam. Resident 1920 General dealer.
Brother of Moses Behr. Children: Aaron & twin daughters. Recorded at Renosterkop (1920), Engelbrechtsdrift (1934) and Verena (1962). [File SA p709 1920; Arch 54.2 Corresp. 27/11/62; Schlosberg p6; Zionist Record; Info Sack; Info Singer; Cape Times Dir 1934]

Behr Moses L & Rose (Rachel?) & fam. Resident 1917 - 1962 General dealer; livestock dealer. Brother of Abraham Behr. Children: Leslie, David Chone (b.1917 in Bronkhorstspruit), Hilda & Charlie. [Schlosberg p6; Info Sack ; Info Singer; 1927 Zionist Record; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Behr Adolph Resident 1927 [1927 Zionist Record]

Behr Hyman Abraham & Taube & fam. Resident c.1896 - 1962 General dealer; farmer. He came to Bronkhorstspruit district soon after his arrival in SA in 1895. Became a farmer and businessman. Fought for the Boers in the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). Taken as POW. Returned after the war and settled at Engelbrechtsdrift. Owned Behr Bros, general merchants at Engelbrechtsdrift (1922). Married Taube Friedgut of Boksburg on 16 Dec 1906 in Pretoria. Celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1956. Children: Two daughters & Aron. [Schlosberg p6; Rabinowitz Papers; Jewish Herald 18/12/56; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Benjamin E Resident 1931 [1931 Zionist Record]

Berman Mr & Mrs I (J) & fam. Resident 1909 Manager.
Worked as manager for Joseph Roberts. Children: Son (b.1909), son (b.1919) & ? [Schlosberg p13; File SA p508 1919; File S p81 1909]

Bernitz Mrs Resident 1925 [1925 Zionist Record]

Bernstein I Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Bernstein Simon Resident c1902/3 Lived at Wilgerivier. Died of enteric fever. [Friedman p1]

Bernstein Jacob & Netty & fam. Resident c1902/3 Shopkeeper; farmer; hotelier; mill owner; butcher. Brother of Henry Bernstein. Affectionately known as Oom Jacob. Left Tavrig, Lithuania, for SA in 1902. Came to Wilgerivier c.1902/3. Worked in Bronkhorstspruit for Rebecca Horwich for a short period. Went to Balmoral where he started a mill, farmed and ran an hotel (Balmoral Hotel). Also ran a butchery there. In 1915 married Necha (Netty) Braude, sister of Morris & Harry Braude and Frieda Marcus. The Braude children were orphaned in Lithuania in 1898. These four siblings (another brother Philip Braude was already in SA) first went to Kansas City, USA, before coming to Johannesburg. Came to Bronkhorstspruit in early 1910s, where they lived with Abraham Marcus. Sold Balmoral business (Bernstein Bros) in 1925 to the Dworsky family. Family moved to Bronkhorstspruit station where he bought Joseph Roberts's business, similar to his business in Balmoral, but larger, i.e. part farmer, part shopkeeper, part miller and part hotelier. Children: Joseph (b.1916), Henry (b.1918 in Bronkhorstspruit), Roseline & Tillie. [Zionist Record 1927 & 1929; 1922 Greetings-Balmoral; 1926 Greetings-Bronkhorstspruit; Schlosberg p6; Friedman p1-4; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Bernstein Charles Resident 1916 [File N p50 1918; 1916 Greetings]

Bernstein Henry Resident 1912 - 1921 General dealer.
Brother of Jacob Bernstein. Born in Tavrig, Lithuania and came to Bronkhorstspruit in 1912. Worked for the Schlosbergs at their mill. In 1914, together with Rebecca Horwich, bought the shop from Joseph Schlosberg. Sold it back to Joseph in 1918. Left to join his brother Jacob at Balmoral, trading as Bernstein Bros. In 1921 moved to Johannesburg where he established The Balmoral Trading Co. in Market St in partnership with Barney Wittert and Edward Katzenellenbogen. He died in Durban on 22 August 1956, aged 63. [SAJT 31 Aug 1956; Friedman p1-2; Schlosberg p14; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Blecher Ivan Resident
He and his family lived in Bapsfontein for many years. [Rabbi Silberhaft]

Bloemson /Blomson D Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914; File SA p32 1915]

Bloomberg George Resident 1931 [1931 Zionist Record]

Borowitz Rev E & Mrs & fam. Resident 1939 Minister of religion.
Married in Palestine. Came to SA and served at the 9th St Synagogue in Norwood, Johannesburg. Was in Bothaville from 1935. Came to Bronkhorstspruit in 1939, where he was minister, shochet and mohel. Children: Archie & ? [Info Sack ; Info Marcus; 1939 Greetings]

Braude Barney Resident 1930 - 1939
Nephew of Netty Bernstein. Came to live with his father's sister after the death of his mother. Was there until 1939. [Info Claudia Braude]

Braude Morris & Rose & fam. Resident 1910s Wholesale merchant. Brother of Harry Braude, Netty Bernstein & Frieda Marcus. The Braude children were orphaned in Lithuania in 1898. These four siblings (another brother Philip was already in SA) first went to Kansas City, USA, before coming to Johannesburg. Came to Bronkhorstspruit in early 1910s, where they lived with Abraham Marcus, who married Frieda. Married Rose Lille of Johannesburg. Worked for his brother-in-law, Abraham Marcus, until he opened his own shop in 1935. Children: Joyce & Frume (Frances). [Info Marcus; Zionist Record 1925; Schlosberg p6]

Braude B Resident 1914 [File SA p8 1914]

Braude Mr & Mrs Harry & fam. Resident 1910s General dealer.
Brother of Morris Braude, Netty Bernstein & Frieda Marcus. The Braude children were orphaned in Lithuania in 1898. These four siblings (another brother Philip was already in SA) first went to Kansas City, USA, before coming to Johannesburg. Came to Bronkhorstspruit in early 1910s, where they lived with Abraham Marcus, who married Frieda. Son: Jonathan. [Info Marcus; 1925 Zionist Record; Info Wingrin; 1925 Zionist Record; File W p 287A c.1956]

Brauer L Resident 1910 [File S p98 1910; File S p136A 1910]
Brauser A Resident 1910 [File S p98 1910]

Burbaitzky Mr & Mrs L Resident 1915 Recorded in Renosterkop. [File SA p27 1915; 1921 Greetings; File SA p647 1920 - Bronk & Erasmus; File SA p221 1917]

Burlaitzky Mr Resident 1922 General dealer. Traded as Marik & Burlaitzky, general dealers, at Susterstroom (1922). [1922 Dennis Edwards p794 - see Engelbrechtsdrift]

Caplan Isaac Resident 1905 Shopkeeper Recorded at Douglas Colliery, Balmoral (1905). Owned a shop, Caplan & Co. (1907). [SAJC 15 Dec 1905 p827; United Tvl Dir 1907]

Chonowitz Rev I Resident 1933 Minister of religion [File Q p475 1933]

Cohen C Resident 1918 [File SA p355 1918]

Cohen Mr D Resident 1917 [File N p50 1918; File SA p221 1917]

Cohen H Resident 1917 [File SA p221 1917]

Cohen A Resident 1907 Recorded in Balmoral. [United Tvl Dir 1907]

Cohen B Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Daniels Mr C W Resident 1922 General dealer.
Traded at Engelbrechtsdrift (1922). [1922 Dennis Edwards; Cape Times Dir 1934]
Davidson Mr Resident 1916 [File SA p125 1916]

Davidson Mr B Resident 1917 [File SA p221 1917; File N p50 1918]

Davidson R Resident 1918 [File SA p273 1918]

Dogan Mr Resident 1934 Attorney. Dogan, Getz & Goldburg were attorneys in Bronkhorstspruit (1934). [Cape Times Dir 1934]

Droste I Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Dworsky Jack Resident 1971 Son of Mr & Mrs Dworsky of Balmoral. Lived in Balmoral. Sold business and hotel in 1972 but continued to farm in the area. [Engel Tour28/29; CC Rabbis Corresp. Balmoral]

Dworsky Mr & (Mrs A) & fam. Resident 1925 General dealer; miller; hotelier. Lived in Balmoral. Bought business and hotel from Jacob Bernstein in 1925. Ran Dworsky Bros, general merchants, millers and hotel. Children: Jack & ? Mr Dworsky died in 1971; Mrs Dworsky died in 1972; both buried in Middelburg, Tvl. [CC Rabbis Corresp. Balmoral; Cape Times Dir 1934; Engel Tour 28/29]

Eisenstadt Mr Resident 1924 Came from Russia. Worked for Joseph Schlosberg at the flour mill in 1924. [Schlosberg p20]

Eliastam Mr & Mrs Leslie & fam. Resident 1943 Farmer.
Came to live on his farm, Tweefontein, in the Bapsfontein district in 1943. Married Ann Abrahamson of Ventersdorp in 1932. Son: Peter Bentley (b.1934). In 1960 he went to farm in Bechuanaland (now called Botswana) and left his wife in charge of the farm at Bapsfontein. Ann died in 1964. Married Lilian Robinson of Boston, USA in 1967. From 1972 started selling off parts of his land, retaining the homestead on Tweefontein and its immediate environs. [SAJ 1976/7 p469 & 474]

Epstein I Resident 1910 [File S p98 1910]

Esakov M Resident 1931 [1931 Zionist Record]

Feinstein Mr A & Fanny & fam. Resident 1962 General dealer; Owner of petrol pump. Recorded in Susterstroom (1962). Married Fanny Lazarus, sister of Reggie Lazarus of Bronkhorstspruit. Children: Solly & ? Moved to Bronkhorstspruit c.1970. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 27/11/62]

Fisch G Resident 1910 [File S p136A 1910]

Fleischman Mr H B Resident 1922 Recorded in Balmoral. [1922 Greetings]

Friedlander B Resident 1910 [File S p98 1910]

Friedlander S Resident 1918 [File SA p647 1920; File N p50 1918]

Friedman/Freedman Mr D Resident 1918 General dealer; hairdresser; photographer. [File SA p273 1918; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Garun Rev I Resident 1935 1936 Minister of religion [1935-36 Greetings]

Getz Mr Resident 1934 Attorney Dogan, Getz & Goldburg were attorneys in Bronkhorstspruit (1934). [Cape Times Dir 1934]

Ginsberg Isaac & Fanny & fam. Resident 1920s General dealer. [Schlosberg p6; Info Sack]

Ginsberg Mr C Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Ginsburg /Ginsberg Mr L Resident 1920 General dealer; baker.
[File SA p647 1920; 1922 Dennis Edwards; Cape Times Dir 1934]

Godrich Mr H C Resident 1922 Miller [File V 1924 Tel Dir; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Gold Mr & Mrs M & fam Resident 1918 General dealer.
Traded as Gold Bros at Engelbrechtsdrift (1922). Relatives of Sarah Lazarus. [Info Singer; Schlosberg p6; 1922 Dennis Edwards; Cape Times Dir 1934; File N p39 1918]

Gold Mr J Resident 1915 General dealer .
Recorded at Engelbrechtsdrift (1915). Traded as Gold Bros. [File SA p32]

Gold I Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Goldberg Mr M Resident 1932 [1932 Greetings; File Q p461 1933]

Goldburg Mr Resident 1934 Attorney Dogan, Getz & Goldburg were attorneys in Bronkhorstspruit (1934). [Cape Times Dir 1934]

Gordon Mrs Resident 1918 [File N p50 1918; File SA p433 1919]

Goudvis G H Resident 1925 [1925 Zionist Record]

Greenberg N Resident 1918 [File SA p273 1918]

Greschlawsky Mr S Resident 1913 Recorded in Renosterkop. [1913 Greetings]

Harris Mrs G & fam. Resident 1937 Bakery owner.
Child: Aaron. [SAJT3/9/37 p5]

Heilbron Mr & Mrs L B & fam Resident 1919
Children: Maurice Henry (b.1919) & ? [File SA p490 1919]

Herman S J Resident 1907 Recorded in Balmoral. [United Tvl Dir 1907]

Heynis Dick & Sandra & fam. Resident 1997 (current)
Mr not born Jewish. Married Sandra Schlosberg, daughter of Mr & Mrs Abe Schlosberg. Children: Andrea & Jessica. [Schlosberg p3; File M Silberhaft Visit 3 1994]

Hoff Louis Resident 1922 [1922 Greetings]

Hoffenburg Mr Resident 1910 [File S p136A 1910]

Horwich Morris & Rebecca & fam. Resident 1895
Married Rebecca Schlosberg (b.1876 in Rukan, Kovno province), daughter of Israel & Matla Schlosberg, in Petach Tikvah in 1892. Morris left Palestine to study in Vienna and by 1901 was established as a businessman in Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Rebecca came to Renosterkop in 1895 with her mother and siblings to join her father and brothers. After the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) Rebecca attended a convent in Bloemfontein and then joined Morris in Bulawayo. They returned to Bronkhorstspruit around 1904. They divorced in 1906 & Morris returned to Palestine. In 1914, Rebecca bought the family business from her brother Joseph and went into partnership with Henry Bernstein. Sold it back to Joseph in 1918. Children: Herzl (b. 1903 in Rhodesia; Hymie (b. Bronkhorstspruit) & Leon (b. Bronkhorstspruit). [Schlosberg p14; 1913 Greetings]

Itzikowitz Harry Resident 1904 1908 Shopkeeper Came to work in Bapsfontein as a shop assistant in 1904. Became a partner in the business in 1905. Sold clocks on hire-purchase to farmers. Was a partner of Harry Sidersky at around this time. Sold the business in 1908. [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A Itzikowitz]

Jacobs E Resident 1914 [File SA p8 1914]

Jacobson R Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Jacobson Mr & Mrs Resident 1981 Came from Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).

Jaffe S Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Joffe Solomon Resident 1916 [1916 Greetings]

Joffe Sam K Resident 1918 Recorded in Balmoral (1926). [File N p50 1918; 1926 Greetings]

Kahn J Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Kalman Mr Resident 1914 [File SA p11 1914]

Katz B Resident 1917 [File SA p221 1917]

Katz E Resident 1917 [File SA p221 1917]
Katzenellenbogen Mr J Resident 1924 Bottle store owner; general dealer. He was a bachelor. Also recorded in Rayton and Pienaarsrivier. [Schlosberg p5 & 6; 1927 Zionist Record; 1924 Greetings]

Katzenellenbogen Nathan & Rachel & fam Resident 1911
Children: Carmel & ? [File S p154 1911]

Katzenellenbogen Mr SA Resident 1924 Bottle store owner; general dealer. He was a bachelor. Also recorded in Rayton and Pienaarsrivier. [1924 Greetings; Schlosberg p5 & 6; 1925 Zionist Record; Arch 54.2 Corresp. 5/6/37]
Kessel A Resident 1917 [File SA p221 1917]

Kessel Mr M Resident 1918 [File N p50 1918]

Kisner J Resident 1931 [1931 Zionist Record]

Kram Mr C Resident 1918 [File SA p273 1918]

Krawetzky Mr & Mrs A & fam. Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Krawetzky I Resident 1917 [File SA p221 1917; File N p50 1918; File SA p433 1919]

Kroom Mr C Resident 1910 [File S p136A 1910]

Lang Lowe Resident 1918 [1918 Greetings]

Lazarus Gerry S & Ethel & fam. Resident c.1940s
Farmer; garage owner. Son of Reggie & Sarah Lazarus. Lived at Nooitgedacht, settlement south of Bronkhorstspruit. Traded as R Lazarus & Son. Developed the family garage business into a large concern, known as ‘Lazarus Ford’. Children: Susan, Colin & Steven. Moved to Pretoria.

Lazarus Reggie & Sarah & fam Resident c.1916 Farmer; speculator; garage owner; butcher. Born 1895. Came from Tavrig, Lithuania. Worked for a time in Delareyville before coming to Bronkhorstspruit c.1916. Was a partner of Myer Rosenthal for over 40 years. Started a butchery, speculated in cattle, horses and maize, opened a garage in Bronkhorstspruit which became a big business, and owned many farms. Traded as R Lazarus & Son. Moved his office to Nooitgedacht. Married Sarah Slovin in 1918 in Johannesburg. Sarah was orphaned in Rakishok, Lithuania, at the age of three. She came to SA to her aunt, Mrs Gold, who lived at Engelbrechtsdrif. Reggie & Sarah, known to the locals as ‘Mom and Pop’; both died in 1990 and were buried in Pretoria. Children: Helma, Lilithea, Sylvia & Gerry. [Info Singer; Arch 54.2 corresp. 27/11/62; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Lazarus Colin Resident 1994 Garage owner.
Son of Gerry & Ethel Lazarus. In charge of ‘Lazarus Ford., a business started by his grandfather, Reggie Lazarus. Left Bronkhorstspruit by 1994. [File M Silberhaft Visit 3,1994]

Levin Mr Resident c.1899 Worked for Israel Schlosberg. He was known as ‘Kukarakoo’ Levin because he supposedly scared off Boer soldiers with a high-pitched battle cry during the Anglo-Boer War. [Schlosberg p7-8]

Levinsohn M Resident 1917 [File SA p221 1917]
Levy Fred Resident 1934 [1934 Greetings]

Liebson F Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Lifschutz Mr S Resident c.1899 Recorded in Erasmus (1899). Fought for the Boers in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). [Rabinowitz Papers]

Lutzrin D Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Machanik Miss Resident 1916 [File SA p125 1916]

Madnetzky A Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Maisel Mr Resident 1907 Shopkeeper.
Recorded in Balmoral. Traded as Sandler & Maisel (1907). [United Tvl Dir 1907]

Marcus Abraham & Frieda & fam. Resident 1903 General dealer; butcher. Brother of Beryl Marcus. Traded as Marcus Bros, general dealers & butchers (1922). In 1912 married Frieda Braude, sister of Morris & Harry Braude and of Netty Bernstein. The Braude children were orphaned in Lithuania in 1898. These four siblings (another brother Philip was already in SA) first went to Kansas City, USA, before coming to Johannesburg. Came to Bronkhorstspruit in the early 1910s, where they lived with Abraham Marcus, who later married Frieda. Children (born in Bronkhorstspruit): Joseph (b.1914), Morris (b.1918) & twins Elazar & Tillie (b.1929). Abraham died in 1951; Frieda died in 1956; both buried in Pretoria. [1927 Zionist Record; Info Marcus; File SA p647 1920; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Marcus Morris & Miriam & fam. Resident 1962 1980s Grocery store owner; hardware store owner. Son of Mr & Mrs Abraham Marcus. Children: Avril, Fiona & Louise. [Info Sack; Info Marcus]

Marcus Mr & Mrs Beryl Resident 1912 Brother of Abraham Marcus. Traded as Marcus Bros, general dealers and butchers (1922). Moved to Pretoria. [Info Marcus; File SA p508 1919; File SA p661 1920; File N p40 1918; 1922 Dennis Edwards; File S p262 1912]

Marcus S Resident 1914 [File N p39 1918; File SA p647 1920; File SA p8 1914]

Margow Mr & Mrs MA & fam. Resident 1929 General dealer.
Children: Balfour, Master D & ? [Info Sack ; Arch 54.2 corresp 25/11/1946; 1929 Zionist Record; 1929 Greetings]
Marik Mr Resident 1917 General dealer.
Traded as Marik & Burlaitzky, general dealers, at Susterstroom (1922). [File SA p647 1920; 1922 Dennis Edwards p794 - see Engelbrechtsdrift; File SA p221 1917]
Metz S Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Michelowsky E Resident 1910 [File S p136A 1910; File S p195 1912]

Michels Percy Resident 1920 [1920 Greetings]

Miller Joseph Behr & Taube & fam. Resident.
Married Taube Meyer. Children: Bennie (born on Yom Kippur in Pilgrim's Rest in 1923), Salome & Israel Noah. The family also lived in Pilgrim's Rest, Graskop, Sabie & Witbank. [Info from Tommy Meyer - see Graskop file]

Millstein Miss Resident 1925 [Zionist Record]

Mofsowitz M Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Moss Ben Resident 1907 Bottle store owner.
Recorded in Balmoral (1907). Business known as Ben Moss & Co (1907). [Supplement to Witbank News 16/10/1981 p29; United Tvl Dir 1907]

Myer Sam Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Myers Rev N Resident 1941 1942 Minister of religion
[Arch 54.2 SAJBD Corresp. 28/5/1941; 1941-2 Greetings]

Nathanson M Resident 1914 [File SA p8 1914]

Nudel M Resident 1910 [File S p98 1910]

Per Mr & Mrs Resident 1935 [Zionist Record]

Pinkewhewitz S Resident 1925 [1925 Zionist Record]

Price Mr G Resident 1922 General dealer; hotelier.
Traded in Bapsfontein (1922). [1922 Dennis Edwards] Bapsfontein

Rabinowitz T Resident 1927 [1927 Zionist Record]

Rabinowitz Mr J Resident 1927 [1927 Greetings]

Rabinowitz Mr G Resident 1927 [1927 Greetings]

Rees Mr & Mrs M & fam. Resident 1917 General dealer; butcher. [1922 Dennis Edwards; File SA p647 1920; Schlosberg p6; File N p39/40 1918]

Richter Samuel & Ray Resident pre 1937 Pharmacist.
Lived in Bronkhorstspruit from before 1937. Owned Erasmus Pharmacy (1962). Returned to Johannesburg in the 1960s. Ray died in 1999. [Goyns p58; Info Richter]

Ritchken Mr S Resident 1924 Recorded on the farm, Blaauwgomfontein, in the Bapsfontein district (1924). [File V Tel Dir 1924]

Roberts R Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Roberts Mr & Mrs Joseph & fam Resident 1920 1925 General dealer; hotelier; mill & bottle store owner. Came from England. Lived in large compound at Bronkhorstspruit station. The bar at the hotel is said to have resembled a typical English pub and was a favourite watering hole for British soldiers during the Second Anglo-Boer War. Sold business and hotel to Jacob Bernstein c.1925. Children: Mabel, Kate & ? [Schlosberg p6 & 13; Friedman p3; File SA p647 1920]
Rosengarden Mr Resident 1910 [File S p136A 1910]

Rosenshat A Resident 1910 [File S p136A 1910]

Rosenstein Miss L Resident 1935 [Zionist Record]

Rosenthal Myer & Ray & fam. Resident 1922 Farmer; butcher; livestock dealer. Partner of Reggie Lazarus. Married Ray Hadassin of Bloemfontein in 1929 in Pretoria. Children: Joe, Sadie & Mavis. [Schlosberg p6; 1925 Zionist Record; Info Rosenthal; 1929 Greetings; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Rosenthal I (J?) Resident 1914 [File SA p647 1920; File S p390 1914; File SA p27 1915]

Rosenthal Mr R Resident 1909 [File S p67]

Rosenthal Nathan Resident 1937 [SAJT20/8/37 p6]

Rosenthal Joe & Myrna & fam. Resident 1957 1982 Bottle store owner. Son of Mr & Mrs Myer Rosenthal. Married Myrna Miller of Parys. Owned Joe's Bottle Store (1962). Joe d.1981 Children (born in Bronkhorstspruit): Michael, Neil & Shaun. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 27/11/62]

Rubinstein Tevya Resident 1920s Came from Lithuania. Cousin of Zilla Schlosberg. Became manager of the Schlosberg business in the mid 1920s. [Schlosberg p15]

Sachs M A Resident 1918 [File SA p273 1918]

Sack Mr Resident 1916 [File SA p125 1916]

Sack Mr A & Mrs R Resident 1949 General dealer [Info Sack]
Sagorsky E Resident 1913 [File S p295]

Salkow A Resident 1918 [File SA p273 1918]

Sandler Mr Resident 1907 Shopkeeper.
Recorded in Balmoral. Traded as Sandler & Maisel (1907). [United Tvl Dir 1907]

Schech Bryna Resident 1934 [Zionist Record]

Schill Mrs I Resident 1914 Recorded in Balmoral. [File S p369 1914]

Schill Mr S Resident 1911 Recorded in Balmoral. [File S p184 1911]

Schill P Resident 1918 [File SA p273 1918]

Schiller Dr Hymie F & Becky Resident 1925 Doctor; district surgeon [1925 Zionist Record; Info Sack; 1927 Greetings; Cape Times Dir 1934]

Schlosberg Abe & Estelle & fam. Resident c.1908 1971 Owned a flour mill. Son of Joseph & Celia Schlosberg. Became manager of the Schlosberg Flour Mill c.1928. Sold the mill and the complex of houses, stores, etc in 1946. Still retained the farm, Green Pastures Farm. Abe died in 1971. Children: Sandy, Jill & Zita. [Schlosberg p20, 23, 3]

Schlosberg Israel (Oubaas) & Matla & fam. Resident c.1890 - 1919.
Smous; farmer; owner of mill; general dealer. Married Matla Sagorsky in Ponevezh, Lithuania. Children: Joseph, Rebecca (b.1876 in Rukan, Kovno province), Robert, Freda & Rachel. Came to Renosterkop from Palestine c.1890. Wife and children followed c.1895. Worked as a smous, farmed and had a shop at Renosterkop. Also established a business in Bronkhorstspruit. Sustained severe losses during Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). Stayed in Pretoria from around Nov 1900 until end of the war when he re-established his business in Bronkhorstspruit. Bought a coal mine, built a flour mill and together with his sons, Joseph & Robert, established a network of stores, storehouses and workshops, besides farming two large farms. The sign above the shop read ‘Schlosberg and Sons - Algemene Handelaars Direct Importers’. Matla died on 1 July 1913. Soon after, Israel transferred his business to his son Joseph. He returned to Palestine c.1919/20, where he died at the age of 96 in 1945. [Schlosberg; Horwich; SAJC 4/7/1913 p3]

Schlosberg Joseph & Celia & fam Resident c.1890
Shopkeeper; postal agent; mill owner; farmer. Son of Israel & Matla Schlosberg. With his father, Israel, and his brother, Robert, started out at Renosterkop where they farmed and ran a shop. The family also established a network of stores, storehouses and workshops in Bronkhorstspruit, where they relocated after the war. The sign above the shop read ‘Schlosberg and Sons - Algemene Handelaars Direct Importers’. Guarded bridges for Boer side during Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). Around 1913, took over the family business. In 1914 sold the business to his sister, Rebecca Horwich, and to an employee, Henry Bernstein. Bought the business back in 1918. Married to Celia Schiff. Children: Abe (b.c.1908), Miriam, David (b.1913 in Bronkhorstspruit) & Matla (b.1919). [Schlosberg p14; Rabinowitz Papers]

Schlosberg Robert Resident c.1890 1902 Shopkeeper; mill owner; farmer. Son of Israel & Matla Schlosberg. With his father, Israel, and his brother, Joseph, started out at Renosterkop where they farmed and ran a shop. Israel and Joseph moved to Bronkhorstspruit leaving Robert in charge of the business in Renosterkop. Moved to Bethal at the end of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A Horwich; Rabinowitz Papers]

Scott D A Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Segal H Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Shaff Harry D & Rosa & fam Resident 1936 1949 Hotelier. Owned the Bronkhorstspruit Hotel from 1936 to 1949. Children: Beattie, Issie, Leo & Goldie. [Info Sack; file P.4 C]

Shapiro Mrs R Resident 1908 Recorded in Balmoral. [File S p9 1908]

Shatz Rev H Resident 1940 Minister of religion [1940 Greetings]

Shein Mrs & fam Resident 1913 Recorded in Balmoral (1913). Children: George & Jack. [SAJC 16 May 1913 p316]

Shiff Max Resident 1910 [File S p98 1910]

Sidersky Harry Resident 1905 Shopkeeper.
Partner of Harry Itzikowitz in a business in Bapsfontein selling clocks to farmers from 1905 to 1908. It is not clear whether Harry Sidersky lived in Bapsfontein. [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A Harry Itzikowitz]

Slayen Mr M Resident 1915 [1915 Greetings; File SA p27 1915]

Slomowitz J Resident 1929 [1929 Zionist Record]

Slomowitz Miss G Resident 1929 [1929 Zionist Record]

Slomowitz Mr S Resident 1917 Butcher.
Ran Slomowitz Bros, butchers (1922). [File SA p221 1917; 1922 Dennis Edwards]
Slovin Mr & Mrs H & fam? Resident 1925
Worked for R Lazarus & Son (1962). [Arch 54.2 corresp. 27/11/62; Zionist Record]
Slovin R Resident 1960 [Arch 54.2 corresp. 15/4/1960]
Solomon W Resident 1915 [File SA p32 1915]

Solomon D Resident 1917 [File SA p221 1917; File SA p647 1920]

Trapido Israel Resident 1930 [1931 Zionist Record; 1930 Greetings]

Udem L Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Urisohn I Resident 1907 Storeman Recorded in Balmoral. [United Tvl Dir 1907] Balmoral

Wain M Resident 1910 [File S p136A 1910]

Walmer Simon Resident 1994 [Silberhaft visit 3 1994]
Walmer Gary Resident 1994 [Silberhaft visit 3 1994]
Walmer Mr & Mrs S Resident by 1995 [SAJBD May 1995 List of CC Residents]

Weinberg P Resident 1915 [File SA p32 1915]

Wingrin Barry & Joyce & fam Resident 1978
Married Joyce Braude, daughter of Mr & Mrs Morris Braude. Children: Shaun & ? Left Bronkhorstspruit in 1978. [Info Sack ; Info Wingrin; Pretoria Jewish Chronicle sep 1999 p60]

Wittert Mr B Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920; 1920 Greetings]

Wolk Mr Resident 1933 [File Q 1933 p511]

Wolk Mr S Resident 1940 Left Bronkhorstspruit c.1948. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 10/3/48]

Wolk Rev I Resident 1928 Minister of religion [Info Wingrin; Info Marcus]

Wolman Mr & Mrs Simon & family Resident current [IF]
Zavel Miss A Resident 1935 [Zionist Record]

Zavel Miss R Resident 1935 [Zionist Record]

Zavel Mr & Mrs D Resident 1935 [Zionist Record]

Zawels Mr & Mrs & fam Resident pre 1946
Children: Jack & ? [Info Sack ]

Zinn H B Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

The history of the Jewish Community of Bronkhorstspruit was researched by The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot and first published in Jewish Life in the South African Country Communities, Volume II (2004): 241-254

The article is published here courtesy of The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot

 

במאגרי המידע הפתוחים
גניאולוגיה יהודית
שמות משפחה
קהילות יהודיות
תיעוד חזותי
מרכז המוזיקה היהודית
מקום
אA
אA
אA
רוצה לעזור לנו לשפר את התוכן? אפשר לשלוח הצעות
קהילת יהודי דרום אפריקה

South Africa

Republic of South Africa (RSA)

The southernmost country in Africa.

21st Century

Estimated Jewish population in 2018: 69,000 out of 56,500,000

South African Jewish Board of Deputies

Telephone: +27 11 645 2523
Fax: +27 11 640 1662
Email: sajbd@sajbd.org
Website: www.sajbd.org

President: Mary Kluk, also WJC Vice-President
National Chairman: Jeff Katz
National Director: Wendy Kahn

חובר ע"י חוקרים של אנו מוזיאון העם היהודי

ברונקהורסטפרויט
בלפסט, טראנסואל
בריץ
בלומפונטיין
הארארה
מאניסה
סטלנבוש
בולאבאיו
ברברטון
זאמביה
דויסוולסלוף
דולסטרום
קימברלי
פרטוריה
איסט לונדון
זימבבואה - רודזיה
פורט אליזבט
דרבן , דרום אפריקה
קולינן
לִסוּטוּ
סווזילנד

Bronkhorstspruit

Including Balmoral, Bapsfontein, Engelbrechtsdrift, Nooitgedacht, Renosterkop, Susterstroom, Verena, Wilgerivier

A town in South Africa .
Bronkhorstspruit is situated in the south eastern Transvaal (Gauteng - post 1994). It lies 58 km east of Pretoria; 52 km north east of Johannesburg, South Africa.

The town is said to be named for the water-cress found on the river (‘spruit’) and which was called ‘bronkors’ (Nasturtium officinale) by the early settlers. Others suggest that the name is that of a farmer, Bronkhorst. The district of Bronkhorstspruit was the scene of the opening battle of the First Anglo-Boer War (1880-1881). On 20 December 1880 a division of the 94th Regiment under the command of Lt-Col P R Anstruther on its way from Lydenburg to Pretoria was intercepted and attacked by Commandant Frans Joubert and 200 men. Fifty-six British soldiers and 2 Boers lost their lives in a short and decisive battle. A plaque near the town marks the site of the battlefield. Fourteen years later, in 1894, the railway line from Pretoria to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo) reached the area, and a station was built on the farm, Bronkhorstspruit.

About 2 km away from the railway station at Bronkhorstspruit, the village of Erasmus was laid out in 1904 by Cornelius Johannes Gerhardus Erasmus on part of his farm, Hondsrivier. The Erasmus family had farmed in these parts for some years and are said to have been the first whites to settle in this district. The village of Erasmus spread out over a large area, with plenty of vacant tracts of land between the houses. By the early 1920s Erasmus consisted of about 25 houses, a post office, a cafe, a butchery, a flour mill, a general dealer's store and a bottle store. In contrast, at this time, there were only two families living at Bronkhorstspruit in two large 'compounds', one on either side of the railway line. The Schlosberg family compound with its many kraals, workshops, sheds and stores lay next to the railway station. On the other side of the railway line, lay a similar compound belonging to an English Jew called Joseph Roberts.

A health committee was established in Erasmus in 1919 and subsequently replaced by a village council. On 6 February 1935 Provincial Notice No.12 permitted the village council of Erasmus to change the name to Bronkhorstspruit with effect from 1 July 1935. The town is the commercial and industrial centre of a 2700 square km district where mixed farming is practised (maize, groundnuts, sorghum, sunflower seed, cattle and sheep). Milling is the town's chief industry. Large deposits of fire clay are mined and processed for export. [Schlosberg p5, 6 & 13; Erasmus p167; SESA vol.2 p534-5]

EARLY JEWISH SETTLERS

The Schlosberg family were the first Jews to settle in the Bronkhorstspruit district (c.1890) and, together with the Erasmus family who had preceded them, were the first whites to live in these parts. For the purposes of this research, the period 1890 to 1905 has been chosen as the years of early Jewish presence in this district.

Behr Hyman Abraham 1895 to SA; c.1896 to Bronkhorstspruit district.
Hyman Abraham Behr came to SA in 1895 and settled in the Bronkhorstspruit district soon after, as a farmer and businessman. He fought for the Boers in the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) in the Pretoria commando under Gen Erasmus. He was appointed temporary veld cornet in charge of the POW camp at Waterval, and was captured at Elands River after a skirmish near the present day town of Cullinan. He and several of his comrades managed to escape but were recaptured and sent to a POW camp at Simonstown until the end of the war. After the war, he returned to the Bronkhorstspruit district and settled at Engelbrechtsdrift. [Jewish Herald 28/12/56]

Bernstein Jacob 1902 to SA; c.1902/3 to Wilgerivier. Came from Tavrig, Lithuania. Jacob Bernstein left Tavrig, Lithuania, where he was born, in 1902. He made his way to Bremen, Germany and from there to Cape Town. Once there, he was employed on the Cape Town docks packing eggs. He soon made his way to Wilgerivier, where a cousin was living. [Friedman p 1] Jacob Bernstein joined his cousin Simon Bernstein at Wilgerivier (probably c.1902/3). Unfortunately both contracted enteric fever with fatal consequences for his cousin. Jacob then left Wilgerivier and worked for a time in Bronkhorstspruit for Rebecca Horwich. He soon returned to the Balmoral area where he went into his own business, which was part farm, part mill and part hotel. [Friedman p1-2]

Bernstein Simon pre 1902/3 at Wilgerivier. Came from Lithuania.
Simon Bernstein was living at Wilgerivier around 1902/3 when he was joined by his cousin Jacob Bernstein who had recently come to SA from Tavrig, Lithuania. Soon after Jacob's arrival, both contracted enteric fever which resulted in the death of Simon. [Friedman p1]

Caplan Isaac pre 1905 to Balmoral. By 1905 Isaac Caplan was living in Balmoral. He owned a shop, Caplan & Co. at the Douglas Colliery. [SAJC 15 Dec. 1905 p827; United Tvl Dir 1907]

Horwich Morris & Rebecca 1895 to Renosterkop. Came from Rukan, province of Kovno Guberna, Lithuania. Rebecca Horwich, the daughter of Israel & Matla Schlosberg, was born in 1876 in Rukan, Kovno province. Around 1879 she went with her parents and older brother, Joseph, to live in Palestine. The family settled at Yahud, not far from the lands which they farmed and which her father and his associates would later establish as Petach Tikvah, (Gate of Hope), the first agricultural settlement in modern Palestine. Rebecca and Morris were married in Petach Tikvah in 1892 when Rebecca was only 16 years old. Within a few years Morris, a school teacher, left Palestine to study in Vienna. He then proceeded to Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and by 1901 was established as a businessman there. Rebecca remained with her parents in Palestine. Rebecca came to Renosterkop in 1895 with her mother and sisters where they joined her father and brothers who had preceded them to SA. After the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) Rebecca attended a convent in Bloemfontein in order to educate herself before she went to Bulawayo, Rhodesia, where Morris was established in business. They returned to Bronkhorstspruit around 1904.

Itzikowitz Harry 1903 to SA; 1904 to Bapsfontein Came from Routenberg County, East Prussia. Harry Itzikowitz was born in the county of Routenberg, East Prussia, in 1873. He worked as a timber merchant with his father. The family moved to Konigsberg. Harry came to SA in 1903, sailing from Hamburg, Germany. He took the first available train from Cape Town to Johannesburg and within a few days had joined a fellow Koningsberger in Zeerust. Here he worked in a concession store at Doornhoek outside Zeerust. He returned to Johannesburg in 1904. Harry Itzikowitz found a job in Bapsfontein in 1904 an assistant in a general store. Later, after leaving and working for a time in Johannesburg with a firm of wholesale jewellers, he returned as a partner in the store. In three years, 1905-1908, he built up a thriving business selling clocks on hire-purchase to farmers. During this period he became associated with Harry Sidersky, as a partner and a friend. The Bapsfontein business was sold in 1908. [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A Harry Itzikowitz]

Levin Mr pre 1899
Mr Levin worked for Israel Schlosberg in his shop in Bronkhorstspruit. He became known as ‘Kukarakoo’ Levin after an incident during the Second Anglo-Boer War when he supposedly scared off Boer soldiers with a high-pitched battle cry. [Schlosberg p7-8]

Lifschutz Mr S pre 1899
By 1899 Mr Lifschutz was living in Erasmus. He fought for the Boers during the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). [Rabinowitz Papers]

Marcus Abraham 1903 Came from Lithuania
Abraham Marcus came to Erasmus in 1903 at the age of 21. He became a shopkeeper. [Info Marcus]

Schlosberg Israel (Oubaas) & Matla & fam. c.1890 to Renosterkop. Came from Shadova, Lithuania. Israel Schlosberg was born in 1849 at Hotel Wolman, near Shadova, Lithuania, the son of Chaim and Chaya Schlosberg. His father managed two estates belonging to a wealthy Polish magnate, viz. Takotz Hafe and Ruhama. As a young man, Israel worked on the Takotz Hafe estate and later also managed his own farm which he rented from the Pole. He married Matla Sagorsky. Around 1879 Israel, Matla and two children, Joseph & Rebecca, went to live in Palestine. The family settled at Yahud, not far from the lands which they farmed and which Israel and his associates would later establish as Petach Tikvah, (the Gate of Hope), the first agricultural settlement in modern Palestine. Around 1885 Israel came to SA but soon returned to Petach Tikvah and resumed farming. In 1890 he left Matla and their five children in Palestine and went to London where he worked for about 6 months. He then proceeded to Madagascar with his sons, Joseph & Robert, to work at an oil refinery. When this did not work out as planned, they came to SA where Israel's brothers had settled. [Schlosberg; Newscuttings 103A Horwich p2] Schlosberg came to the Bronkhorstspruit district in 1890 and started farming at Renosterkop. He also worked as a smous in the district and ran a shop at Renosterkop. Early business letterheads read: "Schlosberg established 1892". Matla and the daughters joined them at Renosterkop c.1895. Israel later established a shop and homestead at Bronkhorstspruit which he ran with his son Joseph, leaving his other son Robert in charge of the business at Renosterkop.

At the start of the Second Anglo Boer War (1899) when most Jews left for the Cape, Israel refused to leave and abandon his business. His wife, daughters and son Robert stayed on the farm at Renosterkop. Israel sustained great losses during the war because of plundering and theft. As a result the family were forced to move to Pretoria towards the end of 1900. They returned to Bronkhorstspruit after the war and Israel resumed farming, set up his business once again, established a flour mill and bought a coal mine.

Schlosberg Joseph c.1890 to SA; c.1893 to Renosterkop. Came from Ponevezh, Lithuania. Joseph Schlosberg, son of Israel & Matla Schlosberg, was born in Ponevezh, Lithuania. Around 1879 he went with his parents and younger sister, Rebecca, to live in Palestine. The family settled at Yahud, not far from the lands which they farmed and which his father and his associates would later establish as Petach Tikvah, the first agricultural settlement in modern Palestine. Around 1890 Joseph and his brother Robert went with their father to Madagascar to work at an oil refinery. This was not successful and Joseph then worked for a time as a paymaster in the German army based in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanganyika (now Tanzania). Upon his arrival in South Africa (c.1890) Joseph worked as a shochet in Johannesburg for about 3 years. He then joined his father and brother at Renosterkop where they farmed and had a shop. His father later established a shop and homestead at Bronkhorstspruit which he ran with Joseph, leaving his brother Robert in charge of the business at Renosterkop. During the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) Joseph and his father remained in Bronkhorstspruit and were eventually the only residents left in the area. They lived under British rule in Bronkhorstspruit while his mother and sisters were living under Boer rule in Renosterkop. Joseph guarded bridges for the Boers. The family sustained great losses during the war because of plundering and theft. As a result they were forced to move to Pretoria towards the end of 1900. The family returned to Bronkhorstspruit after the war and resumed their business and farming activities. [Horwich interview p3; Schlosberg p12]

Schlosberg Robert c.1890 to Renosterkop. Came from Palestine. Robert, son of Israel & Matla Schlosberg, was born in Palestine. His parents had settled at Yahud around 1879 not far from the lands which they farmed and which his father and his associates would later establish as Petach Tikvah, the first agricultural settlement in modern Palestine. Around 1890 Robert and his brother Joseph went with their father to Madagascar to work at an oil refinery. This was not successful and Robert and his father proceeded to SA where his uncles had already settled. Robert Schlosberg came to the Bronkhorstspruit district around 1890 with his father Israel. They started farming at Renosterkop and also ran a shop there. His mother and sisters who had remained in Palestine joined the family at Renosterkop c.1895. Israel later established a shop and homestead at Bronkhorstspruit which he ran with his other son Joseph, leaving Robert in charge of the business at Renosterkop. At the start of the Second Anglo Boer War (1899) when most Jews left for the Cape, Robert and his mother and sisters remained at Renosterkop while Israel and Joseph remained at Bronkhorstspruit. Robert guarded bridges for the Boers. The family sustained great losses during the war because of plundering and theft. As a result they were forced to move to Pretoria towards the end of 1900. The family returned to Bronkhorstspruit after the war and resumed their business and farming activities. Robert settled in Bethal after the war.

Sidersky Harry c.1905 to Bapsfontein
Harry Sidersky was a business partner of Harry Itzikowitz. From 1905 they owned a business in Bapsfontein selling clocks on hire-purchase to farmers. The business was sold in 1908. It is not clear whether Harry Sidersky ever lived in Bapsfontein. [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A Harry Itzikowitz]

BRONKHORSTSPRUIT HEBREW CONGREGATION

Minyanim for the High Holy Days were held in Bronkhorstspruit/Erasmus from at least 1912. Donations received at this minyan from Mr J Schlosberg, Mr A Marcus and Mr B Marcus were sent to the Jewish National Fund. [File S p262] There is also record of minyanim being held for the High Holy Days in 1918 and 1919. [File N p40 1918; File SA p558 1919]

The Bronkhorstspruit Hebrew Congregation, also known as the Erasmus Bronkhorstspruit Hebrew Congregation, was established around 1928 with the arrival of Rev Wolk. [Arch 54.2 File 1 Questionnaire] The congregation became affiliated to the SAJBD in November 1939, with Mr Abe Schlosberg as its deputy. [Arch 54.2 SAJBD Corresp. 10/11/39] In its early years, the congregation was relatively large, with about 50 - 60 people attending High Holy Day services. It has been said that there was a wonderful family spirit in the congregation during this time.

The last minister left Bronkhorstspruit in 1943. [Arch 54.2 corresp.13/5/49] After that, the congregation relied on itinerant ministers to conduct services, teach Hebrew and perform ritual slaughtering. The following visiting ministers/officials performed various services for the Bronkhorstspruit Hebrew Congregation: Mr Joseph Welcher (1951), Mr Max Walhaus (1954), Rev L Rabinowitz (1955-59), Rev J Kaminer (1965-66), Mr R Abt, Rev Kaplan, Rabbi Engel from Witbank (1967-70).

By 1949 the number of Jews had dropped considerably and services were only held for the High Holy Days and for yahrzeit. For other festivals, members of the congregation went to Middelburg, Delmas or Pretoria. Occasionally children's concerts were held to celebrate Purim and Pesach.

Rabbi Duschinsky reported in March 1968 that there were less than 10 members in the congregation. Despite the fact that this small number did not make regular communal life possible, some aspects were maintained under very difficult conditions. [SAJ 1967/8 p92] By the end of 1975 children were sent to Delmas to attend Hebrew classes, shechita had been discontinued and the subsidy, received by the congregation from before 1959 from the SAJBD towards the cost of a part-time minister, was stopped. In January 1982 the SAJBD noted that the Bronkhorstspruit Hebrew Congregation was no longer in existence and requested that the name be removed from its membership roll. [Arch 54.2 File 1]

BRONKHORSTSPRUIT SYNAGOGUE

Until the synagogue was built in 1933, services were held in a big storeroom, either that of Abraham Marcus or Joseph Schlosberg. Services were also held in the Town Hall. [Schlosberg p6] The synagogue housed a room for the cheder as well accommodation for visiting shochatim or officials.

A survey by the SAJBD in 1930 recorded that in that year the Bronkhorstspruit congregation owned a Sefer Torah (lent to the congregation by Joseph Schlosberg), a pointer and a cup. Lilithea Singer embroidered the names of her parents, Reggie and Sarah Lazarus, on the parochet which the family presented to the congregation. [Arch 54.2 Questionnaire] In 1954 the congregation was given a silver spice box when ceremonial silver was being distributed.

By 1949 the synagogue was only used for High Holy Day services and yahrzeit minyanim were arranged in private homes. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 13/5/49] By 1968 the SAJBD had already requested that the Bronkhorstspruit Hebrew Congregation consider signing a new constitution vesting trusteeship of the synagogue property in the SAJBD. [Arch 54.2 File 2 9/5/1968] Rabbi Engel reported in 1971 that the synagogue was in good condition and had 2 Sifrei Torah. [Engel Tour12 - 1971] High Holy Day services were still being conducted in 1973 with the congregation engaging a ba'al tefillah. In 1982 one of the torahs was sent away for repair.

When the synagogue was sold around 1984 the proceeds were given to Jaffa, a Jewish home for the aged in Pretoria. The Schlosberg Torah was returned to Abe Schlosberg's family.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR SHECHITA

Joseph Schlosberg was a shochet in Johannesburg for three years before joining his father in business in Bronkhorstspruit c.1893. He performed shechita for the community in those early years. It is also assumed that the incumbent ministers employed by the congregation performed shechita as part of their duties.

When the last resident minister left in 1943 the congregation relied on visiting shochatim for assistance. Rev L Rabinowitz travelled to Bronkhorstspruit once a week for shechita from 1955 to 1959, when he cut his hand and had to stop slaughtering. (In October 1956 he reported that most of the 6 Jewish families observed kashrut.) He was replaced by Rev Kaminer who came to Bronkhorstspruit for shechita until 1967. In March 1967 a decision was taken to employ Rabbi Engel of Witbank once a week. In 1970 Rev Perkes of Benoni and Rev Mandelberg of Pretoria came to Bronkhorstspruit for shechita. [File R p237 1970] From the end of 1975, shechita was discontinued and members of the congregation had to buy their kosher meat in either Johannesburg or Pretoria. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 20/11/1975]

ARRANGEMENTS FOR JEWISH EDUCATION

David Schlosberg recalled that when he was about 11 years old (c.1924), the community of 7 or 8 families hired a Hebrew teacher, Mr Burbaitzky, who came every Friday from Pretoria to teach the children Hebrew and prepare the boys for their barmitzvahs. [Schlosberg p9] In the 1930s until the last minister left in 1943 it is assumed that the incumbent reverends conducted classes as part of their duties. After 1943 the congregation relied on itinerant ministers to conduct services, teach Hebrew and perform shechita.

In 1951 Rabbi A H Lapin visited Bronkhorstspruit. He noted that there was no provision of Jewish education and suggested an arrangement whereby Rev Garb of the Witbank Hebrew Congregation would come to Bronkhorstspruit once a week to perform poultry shechita and teach the children. [Arch 54.2 File 3] It is not clear whether anything came of this particular suggestion.

From c.1955 Rev L Rabinowitz travelled to Bronkhorstspruit and taught Hebrew classes once a week. Rev Kaminer taught for a period from 1965. [File P.2 ] From 1967 until 1970 this position was taken by Rabbi Engel of Witbank, whose wife also taught the children for a time. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 6 Mar 1967] From the beginning of 1973 children were taken to Delmas once a week for classes. This was still the case in 1975. In the early 1980s the SAJBD's Mother-Teacher programme was used.

Prior to 1959 and until around 1975, the Country Communities Committee of the SAJBD subsidised the transport costs and salaries of the various ministers who visited Bronkhorstspruit for teaching and shechita services.

UNION OF JEWISH WOMEN (BRONKHORSTSPRUIT BRANCH)

In 1946 correspondence within the SAJBD made note of the fact that the Bronkhorstspruit branch of the Union of Jewish Women (UJW) "has been disbanded for the time being". At that time it was suggested that the organisation be struck off the mailing list of the SAJBD. [Arch 54.2 corresp. memo 14/8/46]

In a report on cultural activities of branches for the years 1947-8 it was noted that Mrs S Kussel spoke in Bronkhorstspruit in 1948 on the importance of the UJW of SA in Jewish and South African affairs. [UJW Report Cultural Activities 1947-48, p6] In 1948 the Union of Jewish Women (Bronkhorstspruit branch) wrote to the SAJBD asking to be included in the Board's lecture scheme. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 15/9/1948] In 1949 Dr Abt, Cultural Organiser, Communal Relations Committee of the SAJBD, addressed the community under the auspices of the Union of Jewish Women. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 13/5/49] Mrs Kehr, secretary of the Country Communities Committee of the SAJBD visited Bronkhorstspruit in 1951 under auspices of the UJW. [Arch 54.2 File 3]

ZIONIST ACTIVITY

From as early as 1909 the Jews of the Bronkhorstspruit and Erasmus district were contributing to a number of Zionist related funds. [File S p44, 67, 71 & 81] The district also included those Jews living at Bapsfontein, Balmoral, Renosterkop and Engelbrechtsdrift. There is evidence of a strong commitment to Zionist causes, thanks mainly to the energy of Mr Joseph Schlosberg, his sister Miss Freda Schlosberg and Mr Beryl Marcus. In 1913 Joseph Schlosberg represented the district at the Second Transvaal Provincial Conference held in Pretoria in November 1913. [File S p350]

The Zionist Record reported on a social gathering held on 16 May 1920 in celebration of the Peace Conference decision and the opening of a subscription list for the Restoration Fund. [File SA p637] A later issue described the event in some detail and included the fact that the opening address was given by the Chairman, Mr B Marcus. [File SA p661] However, in listings (around this time and later) of the societies formally affiliated to and paying federation dues to the SAZF, there is no record of a society for Erasmus/Bronkhorstspruit. Neither has any material yet come to light on any annual general meetings having been held and committees elected. It would therefore appear that although there was considerable support for various Zionist appeals, there was no formal Zionist society in the Erasmus and Bronkhorstspruit district.

The Zionist Record was distributed to readers in Bronkhorstspruit and Erasmus (1929). [File N p150]

BRONKHORSTSPRUIT WOMEN'S ZIONIST SOCIETY

There is no record of when the Bronkhorstspruit Women's Zionist Society was founded but it is likely that it was in existence by 1948. [See undated questionnaire - Arch 54.2 corresp. - 9 Jewish families]. In 1954 it was listed as a constituent body of the SAZF. According to an oral interview the society did not last for very long.

BRONKHORSTSPRUIT YOUNG ISRAEL SOCIETY

The Bronkhorstspruit Young Israel Society was established in 1933. It held its first function on Purim at the Town Hall. [File Q p461] It was a very active society holding debates, a Herzl memorial evening, socials, a tennis tournament, Chanukah evenings, Passover evenings, etc. [File Q 1933-34] David M Schlosberg served on the Transvaal Young Israel Executive. [File Q p499 1933] In August 1934 members of the Bronkhorstspruit Young Israel Society, together with members of the Transvaal Zionist Youth Executive and representatives of several other Transvaal Zionist youth societies, participated in a Youth Parliament which took place in Germiston. [Menorah July 1934 p8]

ERASMUS JEWISH CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY

Towards the end of 1919 the children of the district founded the Erasmus Jewish Children's Aid Society. Money from special donations at their first meeting plus monthly subscriptions for December 1919 and January 1920 was given to the SA Jewish Orphanage in Johannesburg. [File SA p603; SAJO Annual Report 1921, p17] A further donation to the SA Jewish Orphanage was recorded in May 1920. [File SA p657]

NO JEWISH CEMETERY

The SAJYB 1953-54 reports that there was a Jewish cemetery in Bronkhorstspruit. This appears to have been an error as other sources of information (e.g. SAJ 1976 and oral interviews) indicate that there was no Jewish cemetery in Bronkhorstspruit. Burials took place in Pretoria.

CULTURAL / SOCIAL / RECREATIONAL

For a number of years from around 1949, through a lecture scheme run by the SAJBD, various speakers came to Bronkhorstspruit to address the local community. These lectures were held under the auspices of the local branch of the Union of Jewish Women. In 1982 Mr Stephen Cohen of the SAJBD visited Bronkhorstspruit as part of a trip to the northern and eastern Transvaal in order to learn of the problems of country communities and to reaffirm their link to the SAJBD. [All-a-Board Spring 1982 p4]

STATISTICAL INFORMATION

According to the Matzo Board survey by the SAJBD in 1943 there were 64 Jews in Bronkhorstspruit. Community records for 1948 show that there were 38 Jews in Bronkhorstspruit, i.e. 9 families (17 men, 12 women, 9 children). [Arch 54.2 corresp. 19/3/1948] In correspondence of the SAJBD dated 1949 it was noted that Bronkhorstspruit had a dwindling community and that there were only 8 Jewish families. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 13/5/1949] A survey by the SAJBD in 1953 recorded only 20 Jews (6 families). Available South African Jewish yearbooks which cover the period from 1959 to 1965 note 10 Jewish families with the number of Jews increasing from 26 to 36 in that period. Rabbi Duschinsky recorded 36 Jews in 1964. By 1967 two families had left and the number of Jews dropped to 29. Rabbi Engel noted in 1971 that there were 6 Jewish families & 4 single adults (23 Jews) in the town, and by 1980/1 there were 16 Jews. By 1997 only 5 Jews remained in the town. Official census data for the years 1951, 1980 and 1991 indicate 77, 22 and 40 Jews, respectively, but it is only the 1980 census which correlates with community records.

BALMORAL: According to the Matzo Board survey of 1943, there were 6 Jews in Balmoral. Rabbi Duschinsky recorded 3 Jews in 1964. There were still only 3 Jews in 1980/1 according to Rabbi Engel.

ANTISEMITISM

In 1929 the Jews of the district held a protest meeting in Erasmus about the Arab uprising in Palestine and subsequent atrocities. [Zionist Record 1929] There are no recorded incidents of antisemitism in Bronkhorstspruit. In a letter to the SAJBD from Mr Abe Schlosberg in January 1937 mention is made of the excellent relationship between the Jews and gentiles. There appears to have been some change in this relationship during the war years because by 1943 the same correspondent reported "a marked decrease in ill-feeling". In 1949 Dr Abt of the SAJBD noted that "relations with non-Jews are neither strained nor cordial but the view was expressed that the Jews themselves are to blame for not mixing with the gentiles.

SATELLITE TOWNS

Balmoral Village in the eastern Transvaal about 24 km east of Bronkhorstspruit. Balmoral figured several times in battles during the Second Anglo Boer War (1899-1902) and was used for a time by Gen Louis Botha as his headquarters.

Bapsfontein Recreational resort renowned for its music concerts, situated about 41 km south west of Bronkhorstspruit.

Engelbrechtsdrift Settlement approximately 45 km from Bronkhorstspruit.

Nooitgedacht Farming settlement 1.5 km south of Bronkhorstspruit.

Renosterkop Settlement about 40 km north east of Bronkhorstspruit.

Susterstroom Settlement approximately 33 km north east of Bronkhorstspruit.

Verena Settlement about 45 km north east of Bronkhorstspruit.

Wilgerivier Railway siding east of Bronkhorstspruit halfway to Balmoral.

JEWISH PERSONALITIES

Behr David Chone David Behr, son of Mr & Mrs Moses Behr of Bronkhorstspruit, qualified as an attorney. He served as chairman and was on the executive of the Jewish Ex-Service League from 1954 (a position he still held in 1976). [SAJ 1976/7 p133] David Behr was also chairman of the Association of Pretoria Attorneys since 1972 (still there 1976) and was on the Governing Body of the Waterkloof English Medium School 1958-1969. He served in the Second World War from 1940-45 and was awarded the Efficiency Medal. [SAJ 1976/7 p133]

Bernstein Henry (Snr) Henry Bernstein, well known businessman, farmer and communal worker, came to SA in 1912 and worked first in Bronkhorstspruit, then in Balmoral before setting up The Balmoral Trading Company in Johannesburg in 1921. He soon acquired a farm in the Brits district which he turned into a model agricultural venture. He made this farm in Brits available to the Habonim Youth Movement for the training of chalutzim in agricultural methods. He was dedicated to the SA Ort-Oze in which he held various executive positions, was elected chairman in 1954, and was one of its honorary life presidents at the time of his death in 1956. His particular interest lay in the organisation's agricultural training scheme based on the Esrael Lazarus Training Farm. [SAJT 31 Aug 1956; Zionist Record 31 Aug 1956 & 10 Dec 1954] Henry Bernstein had a farm in Brits where he achieved a particular distinction in the cultivation of tobacco. As a result of his experience he was invited in 1950 by the Government of Israel, Department of Agriculture, to advise them on the establishment of a tobacco growing industry there. [SAJT & Zionist Record 31 Aug 1956]

Bernstein Dr Henry Dr Henry Bernstein, the son of Jacob & Nettie Bernstein of Bronkhorstspruit, was appointed Medical Officer of Health for Vereeniging in 1952. He was instrumental in establishing a tuberculosis hospital in Sharpeville which opened in 1955. The following year this hospital was renamed ‘The Henry Bernstein Chest Hospital’ in recognition of his services. Dr Bernstein was also chairman of the Vereeniging Dental Clinic Board for 27 years, a position he still held in 1976. He served in the Second World War and was on the executive committee of the Vereeniging Returned Soldiers Association. [SAJ 1976/7 p139; Vereeniging News, 29/6/56]

Lazarus Reggie Reggie Lazarus was one of the founders of the Bronkhorstspruit Hebrew Congregation in 1928 and served as chairman for many years. He was mayor of Bronkhorstspruit for two years at the time when the Earl of Clarendon came to visit the town, c.1927.

Marcus Abraham Abraham Marcus was one of the founders of the Bronkhorstspruit Hebrew Congregation in 1928.

Miller Dr Bennie Dr Bennie Miller, the son of Mr & Mrs Joseph Miller, became a world renowned authority on tropical diseases. He was Superintendent of Rietfontein Hospital.

Schlosberg Joseph Joseph Schlosberg was one of the founders of the Bronkhorstspruit Hebrew Congregation in 1928. He was an ardent Zionist and worked tirelessly in collecting donations from the Jews in the district for various Zionist appeals.

Schlosberg Israel (Oubaas) Israel Schlosberg was a founder of Bronkhorstspruit. At the time that he came to these parts, there was only one other white family living here, namely that of Doors Erasmus. Israel Schlosberg created a synagogue in Tel Aviv. With the help of the Ben Jacobson Trust and the Isaac and Edith Wolfson Trust, the synagogue has been kept going. In 1987/8 the synagogue was repainted and restored. [Schlosberg p4]

Schlosberg Herzl Joshua Herzl Joshua Schlosberg, born in 1903 to Morris and Rebecca Horwich, lived in Bronkhorstspruit as a child. He went to the Hebrew High School in Johannesburg and later became the first secretary of the Young Israel Society in Johannesburg. He moved to England and was a barrister and author, writing under the pen-name Henry John May. Among his works are ‘Red Wine of Youth’ (1946), ‘Music of the Guns’(1970), ‘I am Black: The Story of Shabalala’ (with J G Williams, 1936), ‘The Foster Gang’ (with Ian Hamilton, 1966), and ‘Little Yellow Gentleman’ (1937). [Adey p134; Jewish Affairs May 1960 p28]

Wingrin Shaun Shaun Wingrin, son of Barry & Joyce Wingrin, received semichah from the Yeshiva Gedolah (founded by Rosh Yeshivah R'Azriel Goldfein) of Johannesburg in 1999. Shaun also qualified as an electronic engineer. [Pretoria Jewish Chronicle Sept 1999 p60]

JEWISH RESIDENTS OF BRONKHORSTSPRUIT

Abrahamson S Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Abrams Sam Resident 1922 Recorded in Balmoral. [1922 Greetings]
Abremovitz R Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Abromowitz A Resident 1915 [File SA p27 1915]

Arenstein/Aronstein Mr J M Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920; 1920 Greetings]
Barris M Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Barris Mr & Mrs I N & fam. Resident 1922 Recorded in Balmoral. [1922 Greetings]

Bayer Mr Resident 1933 [Zionist Record]

Beemer Mr H Resident 1918 [File N p39/40 1918]

Behr W Resident 1915 Recorded in Renosterkop (1915). Served with the Union Forces. [File SA p32 & p54 1915]

Behr O Resident 1925 [1925 Zionist Record]

Behr Mr R Resident 1934 General dealer [Cape Times Dir 1934]

Behr Mr & Mr Abraham & fam. Resident 1920 General dealer.
Brother of Moses Behr. Children: Aaron & twin daughters. Recorded at Renosterkop (1920), Engelbrechtsdrift (1934) and Verena (1962). [File SA p709 1920; Arch 54.2 Corresp. 27/11/62; Schlosberg p6; Zionist Record; Info Sack; Info Singer; Cape Times Dir 1934]

Behr Moses L & Rose (Rachel?) & fam. Resident 1917 - 1962 General dealer; livestock dealer. Brother of Abraham Behr. Children: Leslie, David Chone (b.1917 in Bronkhorstspruit), Hilda & Charlie. [Schlosberg p6; Info Sack ; Info Singer; 1927 Zionist Record; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Behr Adolph Resident 1927 [1927 Zionist Record]

Behr Hyman Abraham & Taube & fam. Resident c.1896 - 1962 General dealer; farmer. He came to Bronkhorstspruit district soon after his arrival in SA in 1895. Became a farmer and businessman. Fought for the Boers in the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). Taken as POW. Returned after the war and settled at Engelbrechtsdrift. Owned Behr Bros, general merchants at Engelbrechtsdrift (1922). Married Taube Friedgut of Boksburg on 16 Dec 1906 in Pretoria. Celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1956. Children: Two daughters & Aron. [Schlosberg p6; Rabinowitz Papers; Jewish Herald 18/12/56; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Benjamin E Resident 1931 [1931 Zionist Record]

Berman Mr & Mrs I (J) & fam. Resident 1909 Manager.
Worked as manager for Joseph Roberts. Children: Son (b.1909), son (b.1919) & ? [Schlosberg p13; File SA p508 1919; File S p81 1909]

Bernitz Mrs Resident 1925 [1925 Zionist Record]

Bernstein I Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Bernstein Simon Resident c1902/3 Lived at Wilgerivier. Died of enteric fever. [Friedman p1]

Bernstein Jacob & Netty & fam. Resident c1902/3 Shopkeeper; farmer; hotelier; mill owner; butcher. Brother of Henry Bernstein. Affectionately known as Oom Jacob. Left Tavrig, Lithuania, for SA in 1902. Came to Wilgerivier c.1902/3. Worked in Bronkhorstspruit for Rebecca Horwich for a short period. Went to Balmoral where he started a mill, farmed and ran an hotel (Balmoral Hotel). Also ran a butchery there. In 1915 married Necha (Netty) Braude, sister of Morris & Harry Braude and Frieda Marcus. The Braude children were orphaned in Lithuania in 1898. These four siblings (another brother Philip Braude was already in SA) first went to Kansas City, USA, before coming to Johannesburg. Came to Bronkhorstspruit in early 1910s, where they lived with Abraham Marcus. Sold Balmoral business (Bernstein Bros) in 1925 to the Dworsky family. Family moved to Bronkhorstspruit station where he bought Joseph Roberts's business, similar to his business in Balmoral, but larger, i.e. part farmer, part shopkeeper, part miller and part hotelier. Children: Joseph (b.1916), Henry (b.1918 in Bronkhorstspruit), Roseline & Tillie. [Zionist Record 1927 & 1929; 1922 Greetings-Balmoral; 1926 Greetings-Bronkhorstspruit; Schlosberg p6; Friedman p1-4; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Bernstein Charles Resident 1916 [File N p50 1918; 1916 Greetings]

Bernstein Henry Resident 1912 - 1921 General dealer.
Brother of Jacob Bernstein. Born in Tavrig, Lithuania and came to Bronkhorstspruit in 1912. Worked for the Schlosbergs at their mill. In 1914, together with Rebecca Horwich, bought the shop from Joseph Schlosberg. Sold it back to Joseph in 1918. Left to join his brother Jacob at Balmoral, trading as Bernstein Bros. In 1921 moved to Johannesburg where he established The Balmoral Trading Co. in Market St in partnership with Barney Wittert and Edward Katzenellenbogen. He died in Durban on 22 August 1956, aged 63. [SAJT 31 Aug 1956; Friedman p1-2; Schlosberg p14; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Blecher Ivan Resident
He and his family lived in Bapsfontein for many years. [Rabbi Silberhaft]

Bloemson /Blomson D Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914; File SA p32 1915]

Bloomberg George Resident 1931 [1931 Zionist Record]

Borowitz Rev E & Mrs & fam. Resident 1939 Minister of religion.
Married in Palestine. Came to SA and served at the 9th St Synagogue in Norwood, Johannesburg. Was in Bothaville from 1935. Came to Bronkhorstspruit in 1939, where he was minister, shochet and mohel. Children: Archie & ? [Info Sack ; Info Marcus; 1939 Greetings]

Braude Barney Resident 1930 - 1939
Nephew of Netty Bernstein. Came to live with his father's sister after the death of his mother. Was there until 1939. [Info Claudia Braude]

Braude Morris & Rose & fam. Resident 1910s Wholesale merchant. Brother of Harry Braude, Netty Bernstein & Frieda Marcus. The Braude children were orphaned in Lithuania in 1898. These four siblings (another brother Philip was already in SA) first went to Kansas City, USA, before coming to Johannesburg. Came to Bronkhorstspruit in early 1910s, where they lived with Abraham Marcus, who married Frieda. Married Rose Lille of Johannesburg. Worked for his brother-in-law, Abraham Marcus, until he opened his own shop in 1935. Children: Joyce & Frume (Frances). [Info Marcus; Zionist Record 1925; Schlosberg p6]

Braude B Resident 1914 [File SA p8 1914]

Braude Mr & Mrs Harry & fam. Resident 1910s General dealer.
Brother of Morris Braude, Netty Bernstein & Frieda Marcus. The Braude children were orphaned in Lithuania in 1898. These four siblings (another brother Philip was already in SA) first went to Kansas City, USA, before coming to Johannesburg. Came to Bronkhorstspruit in early 1910s, where they lived with Abraham Marcus, who married Frieda. Son: Jonathan. [Info Marcus; 1925 Zionist Record; Info Wingrin; 1925 Zionist Record; File W p 287A c.1956]

Brauer L Resident 1910 [File S p98 1910; File S p136A 1910]
Brauser A Resident 1910 [File S p98 1910]

Burbaitzky Mr & Mrs L Resident 1915 Recorded in Renosterkop. [File SA p27 1915; 1921 Greetings; File SA p647 1920 - Bronk & Erasmus; File SA p221 1917]

Burlaitzky Mr Resident 1922 General dealer. Traded as Marik & Burlaitzky, general dealers, at Susterstroom (1922). [1922 Dennis Edwards p794 - see Engelbrechtsdrift]

Caplan Isaac Resident 1905 Shopkeeper Recorded at Douglas Colliery, Balmoral (1905). Owned a shop, Caplan & Co. (1907). [SAJC 15 Dec 1905 p827; United Tvl Dir 1907]

Chonowitz Rev I Resident 1933 Minister of religion [File Q p475 1933]

Cohen C Resident 1918 [File SA p355 1918]

Cohen Mr D Resident 1917 [File N p50 1918; File SA p221 1917]

Cohen H Resident 1917 [File SA p221 1917]

Cohen A Resident 1907 Recorded in Balmoral. [United Tvl Dir 1907]

Cohen B Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Daniels Mr C W Resident 1922 General dealer.
Traded at Engelbrechtsdrift (1922). [1922 Dennis Edwards; Cape Times Dir 1934]
Davidson Mr Resident 1916 [File SA p125 1916]

Davidson Mr B Resident 1917 [File SA p221 1917; File N p50 1918]

Davidson R Resident 1918 [File SA p273 1918]

Dogan Mr Resident 1934 Attorney. Dogan, Getz & Goldburg were attorneys in Bronkhorstspruit (1934). [Cape Times Dir 1934]

Droste I Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Dworsky Jack Resident 1971 Son of Mr & Mrs Dworsky of Balmoral. Lived in Balmoral. Sold business and hotel in 1972 but continued to farm in the area. [Engel Tour28/29; CC Rabbis Corresp. Balmoral]

Dworsky Mr & (Mrs A) & fam. Resident 1925 General dealer; miller; hotelier. Lived in Balmoral. Bought business and hotel from Jacob Bernstein in 1925. Ran Dworsky Bros, general merchants, millers and hotel. Children: Jack & ? Mr Dworsky died in 1971; Mrs Dworsky died in 1972; both buried in Middelburg, Tvl. [CC Rabbis Corresp. Balmoral; Cape Times Dir 1934; Engel Tour 28/29]

Eisenstadt Mr Resident 1924 Came from Russia. Worked for Joseph Schlosberg at the flour mill in 1924. [Schlosberg p20]

Eliastam Mr & Mrs Leslie & fam. Resident 1943 Farmer.
Came to live on his farm, Tweefontein, in the Bapsfontein district in 1943. Married Ann Abrahamson of Ventersdorp in 1932. Son: Peter Bentley (b.1934). In 1960 he went to farm in Bechuanaland (now called Botswana) and left his wife in charge of the farm at Bapsfontein. Ann died in 1964. Married Lilian Robinson of Boston, USA in 1967. From 1972 started selling off parts of his land, retaining the homestead on Tweefontein and its immediate environs. [SAJ 1976/7 p469 & 474]

Epstein I Resident 1910 [File S p98 1910]

Esakov M Resident 1931 [1931 Zionist Record]

Feinstein Mr A & Fanny & fam. Resident 1962 General dealer; Owner of petrol pump. Recorded in Susterstroom (1962). Married Fanny Lazarus, sister of Reggie Lazarus of Bronkhorstspruit. Children: Solly & ? Moved to Bronkhorstspruit c.1970. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 27/11/62]

Fisch G Resident 1910 [File S p136A 1910]

Fleischman Mr H B Resident 1922 Recorded in Balmoral. [1922 Greetings]

Friedlander B Resident 1910 [File S p98 1910]

Friedlander S Resident 1918 [File SA p647 1920; File N p50 1918]

Friedman/Freedman Mr D Resident 1918 General dealer; hairdresser; photographer. [File SA p273 1918; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Garun Rev I Resident 1935 1936 Minister of religion [1935-36 Greetings]

Getz Mr Resident 1934 Attorney Dogan, Getz & Goldburg were attorneys in Bronkhorstspruit (1934). [Cape Times Dir 1934]

Ginsberg Isaac & Fanny & fam. Resident 1920s General dealer. [Schlosberg p6; Info Sack]

Ginsberg Mr C Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Ginsburg /Ginsberg Mr L Resident 1920 General dealer; baker.
[File SA p647 1920; 1922 Dennis Edwards; Cape Times Dir 1934]

Godrich Mr H C Resident 1922 Miller [File V 1924 Tel Dir; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Gold Mr & Mrs M & fam Resident 1918 General dealer.
Traded as Gold Bros at Engelbrechtsdrift (1922). Relatives of Sarah Lazarus. [Info Singer; Schlosberg p6; 1922 Dennis Edwards; Cape Times Dir 1934; File N p39 1918]

Gold Mr J Resident 1915 General dealer .
Recorded at Engelbrechtsdrift (1915). Traded as Gold Bros. [File SA p32]

Gold I Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Goldberg Mr M Resident 1932 [1932 Greetings; File Q p461 1933]

Goldburg Mr Resident 1934 Attorney Dogan, Getz & Goldburg were attorneys in Bronkhorstspruit (1934). [Cape Times Dir 1934]

Gordon Mrs Resident 1918 [File N p50 1918; File SA p433 1919]

Goudvis G H Resident 1925 [1925 Zionist Record]

Greenberg N Resident 1918 [File SA p273 1918]

Greschlawsky Mr S Resident 1913 Recorded in Renosterkop. [1913 Greetings]

Harris Mrs G & fam. Resident 1937 Bakery owner.
Child: Aaron. [SAJT3/9/37 p5]

Heilbron Mr & Mrs L B & fam Resident 1919
Children: Maurice Henry (b.1919) & ? [File SA p490 1919]

Herman S J Resident 1907 Recorded in Balmoral. [United Tvl Dir 1907]

Heynis Dick & Sandra & fam. Resident 1997 (current)
Mr not born Jewish. Married Sandra Schlosberg, daughter of Mr & Mrs Abe Schlosberg. Children: Andrea & Jessica. [Schlosberg p3; File M Silberhaft Visit 3 1994]

Hoff Louis Resident 1922 [1922 Greetings]

Hoffenburg Mr Resident 1910 [File S p136A 1910]

Horwich Morris & Rebecca & fam. Resident 1895
Married Rebecca Schlosberg (b.1876 in Rukan, Kovno province), daughter of Israel & Matla Schlosberg, in Petach Tikvah in 1892. Morris left Palestine to study in Vienna and by 1901 was established as a businessman in Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Rebecca came to Renosterkop in 1895 with her mother and siblings to join her father and brothers. After the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) Rebecca attended a convent in Bloemfontein and then joined Morris in Bulawayo. They returned to Bronkhorstspruit around 1904. They divorced in 1906 & Morris returned to Palestine. In 1914, Rebecca bought the family business from her brother Joseph and went into partnership with Henry Bernstein. Sold it back to Joseph in 1918. Children: Herzl (b. 1903 in Rhodesia; Hymie (b. Bronkhorstspruit) & Leon (b. Bronkhorstspruit). [Schlosberg p14; 1913 Greetings]

Itzikowitz Harry Resident 1904 1908 Shopkeeper Came to work in Bapsfontein as a shop assistant in 1904. Became a partner in the business in 1905. Sold clocks on hire-purchase to farmers. Was a partner of Harry Sidersky at around this time. Sold the business in 1908. [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A Itzikowitz]

Jacobs E Resident 1914 [File SA p8 1914]

Jacobson R Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Jacobson Mr & Mrs Resident 1981 Came from Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).

Jaffe S Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Joffe Solomon Resident 1916 [1916 Greetings]

Joffe Sam K Resident 1918 Recorded in Balmoral (1926). [File N p50 1918; 1926 Greetings]

Kahn J Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Kalman Mr Resident 1914 [File SA p11 1914]

Katz B Resident 1917 [File SA p221 1917]

Katz E Resident 1917 [File SA p221 1917]
Katzenellenbogen Mr J Resident 1924 Bottle store owner; general dealer. He was a bachelor. Also recorded in Rayton and Pienaarsrivier. [Schlosberg p5 & 6; 1927 Zionist Record; 1924 Greetings]

Katzenellenbogen Nathan & Rachel & fam Resident 1911
Children: Carmel & ? [File S p154 1911]

Katzenellenbogen Mr SA Resident 1924 Bottle store owner; general dealer. He was a bachelor. Also recorded in Rayton and Pienaarsrivier. [1924 Greetings; Schlosberg p5 & 6; 1925 Zionist Record; Arch 54.2 Corresp. 5/6/37]
Kessel A Resident 1917 [File SA p221 1917]

Kessel Mr M Resident 1918 [File N p50 1918]

Kisner J Resident 1931 [1931 Zionist Record]

Kram Mr C Resident 1918 [File SA p273 1918]

Krawetzky Mr & Mrs A & fam. Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Krawetzky I Resident 1917 [File SA p221 1917; File N p50 1918; File SA p433 1919]

Kroom Mr C Resident 1910 [File S p136A 1910]

Lang Lowe Resident 1918 [1918 Greetings]

Lazarus Gerry S & Ethel & fam. Resident c.1940s
Farmer; garage owner. Son of Reggie & Sarah Lazarus. Lived at Nooitgedacht, settlement south of Bronkhorstspruit. Traded as R Lazarus & Son. Developed the family garage business into a large concern, known as ‘Lazarus Ford’. Children: Susan, Colin & Steven. Moved to Pretoria.

Lazarus Reggie & Sarah & fam Resident c.1916 Farmer; speculator; garage owner; butcher. Born 1895. Came from Tavrig, Lithuania. Worked for a time in Delareyville before coming to Bronkhorstspruit c.1916. Was a partner of Myer Rosenthal for over 40 years. Started a butchery, speculated in cattle, horses and maize, opened a garage in Bronkhorstspruit which became a big business, and owned many farms. Traded as R Lazarus & Son. Moved his office to Nooitgedacht. Married Sarah Slovin in 1918 in Johannesburg. Sarah was orphaned in Rakishok, Lithuania, at the age of three. She came to SA to her aunt, Mrs Gold, who lived at Engelbrechtsdrif. Reggie & Sarah, known to the locals as ‘Mom and Pop’; both died in 1990 and were buried in Pretoria. Children: Helma, Lilithea, Sylvia & Gerry. [Info Singer; Arch 54.2 corresp. 27/11/62; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Lazarus Colin Resident 1994 Garage owner.
Son of Gerry & Ethel Lazarus. In charge of ‘Lazarus Ford., a business started by his grandfather, Reggie Lazarus. Left Bronkhorstspruit by 1994. [File M Silberhaft Visit 3,1994]

Levin Mr Resident c.1899 Worked for Israel Schlosberg. He was known as ‘Kukarakoo’ Levin because he supposedly scared off Boer soldiers with a high-pitched battle cry during the Anglo-Boer War. [Schlosberg p7-8]

Levinsohn M Resident 1917 [File SA p221 1917]
Levy Fred Resident 1934 [1934 Greetings]

Liebson F Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Lifschutz Mr S Resident c.1899 Recorded in Erasmus (1899). Fought for the Boers in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). [Rabinowitz Papers]

Lutzrin D Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Machanik Miss Resident 1916 [File SA p125 1916]

Madnetzky A Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Maisel Mr Resident 1907 Shopkeeper.
Recorded in Balmoral. Traded as Sandler & Maisel (1907). [United Tvl Dir 1907]

Marcus Abraham & Frieda & fam. Resident 1903 General dealer; butcher. Brother of Beryl Marcus. Traded as Marcus Bros, general dealers & butchers (1922). In 1912 married Frieda Braude, sister of Morris & Harry Braude and of Netty Bernstein. The Braude children were orphaned in Lithuania in 1898. These four siblings (another brother Philip was already in SA) first went to Kansas City, USA, before coming to Johannesburg. Came to Bronkhorstspruit in the early 1910s, where they lived with Abraham Marcus, who later married Frieda. Children (born in Bronkhorstspruit): Joseph (b.1914), Morris (b.1918) & twins Elazar & Tillie (b.1929). Abraham died in 1951; Frieda died in 1956; both buried in Pretoria. [1927 Zionist Record; Info Marcus; File SA p647 1920; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Marcus Morris & Miriam & fam. Resident 1962 1980s Grocery store owner; hardware store owner. Son of Mr & Mrs Abraham Marcus. Children: Avril, Fiona & Louise. [Info Sack; Info Marcus]

Marcus Mr & Mrs Beryl Resident 1912 Brother of Abraham Marcus. Traded as Marcus Bros, general dealers and butchers (1922). Moved to Pretoria. [Info Marcus; File SA p508 1919; File SA p661 1920; File N p40 1918; 1922 Dennis Edwards; File S p262 1912]

Marcus S Resident 1914 [File N p39 1918; File SA p647 1920; File SA p8 1914]

Margow Mr & Mrs MA & fam. Resident 1929 General dealer.
Children: Balfour, Master D & ? [Info Sack ; Arch 54.2 corresp 25/11/1946; 1929 Zionist Record; 1929 Greetings]
Marik Mr Resident 1917 General dealer.
Traded as Marik & Burlaitzky, general dealers, at Susterstroom (1922). [File SA p647 1920; 1922 Dennis Edwards p794 - see Engelbrechtsdrift; File SA p221 1917]
Metz S Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Michelowsky E Resident 1910 [File S p136A 1910; File S p195 1912]

Michels Percy Resident 1920 [1920 Greetings]

Miller Joseph Behr & Taube & fam. Resident.
Married Taube Meyer. Children: Bennie (born on Yom Kippur in Pilgrim's Rest in 1923), Salome & Israel Noah. The family also lived in Pilgrim's Rest, Graskop, Sabie & Witbank. [Info from Tommy Meyer - see Graskop file]

Millstein Miss Resident 1925 [Zionist Record]

Mofsowitz M Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Moss Ben Resident 1907 Bottle store owner.
Recorded in Balmoral (1907). Business known as Ben Moss & Co (1907). [Supplement to Witbank News 16/10/1981 p29; United Tvl Dir 1907]

Myer Sam Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Myers Rev N Resident 1941 1942 Minister of religion
[Arch 54.2 SAJBD Corresp. 28/5/1941; 1941-2 Greetings]

Nathanson M Resident 1914 [File SA p8 1914]

Nudel M Resident 1910 [File S p98 1910]

Per Mr & Mrs Resident 1935 [Zionist Record]

Pinkewhewitz S Resident 1925 [1925 Zionist Record]

Price Mr G Resident 1922 General dealer; hotelier.
Traded in Bapsfontein (1922). [1922 Dennis Edwards] Bapsfontein

Rabinowitz T Resident 1927 [1927 Zionist Record]

Rabinowitz Mr J Resident 1927 [1927 Greetings]

Rabinowitz Mr G Resident 1927 [1927 Greetings]

Rees Mr & Mrs M & fam. Resident 1917 General dealer; butcher. [1922 Dennis Edwards; File SA p647 1920; Schlosberg p6; File N p39/40 1918]

Richter Samuel & Ray Resident pre 1937 Pharmacist.
Lived in Bronkhorstspruit from before 1937. Owned Erasmus Pharmacy (1962). Returned to Johannesburg in the 1960s. Ray died in 1999. [Goyns p58; Info Richter]

Ritchken Mr S Resident 1924 Recorded on the farm, Blaauwgomfontein, in the Bapsfontein district (1924). [File V Tel Dir 1924]

Roberts R Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

Roberts Mr & Mrs Joseph & fam Resident 1920 1925 General dealer; hotelier; mill & bottle store owner. Came from England. Lived in large compound at Bronkhorstspruit station. The bar at the hotel is said to have resembled a typical English pub and was a favourite watering hole for British soldiers during the Second Anglo-Boer War. Sold business and hotel to Jacob Bernstein c.1925. Children: Mabel, Kate & ? [Schlosberg p6 & 13; Friedman p3; File SA p647 1920]
Rosengarden Mr Resident 1910 [File S p136A 1910]

Rosenshat A Resident 1910 [File S p136A 1910]

Rosenstein Miss L Resident 1935 [Zionist Record]

Rosenthal Myer & Ray & fam. Resident 1922 Farmer; butcher; livestock dealer. Partner of Reggie Lazarus. Married Ray Hadassin of Bloemfontein in 1929 in Pretoria. Children: Joe, Sadie & Mavis. [Schlosberg p6; 1925 Zionist Record; Info Rosenthal; 1929 Greetings; 1922 Dennis Edwards]

Rosenthal I (J?) Resident 1914 [File SA p647 1920; File S p390 1914; File SA p27 1915]

Rosenthal Mr R Resident 1909 [File S p67]

Rosenthal Nathan Resident 1937 [SAJT20/8/37 p6]

Rosenthal Joe & Myrna & fam. Resident 1957 1982 Bottle store owner. Son of Mr & Mrs Myer Rosenthal. Married Myrna Miller of Parys. Owned Joe's Bottle Store (1962). Joe d.1981 Children (born in Bronkhorstspruit): Michael, Neil & Shaun. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 27/11/62]

Rubinstein Tevya Resident 1920s Came from Lithuania. Cousin of Zilla Schlosberg. Became manager of the Schlosberg business in the mid 1920s. [Schlosberg p15]

Sachs M A Resident 1918 [File SA p273 1918]

Sack Mr Resident 1916 [File SA p125 1916]

Sack Mr A & Mrs R Resident 1949 General dealer [Info Sack]
Sagorsky E Resident 1913 [File S p295]

Salkow A Resident 1918 [File SA p273 1918]

Sandler Mr Resident 1907 Shopkeeper.
Recorded in Balmoral. Traded as Sandler & Maisel (1907). [United Tvl Dir 1907]

Schech Bryna Resident 1934 [Zionist Record]

Schill Mrs I Resident 1914 Recorded in Balmoral. [File S p369 1914]

Schill Mr S Resident 1911 Recorded in Balmoral. [File S p184 1911]

Schill P Resident 1918 [File SA p273 1918]

Schiller Dr Hymie F & Becky Resident 1925 Doctor; district surgeon [1925 Zionist Record; Info Sack; 1927 Greetings; Cape Times Dir 1934]

Schlosberg Abe & Estelle & fam. Resident c.1908 1971 Owned a flour mill. Son of Joseph & Celia Schlosberg. Became manager of the Schlosberg Flour Mill c.1928. Sold the mill and the complex of houses, stores, etc in 1946. Still retained the farm, Green Pastures Farm. Abe died in 1971. Children: Sandy, Jill & Zita. [Schlosberg p20, 23, 3]

Schlosberg Israel (Oubaas) & Matla & fam. Resident c.1890 - 1919.
Smous; farmer; owner of mill; general dealer. Married Matla Sagorsky in Ponevezh, Lithuania. Children: Joseph, Rebecca (b.1876 in Rukan, Kovno province), Robert, Freda & Rachel. Came to Renosterkop from Palestine c.1890. Wife and children followed c.1895. Worked as a smous, farmed and had a shop at Renosterkop. Also established a business in Bronkhorstspruit. Sustained severe losses during Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). Stayed in Pretoria from around Nov 1900 until end of the war when he re-established his business in Bronkhorstspruit. Bought a coal mine, built a flour mill and together with his sons, Joseph & Robert, established a network of stores, storehouses and workshops, besides farming two large farms. The sign above the shop read ‘Schlosberg and Sons - Algemene Handelaars Direct Importers’. Matla died on 1 July 1913. Soon after, Israel transferred his business to his son Joseph. He returned to Palestine c.1919/20, where he died at the age of 96 in 1945. [Schlosberg; Horwich; SAJC 4/7/1913 p3]

Schlosberg Joseph & Celia & fam Resident c.1890
Shopkeeper; postal agent; mill owner; farmer. Son of Israel & Matla Schlosberg. With his father, Israel, and his brother, Robert, started out at Renosterkop where they farmed and ran a shop. The family also established a network of stores, storehouses and workshops in Bronkhorstspruit, where they relocated after the war. The sign above the shop read ‘Schlosberg and Sons - Algemene Handelaars Direct Importers’. Guarded bridges for Boer side during Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). Around 1913, took over the family business. In 1914 sold the business to his sister, Rebecca Horwich, and to an employee, Henry Bernstein. Bought the business back in 1918. Married to Celia Schiff. Children: Abe (b.c.1908), Miriam, David (b.1913 in Bronkhorstspruit) & Matla (b.1919). [Schlosberg p14; Rabinowitz Papers]

Schlosberg Robert Resident c.1890 1902 Shopkeeper; mill owner; farmer. Son of Israel & Matla Schlosberg. With his father, Israel, and his brother, Joseph, started out at Renosterkop where they farmed and ran a shop. Israel and Joseph moved to Bronkhorstspruit leaving Robert in charge of the business in Renosterkop. Moved to Bethal at the end of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A Horwich; Rabinowitz Papers]

Scott D A Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Segal H Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Shaff Harry D & Rosa & fam Resident 1936 1949 Hotelier. Owned the Bronkhorstspruit Hotel from 1936 to 1949. Children: Beattie, Issie, Leo & Goldie. [Info Sack; file P.4 C]

Shapiro Mrs R Resident 1908 Recorded in Balmoral. [File S p9 1908]

Shatz Rev H Resident 1940 Minister of religion [1940 Greetings]

Shein Mrs & fam Resident 1913 Recorded in Balmoral (1913). Children: George & Jack. [SAJC 16 May 1913 p316]

Shiff Max Resident 1910 [File S p98 1910]

Sidersky Harry Resident 1905 Shopkeeper.
Partner of Harry Itzikowitz in a business in Bapsfontein selling clocks to farmers from 1905 to 1908. It is not clear whether Harry Sidersky lived in Bapsfontein. [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A Harry Itzikowitz]

Slayen Mr M Resident 1915 [1915 Greetings; File SA p27 1915]

Slomowitz J Resident 1929 [1929 Zionist Record]

Slomowitz Miss G Resident 1929 [1929 Zionist Record]

Slomowitz Mr S Resident 1917 Butcher.
Ran Slomowitz Bros, butchers (1922). [File SA p221 1917; 1922 Dennis Edwards]
Slovin Mr & Mrs H & fam? Resident 1925
Worked for R Lazarus & Son (1962). [Arch 54.2 corresp. 27/11/62; Zionist Record]
Slovin R Resident 1960 [Arch 54.2 corresp. 15/4/1960]
Solomon W Resident 1915 [File SA p32 1915]

Solomon D Resident 1917 [File SA p221 1917; File SA p647 1920]

Trapido Israel Resident 1930 [1931 Zionist Record; 1930 Greetings]

Udem L Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920]

Urisohn I Resident 1907 Storeman Recorded in Balmoral. [United Tvl Dir 1907] Balmoral

Wain M Resident 1910 [File S p136A 1910]

Walmer Simon Resident 1994 [Silberhaft visit 3 1994]
Walmer Gary Resident 1994 [Silberhaft visit 3 1994]
Walmer Mr & Mrs S Resident by 1995 [SAJBD May 1995 List of CC Residents]

Weinberg P Resident 1915 [File SA p32 1915]

Wingrin Barry & Joyce & fam Resident 1978
Married Joyce Braude, daughter of Mr & Mrs Morris Braude. Children: Shaun & ? Left Bronkhorstspruit in 1978. [Info Sack ; Info Wingrin; Pretoria Jewish Chronicle sep 1999 p60]

Wittert Mr B Resident 1920 [File SA p647 1920; 1920 Greetings]

Wolk Mr Resident 1933 [File Q 1933 p511]

Wolk Mr S Resident 1940 Left Bronkhorstspruit c.1948. [Arch 54.2 corresp. 10/3/48]

Wolk Rev I Resident 1928 Minister of religion [Info Wingrin; Info Marcus]

Wolman Mr & Mrs Simon & family Resident current [IF]
Zavel Miss A Resident 1935 [Zionist Record]

Zavel Miss R Resident 1935 [Zionist Record]

Zavel Mr & Mrs D Resident 1935 [Zionist Record]

Zawels Mr & Mrs & fam Resident pre 1946
Children: Jack & ? [Info Sack ]

Zinn H B Resident 1914 [File S p390 1914]

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

The history of the Jewish Community of Bronkhorstspruit was researched by The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot and first published in Jewish Life in the South African Country Communities, Volume II (2004): 241-254

The article is published here courtesy of The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot

 

Belfast, Transvaal, RSA

Including Wonderfontein

BACKGROUND

Belfast is situated in the foothills of the Drakensberg, in the eastern Transvaal (Mpumalanga - post 1994). It lies 210 km east of Pretoria; 68 km east of Middelburg; 30 km east of Waterval-Boven, South Africa.

Belfast was established on 30 June 1890 on the farm Tweefontein which was owned by Richard C O'Neill. He had bought the farm near where Paul Kruger's railway line from Pretoria to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo) was to run, opened a shop and applied for permission to lay out a village. He named the village Belfast after the city in Ireland where his father was born. The railway reached Belfast in 1894 and was administered by a village council from 1902. Belfast was proclaimed a municipality in 1966.

Belfast is one of the coldest places in the country. Many rivers and streams of the eastern Transvaal rise on this watershed and are ideal for trout fishing. Agricultural activities in the area are varied and include cattle, dairy and sheep farming. The tulip nursery attracts many visitors in the spring. Belfast is also a mining area with coal, black granite, fire-clay, kaolin, chrome and iron being mined.

Jewish communal life flourished in Belfast in the 1920s. Little information has come to light about Jewish affairs in the district until the 1960s when the Jews of Belfast and Wonderfontein participated in regional Family Days and attended services in Middelburg. They continued to attend services in Middelburg until the 1990s.

Although there were no actual incidents of antisemitism in Belfast, Nazi propaganda was circulated in the town during the Second World War. The Jewish community was not in favour of mass counter-propaganda but believed that a newspaper article would be beneficial. [Arch 68A SAJBD Rabbi's corresp.]

EARLY JEWISH SETTLERS

Himmelhoch Yosef & Clara & fam. pre 1909
By 1909 the Himmelhoch family was resident of Belfast. [File S p63]

Joffa Mr W pre 1909
By 1909 Mr W Joffa was a resident of Belfast. [File S p67]

Marcson J pre 1909 to Wonderfontein
By 1909 J Marcson was living in Wonderfontein. [File S p47]

Rubin Joseph & Gittel 1894 to SA; after 1905 in Belfast area
Joseph Rubin worked as a blacksmith in the Belfast area. He later opened a store. He then bought some land and began speculating on a small scale in maize, horses and poultry. His son, Solly, born in 1905 in Germiston, joined him in 1925 and together they enlarged the business to include sheep, pigs and cattle. They also acquired the farm, Grootpan, in the Wonderfontein district.

Starfield Mrs B pre 1909 to Wonderfontein
By 1909 Mrs B Starfield was living in Wonderfontein. [File S p47]


BELFAST HEBREW CONGREGATION

It is not known when the Belfast Hebrew Congregation came into being. To date the only information that has come to light is that it was in existence by 1926, and that in 1927 the congregation was raising money to purchase a Sefer Torah. [Zionist Record 1926-7] In 1928 the community held a Siyum Hatorah for the Synagogue Fund at the Nowitz home. [1928 Zionist Record]. However, no synagogue was ever built. In 1936 High Holy Day services were held at the home of Mrs C Himmelhoch. Mr J Rubin of Wonderfontein conducted the service. [Zionist Record 1936]

In 1964 it was suggested that Belfast and Wonderfontein should fall under Witbank and share the services of that minister. [File A & E Dusch Report p6] Nothing appears to have come of this suggestion and the Jews of Belfast and Wonderfontein attended High Holy Day services in Middelburg (1960s-1990s).

BELFAST ZIONIST SOCIETY

Early records show that Jews in Belfast and Wonderfontein contributed to various Zionist funds from as early as 1909. [file S p47] The Zionist Record in 1915 reported that a few well-meaning people intended to form a Zionist society to be called the North-Eastern Transvaal Zionist Society. A meeting was scheduled for 6 June 1915 to discuss the matter further. Nothing more is reported on this issue. In 1922 the Belfast Zionist Society came into being. [Zionist archives: Marcia Gitlin papers?] In 1926 Mr Shein addressed a meeting on behalf of the Keren Hayesod appeal. [Zionist record] Individual contributions continued to come in from Belfast and Wonderfontein for several years but no further reference can be found to the Belfast Zionist Society. The Zionist Record was distributed to readers in Belfast (1929).

BELFAST JEWISH BENEVOLENT FUND

The only record of this society is in 1915 when a donation was made by the Belfast Jewish Benevolent Fund to the Relief Fund for Jewish War Victims. Both Jews and Gentiles from Belfast and Wonderfontein contributed to this fund.

BELFAST JEWISH LADIES BENEVOLENT SOCIETY

The Belfast Jewish Ladies Benevolent Society was formed in 1927, with Mrs H Lack in the chair. [Zionist Record 1927]

CULTURAL / SOCIAL / RECREATIONAL

A number of Family Days were hosted by Jewish families in the surrounding towns and villages in the eastern Transvaal from the mid-1960s. The Jews of Belfast attended a Family Day held in Nelspruit in 1966. [File A & E 20/6/66] In 1982 Dr Stephen Cohen of the SAJBD visited Belfast as part of a trip to the northern and eastern Transvaal in order to learn of the problems of country communities and to reaffirm their link to the SAJBD. [all-a-board spring 1982 p4]

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

Shortly after the opening of the main railway line to Belfast in 1894, a branch line was built to a coal mine west of the town. This mine belonged to Sammy Marks, who had acquired all the coal rights parallel to the main line. At one stage there were about fifty families living on the mine mostly in tin shanties. [Van der Merwe p31]

MISCELLANEOUS

Mrs Clara Himmelhoch, in an interview in 1943, recalled with warmth her relationship with the Afrikaans community in the time she lived in the district. During Voortrekker celebrations in 1938 there was a Nagmaal in Belfast which she attended wearing Voortrekker costume. She was asked to sign the Voortrekker Book, which she was proud to do and was "glad to be among so many old friends from the olden days". [Rochlin arch 114 box 6 file 1- see Dullstroom file]

In 1972 the Station Commander of the South African Police in Belfast, Mr Van Rensburg, sent a donation of R2.00 to the SAJBD for the "Israeli Fighting Men" in a gesture of goodwill.

SATELLITE TOWNS

Wonderfontein is a settlement 20 km south west of Belfast.

STATISTICAL INFORMATION

Community records, according to the Matzo Board survey, indicated that in 1943 there were 23 Jews in Belfast. Ten years later a survey by the SAJBD in 1953 recorded 14 Jews in Belfast. In 1964 Rabbi Duschinsky noted 10 Jews (2 families) in Belfast. In 1980 Rabbi Engel noted 5 Jews in Belfast. The Lack family left Belfast in 1994 and the Jacowitz family left in 1996.

WONDERFONTEIN: According to the Matzo Board survey in 1943, there were 4 Jews in Wonderfontein. In a survey conducted by the SAJBD in 1953 there were 5 Jews (1 family) in Wonderfontein. In 1980 Rabbi Engel noted only 1 Jew in Wonderfontein.


BELFAST JEWISH RESIDENTS

Abel Mr & Mrs Harry Resident 1928 [Zionist Record 1928]

Abrahams Mr I (Jnr) Resident 1915 [file SA p48]

Abrahams Mr I (Snr) Resident 1915 [file SA p48]

Aginsky Mrs H Resident 1971
Lived in Wonderfontein. Mother of Mrs Sonia Friedman and grandmother of Boris Friedman. Died c.1971/2.

Blum A Resident 1921 [SAJO Annual Report 1921 p16]
Blum Mr H Resident 1915 [file SA p57a]

Blum Mr L Resident 1915 [file SA p57a]

Charlson Mr H Resident 1915 [file SA p49]
Lived in Wonderfontein. He contributed to the Relief Fund for Jewish War Victims.

Davidson Mr Resident 1921 [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]
De Winter Mr & Mrs Resident 1928 [Zionist Record 1928]

Dwersky Mr M Resident 1921 [1921 Greetings]

Freedman Mr Resident 1921 [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]
Fridman Joseph & Sonia & fam. Resident 1941 - mid-1960s Mill owner.
Lived in Wonderfontein from 1941 and ran Wonderfontein Mills. Children: Boris, Phyllis & Karen. The family moved to Middelburg, Transvaal, in the mid-1960s. Boris continued to run the mill in Wonderfontein as at 2002, commuting from Middelburg. [Info Fridman]

Friedman L Resident 1918 [File SA p321]

Friedman Mr & Mrs Isadore & fam. Resident 1920 [File SA p623; SAJO Annual report 1921 p16; 1921 & 1923 greetings; Zionist Record 1928]

Friedmann Mr B Resident 1922 Hairdresser; tobacconist [1922 Dennis Edwards]

Goodman Mr R B Resident 1934 Hotelier
Proprietor of the Transvaal Hotel (1934). [Cape Times Dir 1934]

Gootkind Mr A Resident 1921 General dealer
In business with Mr Mittel (1922). [1921 Greetings; Dennis Edwards]

Greenberg E Resident 1921
Recorded in Wonderfontein. [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]

Greenstein L Resident 1921
Recorded in Wonderfontein (1921). [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]

Greenstein Mr O Resident 1915
Recorded in Wonderfontein. [File SA p49]

Greenstein P Resident 1921
Recorded in Wonderfontein (1921). [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]

Guites Mr & Mrs H C Resident 1926 [Zionist Record 1926]

Guites Mr L & fam. Resident 1928 [1928 greetings]

Guites Miss Gertrude Resident 1928 [File N p96]

Gutchen/Gutcher Max Resident 1921 [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16; 1921 greetings]

Himmelhoch Yosef & Clara & fam. Resident 1909 General dealer.
Yosef & Clara Himmelhoch came to SA with their four young children in 1896 to settle in Dullstroom. There they had a shop and a hotel. By 1909 they were living in Belfast. Clara ran a general dealers store. Children: Mary, Beatrice, Danie, Suzanna, Rachel, Charles & Wolf Ze'ev. [Rochlin Arch 114 box 6 file 1-see Dullstroom file; 1921, 1925 p142 & 1928 Greetings; 1922 Dennis Edwards; Zionist Record 1926; File S p63 & 47]

Horwitz Mrs R Resident 1927 [Zionist Record 1927]

Israelowitz I Resident 1921 [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]

Jacowitz Mr & Mrs Cecil & fam. Resident 1961 - 1996 General dealer.
Brother-in-law of Leonard Lack. Child: Hillary. Moved to Johannesburg c.1996. [Files F & I 18/4/61] [Arch 68A -SAJBD Corresp.]

Jankelson Miss Milly Resident pre 1936 Teacher
Moved to Potchefstroom. [see Butterworth file - info from Mrs Jankelson]

Joffa Mr W Resident 1909 [file S p67]

Joseph Mr R Resident 1934 General dealer [Cape Times Dir 1934]

Joseph Mr A Resident 1922 Fruiterer [1922 Dennis Edwards]

Kirsch Mr & Mrs Myer & fam. Resident 1921 Hotelier
Ran the Transvaal Hotel. [1921& 1923 Greetings; File V.4 Tel Dir 1924; Dennis Edwards 1922]

Kirsch Mr W Resident 1915 [File SA p57a & p48]

Kirschner Mr & Mrs P Resident 1928 [Zionist Record 1928]

Lack Leonard & Jean & fam. Resident 1915 – 1994 Farmer; speculator. Brother of Harry Lack and Rosa Lack, brother-in-law of Cecil Jacowitz. Owned the farm Paardeplaas. Children: Myrtle, Hazel, Hilton & Sheryl (married the journalist Arthur Goldstuck). The Lacks left Belfast for Johannesburg in 1994. [Dennis Edwards 1922; File W p556]

Lack Miss Rosa Resident 1915
Sister of Harry Lack and Leonard Lack. Engaged to Mr I Per of Johannesburg in 1915. [File SA p40]

Lack Mr & Mrs Harry & fam. Resident 1915 - 1934 Speculator; general dealer; produce buyer . Brother of Leonard Lack and Rosa Lack. [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16; File V.4 Tel Dir 1924; Dennis Edwards 1922; Cape Times Dir 1934]

Leibowitz Mr & Mrs M & fam. Resident 1914
Children: a son (b. 1914) [SAJC 18 Dec 1914, p1006]

Lidwinitsky Mr Resident 1928 [Zionist Record 1928]

Lowenstein Mr D Resident 1921 [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16; Zionist Record 1928]

Mangin/Magin Mr & Mrs C Resident 1926 Tailor [1926 Zionist Record; Cape Times Dir 1934]

Marcson J Resident 1909 Lived at Wonderfontein. [File S p47]

Minsky Louis Resident 1927 1973 Produce dealer.
His business was established in 1927. Mr Minsky was a bachelor. Died 22 Nov 1973 and was buried in Middelburg. [Rabbi Engel; Zionist Record 1928]

Mittel Mr Resident 1922 General dealer.
In business with Mr A Gootkind (1922). [Dennis Edwards]

Myers Mr A Resident 1924 [1924 Greetings p87]

Nowitz Mr & Mrs R & fam. Resident 1921 – 1942 Coal merchant.
Owned Nowitz's Coal Mine. Children: Miss R & ? [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16; Cape Times Dir 1934; 1921 greetings]

Ravid Mr & Mrs W & fam. Resident 1921 Bottle store owner
[1921 greetings; Dennis Edwards - David]

Rosenberg Isaac Resident 1915. General & produce dealer; hotelier; miller. He owned I Rosenberg & Co, general dealers and millers, in Wonderfontein. Also owned the Wonderfontein Hotel. [file SA p49; Dennis Edwards 1922; Cape Times Dir 1934; SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]

Rosenbrock Mr C Resident 1922 Bakery owner
Owned the Belfast Bakery. [Dennis Edwards; Cape Times Dir 1934]
Rothkugel A Resident 1921
Recorded in Wonderfontein (1921). [SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]
Rubin Joseph & Gittel & fam. Resident after 1905. Farmer; blacksmith; shopkeeper. Son: Solly (b. 1905 in Germiston) & ? [SAJ 1976 p462; 1928 Zionist record]

Rubin Mr M Resident 1915 Butcher
Lived in Wonderfontein. [File SA p49; Cape Times Dir 1934; SAJO Annual report 1921 p16]

Rubin Solly Resident 1925 - 1939 Farmer.
Son of Joseph & Gittel Rubin, born 1905 in Germiston. Farmed with his father from 1925. They also acquired the farm Grootpan in the Wonderfontein district. Solly farmed until the Second World War when he enlisted for active service. [SAJ 1976 p462]

Shackinovsky Mr L Resident 1915 [File SA p57a]

Shapiro Mr Resident 1928 [Zionist Record 1928]

Smith Mr & Mrs R & fam. Resident 1921 - 1962 Farmer; general dealer. Children: Joseph (b.1914), Sarah [1926 Zionist record; Dennis Edwards; SAJO Annual report 1921 p16; 1921 greetings; Files F & I 22/5/1962]

Smith Miss S Resident 1927 [Zionist Record 1927]

Smith Mr & Mrs J & fam. Resident 1977 - 1979
Worked at Phoenix Sawmills. Came to Belfast in 1977. Moved to Pretoria in 1979.
Smith Mr J M Resident 1915
He contributed to the Relief Fund for Jewish War Victims. [File SA p57a]

Sperling N Resident 1936
Recorded in Wonderfontein (1936). [letter to SAJBD 23 Nov 1936]

Spitz Mr & Mrs P Resident 1926 [Zionist Record 1926]

Starfield Mrs B Resident 1909 - 1917
Recorded in Wonderfontein. [File S p47]

Stern Mr & Mrs I Resident 1928 - 1934 General dealer
[Cape Times Dir 1934; 1928 Greetings; 1930 Zionist record]

Zack Master Jaques Resident 1927 [Zionist Record 1927]

Brits 

Including Bethanie, De Wildt, Hoëwal, Jericho, Losperfontein, Reddingshoop, Skeerpoort, Sonop, Vorentoe, Wolhuterskop

A town in Transvaal, South Africa.

Brits is situated in the Transvaal, on the Crocodile River, about 50 km north-west of Pretoria, South Africa. The town owes its establishment to a station on the Pretoria-Rustenburg railway line. On 17 December 1906 the station was named after Johan Nicolaas Brits, the original owner of the farm Roodekopjes ("red hills"). The area had been inhabited for many years prior to this. Mzilikazi, the founder and first paramount chief of the Matabele tribe (known to the Voortrekkers as Silkaats) fled Zululand in 1824 and established himself in the Magaliesberg Range in the vicinity of Silkaatsnek near present-day Brits. Until 1832 when he moved further north, he spread devastation among the tribes between the Vaal and the Limpopo Rivers. The Voortrekkers were drawn to the area because of the good natural grazing, fertile land, the Crocodile River and the temperate climate. About 11 km south of Brits is an old karee tree under which a peace treaty was signed on 15 January 1864 which ended the Transvaal Civil War. The rebels formed their laager at Silkaatsnek before the decisive Battle of Crocodile. Silkaatsnek was also the scene of a battle between the British and the Boers in 1901. Shortly after the Second Anglo-Boer (1899-1902) a number of Indian labourers came to the district from Natal and worked on farms, in particular the citrus farms, owned by the Boers. They were followed by Indian traders who peddled their wares from farm to farm and in many cases set up trading stores on the farms. In later years, with development around the railway station, many of the Indian traders established their businesses there.

The population increased to such an extent that the first school was established in 1910. The first congregation of the Dutch Reformed Church was formed in 1916. When a village began to develop, the most sought after area was that which lay along the main road from west to east on land belonging to Mr J N Brits. Another main road (later called Rutgers St) ran from north to south. The first business centre of the emerging village lay south of the railway line, in the south western quadrant formed by the intersecting main roads. This area housed the office of the Justice of the Peace (and later that of the magistrate), the police station and the Brits Hotel, the first hotel in the town. It was here that Jewish shopkeepers first made their appearance. In time development shifted across the railway line where Barclays Bank and the Nederlandse Bank opened branches.

Given that there was already a small village developing in the area around the intersection of the main east-west and north-south roads, the son of the landowner, Mr J N Brits (Jnr) was keen to develop this further on land which the family owned around the railway station itself. He divided the land into long narrow parallel strips, each about a kilometre long and a few metres wide. Although there was initially some attempt to expand into this area, there were so many problems that it became almost an impossible task. The idea to encourage development in this area around the station had not been implemented with any sound planning and almost all of the erven did not have access to either roads or water.

The time was now ripe to establish a proper township for the rapidly expanding population. Louis Karovsky, who had bought a portion of the farm Roodekopjes from Hendrik Christiaan Brits, allowed this to be cut up into 940 erven by a surveyor, Mr J H Fehrsen. In October 1923 this defined section was declared the Brits township. In contrast to the attempt by Mr J N Brits (Jnr) to stimulate growth around the railway station, this development was properly planned, surveyed and proclaimed (on 25 May 1924), thus facilitating easy expansion. Many of the residents on the older, south western side of the village, moved over to the newly proclaimed area. Their places were taken by the Indian community. The railway station was called Brits, but neither the first development to the south west, nor the second development around the railway station had official names. This third phase of development on land originally owned by Mr H C Brits and sold to Mr Louis Karovsky, took on the name Brits which was also given to the district.

From around 1918 construction began on the Hartebeespoort Dam some 12 km away on the Crocodile River. When the dam was completed at the end of 1923, this brought prosperity and growth to Brits. The regular water supply stabilized the income of the farmers in the area. Brits was administered by a health committee from 1924 until 1928 when a village council was instituted. In 1944 Brits became a municipality.

The Hartebeespoort Dam provides irrigation for a variety of crops, including tobacco, wheat, citrus fruit, lucerne, vegetables and grapes. Cattle ranching is also of importance to the local economy, especially in the northern parts of the district. The plentiful water supply has also led to the development of many industries, such as factories producing household and industrial gas, optical fibre, fruit juice concentrate, engine components and furniture. There are also flour mills. Granite, chrome, iron and magnetite are mined in the district.

EARLY JEWISH SETTLERS

Although it has been asserted that before 1899 a number of Jewish families had spread out into villages around Pretoria such as Brits, Bronkhorstspruit, Irene, Hammanskraal and Pienaarsrivier, no other information has yet come to light to substantiate Jewish settlement in Brits this early. [s & h p163] By 1910 the Myers family was living at De Wildt and by 1919 a number of Jews were already established in the Brits district, but it is not known when they arrived. For the purposes of this research, the period 1910 to 1923, when Brits was declared a township, has been chosen as the years of early Jewish presence.

BRITS HEBREW CONGREGATION

It is not known when the Brits Hebrew Congregation was first established. Available Jewish yearbooks note various dates, e.g. 1924 (SAJ 1967-68), 1929 (SAJYB 1959) and 1932 (SAJYB 1956-57). The latter two dates are incorrect as there is sufficient proof of the existence of the congregation from at least 1926, when they advertised for a shochet. [1926 Zionist Record] It is likely therefore that the first date may be correct and that the congregation was established in 1924 when there were already a number of Jews living in Brits.

In 1928 the congregation enjoyed the services of a minister, Rev Meyer Kaplan. That year a Pesach service was held at the home of Mr H B Kahn and High Holy Day services were also conducted by Rev Kaplan at the same venue. It was then also that the congregation undertook to build a synagogue and a building fund was established.

When the synagogue was built in 1930, the congregation drew up a constitution and bye-laws and this document was lodged with the Deeds Office on 14 June 1930. The constitution states that the objects of the Brits Hebrew Congregation are: "To take over all assets, including movable and immovable property, and to assume all liabilities, of the following Societies, namely: Brits Hebrew Congregation, Brits Jewish Helping Hand and Burial Society, Brits Hebrew School". [Arch 54.5 corresp.] In March 1935, the Brits Hebrew Congregation became a constituent body of the SAJBD. [File L; File K 31/3/35]

Information on the ministers who served the Brits Hebrew Congregation is very limited and it would appear that they did not remain for any length of time. The last minister, name unknown, left at the end of March 1951. [Arch 54.5 corresp. Lapin Report] In the absence of a minister, Dr Bennie Friedland acted as rabbi and cantor, conducting services and reading from prepared sermons sent to him by the SAJBD. [Sat. Star 22/3/99; info Friedland]

In 1930 when the synagogue was built and the new constitution signed, there were 23 Jewish families. By the mid-1950s this had reduced to only 15 families. [1955 SAJYB] In 1966 Rabbi Duschinsky reported that it was unlikely that the further depleted numbers would ever increase. The close proximity of a large city like Pretoria did not encourage much congregational activity in the smaller town, especially when quite a number of families were either relocating to Pretoria (but retaining their business interests in Brits) or sending their children to school there. [File A/E 22/3/66+] In 1967 it was suggested by the SAJBD that Brits fall under Pretoria in a regional scheme whereby facilities of fully functioning congregations were to be shared. [File W p483]
By 1968 there were 8 Jewish families left. It was around this time that the synagogue was used for the last time and that congregational life effectively came to an end. In 1975 the remaining members of the Brits Hebrew Congregation agreed to a new constitution in which trusteeship of the congregation's assets were vested in the SAJBD. This document was signed on 3 Feb 1975 by Mr I Kahn and Dr B Friedland.

BRITS SYNAGOGUE

In 1928 the Brits Hebrew Congregation, under the chairmanship of Mr I Cohen, decided to build a synagogue on land donated by Mr Louis Karovsky. Until that time, services had been held in private homes, particularly that of Mr H B Kahn. In April 1928 a special service was conducted by Rev Kaplan at the home of Mr H B Kahn and a building fund was launched. [File N p95] Later in the year a social was held in aid of the building fund. At that stage they had collected £100. [1928 Zionist Record]

In 1930 the Brits Hebrew Congregation took transfer of the property, erf no. 646 on Pienaar St. The deed of transfer was signed by Messrs Benzion Schlesin and Solly Abelman in their capacity as trustees of the Brits Hebrew Congregation on 14 June 1930. On 17 October 1930, 200 people attended the opening of the new synagogue. Mr Abelman, chairman of the Brits Hebrew Congregation, presented the key to Rabbi W Hirsch of Pretoria, who formally opened the building. Rev L Katz conducted Mincha, supported by Cantor Zwick of Pretoria. Rabbi Hirsch gave an address. That evening the visitors, including the local magistrate, and the congregation attended a dinner at the Abelman home. Mr Abelman was presented with a Kiddush cup in recognition of his services. Mrs S Cohen presented a Sifrei Torah to the congregation. Four days later, on 21 Oct 1930, following a dinner at the home of Mrs A Kahn, the congregation carried the torah to the Abelman home and from there to the synagogue where members were called up to read portions of the law. [Zionist Record 1930]

The synagogue building measured 1759 sq metres and had two cheder rooms. The benches and bimah were made of hardwood. In 1953 the congregation was given a silver pointer when the SAJBD allocated items of ceremonial silver looted by the Nazis. [File H] In 1956 the SAJBD gave on loan to the Brits Hebrew Congregation a torah which was originally from the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in London. In September 1967 the spiritual head of that synagogue, Dr Solomon Gaon, requested the return of all of the Sephardic torahs because of the influx of Jews of Oriental origin to London. As a result, the torah from Brits was returned on 21 November 1967. The SAJBD arranged for the loan of another torah to the congregation. [File U 46 & 48; Dusch letter 11/3/68 - Arch 54.5 Rabbis Corresp.]

In 1966 there were 12 Jewish families in Brits. High Holy Day services were still being held, with occasional yahrzeit minyanim. The synagogue was reported to be in good condition. However, the number of Jewish families was reducing steadily and the last High Holy Day services were held in 1968. [Engel tour 10] The sale of the synagogue became inevitable.

On 3 Feb 1975 a new constitution was signed by Mr I Kahn and Dr B Friedland in which trusteeship of the congregation's assets were vested in the SAJBD. In that year the Brits Hebrew Congregation gave on loan a Sifrei Torah and breastplate to the Sandton Synagogue Centre in Johannesburg. [file U p131 & 133] Former residents of Brits, in two separate bids, offered to purchase the property but both came to naught. In 1981 the Brits Town Council agreed in principle to purchase the property subject to the approval of the Administrator of the Transvaal. In September 1982 the municipality gave notice of the expropriation of the property for use as a parking lot for a nearby supermarket. They offered to pay R36 025.00 as compensation. This offer was accepted on 28 Oct 1982 and paid out in December that year.

In 1984 it came to the notice of the SAJBD that the municipality had rented out the building to "Die Gemeente van Christus" church. The municipality agreed to give the church notice but noted that their lease was only due to expire in March 1986. It was not renewed and the municipality then decided to use the building as a sports centre. During 1991 the sports centre moved to new premises and the building was left in disrepair, resulting in further representation by the SAJBD. The municipality passed plans for the building to be used as a publicity centre. The original architecture was to be retained. In July 1992 the Brits Information Bureau was opened.

BRITS HEBREW SCHOOL

The only information that has yet come to light on the Brits Hebrew School is that it was in existence by 1930. When the Brits Hebrew Congregation signed a constitution in that year it undertook to take over all assets and liabilities of the Brits Hebrew School and to maintain its functions. [Arch 54.5 corresp.]

Nothing further is known about Jewish education in Brits until 1951 when Rabbi A H Lapin of Johannesburg visited the town on behalf of the Country Communities Committee of the SAJBD. [File I /F 8/3/51 & 11/9/51] He sat in on a Hebrew class attended by 5 pupils. The class was run three times a week by a young woman from the Habonim farm outside Brits. In November 1951 the SAJBD proposed the hiring of a regional teacher who would teach in Brits and in Warmbaths. This idea bore fruit in February 1952 when Mr Shatz was appointed as regional teacher and shochet for a district comprising Brits, Carltonville and Ventersdorp. Around this time the congregation had in its employ a shochet, who was related to a number of families in the town. [File W p81, 82, 85 & 101; arch 54.5 corresp.] Unfortunately, the Brits Hebrew Congregation seceded from the regional scheme almost immediately as they wished to retain the services of this shochet. He did not teach the children and since the small community could not afford to employ a second person, the educational needs of the children were compromised. This unhappy situation in which the congregation was torn between loyalty to a family member and their need for a Jewish education for their children meant that numerous attempts by the SAJBD to engage another shochet/teacher met with little success. Temporary arrangements continually needed to be made with visiting teachers, e.g. in October 1952 classes were conducted by a Mr Weinstein. There were only 2 children left in the class, as two were attending school in Pretoria and another family was preparing to leave Brits. [Arch 54.5 corresp. file I/F 22/1/52, 13/2/52 & 4/3/52]

In January 1957 Rabbi Newman noted that there was no provision for any Jewish education, despite numerous offers of help from the SAJBD. [file A/E 31/1/57] This was still the case in 1966 when Rabbi Duschinsky reported that there were no classes and that many of the children went to school in Pretoria. [file A/E 22/3/66]

BRITS JEWISH HELPING HAND AND BURIAL SOCIETY

The Brits Jewish Helping Hand and Burial Society was in existence by 1930 when the Brits Hebrew Congregation signed a new constitution. In this document the congregation stated that it would take over all assets and liabilities of the above-mentioned society and to maintain its functions. There was no Jewish cemetery in Brits. Local Jews were buried in Pretoria. [Arch 54.5; SAJYB 1959]

ARRANGEMENTS FOR RITUAL SLAUGHTERING

Covering a period from around 1928 until around 1951 the Brits Hebrew Congregation employed various ministers to serve the needs of their community, including that of shechita. However, none of the incumbents appear to have remained in the position for any length of time and when the position was vacant, temporary arrangements needed to be made. For example, in 1945 the congregation reported that their minister had recently left them to take up residence in Pretoria and that he came to Brits twice a week to slaughter, for which he received £25 per month. They appealed to the SAJBD for help in securing the services of a minister who would serve both the Brits and Rustenburg congregations. [SAJBD corresp. Country Communities Applications for Ministers and Teachers]

When the last minister left at the end of March 1951 for Pretoria, he agreed to come to Brits once a week for shechita. This was still the case in September 1951. In November 1951 the SAJBD proposed the concept of a regional teacher and shochet to serve Brits, Ventersdorp and Carltonville. Mr Shatz was duly appointed in February 1952 but the Brits community withdrew from the scheme almost immediately preferring to retain the services of their current shochet. In 1957 Rabbi Newman reported that the Brits community used the services of a visiting shochet from Pretoria. [file A/E 31/1/57] In 1966 the congregation still had the services of a visiting shochet once a week. [file A/E 22/3/66] In 1977 and 1978 Rabbi Baran of Rustenburg performed shechita for the Brits community once a month.

BRITS ZIONIST SOCIETY

Records exist of contributions to Zionist funds from Jews in Brits from as early as 1918. [file N p47] By 1926 a Zionist society was in existence. It was represented at the 10th conference of the SAZF. By 1928 the Brits Zionist Society was paying affiliation dues to the SAZF as a Class 4 society. [file N p99] This continued until at least 1954. [File N p146] The Zionist Record was distributed to readers in Brits and Wolhuterskop (1929). [file N p150]

UNION OF JEWISH WOMEN (BRITS)

The Brits branch of the Union of Jewish Women was founded in October 1946 with Mrs Friedland serving as the first chairlady. The branch celebrated its 10th anniversary in 1956. Five of the foundation members, including Mrs F Friedland and Mrs M Kahn who had served as chairman and secretary respectively since the formation of the branch, were present. Guests of honour included the national president and vice-president of the UJW. [SAJT 25/11/56]

In 1955 the branch paid membership to the SAJBD but due to an administrative delay their application for affiliation was only completed in January 1958. In 1968 the national organising secretary of the Union of Jewish Women of SA notified the SAJBD that as the community in Brits had dwindled to such an extent, there was no longer a branch of the UJW there. The few remaining women had formed an outpost. [Arch 54.5 corresp. 27/2/68]

CULTURAL / SOCIAL / RECREATIONAL

In the 1940s and 1950s the SAJBD assisted the Brits community with visiting rabbis and lecturers. [file W pgs 82,156, 317]. For example, Mrs H Kehr and Mr S W Sulski of Johannesburg addressed a meeting in Brits on 24 April 1945; a lecture was given by Mr L Goodman, principal of the Port Elizabeth Hebrew School, in 1947; Rev A L Kaplan of the La Rochelle Hebrew Congregation visited Brits on 13 April 1954; and Rabbi Dr M Chigier lectured in Brits on 4 November 1957. In Nov 1957 Rabbi A H Rabinowitz and Mr Gus Saron, general secretary of the SAJBD, visited Brits for a public meeting which was filmed and was to be included in a film on the activities of the SAJBD and other Jewish organisations of SA. [Arch 54.5 corresp.]

ANTISEMITISM
In the late 1930s, according to Dr Bennie Friedland who arrived in Brits in 1937, "It was unpleasant for us. The people at the Union Hotel where we stayed were so anti-British they were pro-Nazi. They said 'Heil Hitler' at dinner." He added that little attempt was made to teach English during the war and that school children went out to play during English lessons. [Stengel p75]

There was great consternation within the Jewish community in 1956 when Mr Johan Schoeman, a notorious antisemite from Broederstroom, sent out notices of a public meeting in Brits on 28 April 1956. Mr Schoeman published anti-semitic leaflets and despite attempts by the SAJBD to get the police to intervene, he had never been prosecuted. Mr Gus Saron, general secretary of the SAJBD, went to Brits and met with the mayor, Mr De Wit, who was of the belief that there was little support for Mr Schoeman. His view proved to be prophetic since only three people attended the meeting. [Council of Natal Jewry, public relations committee, minutes of meetings 27/5/56 & 1/7/56; SAJBD Arch 54.5 corresp.]

Strong anti-semitic sentiments were expressed at the first public meeting of the Afrikaner Weerstandbeweging held in the Brits Town Hall in March 1976. The Town Hall was decorated with two large Vierkleur flags, a large banner and insignia resembling swastikas, all reminiscent of Nazi rallies. The participants ranted against Jews and proclaimed their intention of creating an autocratic Third Republic (an obvious reference to the Third Reich) instead of a regime based on the "obsolete British-Jewish parliamentary system". [SAJT 19 Mar 1976 p3]

SATELLITE TOWNS

Bethanie Bethanie is a mission station of the Hermannsburg Missionary Society north west of Brits. It was established in 1864, the first missionary being W Behrens. The name is of biblical origin and is Hebrew for "house of sorrow or misery". Bethanie is situated on the farm Losperfontein which forms part of a large area consisting of 12 other farms and parts of farms inhabited by the Bakwena tribe. [SESA vol 2 p296]

De Wildt De Wildt is a railway station, police station and post office 18 km east of Brits. It was named after the engineer, Mr E de Wildt, who in 1905 surveyed the railway line between Pretoria and Rustenburg for the Dutch railway company, NZASM. De Wildt can be said to be where the National Party was born. In a speech delivered here on 7 December 1912, Gen J B M Hertzog finally broke with generals Louis Botha and Jan Smuts on future relations between English and Afrikaans speaking groups. Today De Wildt is famous for two unique facilities, the first being the herbal centre of Margaret Roberts, an internationally known expert on herbs and herbal products, and the De Wildt Cheetah Research Centre, where cheetahs were bred in captivity for the first time.

Hoëwal Hoëwal is a railway siding to the north of Brits. It lies close to the confluence of the Crocodile River and the Rooikoppies Dam.
Jericho Settlement about 40 km north of Brits.
Losperfontein Losperfontein is a government research station for agronomy and stock-breeding, situated 14 km north-west of Brits. It is named after a Mr Loubser who was involved in an accident with a saddle-horse there. The name Loubser is commonly pronounced Losper. [SESA vol7 p32]

Reddingshoop Settlement in the Brits district.

Skeerpoort The village of Skeerpoort lies on the railway line from Pretoria to Magaliesburg, 24 km south of Brits. The name is Afrikaans for "shaving devil", the mountain pass from which it takes its name. One theory is that it may have been so named by the commando under Hendrik Potgieter which stopped there on a Sunday to trim their beards. Another explanation is that it was a commando led by Casper Kruger, the father of Paul Kruger, which bought soap and shaving equipment from a trader, in order to wash and shave before entering Pretoria. [Raper p503; SESA v.9 p652]

Sonop The village of Sonop lies about 10 km south west of Brits. It was laid out by the Department of Agriculture around 1916 for workers constructing the Hartebeespoort Dam. It was subsequently transformed into a home for those unable to maintain themselves and is administered by the Department of Social Welfare and Pensions. The name is Afrikaans for sunrise.

Vorentoe Settlement north-west of Brits, between Bethanie and Losperfontein.
Wolhuterskop Wolhuterskop is a railway station west of Brits. Citrus is grown here, on the northern slopes of the Magaliesberg.

Wolhuterskop Wolhuterskop is a railway station west of Brits. Citrus is grown here, on the northern slopes of the Magaliesberg.

JEWISH PERSONALITIES

Friedland Mrs Freda Freda Friedland served the Brits Jewish community from around 1940, when she became the secretary/treasurer of the Brits Hebrew Congregation, also looking after the synagogue and acting as the shammash. She continued in this role, as main spokesperson for the Brits Jewish community, until 1982 when the synagogue was sold. She was the first chairlady of the Brits branch of the Union of Jewish Women when it was formed in 1946, a position she held almost exclusively until the branch ceased to function in the late 1960s. Freda Friedland was a foundation member of the Brits Vroue Landbou Unie in the early 1940s. She was a committee member of the Brits Red Cross Society and of the Brits en Distrik Verpleegsterskomitee. [Info Friedland]

Friedland Dr Bennie Dr Bennie Friedland gave sterling service to the community from his arrival in Brits in 1937, acting as minister and cantor when necessary. He was chairman of the Brits Hebrew Congregation from 1951 and he and his wife, as secretary of the congregation, led the Jewish community until the synagogue was sold in 1982. Dr Bennie Friedland was a part-time Medical Officer of Health for the Brits Town Council for about 40 years (since 1937) and part-time Railway Medical Officer for 44 years. He was a part-time medical practitioner on the staff of the Brits Hospital. He was chairman of the Brits Branch of the SA Blood Transfusion service since its inception in 1956. He was also chairman of the Brits branch of the National Cancer Association, and was president of the Brits Rotary Club in 1969. He was lecturer to the Brits Red Cross Society and subsequently to the Brits Noodhulpliga (First Aid Society) for about 20 years. He worked as a doctor in Brits for over 60 years. He died on 3 May 2001, aged 91. [SAJ 1967/8 p244; SAJ1976/7 p180; info Friedland]

Kahn (Jacob) Meyer Meyer Kahn, born in Brits in 1940, the son of Ben & Sarah Kahn, matriculated at Brits High School and then obtained a BA degree (Law) and MBA at the University of Pretoria. He joined the OK Bazaars in 1966 and was managing director of the company from 1977 until 1988, at which time he joined the South African Breweries (SAB) as managing director. He became executive chairman of the SAB in 1990 and it was during his chairmanship that the group more than doubled its turnover and embarked on an ambitious expansion drive. In 1983 he was named one of South Africa's Top Five Businessmen and in 1987, Marketing Man of the Year. In 1989 he was honoured as professor extraordinaire by the University of Pretoria. In 1990 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Commerce and named Businessman of the Year. The following year he won an award for Business Excellence from the University of the Witwatersrand. In 1997 he was appointed chief executive officer of the South African Police Service for a period of 2 years. He was runner up for the Lexus Lifetime Achiever Award in 1999. [Sunday Times 25/5/97; Jewish Times May/June 1997 p2; SA Jewish Report Achievers 1998/99]

Karovsky Louis Louis Karovsky was one of the founders of Brits and owned the land on which the township was proclaimed in 1923. Louis Street is named after him. He not only gave ground for the synagogue, but also for the Christian denominations, such as the Apostolic Church. [De Beer p206-213; Hickey p37 & 92] In the 1920s Louis Karovsky was one of several Jews who participated in Nationalist politics. [Furlong p49] In 1922 he took serious risks in opposing the Government. He was the liaison officer between the strikers' committee and the Nationalist Party leaders, Tielman Roos, General Kemp and Grobler. He went around the countryside collecting food for the strikers from the farmers and was imprisoned for his efforts. His political acumen brought him into contact with the leading politicians of the country and earned him the reputation of political seer with prophetic powers. [SAJT 27/2/59] He played an important role in the 1924 election campaign of the Transvaal Nationalist leader, Tielman Roos. [Shimoni p92]

Sive Aryeh Aryeh Sive, a Zionist pioneer, came from Israel to serve as the first full-time Habonim shaliach in South Africa in the late 1940s. He set up a hachsharah farm to train chalutzim in agricultural methods on the farm owned by Mr Henry Bernstein, well known Johannesburg businessman and communal worker. The group that was to eventually join Kibbutz Tzorah was trained under him on that farm. [Telfed v.23 no.1 Apr 1997] Upon his return to Israel, he served as World Mazkir of Habonim. [Telfed v.23 no.1 apr 1997] During the 1950s Aryeh Sive headed the Upper Galilee Regional Council, which set up cold storage atmosphere controlled plants all over Israel, in an attempt by Israeli apple growers to extend the sale of apples beyond the summer picking season. He became an expert in the field of cold storage and later received the Kaplan Award for his work. This award is for recognition of achievements in raising efficiency and productivity in industry, agriculture and services and was established in 1952. [Telfed v.23 no.1 par 1997]

JEWISH RESIDENTS OF BRITS

Abelman Miss Resident - 1919 [1928 Zionist Record; File N p51]

Abelman Mr & Mrs P & fam. Resident - 1919
Children: Polly Helena (married Max Eisenstadt of Johannesburg) & ? [1926 Zionist Record; File SA pg 434-1919]

Abelman Mr & Mrs Solly & fam. Resident - 1919 General dealer.
Was one of the first general dealers in Brits. Children: Lena, Dr B & ? [1924-44 greetings; 1926 & 1927 Zionist Record; 1942 List of Donors SAJBD; CT DIR 1934; file SA p434; De Beer p207; List of Residents 1945]

Abelman Dr Barnet Resident - 1928 Doctor.
Son of Mr & Mrs S Abelman. [1928 Zionist Record; CT DIR 1934]

Aires Charles Resident 1934 [CT DIR 1934; 1936 greetings]

Amdur Mr M Resident 1934 General dealer .
Traded as M & S Amdur at Jericho (1934). [CT DIR 1934]

Amdur Mr S Resident 1934 General dealer.
Traded as M & S Amdur at Jericho (1934). [CT DIR 1934]

Barron Louis & Cynthia & fam Resident – 1970s
Married Cynthia Lakier, daughter of Mr & Mrs Nathan Lakier. Children: Danny (b.1972), Gregory (b.1974) & Elise (b.1977). [Engel tour 57 & 60]

Baruch Mr & Mrs Adolf & fam Resident - 1919 General dealer; farmer. Born in 1881 in Germany. Came to SA in 1895, aged 14. Farmed in Rustenburg and then in Brits. Was living in Brits by 1919. Then went to Lichtenburg and Bloemhof where he became a diamond digger and buyer. [9/3/61; Star 4/3/65; 1922 Dennis Edwards; File SA p434]

Berkowitz Mr N B Resident – 1926 [1926 Zionist Record; 1926-28 Greetings]

Blumberg Mr Resident - 1926
Worked on the relief works at Hartebeespoort Dam. [File K 28/2/26]

Cohen Mr & Mrs I & fam. Resident - 1928 [1928 Greetings; File N p95]

Cohen Mrs S (Snr) Resident - 1930 [1930 Zionist Record]

Cohen Mr & Mrs Resident – 1945
Recorded at Sonop (1945). [List of Residents 1945]

Danzfus Mr W Resident - 1922 General dealer.
Traded at De Wildt (1922). [1922 Dennis Edwards]

Diamond Mr I Resident - 1942
Owned the Settlers Store at Reddingshoop (1942). [SAJBD 1942 List of Donors]

Diamond Mr R Resident - 1942 General dealer.
Owned Losperfontein Trading Store at Losperfontein (1942). [SAJBD 1942 List of Donors]

Dreier Mr & Mrs Sender & fam. Resident - 1926 General dealer .
Children: a daughter (married Nathan Lakier) & ? [CT DIR 1934; SAJBD 1942 List of Donors; 1926 Zionist Record; 1928 Greetings]

Efune Mr I Resident - 1942
Recorded at Reddingshoop (1942). [SAJBD 1942 List of Donors]

Efune Sam & Sybil & fam. Resident - 1971
Children: Alan, Lesley & Michael (b.1955). Moved to Johannesburg. [Engel tour 10]
Eisenstadt Mrs Resident - 1945 [List of Residents 1945]

Fain Mr H Resident = 1934 General dealer.
Recorded in Losperfontein (1934) where he traded as H Fain & Co. Also recorded as Fain Bros in Brits (1942). [SAJBD 1942 List of Donors; CT DIR 1934]

Fain Mr M Resident - 1940 [Arch 54.5 corresp. 20/11/40 letter from M Sive]

Fairly Mr C Resident - 1919 General dealer.
Owned Brits Supply Stores. [1924 Tel Dir File V; File SA pg 434-1919]

Falkenstein Mr & Mrs M Resident - 1928 General dealer.
Recorded at Wolhuterskop (1928) and at Sonop (1934). [SAJBD List of Donors 1942; 1928 greetings; CT DIR 1934; List of Residents 1945]

Falkenstein Ulrich Resident - 1927 General dealer.
Recorded in Sonop (1927), Wolhuterskop (1928) and Hoëwal (1934). Owned the Zandrift Supply Store in Hoëwal (1934). Applied for naturalisation in 1927. [1927 Zionist Record; 1928 greetings; CT DIR 1934]

Falkenstein Issie & Fanny Resident - 1928
Lived at Sonop from 1928. [info Ann Harris]

Falkenstein Abram & Mina & fam. Resident - 1928
Family came from Krustpils, Latvia (until WW1 in the Vitebsk province) to SA in 1928 to Abram's brother, Ulrich Falkenstein, in Wolhuterskop. [Immigration Records]
Feinblum Mr & Mrs C H & fam. Resident 1942 - 1973
Children: Mr L & ? Chaim died in 1973. Mrs Feinblum left Brits the following year. [Engel tour 36 & 44; SAJBD List of Donors 1942; List of Residents 1945]

Fletcher Joe & Sonia & fam. Resident c.1939- 1948 Butcher.
Came to De Wildt around 1939. Owned a butchery there. Children: Freda & Jessie. Left De Wildt in 1948. [info Lanesman; List of Residents 1945]

Frankel Isidor & Rose & fam Resident - 1924 General dealer.
Recorded at Wolhuterskop (1924). Married Rosie Kirsch (b.1901) of Knysna. Children: Hymie & Leah Rosie. Rose died in 1935. [1924 Zionist Record; state archives cape town death notices]

Freedman Rev Resident - 1948 Minister of religion

Friedberg H Resident - 1919 [File SA pg 434]

Friedenthal Joe & Mrs E & fam. Resident - 1919 General dealer; hotelier.
Owned the Brits Hotel. [1922 Dennis Edwards; CT DIR 1934; 1926-28 Greetings; 1926 Zionist Record; 1919 File SA p434]

Friedland Dr & Mrs David & fam. Resident - 1994 Doctor.
Son of Dr & Mrs Bennie Friedland. Moved to Johannesburg in 1994. [info Friedland]
Friedland Dr Benny Percival & Freda & fam. Resident 1937 - 2001 Doctor. Born 1911 in Kovno, Lithuania. Came to SA in 1921. Came from Pretoria to Brits in 1937 when he bought a medical practice. Was a doctor in Brits for over 60 years. Married Freda Jacobson (b. in Sterkstroom) in Johannesburg on 1 January 1936. Son: David. Died 3 May 2001, aged 91. Freda still resident in Brits as at 2001. [1942 SAJBD List of Donors; the star 4 may 2001; Pretoria Jewish Chronicle - Feb. 2000, March/Apr 2000]

Friedlander Mr & Mrs S Resident - 1928 [1928 Zionist Record]

Furman Mr & Mrs Barney & fam. Resident - 1922 General dealer.
Traded as Furman Bros at Bethanie (1922). Also recorded at Wolhuterskop (1927). Children: a daughter & ? [1922 Dennis Edwards; 1927 Zionist Record; 1928 greetings]

Goodman Mr & Mrs H L Resident - 1926 [SAJBD List of Donors 1942; List of Residents 1945; 1926 Zionist Record; 1926-30 greetings]

Gordon Miss Resident - 1930 [1930 Zionist Record]

Gordon Mr & Mrs Cyril Resident -1931 Pharmacist.
Son of Mr & Mrs Max Gordon. Owned Brits Pharmacy (1942). Moved to Pretoria. [SAJBD List of Donors 1942; 1931 Zionist Record; List of Residents 1945]

Gordon Mr & Mrs Max & fam. Resident - 1931
Came from Johannesburg. Were living in Brits by 1931. Children: Cyril & ? [Max may have died before they left Johannesburg] [1931 Zionist Record]
Greenberg Mr L Resident - 1945
Recorded in Bethanie (1945). [List of Residents 1945]

Greenberg Mr PG Resident = 1942 Shopkeeper.
Recorded in Bethanie (1942). Owned Bethanie Supply Store. Moved to Pretoria. [SAJBD List of Donors 1942]

Gudelsky Mr H Resident = 1934 [CT DIR 1934; 1936 greetings]
Howscha Mr & Mrs Rubin Resident - 1942
Rubin died in 1974. [Engel tour 49; SAJBD List of Donors 1942; List of Residents 1945; ZR & SAJC 4/9/64 p100]

Jacobs Mr Resident - 1920s [De Beer p207]

Jacobsohn Max Resident - 1926 [1926 Greetings]

Jacobson Benjamin Resident - 1945 Attorney [Arch 54.5 corresp.]
Jacobson Robert & Marcelle & fam. Resident - 1945
Married Marcelle Lazarus of Oudtshoorn. Children: Tyla (b.1947), Michael (b.1949) & Karen (b.1950). Moved to Pretoria. [List of Residents 1945; State Archives Death Notices Cape Town]

Joffe Mr & Mrs M Resident - 1942 Shopkeeper.
Recorded at Hoëwal where he owned the Sanddrift Supply Stores (1942). Mr Joffee died c.1954. [List of Residents 1945; SAJBD List of Donors 1942]

Joseph Mr L Resident - 1922 General dealer .
Traded at Skeerpoort (1922). [1922 Dennis Edwards]

Kacev/Katzeff Rev & Mrs W & fam. Resident - 1937 Minister of religion.
Children: Annie & ? [SAJT 7/1/38 p6]

Kahn Hersh Ber & Luta & fam. Resident - 1926 General dealer.
Brother of Isaac Jacob (Issie), Ben & Abe Kahn. The brothers came to SA from Tavrig, Lithuania, in the mid-1920s and stayed at first with their sister, Mrs Rachel Been, in Marikana in the Rustenburg district. Son: Archie. [List of Residents 1945; info Been; 1926 Greetings]

Kahn Isaac Jacob (Issie) & Molly Resident 1926 - 1977 Furniture dealer. Brother of Hersh Ber, Ben & Abe Kahn. The brothers came to SA from Tavrig, Lithuania, in the mid-1920s and stayed at first with their sister, Mrs Rachel Been, in Marikana in the Rustenburg district. Issie went to Swartruggens before settling opening a shop in Wolhuterskop. He then moved to Brits. He and Abe owned Kahn Bros, Furnishers. Isaac died in 1977. Molly later moved to Pretoria. [Engel tour 57; info Been; 1926 Greetings]

Kahn Mr & Mrs Abe Resident - 1926 Furniture dealer.
Brother of Hersh Ber, Isaac Jacob (Issie) & Ben Kahn. The brothers came to SA from Tavrig, Lithuania, in the mid-1920s and stayed at first with their sister, Mrs Rachel Been, in Marikana in the Rustenburg district. Owned Kahn Bros, Furnishers, in partnership with his brother, Issie. In 1929 was engaged to Ray Diamond of Kimberley. Moved to Potgietersrus. [1929 Zionist Record; 1926 Greetings; info Been]
Kahn Ben & Sarah & fam. Resident - 1926 Butcher.
Brother of Hersh Ber, Isaac Jacob (Issie) & Abe Kahn. The brothers came to SA from Tavrig, Lithuania, in the mid-1920s and stayed at first with their sister, Mrs Rachel Been, in Marikana in the Rustenburg district. Married Sarah Feinblum. Children: Jacob Meyer (b.1940) & Raymond. Owned Kahn & Kahn, Butchers. [List of Residents 1945; info Been; 1926 greetings; CT DIR 1934]

Kaplan Rev Meyer Resident - 1928 Minister of religion [1928 Zionist Record; File N p95]

Karovsky Mr & Mrs Louis & fam. Resident c.1918 Businessman; hotelier.
Came to SA in 1908 from Shavli, Lithuania. Living in Brits from c.1918 and left in the 1940s. Married Miss C Joubert (not born Jewish). She stood in as mayoress in the 1930s when Mr T de Wit headed the village health committee. Also owned the Brits Hotel. [De Beer p211-2; 1928 Zionist Record; SAJT 27/2/59; Karovsky]

Katz Rev & Mrs L Resident - 1930 Minister of religion.
Came from Zhager, Lithuania. In 1930 married Miss Tobiansky of Kelme, Lithuania. [UCT Ms & Arch UJW File BC 769]

Klowalsky Mr J Resident - 1934 General dealer.
Traded at Skeerpoort (1934). [CT DIR 1934]

Krom Israel Resident - 1929
Lived at Wolhuterskop. [1929 Zionist Record]

Kwitz Mr & Mrs & fam Resident c.1944 Farmer.
Lived in De Wildt. Children: Lesley & Mendy. [ UCT manuscripts and archives, Union of Jewish Women file]

Lakier Charlie & Estelle & fam. Resident 1951 – 2001 Hardware store owner. Brother of Nathan Lakier. Came to Brits in 1951. Ran a hardware store, Dreiers, with his brother. Children: Roy (b.1953), John (b.1955) & Dennis (b.1957). Still resident in Brits as at 2001. [Engel tour 57; The Star 20/03/99 pg 6]

Lakier Mr & Mrs Edward & fam. Resident - 1971
Son of Mr & Mrs Nathan Lakier. Children: Terry (b.1971) & Mark (b.1973). Went to the USA. [Engel Tour 57]

Lakier Mr & Mrs Nathan & fam. Resident 1945 – 1990 Hardware store owner.
Brother of Charlie Lakier. Married Miss Dreier, daughter of Mr & Mrs S Dreier. Children: Edward, Cynthia (married Louis Barron) & ? Ran Dreiers Hardware Store with his brother. Mrs Lakier died in 1975. [Engel tour 57; Stengel p2]

Lang Mr & Mrs Resident - 1942
In business with Mr Touyz (1942). [List of Residents 1945; SAJBD List of Donors 1942]

Lang Mr M Resident - 1926 [1926 greetings]

Lapidus Mr & Mrs G & fam Resident 1965 - 1971
Children: Gideon, Moshe & Winnie. Moved to Johannesburg. [Arch 100A343 Brits]
Lax Mr Resident - 1927 [1927 Zionist Record]

Legum M Resident - 1928 [1928 Zionist Record]

Levin Mr S H Resident - 1926 [1926 Zionist Record]

Lief J Resident – by 1926 Left Brits in 1926. [1926 Zionist Record]
Lipshitz Mr Resident - 1928 [1928 greetings]

Lurie Hillel & Lily & fam. Resident - 1948 General dealer
Recorded at De Wildt. Children: Luba & Shirley. [Info Lanesman]

Lurie Hymie & Sarah Resident - 1942 General dealer.
Owned Greylingspost Supply Stores in De Wildt. [Info Lanesman]

Lurie Mr & Mrs M & fam. Resident - 1932
Child: Hillel [Zionist Record]

Lurie Mrs S & fam. Resident - 1930
Recorded at De Wildt (1930). Children: Harry & ? [1930 Zionist Record]

Mer Mr J Resident - 1934 Butcher [CT DIR 1934; List of Residents 1945; SAJBD List of Donors 1942]

Moss Mr & Mrs Resident - 1945 [List of Residents 1945]

Myer T Resident -1929 Lived at Wolhuterskop. [1929 Zionist Record]
Myers Mr & Mrs Sam Resident -1910
They were living at De Wildt by 1910. [S A Jewish Chronicle 22/04/1910]

Narbosky/Natboosky Mr J Resident - 1922 General dealer.
Traded at Skeerpoort (1922). [1922 Dennis Edwards; CT DIR 1934]

Plitt Meyer Resident - 1927 General dealer.
Lived at Wolhuterskop. [1927 Zionist Record]
Rabinowitz H Resident - 1942 [SAJBD List of Donors 1942]
Resnick Mr & Mrs & fam. Resident - 1959
Children: Marc Colin (b.1957) & ? [1959 Zionist Record ]

Robins Daniel & Sadie Resident - 1928
Married Sadie Lurie of Johannesburg in 1928. [1928 Zionist Record]

Ruthenberg Mr S & fam. Resident - 1924
Recorded at De Wildt (1924). [1924 Greetings]

Sachs Mr L Resident - 1924 General dealer.
Traded as L Sachs Ltd (1924). [1924 Tel Dir file V]

Salinger Mr Resident -1919 [File SA 434]

Schlesin Mr & Mrs Benzion (Boris) Resident - 1928 Bottle store owner.
Owned Brits Bottle Store (1942). Children: Zara(b.1930) & ? Moved to Pretoria. [1928 & 1930 Zionist Record; SAJBD 1942 List of Donors; List of Residents 1945; 1928 Greetings]

Schlosberg Mr & Mrs S Resident - 1928 Hotelier
Owned the Brits Hotel (1928). [1928 Zionist Record]

Schneider Mr & Mrs C Resident - 1966 General dealer.
Owned Sanddrift Supply Store at Hoëwal (1966). [Arch 54.5 corresp.]

Sief/Siev Mr & Mrs J Resident – 1926 [1926 Zionist Record; 1928 Greetings]

Sieff Mr L Resident – 1934. General dealer; grain & livestock dealer; butcher. Traded as L Sieff & Co in Bethanie (1934). [CT DIR 1934]

Sive Miss Resident - 1928 [1928 Zionist Record]

Sive Maurice Manfred & Joy & fam. Resident - 1930 Attorney.
Applied for naturalisation in 1937. [arch 210.1 refugees 1930-40; CT DIR 1934; List of Residents 1945; SAJBD List of Donors 1942; 1930 Zionist Record]

Smith Mr & Mrs Philip & fam Resident - 1928 Hotelier.
Owned the Brits Hotel, the first hotel in Brits. Children: A daughter (b.1928) & ? [1928 Zionist Record]

Stern Mr & Mrs Heinrich Resident - 1942 [List of Residents 1945; SAJBD List of Donors 1942]

Subel Mr I Resident - 1934 Butcher
Owned butchery at Vorentoe (1934). [CT DIR 1934]

Tobiansky Mrs Resident - 1930 [1930 Zionist Record]

Tooch Mr M Resident - 1930 [1930 Zionist Record]

Touyz J Resident - 1928 [1928 Zionist Record]

Touyz Mr C H (Hyman) Resident - 1942 Farmer c1900.
He came to SA from Latvia, where the family had been farmers for many generations. Served with the British forces during the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) and after demobilisation began farming in the Fort Beaufort area. In 1915 he farmed near Rustenburg and later in Ermelo. After 1919 he went to the eastern Transvaal and then came to the Brits district. In business with Mr Lang (1942). [List of Residents 1945; SAJBD List of Donors 1942; Markowitz 1950 - Jewish Farmers in SA]

Unterhalter Mr I Resident - 1934
Recorded at Wolhuterskop (1934). [CT DIR 1934]

Zelitsky/Zetisky Mr & Mrs B & fam. Resident 1945 – 1962 Hotelier.
Children: Sandra (b.1947 in Brits) & Roy (b.1955 in Brits).

Zetler Mr & Mrs L Resident - 1979 Four children. [Arch 100A343 Brits]

Ziman Mr I Resident - 1922 General dealer.
Traded at Jericho (1922). [1922 Dennis Edwards]

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

The history of the Jewish Community of Brits was researched by The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot and first published in Jewish Life in the South African Country Communities, Volume I (2002): 115-121

The article is published here courtesy of The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot

 

בלומפונטיין

בירת אוראנג' החופשית, דרום-אפריקה; מספר תושביה 119,000 (1967). ב-1973 התגוררו בה 1,250 יהודים. בקהילה רשת מפותחת של מוסדות ציבור ומרכז קהילתי לפעולות תרבות וחינוך. בית-כנסת חדש הוקם ב-1965. בעיר סניפים של ועד שליחי הקהילות באוראנג' החופשית והמועצה הציונית של הכף הצפונית. בקהילה גם קבוצה רפורמית קטנה.

את החנות הראשונה בעיר החדשה פתח יצחק באומן מהגר מגרמניה, ב- 1848, ובביתו גם נערך ה"מניין" הראשון ביום-הכיפורים תרל"א (1871). הוא גם שימש כיו"ר שני של מועצת העיריה ובנו גוסטאב היה ראש מחלקת המדידות במדינה. במלחמת 1902-1899 נלחמו בני משפחת באומן לצד הבורים. בית-הכנסת הראשון נחנך ב-1903 וראש הקהילה הראשון, ולימים גם חבר הסנאט בדרום-אפריקה, היה וולף אהרליך (בשנים 1924-1902). עם ריבוי המהגרים ממזרח-אירופה עברה הנהגת הקהילה לידיהם. מוריץ לוויזר סייע בהקמת בית- החולים הראשון בעיר וייסד את המוזיאון הלאומי; אשתו סופיה התפרסמה בזכרונות שכתבה על תקופת החלוציות באיזור. עם ראשי העיר נמנו וולף אהרליך (1907- 1906), איוואן הארבורגר (1912- 1914) וסול האריס (1929).
הארארה Harare

(בעבר סולסברי)

בירת מדינת זימבבואה (ZIMBABWE, בעבר רודזיה), מרכז אפריקה.

בסוף שנות ה-1960 התגוררו בעיר כ-2,500 יהודים, שליש מהם ספרדים. לשתי העדות בתי-כנסת נאים, בתי-ספר ומרכזי נוער, לרבות חוגים לחינוך דתי וללימוד הלשון העברית. בית-כנסת רפורמי נוסד בעיר ב-1960.

הקהילה נוסדה ב-1895, ביוזמת יוסף ואן פראג, ראש-העיר היהודי לעתיד. באותה התקופה התחילו להגיע לרודזיה ספרדים רבים, בעיקר מרודוס; הם התפזרו ברחבי הארץ וקהילה ספרדית בסולסברי לא נוסדה אלא ב-1931. היישוב היהודי גדל בעיקר בשנות השישים. חמישה מראשי העיר סולסבורי היו יהודים.

בסוף שנות התשעים למאה העשרים חיו כ- 900 יהודים בזימבאבואה כולה, בשני מרכזים קהילתיים בולאבאיו והארארה. בהרארה פעלו בית ספר יהודי "שרון", כמה ארגונים ציוניים ושני בתי כנסת, ספרדי ואשכנזי.
מאניסה

(שמה הקדום מאגנזיה)

עיר בטורקיה מצפון-מזרח לאיזמיר.


יש אומרים כי יישוב יהודי התקיים במקום בסוף ימי בית שני, במאה הראשונה לספירה. בתקופה הביזאנטית היה במקום בית-כנסת בשם "עץ החיים". אחרי 1492 באו למאניסה מגורשי ספרד וייסדו שתי קהילות, ליוצאי לורקה וליוצאי טולדו; כעבור זמן נוסדה קהילה שלישית בשם "שלום". היו אז בעיר יותר מ-100 משפחות יהודיות.

בשנת 1617 פרצה מגיפה במקום ויהודים רבים עקרו לאיזמיר; כרבה של מאניסה שימש באותם הימים ר' אהרן לאפאפא.

מתוך כ-1,200 היהודים במקום בשנות ה-30 המאוחרות של המאה ה- 19 מתו 200 במגפה. עלילות-דם פקדו את הקהילה בשנים 1883, 1893. ב-1891 הוקם בית-ספר ראשון לבנים, וכעבור חמש שנים גם בית ספר לבנות - שניהם בהנהלת אגודת כל ישראל חברים.

בתחילת המאה העשרים ישבו בעיר כ-2,000 יהודים בתוך אוכלוסיה של 40,000. בקרבות בין הטורקים ליוונים אחרי מלחמת העולם הראשונה, בשנת 1919, נכבשה העיר בידי צבא יוון, אך היהודים שמרו אמונים לטורקים, וכשהיוונים נסוגו ב-1922 הועלו באש מוסדות קהילה רבים, ובתוכם הישיבה.

בסוף שנות ה-30 מנתה הקהילה 30 משפחות שהתפרנסו מיצוא תוצרת חקלאית (פירות, טבק, צימוקים) ויבוא של מוצרי תעשייה ומלאכה; היו ביניהם גם חלפנים ובעלי משקים, ואחדים שירתו כרופאים בבתי-חולים ממשלתיים, כשופטים וכמתורגמנים ליד הקונסוליות הזרות.

באמצע המאה ה-20 עזבו כל היהודים את מאניסה. מקצתם היגרו לארצות-הברית, לדרום- אפריקה, למצרים ומקצתם עלו לישראל.

Stellenbosch

Including Banghoek, Faure, Ida’s Valley, Koelenhof, Lynedoch, Muldersvlei and Vlottenburg

A town in South Africa

Situated 48 km east of Cape Town, in the Western Cape, Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa after Cape Town. In 1679 Governor Simon van der Stel, who was on an expedition to open up the interior of the Cape, pitched his camp on the banks of the Eerste River near an indigenous forest, and named the site Stellenbosch (“Stel’s wild forest”).

The first Dutch people at the Cape were officials of the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, and in 1657 the company created the first free burghers whose numbers were augmented in 1688 by Huguenot refugees fleeing religious persecution in France. By the end of the 17th century there were 1,334 free burghers who gradually spread inland. Some settled at Stellenbosch, where a village had been established in 1685 when the first landdrost (magistrate) was appointed. This remained the only inland magistracy for the next hundred years. Stellenbosch attained municipal status in 1840.

The picturesque town of Stellenbosch is famous for its historical monuments and its old oak trees. The first oaks were planted in Van der Stel’s time but most of those in the town today date back to the early 19th century. As a result of fire damage to the town in the years 1710, 1803 and 1875, the original single-storey Cape thatched houses were replaced by Georgian double-storey buildings that posed less of a fire hazard.

More than 600 farms surround Stellenbosch. Ida’s Valley, Koelenhof, Spier and Coetzenburg are some of the original farms established in Van der Stel’s time and still exist today. Viticulture is the most important agricultural activity, but deciduous fruit and Turkish tobacco are also grown in the area. More than 40 wine estates in the valleys of the Eerste and Berg Rivers can be visited as part of the “Cape wine route”.

Stellenbosch is an important educational centre. A number of former South African prime ministers studied at its university. There are also several prestigious local schools.

Although not a practising Jew, Adam Tas was the first person of Jewish origin to settle near the town in 1697. He was one of the ringleaders who led a revolt against the Cape governor, Willem Adriaan van der Stel, to assert the rights of the burghers, and was jailed for 13 months. According to legend, when he was released, Tas named his farm near Stellenbosch “Libertas” (“Tas is free”). However, there was reference to the name Libertas ten years prior to his farm being named. The governor was recalled to Holland. Today Libertas is an historic site. Descendants of Adam Tas, who spell their names Tasch, are still living in Holland.

Jewish settlement began in Stellenbosch toward the end of the 19th century. Louis and Liebe Abramovitz from Neustadt, Lithuania, came to Cape Town in 1885 with their sons Barney and Max. By 1887 they were living in Stellenbosch where their third son, Sam, was born. There they ran a dairy and grew grapes. The family left for Boksburg in the Transvaal in 1889 because of the detrimental effect of the damp winter months on Louis’s health.

Adolphe and Mashe Rosa Fisher were living in Stellenbosch when their daughter Regina was born in 1890. The Phillips family, Benjamin and Zippe and their son Saul, lived there for the duration of the Anglo-Boer War. During this time, Benjamin became one of the founders of the Hebrew Congregation. He was born in Salant, Lithuania, in 1857 and married Zippe Rachel Kalman in Schkud. Saul was born and educated in Schkud. In 1889 they went to Australia and came to South Africa in 1895, where they settled in Krugersdorp in 1896. The family returned to Krugersdorp at the end of the war.

By 1900 there were a number of Jews in the town. These included Phillip Agranat and his wife, Hanna Rosa; Mr Bloom; David and Rebecca Daitsch (Deitz); Mr S Guinsberg; Mr Hellman; Mr and Mrs M Kruskel; Abraham Ezak Lewis and his wife Bertha Elka; Mr P Nathan; Abraham Neiman and Mr Regazin; Mr and Mrs Brown; Rev Zeidel; Mr and Mrs Blumenfel; and Chaim Louis Siegal.

On Sunday 8 April 1900, members of the Stellenbosch Jewish community attended a Siyum HaTorah at the home of Mr David Daitsch (Deitz). It was during these festivities that David Daitsch, seconded by Mr M Kruskel, proposed the formation of a congregation. The Agudat Achim Hebrew Congregation was duly established with Rev Zeidel as its first minister. The first committee comprised David Daitsch (Deitz) as chairman, P Nathan as secretary, and Messrs P Agranat, S Guinsberg, M Kruskel, Abraham Louis, Neiman and Regazin as executive committee members. The initial membership of the congregation was 40, which soon increased as refugees arrived from the north of the country during the Anglo-Boer War. Services were conducted by Mr Bloom at the home of Mr and Mrs S Brown. Kosher meat was available from the butchery of Mr P Nathan. In 1902, a house was hired in Bird Street and a mikvah was installed to serve the needs of the growing congregation. The house was consecrated as a synagogue in 1903 by Rev A P Bender of Cape Town. This remained the spiritual home of Stellenbosch Jewry for 20 years. The site is now occupied by the Boland Bank building.

By 1904, a Jewish cemetery had been established on the slopes of the Papegaaiberg (a hill on the western side of Stellenbosch) on ground obtained from the municipality by Mr J Senitzky. The first grave was that of Mrs Jacob Opland. The Stellenbosch Chevra Kadisha was formally established in that year. The Oude Libertas Amphitheatre, a landmark in the town, was later built on ground next to the cemetery on the corner of Adam Tas and Distillery roads.

In 1905, a meeting was held in the synagogue at which the president, Mr Agranat, and several prominent members of the congregation made speeches concerning the massacre of Jews in Russia. They called on the mayor, Mr du Toit, to convene a meeting of citizens to secure their sympathy and support for the victims.

In the early 1920s, the congregation purchased a stand in Van Ryneveld Street to build a new synagogue. Although times were tough after the First World War, the response to the building fund appeal was very good. The foundation stone of the synagogue was laid again by Rev A P Bender of Cape Town in 1923. The mayor of Stellenbosch, the Dutch Reformed Church minister, and the magistrate were among the notables who attended the ceremony. A plaque bearing the names of the members of the congregation was erected in the foyer. At this stage, 23 Jewish families were living in Stellenbosch. The first boy to celebrate his barmitzvah in this synagogue was Max Sherman.

The congregation was fortunate in having a resident minister almost continually from the time of its inception. As part of their duties to the members, these ministers attended to shechita and to Jewish education. In 1920, Rev Helman taught 40 pupils in the cheder. A communal hall was built in 1932 next to the synagogue. Some time after its opening, rooms were allocated for use by the Talmud Torah. By 1950 a Hebrew School, with 25 pupils, was run on modern lines under the auspices of the Cape Board of Jewish Education. Rev Isaac Pakter, who served the community from 1945-1955, endeavoured to bring Jewish history and traditions to life, and had an excellent rapport with the Talmud Torah pupils. A regional scheme, operated in the Western Cape country districts, provided Jewish education to the children of the area in the 1970s. In the years from 1975 to 1978, Rev Eitan Holtzman, resident minister of Wellington, travelled to various towns for this purpose.

The Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth, Sir Israel Brodie, was guest of honour when the congregation celebrated its golden jubilee in 1950. A special service was held, followed by a banquet in the communal hall. Another similar celebration was held in 1973 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the laying of the synagogue’s foundation stone.

Stellenbosch’s Jewish community established strong links with the broader community. In particular, the relationship between the Jewish and the Dutch Reformed community was very cordial. A function was held annually when the Dutch Reformed theological students, who studied Hebrew, were invited to meet members of the congregation.

The Stellenbosch Jewish community enjoyed close contact with the University of Stellenbosch. Jewish students felt free to participate in all aspects of university life, including being elected on students’ committees. In 1935 Dr Benzion Shein was invited to the university to speak on “Palestine today”. Over 1,950 students and members of the faculty attended his lecture, which was presided over by Prof. Brummer of the Department of Philosophy. In 1941, a group of 14 professors and five lecturers of various faculties at the university issued a manifesto protesting against national-socialism, and advocated a more democratic society which did not contribute to racial conflict.

In 1955, a historic and unique function took place when students of the university organised a social in honour of the local Jewish community. It was chaired by a third-year theological student, a Mr Louw. Musical recitals took place, one of which was a violin solo by Prof. P Weiss, accompanied by his wife. Games were organised by one of the students, which created a wonderful spirit of friendship between young and old, Jew and non-Jew. Rev Pakter and Rev Treurnicht were blindfolded and had to find each other. Rev Pakter delivered a moving vote of thanks in Afrikaans. In 1960, the SAJBD donated a leather-bound set of 19 volumes of the Talmud to the library of the Stellenbosch University. Rev Pakter was considered a very innovative and energetic minister and instigated many communal and Zionist activities, which received support from the local Afrikaner population. These included the staging of pageants and tableaux of Jewish interest. He was one of the few locally born ministers who served the smaller communities. His upbringing and background enabled him not only to play a worthy part in civic affairs, but also to promote goodwill between the Jewish and non-Jewish sections of the town. He was personally friendly with the head of the Dutch Reformed Church, Dr Snyman, and on visiting terms with all local predikante.

The tradition of cordial relations between the Jewish community and the broader society continued into more recent times. The Transvaler of 13 March 1990 reported that antisemitism had been unequivocally condemned by lecturers of the Theological Faculty and the departments of Semitic Languages, Bible Studies, Greek and Philosophy. Around this time Die Kerkbode, the official organ of the Dutch Reformed Church, issued a strongly worded appeal to all groups displaying antisemitic tendencies to combat this among their followers. Relatively few incidents of antisemitism have been recorded in Stellenbosch.

Attempts by the Jewish community to build bridges between the different sectors of society continue to this day. In July 2003 Tikkun, a Jewish organisation whose mission is to make a meaningful difference to the upliftment of disadvantaged people in South Africa, held its annual “Camp Howzit” in Stellenbosch, bringing children from Herzlia Jewish Day School in Cape Town together with children from the township schools in Khayelitsha and Phillippi.

Jews participated in the economic life of the town in a variety of occupations – shopkeepers, hotel proprietors, garage owners and bakers, while farmers produced wine, fruit and vegetables. Many became well known in the district.

Samuel Zetler was Stellenbosch’s first strawberry grower; he farmed in the district in 1922. Today, his farm Mooiberge is run by his sons Jeffrey, Hershel and Dennis Zetler, although Samuel is still involved. The farm is renowned for its innovative scarecrows in the strawberry fields, and has become a tourist attraction. About half the fruit is exported; the other half goes to all the big supermarkets nationally as well as to the South African yoghurt industry.

Sam Meyer was a well-known cabinetmaker. He was born in Austria where he learnt his trade. After completing his military service, he immigrated to England. The climate did not agree with him and so he moved to Cape Town where he worked for the firm D Isaac & Co before starting his own business. When war broke out in 1914 he was interned as an alien at a camp in Pietermaritzburg. He was released after 11 months on grounds of ill health but was not allowed to live within 30 miles of Cape Town. He therefore settled in Stellenbosch in 1915. His workshop produced a great variety of furniture. Victoria College, which became the University of Stellenbosch, commissioned much of his work. Many Stellenbosch families owned furniture made by Sam Meyer. Meyer never used machines and all work was done by hand. He purchased mainly teak and stinkwood from various local timber merchants such as I Perel & Co and Rabinowitz & Berman.

Prof. Israel Leeman, son of Mr and Mrs Sam Leeman, was born in Stellenbosch in 1936 and was educated at the Paul Roos Gymnasium, Later he studied law at the University of Stellenbosch and graduated with a BA-LLB cum laude in 1958. He taught at Natal University for two years and then at Stellenbosch University, where he was awarded a Union Stipend. He used this scholarship for doctoral research on neighbourhood law in South Africa. He is also a specialist in law relating to privacy. He was senior lecturer in Roman-Dutch Law at the University of Cape Town from 1963, and was appointed to the chair of South African Private Law at that university in 1973. When he retired in 2000, he held the post of Professor of Criminal Law.

Sidney Leeman, younger son of Mr and Mrs Sam Leeman and Israel’s brother, was born in Stellenbosch in 1941. In his teens Sidney organised the Stellenbosch group of the Zionist Youth Movement, and later was chairman of the Students Jewish Association at Stellenbosch University. Like Israel, he also attended the Paul Roos Gymnasium, and after a brilliant scholastic career won a Rhodes Scholarship in 1961. He attained a B Sc at Stellenbosch and an M Sc at the University of Cape Town before taking up his scholarship at Oxford where he gained a doctorate in theoretical physics in 1966. He then taught physics at Birmingham University and at the same time did research in elementary physics. In 1968, he accepted a two-year appointment at the Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv, Israel. He then taught in the United Kingdom and retired at the end of 2003.

Dr Hymie Ebedes, born in Ermelo in 1936, lived in Stellenbosch in 1978. In the period 1970 to 1985 he was instrumental in developing the use of tranquillisers to assist in the translocation of wild animals, in order to reduce stress and mortality. From 1965 to 1975, he was the veterinarian at the Etosha National Park in Namibia. During that time he did research on anthrax in animals. He was chief veterinarian at the National Zoo in Pretoria from 1980 to 1989. Dr Ebedes was actively involved in obtaining giraffes and rhinos for the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem, and also served on the committee for the future planning of that zoo. At his suggestion, a Noah’s Ark was built on a prominent rise at the zoo. It houses an educational centre for children and a restaurant. He was also involved in animal welfare and in game ranching, and wrote about game and its capture.

Samuel Sacks, a businessman and farmer, was a well-known local philanthropist whose generosity extended to all sectors of the community. A week before his death in 1947 he treated the local coloured population to a free dance at the Stellenbosch town hall. Besides making bequests in equal amounts to both Jewish and non-Jewish institutions (unique for South Africa at the time) he left money for a fund to assist coloured students living in Stellenbosch, and also for an orphanage for coloured children.

Felix Gut was instrumental in acquiring for the University of Stellenbosch about 300 volumes on the Holocaust. These now form part of the J S Gericke Library. This project began in the early 1970s, when Gut was living in the Transvaal. He felt he wanted to make a personal effort to counter neo-Nazi propaganda that claimed that the Holocaust was a figment of the imagination. He therefore wrote to the university to ask whether their library would be interested in a collection of Holocaust literature. The offer was gratefully accepted, and this marked the beginning of an extensive exchange of correspondence between them. Felix Gut not only added to the collection but also provided helpful information as well as summaries of the content and origin of each volume. In 1979, at the age of 75, he moved to Stellenbosch where a more personal interaction took place, and he continued to acquire further volumes for the university.

Lazar (Lossie) Ginsburg was chairman of the Stellenbosch Hebrew Congregation for 27 years from the 1960s. He is recognised as a world authority in the field of cold storage of fruit, vegetables and flowers. He published over a hundred papers on this subject as author and 50 as co-author. He was the head of the Fruit and Food Technology Research Institute in Stellenbosch, and served on several government advisory committees.

The Agudat Achim Hebrew Congregation is still active. In 2000 the Stellenbosch Hebrew Congregation donated Torah and bimah covers to the Minsk synagogue in Lithuania. It also gave generously to the Oranjia Jewish Child and Youth Care Centre and to Highlands House, both in Cape Town. In January 2004 150 current and former Congregation members gathered at the Stellenbosch synagogue to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone. They came from as far afield as Canada, the United Kingdom and Israel. Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris, who delivered the sermon, said that the name of the synagogue “Agudat Achim” (“a band of brothers”) was particularly appropriate as so many had returned to participate in the celebration. The shul holds regular Friday evening services conducted by Les and Barry Zetler. High Holy Day services are led by students from the University of Cape Town, and Morrie Marcus officiates on Simchat Torah and Chanukkah.


JEWISH INSTITUTIONS

The Stellenbosch Chevra Kadisha was formed in November 1904. Its chairman in 1907 was Mr S Tolpas.

Bnei Zion Association / Stellenbosch Zionist Society
In 1902, the SA Zionist Federation opened a branch in Stellenbosch under the name Bnei Zion. The president was P Agranat and the chairman, Abraham Lewis In 1903 Mr P Agranat was part of a delegation to the Cape Attorney-General proposing that Yiddish be accepted as an official European language. In 1906, a crowded meeting was held under the auspices of the Bnei Zion Association at the Zionist Library to hear addresses by members of the SA Zionist Federation for the Western Province. They discussed the urgent necessity of supporting the Zionist movement and helping to carry the Basle programme into effect. At the conclusion, a collection was made for the National Fund. The meeting aroused renewed interest in Zionism. In 1912, Stellenbosch was represented at the first Zionist conference to be held in the Cape Province.

Between 1926 and 1932 various speakers addressed the community on behalf of the Keren Hayesod appeal. Theodor Herzl memorial meetings were held in 1928 in 1929 and 1931. In 1929 a meeting was held to protest the Arab uprising in Palestine and the subsequent atrocities. It would appear that the society went through periods of inactivity, as there were reports in 1929, 1931 and again in 1933 that the society was being revived. In 1934 Nahum Sokolow, Dr Celine Sokolow and Adv. H M Bloch addressed a meeting on behalf of the Keren Hayesod appeal. They were met outside the town and escorted to the hall where they were met by a guard of honour waving blue and white flags. In 1936, members of the Stellenbosch Zionist Society attended a Keren Hayesod meeting in Strand, which was addressed by Prof Brodetsky and Mrs Rebecca Sieff of the UK.


The Ladies Benevolent Society was formed in Stellenbosch in 1905 with Mrs P Agranat as president. In 1917 it held a very successful concert in the Conservatorium Hall. Although most of the artists were from Cape Town, some members of the local Jewish community also participated. The proceeds raised were distributed to local charities and war funds. The society became defunct in 1938. Its successor was the Stellenbosch Women’s Zionist Society.


The Young Israel Society was formed in 1919. It was, by all accounts, a very dynamic and vibrant organisation. In the 1920s the members produced plays, some in Yiddish, which went on tour to the neighbouring communities and even to Cape Town. In 1925 the society held a musical and dramatic evening and in 1926, a dance was held at which the mayor, Mr C M Neethling, was the patron.

In 1928 the society split into the Junior and Senior Young Israel Society. Between 1928 and 1932 regular lectures were held. Notable among the lecturers were Mr Aronowitch, sub-editor of The Judean and Mr Padowich, the Zionist propagandist, who spoke on “Zionism and the reconstruction of Palestine” in 1928. In 1931 it was decided that the society should also be opened to adults. It was to have a National Fund section, which would be devoted to Zionist affairs. Members of the society attended the Judean Parliament in Worcester. A debate on “Jews are more imitative than original” was held in 1932. In the same year the society organised a picnic for the children of the Cape Jewish Orphanage. It became an annual event. In 1946 the society hosted a rally attended by members of the Country Zionist Societies.


In 1938 the Stellenbosch Women's Zionist Society replaced the Ladies Benevolent Society. In 1939 the chairman was Mrs S Tollman. In 1958 a rally was held in Stellenbosch of representatives of Western Province Women’s Zionist Societies and executive members of the Bnoth Zion Association and members of the Provincial Committee. At the annual World Bible Day and Rebecca Sieff Award presentations in 1998, which were held at the Green and Sea Point Hebrew Congregation Hall in Cape Town, the Stellenbosch branch received an award for 50 years of service.

The Union of Jewish Women was established in Stellenbosch in 1945. By 1953, when it applied for membership of the SAJBD, it had a membership of 50. The Cultural Group of the UJW, at which Bible studies were conducted by Rev Pakter, was very active in 1956 with meetings being held every fortnight. Guest speakers included Prof P Weiss, Dr H Abt and Dr Moshe Natas. In 1966, the UJW organised “Operation Spring Clean”, and involved a team of young boys who volunteered to give the synagogue building a thorough spring-cleaning. In 1967 the union undertook to raise funds for the decorating and panelling of the hall and foyer of the shul. The main project in 1968 was the restoration of the historic shul house. The UJW was also instrumental in caring for Jewish students at the University of Stellenbosch. It helped to furnish the student “home” provided by the congregation and catered for monthly student lunches.

The UJW served both Jewish and non-Jewish sectors of the community. In 1973, for example, the union “adopted” a young girl from Kayamnandi, a township north of Stellenbosch, and paid her school fees so that she could complete high school. Afterwards she qualified as a teacher.

In 1985 the local UJW celebrated its 40th birthday. A tea was held at the synagogue hall. Guests included friends and representatives of welfare and service organizations and churches, as well as former union members.

In 1994 Stellenbosch’s UJW held several functions, one of which was a picnic lunch for the country branches to meet Helen Marr, president of the International Council of Jewish Women. In 2002 a street collection was held with other organisations to raise funds in support of rape and other victims of abuse. The organisation opened a trauma room at the town’s police station in the name of Myrel Ginsburg who had chaired the committee from 1970 until 2000. The unit has a beautifully decorated bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

Over the years a number of groups were formed to cater for the needs of Jewish students at the university. The Students’ Jewish Circle came about in 1927; Mr Greenstein was the first chairman with J W Fish as secretary.

Some years later the Stellenbosch Students’ Jewish Association was established to foster Jewish religion, tradition and culture among Jewish students so that they could make a meaningful contribution to the Jewish community. Lectures and study groups were held under the guidance of Rev Pakter and the association organised weekly Hebrew classes. In 1959 a communal seder was held for the Jewish students. In that year, 200 theological students and dignitaries from the university attended a Friday night service, which Rev Pakter conducted in Afrikaans. In 1960 Rev Pakter opened the Students Jewish Association centre. In 1972 the Students Liaison Committee was established. One of its aims was to attract non-Jews to lectures and exhibitions of an informative Jewish and Zionist nature. The committee had about 20 members, headed by a committee of three, one of whom was not Jewish.

The Stellenbosch Jewish community also formed cultural societies. In 1927 the Stellenbosch Jewish Dramatic Society produced Jacob Gordin's play “Der Emes”. Between 1946 and 1955 the Stellenbosch Cultural Group held fortnightly meetings that were convened by Rev Pakter.




MINISTERS

1900 Rev Zeidel
1904 Rev H Natas
1905–1910 Rev Jacob Hurwitz
1913–1916 Rev E K Sher
1916 Rev E S Walt
1917–1920 Rev M A Helman
1923 Rev Kassel
1925 Rev J Herison
1929–1934 Rev I Goldberg
1937–1940 Rev I Reichenberg
1941 Rev H Shatz
1945 Rev G Golub
1946 Rev Hillman
1945–1964 Rev Isaac Pakter
1964–1966 Rabbi M Kaye
1967 Rev M Cantor
1968–1970 Rev Eli Lagnado
1973–1974 Rev David Lapin
1974–1975 Rev Philip Koein
1976 Rev Harold Walt



POPULATION STATISTICS

Census

YEAR JEWS WHITES TOTAL

1904 489 8,672 22,291
1936 308 8,261 23,805
1951 272 14,419 41,442
1980 – 22,741 64,027
1991 71 25,315 73,839

Community records:

1943 – 251 (including nine Jews in Faure and five in Koelenhof)

1953 – 283


SURROUNDING PLACES WHERE JEWS LIVED AND WORKED


Banghoek is a village in the Helshoogte Mountains. The name refers to the prevalence of lions and leopards, which were much feared by the local population (“bang” is Afrikaans for “fear”).

Faure is a hamlet 16km south-west of Stellenbosch and 13km north west of Strand.
Ida’s Valley is a small village in the Stellenbosch district at the foot of the Simonsberg.

Koelenhof is a station and post office 8km north-west of Stellenbosch, on the railway line between Stellenbosch and Paarl. There are large brick kilns near the station.

Lynedoch is a village 10km south-west of Stellenbosch.

Muldersvlei is situated 15km north-east of Stellenbosch on the Paarl road.

Vlottenburg is situated south-west of Stellenbosch, on the railway line between Stellenbosch and Eerste Rivier.


__________________________________________________

The history of the Jewish Community of Stellenbosch was researched by The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot and fiest published in Jewish Life in the South African Country Communities, Volume II (2004): 241-254

The article is published here courtesy of The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot

בולאבאיו Bulawayo

עיר בזימבאבואה ( ,ZIMBABWEבעבר רודזיה).


הקהילה היהודית בזימבאבואה נוסדה ב-1894, והייתה פעילה ובעלת תודעה ציונית חזקה.

משנת 1943 שוכנים בעיר משרדי המועצה הציונית הארצית וועד שליחי הקהילות ברודזיה.

היהודים פיתחו את התעשיה הקלה בעיר, רבים מהם עוסקים במסחר ובמקצועות חופשיים ובולטים בחיי הציבור הכללי.

ראש העיר הראשון של בולאוואיו היה היהודי י' הירשלר; אחריו כיהנו בתפקיד זה א' באש, ב' אלנבוגן, מ' האריס, א' מנשה וי' גולדוואסר. משנת 1956 מתקיימת במקום גם קהילה פרוגרסיבית. כנשיא ועד שליחי הקהילות שימש במשך שבע שנים (עד 1967) איזידור ג'ייקובס. בבית-ספר יהודי יומי למדו בשנת 1968 %75 הילדים בגיל בית ספר בקהילה.

ב-1975 ישבו בבולאבאיו כ- 2,000 יהודים.

בסוף שנות התשעים למאה העשרים חיו כ- 900 יהודים בזימבאבוא כולה בשני מרכזים קהילתיים בולאבאיו והארארה. בבולאבאיו פעלו בית ספר יהודי "כרמל", כמה ארגונים ציוניים, בית כנסת אחד, בית אבות, כמה ארגונים לרווחת הקהילה, ויצא לאור "הבטאון הציוני למרכז אפריקה" (CENTRAL AFRICAN ZIONIST DIGEST).

Barberton

Including Eureka City/Eureka, Kaapsehoop, Noordkaap, Steynsdorp

BACKGROUND

Barberton lies in the De Kaap Valley in the Lowveld, Eastern Transvaal (Mpumalanga - post 1994). It is situated approximately 400 km north east of Johannesburg, 45 km south-west of Nelspruit, South Africa.

Traces of alluvial gold were found in the Barberton area in 1874 by one of the early prospectors, Tom McLachlan. But a rush to the area only occurred some years later when gold was discovered in 1882. Kaapsehoop was created as a centre for the prospectors. Although the finds proved to be uneconomic, Kaapsehoop continued to be a base for diggers working at other sites in the De Kaap Valley. It was here that "French Bob" (Auguste Robert) discovered the Pioneer Reef at what was known as Moodies on 2 June 1883. This was the greatest discovery of gold yet made in South Africa. On 21 June 1884 Graham Barber discovered a rich gold-producing reef, Barber's Reef. Three days later, on 24 June 1884, the mining commissioner, David Wilson visited Barber's Camp, the mining camp of Graham Barber and cousins Harry & Fred Barber, and proclaimed it a township, to be named Barberton. Barberton became the centre of the De Kaap gold-fields.

In May 1885 the richest reef of all, Sheba Reef, was discovered by Edwin Bray and another boom town, Eureka City, arose approximately 15 km north east of Barberton. These discoveries caused the greatest gold rush in the history of the country up to that time. The boom year for Barberton was 1886 when more than 4 000 claims were being worked. South Africa's first stock exchange, "The Transvaal Share and Claim Exchange, Trust and Agency Co. Ltd." opened in Barberton on 13 April 1887. A second stock exchange, "De Kaap Gold Exchange" also operated in 1887. Huge volumes of shares were traded in bogus companies and within a short period, mining operations were hopelessly overcapitalised. Thousands of investors lost their money. Disillusioned prospectors drifted to the newer gold-fields on the Witwatersrand and by 1888 the exodus from Barberton was as great as the influx had been. The outbreak of the Second Anglo-Boer War in 1899 saw the closure of several mines. Eureka City was abandoned with Barberton a virtual ghost town. Only a few companies, like Sheba, remained and later made a success of the local gold-mining industry.

Barberton became a municipality in 1904. Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, author of the classic tale "Jock of the Bushveld" lived in Barberton for some years. There is a bronze statue of the famous dog in front of the town hall. Barberton is a picturesque town, known as the "Jewel of the Lowveld". It is the home of the famous Barberton daisy. Although there is still some gold-mining in Barberton, its main economic revenue comes from cotton, tobacco, citrus, sisal, sub-tropical fruit and timber farming. Barberton is the biggest producer of rice in South Africa.

From the time the gold-fields opened in the early 1880s, Jews were engaged in a range of economic activities in Barberton and its environs. Prospectors, and those involved in related gold-mining activities, abounded. There were stockbrokers, solicitors, general dealers, dentists, hoteliers, tavern-keepers, musicians, a chemist, a doctor, a tailor and a newspaper editor. Barberton became a boom town, one in which many South African mining personalities, among them a number of Jews, had their first 'baptism of fire'. People such as Alfred Beit, Harry Graumann, Isaac Sonnenberg, Sammy Marks, Isaac Lewis, Barney Barnato, Nuna Daniel Davis, Edouard Lippert, and Carl Hanau were all there in one capacity or another and all had interests in one or other of the companies. [Cartwright p34 & p152]

EARLY JEWISH SETTLERS
At the time that the De Kaap and Barberton gold-fields were proclaimed (1882 and 1884 respectively), there were Jews among the early pioneers. For the purposes of this research, the period 1882 to 1900 has been chosen as the period of early Jewish presence in this district.

Abrahams Mr & Mrs & fam. c.1885 to Barberton; 1890s to Eureka City.
Mr Abrahams served as acting rabbi in Oudtshoorn for about a year in 1884. Around 1885 he moved to Barberton where he became a shopkeeper. In the 1890s the Abrahams family lived in Eureka City. Mr Abrahams was a mohel. [Shapiro p11]

Albu Leopold 1875 to SA; 1884 to Barberton from Berlin, Germany
Upon his arrival in SA Leopold Albu worked at the Cape Town produce market. He went to Kimberley in 1876 where he was joined by his brother George. They set up a business called Albu Bros, Produce Dealers, which they kept for a number of years. They became licensed diamond brokers and valuers and invested in diamond claims at Dutoitspan, Bultfontein and Jagersfontein. In 1884 Leopold Albu settled in Barberton. As he had done in Kimberley, he set himself up as a produce dealer so as to be assured of a steady income. His partner in this concern was Nuna Davis. He and his brother George invested in several mining companies. Leopold became a stockbroker on the Barberton Stock Exchange until he left for Johannesburg in 1887.

Bornstein David & Dora 1890s
The Bornsteins were living in Barberton in the 1890s. David Bornstein was a tailor and outfitter.

Cinamon Jacob & Victoria & fam 1880 to SA; 1885 to Barberton district.
From Lodz, Poland. Jacob Cinamon left Poland for England when he was sixteen years old. He was a smous in the Transvaal during the First Anglo-Boer War (1880-81). His wife and two daughters joined him in SA in 1881 when the family went to live in Jagersfontein. The family moved to Burghersdorp for a short period c.1883 where Jacob opened a shop. They then lived in Middelburg, Transvaal, for 9 months before moving to Barberton in 1885. [Jewish affairs 1956 p20-25] Jacob Cinamon ran a tavern, the Springbok Tavern, on the Sheba Road about 5 km outside Barberton. He also had an interest in prospecting. The Cinamon children were the first Jewish children to live in Barberton.

Cohen Ernest 1880s
"Ernest Cohen, who was living in Barberton by the late 1880s, was one of several Jewish musicians who entertained the local populace. He was nicknamed "Alphabetical" because of the number of his initials. [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]"

Cohen Herrman & Fanny & fam 1882 to SA; 1888 to Eureka City
From Plungian, Lithuania Herrman Cohen was born in Plungian in 1847. Only three brothers survived a pogrom, Herrman being the oldest. He went to France and soon after to England where he worked for 10 years. Here he met and married Francis (Fanny) who was born in Altona, Denmark, and was the daughter of Rabbi & Mrs Ben Zion. Herrman came out to SA on his own, first to Oudtshoorn, then to Pietermaritzburg. Fanny and five children joined him in Pietermaritzburg in 1885. In 1886 the family went to live in Swaziland until 1888 when they headed for Eureka City. Herrman Cohen established a bottle store in Eureka City. In 1894 the family moved to Barberton where Herrman opened a produce store. Their oldest son, Baron, ran a store in the valley near Eureka City. Another son, Max, was working in Pietermaritzburg when the family came to Eureka City. He joined them in the early 1890s. With the outbreak of the Second Anglo-Boer War in 1899, three of their sons enlisted with Steinaecker's Horse (regiment) with the rest of the family seeking refuge in Delagoa Bay. They returned to Barberton after the war.

Cohen Hirschel 1884
Hirschel Cohen worked as a stockbroker in Barberton in the 1880s. He and Harry Graumann became partners in the firm ""Cohen & Graumann". They did a lot of work for Alfred Beit and acted as secretaries to Beit's companies and his associates in Barberton.

Cohen Mr & Mrs Bernard & fam after 1888 to Eureka City district
From Plungian, Lithuania. Bernard Cohen, younger brother of Herrman Cohen, came to the Fairview Mine south of Eureka City with his Polish wife and children. There he opened a trading store and also engaged in prospecting.

Cohen Naphtali Herz 1881 to SA; 1886 to Barberton. From London, England Naphtali Cohen went first to Kimberley where he trained as a solicitor in the firm of Messrs Stow & Caldecott. In 1886 he was admitted to the High Court of Griqualand and proceeded to Barberton. Naphtali Cohen was secretary of the Eagle's Nest Mining Company. He had an interest in local civic life and was active in forming a political association in Barberton to promote greater representation and a reduction in taxation. [Men of the Times 1905 p108; Saron & Hotz p143]

Cohen Simon (Zambesi) c.1888 to Eureka City district
From Plungian, Lithuania. Simon Cohen, brother of Herrman and Bernard Cohen, hiked from Delagoa Bay to the De Kaap Valley around 1888. With help from his brother Herrman he opened a tavern. The following year he sent for his fiancée. He later opened an hotel, known as the Zambesi Hotel, between Barberton and the Sheba Mine at a place called Elephant's Kloof, about 9 km from Eureka City.

Cohen Violet 1880s
Violet Cohen was living in Barberton by the late 1880s. She was a musician, one of several Jewish musicians in the town at the time. [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

Cohn Arnold after 1888 to Eureka City
Arnold Cohn, in partnership with Otto Ernst, had a general dealers store in Eureka City, trading as "Cohn & Ernst".

Davis Nuna Daniel 1881 to SA; c.1887 to Barberton. From London, England.
Nuna Davis worked as a speculator at the diamond fields at Kimberley where he was the general manager of the Hatton Diamond Mining Co. from 1881 to 1887, during which period he was also the acting general manager of the Bultfontein Diamond Mining Co. [Men of the Times 1905 p124]. Nuna Davis came to Barberton around 1887 where he successfully put through some good mining ventures. He was a partner of Leopold Albu in his produce dealing business.

De Jong Philip 1880s
Philip de Jong lived in Barberton in the 1880s. He was a musician who had a reputation as one of South Africa's best tenors. [Saron & Hotz p143]

Ernst Otto After 1888 to Eureka City. Otto Ernst, in partnership with Arnold Cohn, had a general dealers store in Eureka City, "Cohn & Ernst".

Feinstein Mr P pre 1889
Mr Feinstein was living in Barberton by 1889 when he served on the committee of the Barberton Hebrew Congregation. [JCL Abstract1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13]

Franklin Mr & Mrs Jacob & fam pre 1890. From Sunderland, England.
The Franklin family came to Barberton from Kimberley where Jacob Franklin had run a bakery. By 1890 Jacob Franklin was a general dealer who owned a store at Pigg's Peak, Swaziland. He commuted daily by horseback from Barberton to his store at Pigg’s Peak. [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A, Salli Kahn p1; Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

Freedman Mr c.1884
Mr Freedman was a prospector on the gold-fields at Barberton around 1884. [SAJYB 1929 p84]

Gluckstein Mr B pre 1887
Mr Gluckstein was editor of a local humorous weekly The Jester, first published in July 1887. [Saron & Hotz p143; the star 23 1963 p8]

Golding Bill pre 1889 to Steynsdorp
By 1889 Bill Golding was running a canteen at Steynsdorp. He was the son of Gerry Golding, a prospector on the gold-fields. [Bulpin - Lost trails on Lowveld p285]

Golding Gerry pre 1889 to Steynsdorp
By 1889 Gerry Golding was prospecting at Steynsdorp. [Bulpin - Lost trails on Lowveld p285]

Grainger/Granger Mr & Mrs & fam pre 1889
The Graingers came from Durban to Barberton in the 1880s. Mr & Mrs Grainger built and ran the Granville Hotel in Barberton, the only family hotel in Barberton for a long time. [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A Wartski]

Graumann Harry 1882 to SA; 1884 to Barberton. From London, England.
As a 14 year old youth, Harry Graumann (later Sir) found employment at a large wholesale firm in Cape Town. He became a commercial broker and was soon known as the "Boy Broker". He went to the Transkei before arriving in Barberton in 1884, with Henry Heller and three other partners. Harry Graumann and Henry Heller started a trading business when they arrived in Barberton. He became a stockbroker at the age of 16 in partnership with Hirschel Cohen. Their firm, Cohen & Graumann did a lot of work for Alfred Beit and his associates in Barberton.

Heller Adolph & Annie-Jeanne pre 1891. From Hungary
Adolph Heller came via London to Barberton and was living there by 1891. Here he had an interest in the gold-fields. [JCL abstracts 1887-1910 29 Jan 1892 p14]

Heller Henry 1884 Henry Heller was a businessman in Durban before coming to Barberton in 1884. He and Harry Graumann (later Sir) started a trading business as soon as they arrived at the gold-fields. He later also became a prospector, approaching Sammy Marks in November 1885 on behalf of a seven-man syndicate, to invest in claims that they had pegged out close to Edwin Bray's new discovery.

Henochsberg Mr pre 1887
By 1887 Mr Henochsberg was living in Barberton. In July 1887 he chaired the meeting at which it was resolved to establish a Hebrew congregation in Barberton. [JCL Abstracts 1859-1887 July 1887 p13 col 2]

Heymann Julius early 1880s to SA; c.1885 to Barberton
From Tavrig, Lithuania. Julius Heymann together with his older brother, Samuel Leopold, came to SA in the early 1880s where they joined their relative, Sammy Marks, in Pretoria. They worked for him at his Eerste Fabrieken Hatherley Distillery Ltd. (This factory, when established in 1883, was the first industry in the Transvaal.) Around 1885 Julius left Pretoria and came to Barberton.

Holt David 1877 to SA; 1886 to Barberton. From Hull, Yorkshire, England
David Holt was born in Hull, Yorkshire, England, in 1858. He came to SA in 1877 and after nine months in Cape Town he proceeded to Kimberley where he became a diamond broker, and a claim-holder in the original De Beers Diamond Mine. After the First Anglo-Boer War in 1880-1881, he became a hotel proprietor at Bultfontein, afterwards proceeding to the Barberton gold-fields. David Holt came to the new gold-fields at Barberton in 1886. He was local secretary for the Kimberley Imperial Gold Mining Company. He remained here for a year during which time he lost his fortune. He moved to the Witwatersrand in 1887 where he opened up as a cigarette merchant. [Rosenthal p174; Saron & Hotz p143]

Jacobs Isaac c.1886 Merthyr, Wales
Isaac Jacobs was in Barberton in 1886 when he organised High Holy Day services that year. [JCL Abstract1859-1887 12 Nov 1886 p7 col2]

Lasker Isadore & Jennie pre 1890
Isadore Lasker married Jennie Lazarus of Barberton in 1890 in what was the first Jewish wedding in Barberton. [JCL Abstracts 1887-1910 31 Oct 1890 p10]

Lazarus Mr & Mrs & fam pre 1889
By 1889 the Lazarus family were living in Barberton when Mr Lazarus served on the committee of the Barberton Hebrew Congregation. [JCL Abstracts 1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13]

Levin Mr pre 1889
By 1889 Mr Levin was living in Barberton when he served on the committee of the Barberton Hebrew Congregation. [JCL Abstracts 1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13]

Lissack Simon c.1884
Simon Lissack was a digger at the Barberton gold-fields around 1884. [SAJYB 1929 p84]

Lowinsky Mark c.1884 Mark Lowinsky was among the many prospectors attracted to the new gold-fields at Barberton around 1884. [Williams p519]
Lyons Mr 1890s
Mr Lyons was living in Barberton in the 1890s. [Fred Cohen: Eureka's Child p46]

Lyons Samuel 1890s
Samuel Lyons traded in Barberton in the 1890s. He was known for the ginger beer which he sold. [Fred Cohen: Eureka's Child p46]

Marks Herbert T & Louisa (Lily) 1887
Herbert Marks, a mining engineer, was engaged in 1887 by the Transvaal Republic as an assayer and analyst in Barberton. [Saron & Hotz p143]

Marks Joseph 1887 From Neustadt, Lithuania.
Joseph Marks was appointed by the Kruger Government in 1887 as a collector of customs in Barberton. [Saron & Hotz p143]

Masur Joseph Solomon early 1880s From Hohensalza, Germany.
Joseph Masur was apprenticed to a prominent Architect for two years in Germany. He came to SA in 1880 and stayed a short while in Port Elizabeth before moving to Kroonstad and from there to the Transvaal gold-fields. Joseph Masur was a part-time prospector who spent some years at the Barberton and Pilgrim's Rest gold-fields. He moved to the Witwatersrand gold-fields by 1885. [Men of the times, 1905 p243 see Machadodorp file]

Morris Mr & Mrs Nathan & fam pre 1887
The Morris family had previously lived in Kimberley. Nathan Morris ran a tavern just outside Barberton. They were living here by 1887. [JCL Abstracts 1859-1887 July 1887 p13 col 2]

Moses Dr 1880s
Dr Moses worked as a pioneer dentist in Barberton in the 1880s. [Saron & Hotz p143]

Myers Mr & Mrs Barney & fam 1880s From Birmingham, England.
By the late 1880s the Myers family was living in Barberton. Their sons Jack and Isaac were among a number of Jewish musicians in the town at the time. The sons moved to the Witwatersrand by the 1890s. [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24&25]

Nellmapius Alois Hugo 1873 to SA; 1882 to Barberton district
From Budapest, Hungary. Alois Nellmapius was born in Budapest, Hungary, to a Jewish mother (nee Neumann) on 5 May 1847. He studied in Holland where he trained as a civil engineer. In 1873 he landed at Delagoa Bay and made for the gold-fields at Mac-Mac, near present day Sabie. He left Mac-Mac shortly after the important gold strike in September 1873 by Alec Patterson and William Trafford on the farm Ponieskrantz (later named Pilgrim's Rest). In early 1878, Alois Nellmapius began prospecting for gold between Lydenburg and what was to be Barberton. He contracted malaria and left for Pretoria later that year. [Saron & Hotz p139; Kaye p18-23] Around 1882 Alois Nellmapius pegged new claims in the De Kaap valley. He did not remain long at the diggings because on 15 January 1883 he was called upon by Piet Joubert to help bring an end to the campaign against the Ndebele tribe. [Kaye p35-40]

Olswang Mr pre 1887
Mr Olswang was living in Barberton by 1887. [JCL Abstracts 1859-1887 July 1887 p13 col 2]

Rose Mr J W pre 1891
Mr Rose was living in Barberton by 1891. [JCL Abstracts 1887-1910 29 Jan 1892 p14]

Rosenbloom Solomon pre 1889 to Steynsdorp
By 1889 Solomon Rosenbloom was working as a digger at the gold-fields at Steynsdorp. He was one of a number of diggers arrested as a leader of a lynching party and sent to Pretoria for trial. The arrested men were all released through lack of evidence. [Bulpin - Lost trails on Lowveld p284]

Schwartz Maurice c.1889 From Vilkomir, Lithuania.
Maurice Schwartz was born in Vilkomir, Lithuania in 1860. His name had been Karnovsky but he had to change it to Schwartz in order to be able to avoid military service and thus leave Lithuania. When he first came to South Africa he worked as a smous and lived in Johannesburg for a short while before moving to Barberton c.1889. In Barberton he became a prospector and trader. [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A Schwartz M & Schwartz Lily]

Seagull Max 1886 to SA; 1887 to Barberton.
Max Seagull came to SA in 1886 from Yorkshire, England and to Barberton in 1887. He worked for some time as a journalist on the Goldfields Times. He moved on to Vryburg and by 1894 was living in Port Elizabeth. [SAJT Markowitz 4/6/48]

Simmons Dr 1880s
Dr Simmons worked as a pioneer dentist in Barberton in the 1880s. [Saron & Hotz p143]

Sonnenberg Isaac (Ikey) 1868 to SA; c.1884 to Barberton
From Floersheim, Germany. Ikey Sonnenberg left Germany for the USA where he joined other Forty-Niners at the Californian gold-fields. He arrived in the Cape in 1868 and in 1869 worked as a smous and diamond dealer at Barkly West. By 1870 he had a general dealers store in Jacobsdal. [Saron & Hotz p325] He settled for a period in Aliwal North where he and his brother Charlie owned a store. He followed Charlie to Queenstown where he married Jeanette Rosenblatt. Leaving her behind he set off for the diamond-fields at New Rush (later to become Kimberley). Around 1875 he prospected for a very short time in the Lydenburg district before trying his luck at Pilgrim's Rest. [Rosenthal ZR Sept 1939] He then moved on to the Witwatersrand gold-fields, becoming involved in the mining of the Blaauwbank Reef and the Kromdraai Gold Mining Co. These ventures were unsuccessful and he went to Bechuanaland in 1884 and soon after arrived in Barberton. [Rosenthal p61; Meiring p144-145; Williams p253-7] Ikey Sonnenberg was very popular and was renowned all over SA as a wit and humorist. He remained in Barberton until 1888 when he went to live in Johannesburg. [Rosenthal p61]

Sonnenberg Theodore early 1880s to SA; pre 1885 to Barberton. From Kaiserslautern, Germany. After his arrival in SA in the early 1880s, Theodore Sonnenberg settled in Kimberley. He soon moved to Klerksdorp before making his way to Barberton. Theodore Sonnenberg came to Barberton in the hope of making his fortune. He stayed for a short while only before moving on to Bechuanaland (present day Botswana) and then settling in Vryburg by 1885. [Sonnenberg p18]

Sonnenfeld Mr A & Hannah & fam pre 1887
By 1887 the Sonnenfelds were living in Barberton. In that year Mr Sonnenfeld was elected president of the newly formed Barberton Hebrew Congregation. [JCL extracts Cape 1859-1887 July 1887 p13 col2]

Starfield Mr c.1890
By 1890 Mr Starfield was already living in Barberton. [JCL Abstract1887-1910 31 Oct 1890 p10]

Strauchbaum David & Bertha pre 1889
The Strauchbaum family came to Barberton from Port Elizabeth. By 1889 they were living in Barberton when Mr Strauchbaum served on the committee of the Barberton Hebrew Congregation. [JCL Abstract1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13]

Wasserberg Mr & Mrs S & fam pre 1890
The Wasserberg family had previously lived in Port Elizabeth. By 1890 they were living in Barberton. [JCL Abstract1887-1910 31 Oct 1890 p10]

Weston Mr & Mrs & fam pre 1896
The Weston family was living in Barberton by 1896 when their son Harry was born. [SAJYB 1929]

Wolfers Rev & Mrs Philip 1889 England
Rev Wolfers was minister at the Hambro Synagogue, London. He also served as the superintendent of classes under the Jewish Association for the Diffusion of Religious Knowledge, London. Rev Wolfers and his wife came to Barberton in 1889 where he was engaged as teacher and minister for the Jewish community.

Wolff Dr Henry A 1886 America
Dr Wolff, a medical practitioner, came to Barberton in 1886. It is not clear whether he was Jewish.

Woolf Mr & Mrs c.1890s
Mr & Mrs Woolf were living in Eureka City in the 1890s. [Fred Cohen: Eureka's Child p21]

Zaffere Mr 1880s Constantinople, Turkey
Mr Zaffere was engaged in mining activities in Barberton in the late 1880s. He was also a business partner of Jacob Cinamon. [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

INFORMAL RELIGIOUS ACTIVITY
By 1886, at the height of the gold-rush, there were about 70 Jews in Barberton. Services for the High Holy Days were organised that year by Mr Isaac Jacobs and held in an unfinished store. Mr S Mendelssohn, of Kimberley, acted as president and Mr Isaac Jacobs as treasurer of the congregation. [JCL abstracts cape 1859-1887 12 Nov 1886 p7 col 2; 4 July 1890 p16] The following year a formal congregation was established.

BARBERTON HEBREW CONGREGATION & BENEVOLENT SOCIETY

The Barberton Hebrew Congregation, one of the first in the Transvaal, was established in 1887, although some sources suggest that a congregation was formed as early as 1883. [Simonowitz p40 & 42; Hertz p17] In 1886 Mr Isaac Jacobs organised services for the High Holy Days and served as treasurer on a temporary committee together with Mr S Mendelssohn, of Kimberley, who acted as president. A report in July 1887 in the Jewish Chronicle London states that “on Sunday, 12 June [1887], a meeting was held at Barberton, for the purpose of forming a congregation and Benevolent Society combined". At the meeting, chaired by Mr Henochsberg, it was resolved that a combined Hebrew congregation and benevolent society would be formed with a two-fold objective, i.e. religion and charity. A committee was elected at this meeting and nearly one hundred guineas were subscribed. Later that year, the newly formed Barberton Hebrew Congregation held its first service for the purpose of celebrating Queen Victoria's Jubilee. In the absence of a synagogue, divine services were held in Mr Sonnenfeld's newly built shop. Two torahs were hired from Kimberley. [Couzin, p11]

In 1888 Rev Myers Woolfson of London was supposed to take charge of the Barberton Hebrew Congregation but was dissuaded to go there by Rev A F Ornstein of the Cape Town Hebrew Congregation and was sent to Oudtshoorn instead. In March 1889, Mr N D Morris, the acting honorary secretary of the Barberton Hebrew Congregation, welcomed the new minister and his wife, Rev and Mrs Philip Wolfers. Mr Wolfers preached at the service held on the following Saturday. This was the first sermon delivered by a Jewish minister at the Barberton gold-fields. In September 1889 the consecration of a new Sefer Torah took place. At the end of the ceremony all the members present enjoyed a banquet in honour of the auspicious event.

When the Barberton Hebrew Congregation was formed, an unfinished store was hired for the High Holy Day services. In 1890 religious services for the High Holy Days were held in the Masonic Hall and were officiated by Rev Wolfers and Messrs Starfield and Feinstein. That year the Barberton Hebrew Congregation began looking for a permanent building to house their synagogue and newly established school. Nothing further appears to have come of this and it would appear that services continued to be held in the Masonic Lodge Hall in Judge St.

There is no clear indication of when the congregation ceased to exist, but Rev P Wolfers left Barberton around 1891/2 to become rabbi of the Johannesburg Hebrew Congregation. No other minister was appointed.

There was no structured Jewish life in Barberton until the early 1980s when the Lowveld Jewish Country Community came into being.

LOWVELD JEWISH COUNTRY COMMUNITY
In the 1980s the Lowveld Jewish Country Community served the needs of Jews in the towns and villages throughout the eastern Transvaal. Jews from Barberton, Sabie, Pilgrim's Rest, Hoedspruit, Komatipoort, Lydenburg, Nelspruit, Schagen, White River, Waterval Boven, Kabokweni, Plaston, Malelane, Karino, Hazyview and Ngodwana participated in Family Day celebrations and occasional Shabbatonim.

Correspondence from October 1980 reflects the interest of the Joint Countries Committee of the SAJBD in enhancing the quality of Jewish life in country towns. Mr B Friedlander of Nelspruit was asked to act as liaison between the Jews of the Nelspruit district and the SAJBD. He went on to serve as chairman of the Lowveld Jewish Country Community when it came into being in 1981. The Lowveld Jewish Country Community was established to serve the needs of Jews in the towns and villages spread throughout the eastern Transvaal with Nelspruit as the main centre. These places included Barberton, Sabie, Pilgrim's Rest, Hoedspruit, Komatipoort, Lydenburg, Schagen, White River, Waterval-Boven, Kabokweni, Plaston, Karino, Hazyview and Ngodwana. On 25 October 1981, it was decided that every family in the district would pay an amount of R10 per annum to cover expenses and that a bank account would be held under the name of the Lowveld Jewish Country Community, with Peta Friedlander and Leslie Raiter (both of Nelspruit) as signatories.

Family Day gatherings were re-introduced in 1981 and were held regularly over the next few years. They were the main focus of the Lowveld Jewish Country Community and served as a valuable link for Jews scattered throughout the district. Communal Seders were held to celebrate Pesach, starting in 1980 when 29 people attended a Seder hosted by the Friedlander family. The first Shabbat services in thirty years were held at the Drum Rock Hotel on Friday 9 March 1984. This was followed by a full Shabbat service the next morning. The services were conducted by Rabbi Zaiden, the Country Communities Rabbi. The morning service was followed by a bracha hosted by Messrs Leslie and Isadore Davimes, owners of the Drum Rock Hotel. During the course of 1984 and 1985, occasional Shabbatonim were held, with Shabbat services on the Friday evenings and Saturday mornings and Family Day celebrations taking place on the Sundays.

By 1986, the activities of the Lowveld Jewish Country Community appear to have ceased.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR RITUAL SLAUGHTERING

During the time that Rev P Wolfers was employed by the Barberton Hebrew Congregation he performed shechita. In a letter written in 1890 describing Judaism in the De Kaap gold-fields, Rev Wolfers noted that “shechita was unknown a year ago”. I now attend the slaughter-house regularly, and though we experience a check in the fact that on bedika (searching) I have to discard an enormous majority of the animals as treif (not kosher), which is due to local influence and cannot be avoided, we hope soon to find a means of lessening the difficulty." [JCL Abstract1887-1910: 25 Apr 1890 p17]

BARBERTON HEBREW SCHOOL

The Barberton Hebrew Congregation established a Jewish school which opened in April 1889. This was the first Jewish school in the Transvaal. The teacher was Rev Wolfers who gave religious instruction, taught Hebrew, and also gave music lessons. Arrangements had been made for both girls and boys to attend the Jewish school. Unfortunately the school did not last for many years. By 1892 Rev Wolfers had already left for Johannesburg and it is unlikely that the school continued after his departure.

BARBERTON JEWISH CEMETERY

By 1885 there was a cemetery in Barberton but it is not known when it was established. When Rabbi Engel visited the cemetery in 1981 there were only 10 tombstones remaining - nine erect and one found lying up against the wall. He found evidence to suggest that there may have been many more Jewish burials but that the graves had disappeared. It was not possible for him to identify Jewish entries in the records of burials kept by the municipality. The earliest of the 10 remaining tombstones is that of Louisa (Lily) Maud Marks who died on 14 August 1889.

The cemetery has not been in use for Jewish burials since 1904. In 1987 the cemetery was badly vandalised. In 1993 it was decided at a meeting of the Country Communities Committee of the SAJBD that the borders of the cemetery needed to be defined and a plaque erected to identify the burial ground as a Jewish cemetery.

BARBERTON ZIONIST SOCIETY

The Barberton Zionist Society was formed in 1898, one of 11 Zionist societies that had been established between April and October 1898, in response to a request from Dr Theodore Herzl for the idea of Zionism to be promulgated throughout SA and branches to be organised in every town and village. [SAJC Aug 16 1907 p135; SA Communal Notebook Abstracts 1892-1927 26/10/1898] When the South African Zionist Federation was established on 11 Dec 1898, the Barberton Zionist Society was one of the first societies to become affiliated to it. The Zionist Record was distributed to readers in Barberton and Kaapsehoop (1929).

BARBERTON ANGLO-JEWISH ASSOCIATION

In 1889 Mr Henry Heller, president of the Barberton Hebrew Congregation, fulfilled his promise to Rev A Lowy of London, to open a branch of the Anglo-Jewish Association in Barberton. Mr Heller was the agent for the Association throughout the whole of South Africa and contemplated forming branches in most of the large towns to carry out the organisation's philanthropic work. [JCL Abstract1887-1910: 8 Nov 1889 p13]

CULTURAL / SOCIAL / RECREATIONAL

A number of Family Days were hosted by Jewish families in the surrounding towns and villages in the eastern Transvaal from as early as 1966. For example, in 1968, Mr & Mrs L Mann of Barberton hosted a Family Day for the Jewish communities of Barberton, Middelburg, Nelspruit, Sabie, Schagen, Waterval Boven and White River. It was well attended as seventy guests were present. In 1972 a Family Day gathering was held at the home of Mr & Mrs E W Smollan of White River. With the formation in 1981of the Lowveld Jewish Country Community based in Nelspruit but serving the entire district, more regular Family Days (with children's programmes) as well as Chanukah and Purim parties were held. In 1982 Mr Stephen Cohen of the SAJBD visited Barberton as part of a trip to the northern and eastern Transvaal in order to learn of the problems of country communities and to reaffirm their link to the SAJBD. [All-a-board spring 1982 p4] More recently, in March 2000 and in April 2001, the Jews of Barberton attended functions at the Crocodile Country Inn at Nelspruit, organised by the Country Communities Department of the SAJBD for all Jews in the district. [Silberhaft visit 261 & 320]

SATELLITE TOWNS

Eureka City/Eureka In 1885 gold was discovered by Edwin Bray at Sheba Reef, on top of the mountains forming the eastern wall of the De Kaap Valley. This reef proved to be the richest of all in the district. The Sheba Gold Mine is reputedly the oldest operational gold-mine in the world, with the second oldest being the New Consort Mine founded a few months after the Sheba. Diggers flocked to the area and to serve the community. Mr J Sherwood started a butchery and a hotel in 1885 - the beginning of Eureka City. The hotel was named "The Queen of Sheba" after his wife and it became the nucleus of the settlement. In 1886 Eureka City reached its peak with three shops, three hotels, a bakery, a chemist, a race course, a music hall and about twenty bars to cater for the 650 inhabitants. It was a boom town, always noted for its fights. The climax came in 1887, when a crowd of toughs calling themselves "The Irish Brigade" took over the town for a hectic week and practically wrecked it. The rumpus caused by the Irish Brigade led to the formation of a defence corps, the Eureka Mounted Rifles. Mining operations gradually ended about 1890 when the fields did not live up to expectation and diggers flocked to the Witwatersrand gold-fields. Eureka City was abandoned and the buildings left to ruin. Eureka City became a ghost town and the name Eureka refers to a railway siding about 20 km from Barberton on route to Kaapmuiden.

Kaapsehoop Kaapsehoop is a hamlet with a post office, two shops, a hotel and a police station. In 1882 alluvial gold was discovered nearby by Bernhard Chomse on the farm Berlin, and previously by Thomas McLachlan at several places in the De Kaap valley. The finds proved to be uneconomic but the town became a base for diggers working at other sites in the De Kaap Valley. The name Kaapsehoop was given by some of the early diggers who saw a resemblance to the Cape of Good Hope and to Table Mountain rising high above the valley. The place was originally called Duiwels Kantoor. Recently it has developed into an important forestry centre.

Noordkaap Noordkaap is a railway siding, 16 km from Barberton in the Eastern Transvaal.

Steynsdorp Steynsdorp is situated approximately 60 km south of Barberton in the Carolina district. In 1885 alluvial gold was discovered and a mining camp, known as Painter's Camp, was established. The town was laid out October 1886 and was named Steynsburg in honour of Commandant J P Steyn of Lydenburg. The name was later changed to Steynsdorp to avoid confusion with Steynsburg in the Cape. Steynsdorp became the centre of the New Paarl gold-field which was proclaimed in 1887 and grew rapidly with the establishment of hotels, shops, a bank, a post office and a newspaper called "The Steynsburg Observer". Jews were present among the early diggers. With the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand and diminishing gold yields, the town declined and eventually vanished, with only one house remaining.

STATISTICAL INFORMATION

Early Jewish life in Barberton centred around the gold-fields and was at its highest during the 1880s. It had erroneously been suggested in an article in the Jewish Chronicle London that at that time there were more than 200 Jews in the De Kaap district. This figure was denied by a local resident who in 1890 stated emphatically that the Jewish population had never exceeded 70. [JCL abstracts 1888/1903 communal outside cape 25 April 1890 p17; 4 July 1890 p16]

The first official census in 1904 recorded 77 Jews. There was a gradual decline in the Jewish population over the years, reflected as follows in community records: in 1943 there were 5 Jews; in 1953 there were 14; in 1965 there were 12; in 1972 there were 8; in 1979 there were 10; in 1980/1 there were 13; and in 1986 there were 3.

NOORDKAAP: Community records for the nearby railway siding, Noordkaap, show that in 1943 there were 16 Jewish people living there. By 1953 the Jewish population had shrunk to three.

BARBERTON JEWISH RESIDENTS (includes Eureka City/Eureka, Kaapsehoop, Noordkaap, Steynsdorp)

Abrahams Mr & Mrs & fam. Resident 1890s. Mohel; shopkeeper.
Came from Oudtshoorn to Barberton where he had been taken on as acting rabbi in 1884. He became a shopkeeper. [Shapiro p11] Lived with his family in Eureka City in the 1890s where he was also the mohel.

Albu Leopold Resident 1884 – 1887. Produce dealer; stockbroker.
He was born in Berlin, Germany in 1860. Came to Barberton in 1884 and left for Johannesburg in 1887.

Bernstein Michael Resident 2000. Sheriff of the court.
Previously in Volksrust. Sheriff of the court at Barberton as at 2000. [Silberhaft visit 253]

Bornstein David & Dora & fam. Resident 1890s. Tailor; outfitter.
Children: Joseph Francis (drowned at sea during WW2), Marie (died in 1918). [Dennis Edwards 1922] [Jewish Times 13/11/42 pg 5]

Breege Mr & Mrs Joel Resident 1965 - 1970. General dealer.
Owned the New Trading Store at De Kaap. [SAJBD Arch 100A343]

Brodie Mr W. Resident 1907. General dealer.
Traded at Eureka (1907). [United Transvaal directory 1907]

Cinamon Jacob & Victoria & fam. Resident 1885 – 1893. Owner of tavern; prospector. Married Victoria Moss, whom he met in Birmingham. Children: Bertha (b.1876), Clarice (b.1879), Hirschel (Harry), Alexander, David and Hymie. The family left Barberton for Durban and were in Johannesburg in 1893. They then went on to Matabeleland. Whilst in Barberton, Jacob invented a safety-ship which he presented to the British Admiralty. Nothing came of this, as he was unable to produce a working model. [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p25]

Cohen Hirschel Resident 1884 - c.1890. Stockbroker.
He was a partner of Harry Graumann in the stock broking firm of Cohen & Graumann. Moved to Johannesburg c.1890 where he became a member of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Cohen Violet Resident late 1880s Musician [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

Cohen Naphtali Herz. Resident 1886 – 1891 Solicitor
Born in London in 1862. He returned to Johannesburg in 1891. [Men of the Times 1905 p108]

Cohen Mr & Mrs Simon (Zambesi) & fam. Resident c.1888 Hotelier.
Brother of Herrman and Bernard Cohen. Came to the district around 1888. Opened a tavern and later opened the Zambesi Hotel, between Barberton and the Sheba Mine at Elephant's Kloof, near Eureka City. Five children: Theresa & others. During the Second Anglo-Boer War, the family was sent to Pretoria by the Boers. They were housed in dreadful conditions until a Pretoria Jew, a Mr Friedman, obtained their release.

Cohen Max Resident c.1890s – c.1902 Printer
Son of Mr & Mrs Herrman Cohen; brother of Baron Cohen. Worked in Pietermaritzburg before joining his family at Eureka City. When the family moved to Barberton in 1894, he joined the staff at Buchanan & Forsyth in the men's department. He then went to work for the printers, AW Bayly & Co. By 1902 he was living in Johannesburg.

Cohen Herrman & Fanny & fam. Resident 1888 Bottle store owner; produce dealer. Brother of Simon (Zambesi) Cohen, Bernard Cohen and related to Arnold Cohn, all of Eureka City. They had 12 children: Baron, Albert, Max, Ben, Joseph, Fred (b.1886), May Dolly, Ethel, Alice, Archie (born in Barberton in 1895) & Adele. Came to Eureka City in 1888. Owned Cohen's Bottle Store. In 1894 the family moved to Barberton where Herrman opened a produce store. At the start of the Second Anglo-Boer War, Herrman enlisted three sons (Baron, Albert & Ben) with Steinaecker's Horse (regiment) and the family moved to Delagoa Bay. They returned to Barberton c.1901. Herrman died in Barberton in 1903.

Cohen Ernest Resident late 1880s Musician
Ernest was nicknamed "Alphabetical" because of the number of his initials. [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

Cohen Baron Resident 1888 – 1922 General dealer.
Oldest son of Mr & Mrs Herrman Cohen; brother of Max Cohen. Ran a store in the Sheba valley near Eureka City. Later moved to Pilgrim's Rest. [1914 Dennis Edwards; 1922 Dennis Edwards; 1907 United Tvl Dir]

Cohen Mr & Mrs Bernard & fam. Resident 1888 – 1907 General dealer; prospector. Brother of Herrman and Simon Cohen. Had a store at the Fairview Mine not far from Eureka City. [Dennis Edwards 1922]

Cohn Arnold Resident after 1888. General dealer; bottle store owner.
Cousin of Mrs Herrman Cohen. In business with Otto Ernst at Eureka City/Eureka. [1914 Dennis Edwards]

Davis Nuna Daniel Resident 1887. Produce dealer; Promoter of mining companies. Born in London, England in 1854. Came to Barberton c.1887. Partner of Leopold Albu in a produce dealing business. Also worked as a promoter of mining companies. [Men of the Times1905 p124]

Davis Mr B Resident 1960 General dealer
Owned Davis & Co. [CT Dir1960]

De Jong Philip Resident 1880s Tenor singer [Saron & Hotz p143]

Dehrman Mr W Resident 1907 Prospector
Prospected at Clutha, near Eureka. [1907 United Tvl Dir]

Ernst Otto Resident after 1888. General dealer
In business with Arnold Cohn in Eureka City.

Feinstein Mr P. Resident 1889 [JCL Abstract1887-1910 1 Nov. 1889 p13]

Franklin Mr & Mrs Jacob & fam. Resident 1890. General dealer.
Mrs Franklin and Mrs Nathan Morris were sisters. Children: Florrie, Bertha, Mossie, Henry & Leo. [Newscuttings 103A Salli Kahn p1; Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

Freedman Mr Resident c.1884 Prospector [SAJYB 1929 p84]

Glick Mr & Mrs L & fam. Resident 1933
Lived at Noordkaap. [File N p126; 1935 & 1936 greetings; Zionist record 1933]

Gluckstein Mr B. Resident 1887 Editor
Mr Gluckstein was the editor of a weekly newspaper called "The Jester" which was first published in July 1887. [Saron & Hotz p143; the star 23 1963 p8]

Golding Mr & Mrs Bill Resident c.1889 Canteen keeper.
Son of Gerry Golding. Ran a canteen at Steynsdorp around 1899. [Bulpin - Lost Trails on the Lowveld p285]

Golding Gerry Resident c.1889 Prospector
Prospected at Steynsdorp around 1889. [Bulpin - Lost Trails on the Lowveld p285]

Grainger/Granger Mr & Mrs & fam. Resident 1889 Hotelier.
Mr & Mrs Grainger came from Durban to build and run the Granville Hotel in the 1880s. They had many children. Four sons (Alex, Louis & ?) served with the British forces during the Anglo-Boer War, with Alex promoted to the rank of lieutenant. [JCL Abstract 1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13]

Graumann Berryman Resident 1902. Camp superintendent; Justice of the Peace. Brother of Sir Harry Graumann. Appointed superintendent of the Barberton Concentration Camp during the Anglo-Boer War. Also served as Justice of the Peace for the town. [Overvaal Musea News v.9 no.3 sep 1982]

Graumann Harry Resident 1884 - c.1888 General dealer; stockbroker; financier. Born in London in 1868. Started a trading concern in 1884 with Henry Heller before becoming a stockbroker and a financier. He left Barberton at the time of its decline c.1888. He went to England for about three years before he returned to South Africa.
Heller Adolph & Annie-Jeanne & fam. Resident 1891
Children: Mona, Muriel, Bernard, Eve, Vera, Harry (Henry) & Esther. The family moved to Durban for the duration of the Anglo-Boer War and returned to Barberton c.1902. Adolph died in 1929 and was buried in Barberton. [JCL Abstracts 1887-1910 29 Jan 1892 p14]

Heller Henry Resident 1884 General dealer; prospector.
Came to Barberton in 1884 where he opened a trading concern in partnership with Harry Graumann. [JCL Abstract 1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13]

Henochsberg Mr Resident 1887 [JCL Abstract1859-1887 July 1887 p13 col 2]
Hershberg Mr & Mrs & fam. Resident 1962.
Transferred to Nelspruit and by 1963 they were settled there. [File F]

Heymann Julius Resident c.1885 [SAJBD Newscuttings 103A Heymann]

Holt David Resident 1886 – 1887 Prospector; businessman
Came to Barberton in 1886 from Kimberley. Was the local secretary of Kimberley Imperial Gold Mining Company. In 1887 moved to the Witwatersrand. [Rosenthal p174]

Jacobs Isaac Resident 1886 [JCL Abstract1859-1887 12 Nov 1886 p7 col2]

Jacobs Sham & Lynda & fam. Resident 1977 - 1982
Married Lynda Samuels, daughter of Joe and Edith Samuels of Barberton in 1977. Children: Angela, Hailee & Myles. Lived in Barberton until 1982. [SAJBD Arch 100A343]

Joel Mr D. Resident 1907 Tailor.
Recorded in Eureka (1907). [1907 United Tvl Dir]

Kaplan Mr R N Resident 1934 General dealer
Recorded at Kaapsehoop. [CT Dir1934]

Lasker/Lascar Isadore & Jennie Resident 1890
Married Jennie Lazarus, daughter of Mr & Mrs Lazarus of Barberton, in 1890. [JCL Abstract 1887-1910 31 Oct 1890 p10]

Lazarus Mr & Mrs & fam. Resident 1889
Daughters: Dora, Jennie (married Isadore Lasker in 1890) & ? [JCL Abstract 1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13; Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p25]

Levin Mr Resident 1889 [JCL Abstract 1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13]

Levy Mr D Resident 1907
Worked for the Sheba Gold Mining Co, near Eureka (1907). [United Tvl Dir 1907]
Lissack Simon Resident 1886 Prospector
Was a digger on the gold-fields around 1884. [SAJYB 1929 p84]

Lowinsky Mark Resident c.1884 Prospector [Williams p519]

Lyons Mr Resident 1890s
Lived in Barberton in the 1890s. [Fred Cohen: Eureka’s Child p46]

Lyons Samuel Resident 1890s Trader.
Lived in Barberton in the 1890s. Sold ginger beer. [Fred Cohen: Eureka’s Child p46]
Makower Charles Resident pre 1939
Involved in mining. He served as captain in the 26 British Liaison Unit, a highly specialised unit, during World War 2. [SA Jews in WW2, SAJBD 1950 p125]

Mann Mr & Mrs Les & fam. Resident 1958 Pharmacist.
Owned De Kaap Pharmacy. Children: Karen (b. 3 Dec 1957) & Errol (b. 2 Aug 1960). [SAJBD Arch 100A343]

Marks Herbert T & Louisa (Lily) Resident 1887 Mining engineer.
Herbert Marks was employed by the Transvaal Republic as an assayist and analyst in Barberton in 1887. Louisa (Lily) died in 1889 and was buried in Pietersburg. [Saron & Hotzp143]

Marks Joseph Resident 1887 – 1890 Collector of customs.
Born in Neustadt, Lithuania, on 26 Oct 1856. Joseph Marks was appointed by the Kruger Government in 1887 as a collector of customs. Died in Barberton in 1890. [Saron & Hotzp143]


Masur Joseph Solomon Resident early 1880s Prospector.
Went to the Witwatersrand Gold-fields by 1885. [Jackson, Trader on the Veld, p9]
Meyer Mrs Karen Fiona Resident 2000
Husband not born Jewish. As at 2000 was living in Barberton. [Silberhaft visit 253]
Miller Nathan & Lindsey & fam Resident 1985 [Arch 32 file 2]

Millstein Mr Resident 1969 [File W p556 - 1969]

Milltive Mr S. Resident 1965 Attorney [SAJBD Arch 100A343]

Morris Mr & Mrs Nathan Resident 1887 Owner of tavern.
Owned a tavern a few kilometres outside Barberton. Mrs Morris and Mrs Jacob Franklin were sisters. [JCL Abstract1859-1887 July 1887 p13 col 2; JCL Abstract1887-1910 31 Oct 1890 p10; Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

Moses Dr Resident 1880s Dentist [Saron & Hotzp143]

Myers Mr & Mrs Barney & fam Resident late 1880s.
Children: Jack, Isaac & ? Jack and Isaac were musicians. [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

Nellmapius Alois Hugo Resident 1882 - 1883 Prospector.
Prospected between Lydenburg and what was to be Barberton in 1878. Left for Pretoria later that year. Returned to prospect around 1882. Fought in the campaign against the Ndebele in 1883 and returned to Hatherley, later called Eerste Fabriek, near Pretoria. [Kaye 35-40]

Olswang Mr Resident 1887 [JCL Abstract1859-1887 July 1887 p13 col 2]

Radomsky Mr & Mrs Resident 1966
Recorded at Kaapsehoop (1966). [Arch 32.1 Duschinsky ]

Rose Mr J W Resident 1891 [JCL Abstracts 1887-1910 29 Jan 1892 p14]
Rosenbloom Solomon Resident 1889 Prospector.
Prospected at Steynsdorp by 1889. [Bulpin - Lost Trails on the Lowveld p284]

Samuels Joe & Edith & fam. Resident 1964 - 1983.
Children: Denese (married Solly Zaslansky), Lynda (married Sham Jacobs), Arlene, Sharon, Philipa and Raymond.

Sandler Mr & Mrs Resident 1965 [SAJBD Arch 100A343]

Schwartz Maurice & Bertha. Resident 1889 – 1896 Prospector; general dealer.
Came to Barberton from Johannesburg c.1889. Married Bertha Franklin, daughter of Mr & Mrs Jacob Franklin of Barberton in 1896 and they settled in Ermelo. Children (born in Ermelo): Edwin (b.1896), Gertrude (b.1900), Lily (b.1903) & Hannah Jessie (b.1908). [SAJBD Newscuttings 103, A Schwartz & Schwartz Lily]

Seagull Max Resident 1887 Journalist
Came from Yorkshire, England to SA in 1886. Came to Barberton in 1887. He worked for some time as a journalist on the "Goldfields Times". He moved on to Vryburg and by 1894 was living in Port Elizabeth. [SAJT Markowitz 4/6/48]"

Simmons Dr Resident 1880s Dentist [Saron & Hotzp143]

Simon Mr Resident 1965 [SAJBD Arch 100A343]

Sonnenberg Isaac (Ikey) Resident 1884 - 1888 Prospector.
Came to Barberton around 1884. Left for Johannesburg in 1888. [Rosenthal ZR Sept 1939 p61]

Sonnenberg Theodore Resident pre 1885 Prospector.
Came to Barberton from Klerksdorp. Moved on to Bechuanaland (Botswana) and by 1885 had settled in Vryburg. [Sonnenberg p18]

Sonnenfeld Mr A & Hannah & fam. Resident 1887 [JCL Abstract1859-1887 July 1887 p13 col 2]

Stanton Debbie. Resident 1981.
Originally from Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). She worked at the Croxon's Garage. Husband not born Jewish. [SAJBD Arch 100A343]

Starfield Mr Resident 1890 [JCL Abstract1887-1910 31 cot 1890 p10]

Stern Sam Resident 1928. Recorded in Kaapsehoop. [1928 greetings]

Strauchbaum David & Bertha & fam. Resident 1889 .
They came from Port Elizabeth to Barberton. [JCL Abstract1887-1910 1 Nov 1889 p13]

Swerdlow Mr & Mrs Simon & fam. Resident 1928
Recorded in Kaapsehoop. [1928 & 1929 greetings]

Tobias Mr J Resident 1907 General dealer
Traded at Eureka (1914). [Dennis Edwards 1914]

Tobias Mr P Resident 1922 General dealer
Traded at Eureka (1922). [Dennis Edwards 1922]

Tobias Mr B Resident 1922 General dealer
Traded at Noordkaap (1922). [Dennis Edwards 1922]

Uzelac Dr & Mrs & fam. Resident 1980s - 1983 Doctor
Moved to Nelspruit in 1983. Son: Simon.

Wacks Mr & Mrs Resident 1920s Hotelier.
Mr & Mrs Wacks ran the Central Hotel. [info Hackenbroch]

Wasserberg Leo Resident 1912
Lived in Barberton in 1912 when he married May Franks of Johannesburg in Johannesburg. [SAJC 20 Dec 1912 p407]

Wasserberg Mr & Mrs David & fam. Resident 1908. General dealer; coal & produce merchant. Son of Mr & Mrs S Wasserberg. Owned D Wasserberg & Co (1924). [V.4 Tel dir 1924; Dennis Edwards 1922]

Wasserberg Mr & Mrs S & fam Resident 1890.
Came from Port Elizabeth. Children: David, Rosie & ? [JCL Abstract1887-1910 31 Oct 1890 p10; Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p25]

Weston Mr & Mrs & fam. Resident pre 1896.
Children: Harry (b.1896 in Barberton) & ? Harry became an attorney and later moved to Johannesburg. [SAJYB 1929]

Wolfers Rev & Mrs P Resident 1889 -1891/2 Minister.
Rev Wolfers was brought to South Africa by the Jewish community of Barberton who needed a minister for their religious services and for the Jewish and secular education of their children. He arrived in March 1889. He also gave music lessons. He moved to Johannesburg c.1891/2. [Jewish affairs Feb. 1950 p23; JCL abstracts 1887-1910 26 Apr 1889 p13]

Wolff Dr Henry A Resident 1886 Doctor

Woolf Mr & Mrs Resident 1890s
Lived in Eureka City in the 1890s. [Fred Cohen: Eureka's Child p21]

Zaffere Mr Resident late 1880s Prospector; businessman.
Was a business partner of Jacob Cinamon for a short period. He left Barberton after a while and went to the Witwatersrand. [Jewish Affairs Apr 1956 p24]

Zaslansky Solly & Denese & fam Resident 1976 - 1983.
Married Denese Samuels, daughter of Joe and Edith Samuels of Barberton in 1976. Children: Ilana (b.1979) & Faryl (b.1980). Lived in Barberton until 1983. [SAJBD Arch 100A343]

זאמביה

Zambia

עד 1964 - רודזיה הצפונית

מדינה (רפובליקה בחבר העמים הבריטי) במרכז דרום יבשת אפריקה.


כאשר נערכה החתונה היהודית הראשונה במקום, ב-1810, מנה היישוב היהודי כולו 38 נפשות. האחים זוסמן, שהגיעו לרודזיה הצפונית ב- 1900, היו חלוצי התחבורה המודרנית במקום ביבשה ובנהרות ורכשו את הזכויות למחצבי נחושת, כיום המיכרה הגדול ביותר בזאמביה (בבעלות אחרים). יהודים בלטו בפיתוח ענף המיכרות ונתכבדו על פועלם בתוארי אצולה (דוגמת סר אדמונד דייוויס, סולי יואל וסר ארנסט אופנהיימר).

ב-1921 מנה היישוב 110 יהודים ופי עשרה מזה ומעלה באמצע שנות החמישים, עם התפתחות תעשיית הנחושת בצפון. זוגות צעירים נטו להגירה, ומתבגרים היו נשלחים למוסדות חינוך ברודזיה או דרום-אפריקה.

עד להשגת העצמאות שימשו יהודים במימשל המקומי, גם כראשי-עיר; ומשנות השלושים בלט בזירה המדינית סר רוי וולנסקי, עד שעבר לסולסברי לתפקיד סגן ראש-הממשלה (1953). מ"ג ראב היה חבר בית-המחוקקים (1962-1959) וס"ו מאגנוס היה חבר הפארלאמנט בשנים 1968-1962, עד שנתמנה שופט בית-הדין העליון.

בשנת 1975 ישבו בזאמביה 450 יהודים, מספר תושבי המדינה היה אז 4,750,000.

בשנת 1997 חיו בזאמביה 50 יהודים בלבד, רובם בעיר לוסאקה. מספר תושבי המדינה היה אז 8,275,000.

Duiwelskloof 

Now called Modjadjiskloof

A town in South Africa.

Duiwelskloof is situated in the Letaba district of the northern Transvaal (Northern Province - post 1994). It lies approximately 450 km north east of Johannesburg; 24 km north-east of Tzaneen, in South Africa.

The village of Duiwelskloof is situated in the northern Transvaal on the railway line between Tzaneen and Soekmekaar. White settlement in this area began with the Voortrekkers who moved to the eastern slopes of the Drakensberg and settled in the district of the Lovedu (Lobedu) tribe, whose leader was the rain queen, Modjadji. In 1886 in a bid to encourage settlers to this northern frontier, the Transvaal Government made available what became known as "occupation farms". Many of these were taken up by those who had flocked to the northern Transvaal gold-fields. The village of Duiwelskloof became the centre of this farming community. It took its name from the farm Duiwelskloof originally owned by Willem Herklaas Viljoen. There was no real road to this area until about 1889 and the name Duiwelskloof (devil's ravine) was given because of the difficulty with which laden wagons trekked through the area in the rainy season. Anger against the new settlers mounted and in 1890 and again in 1894-95 campaigns were fought against the local tribes. With the ensuing peace, more farms were taken up and the village of Duiwelskloof was moved to the farm Skraalhans where there was a better water supply.

Duiwelskloof was linked by rail in 1916. The railway station was originally called Modjadji after the rain queens of the Lovedu (Lobedu) but reverted to Duiwelskloof following strong protest from white residents. The village was surveyed in 1919 and proclaimed in 1920. Before the establishment of a health committee in 1921, the affairs of the village were managed by a body called the Duiwelskloof General Improvement Society. In later years the administration passed to a village management board. The district of Duiwelskloof abounds in natural vegetation and plantations of subtropical fruit and timber. Five kilometres to the south of the village is Westfalia, at one time owned by Sir Lionel Phillips and later by Dr Hans Merensky, who is associated with most of the major mineral discoveries in the Transvaal.

ASSOCIATION WITH JEWS IN NEIGHBOURING PLACES

The Jews of Duiwelskloof were associated with the Pietersburg Hebrew Congregation as some of them were country members. They also joined with Jewish families in the neighbouring towns for Family Days which were mainly held to celebrate the chaggim e.g. Purim and Lag Ba'Omer and occasions such as Yom Yerushalayim and Yom HaShoah.

EARLY JEWISH SETTLERS

Jewish presence in Duiwelskloof began around 1912-13 when Sir Lionel Phillips bought the Westfalia Estate, 5 km from Duiwelskloof, as a wedding present for his son, although Sir Lionel was never resident there. The Jacobsons were living in Duiwelskloof from at least 1914.
Jacobson Mr AJ & Florence pre 1914 The earliest reference to the Jacobson family is in 1914 when Mrs Jacobson contributed to Zionist funds. In February 1919 she was one of seven women who were elected to the Duiwelskloof General Improvement Society, which administered village affairs until the Duiwelskloof Health Committee was established in 1921. [Cartwright, p142]

INFORMAL RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES

There were no formal Jewish institutions in Duiwelskloof and the Jews of the area were mostly members of the Pietersburg Hebrew Congregation.

ZIONIST ACTIVITY

There are records of contributions to Zionist funds from the Jacobson family from 1914. The Zionist Record was distributed to readers in Duiwelskloof (1929). In 1932 a delegation from Pietersburg led by Rev Levine met with the Jews of Duiwelskloof. It was suggested that the two centres work together for Zionist causes. It was further suggested that a Zionist society be formed in Duiwelskloof. [1932 Zionist Record]

In 1937 the Tzaneen, Duiwelskloof & District Zionist Society was recorded as an affiliate member of the SAZF. No other references can be found to this society. [File N p138]

SOCIAL/CULTURAL/RECREATIONAL

The SAJBD used to organise Family Day functions for the Jews of the outlying country communities and the Jewish families of Duiwelskloof used to join these families in Pietersburg to celebrate chaggim such as Purim and Lag Ba'Omer and occasions such as Yom Yerushalayim, Yom Ha'Atzmaut and Yom Hashanah.

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

Around 1912-13 Sir Lionel Phillips bought the Westfalia Estate, 5 km from Duiwelskloof, from a German settler, Konrad Plange as a wedding present for his son, Harold. He himself did not live on the estate. He owned a number of farms in the Haenertsburg district (see Tzaneen) which he acquired from 1906. A house was built on the farm known as the "Broederstroom Stud Farm" and the Phillip's moved between their homes in England, Johannesburg and Haenertsburg. After Harold's death in 1926 Sir Lionel took the estate back and in 1928 it was sold to Dr Hans Merensky. It now forms part of the Merensky Trust. [Cartwright p115, 144]

In 1949 the Duiwelskloof Hotel was bought by Mr Lisoos who lived in Zebediela. He also owned the Goldfield Hotel in Pietersburg and the hotel at Zebediela. [Rabbi Abt 1949 SAJBD Corresp]

STATISTICAL INFORMATION

The Matzo Board survey recorded 6 Jews in Duiwelskloof in 1943. Another survey by the SAJBD in 1953 recorded 10 Jews. This number remained static until 1964 when only 1 family remained (2 Jews). The South African Jewry of 1976/7 notes that there were no Jews in Duiwelskloof at this time. This fact was confirmed by Rabbi Engel who recorded no Jews in 1980. By 1994 there was one Jewish family in the village.

ANTISEMITISM

In 1936 there was a lot of anti-Jewish propaganda spread in Tzaneen and surrounds and a number of anti-Jewish meetings were held in nearby Tzaneen. Morris Alexander of the SAJBD undertook tours of several Transvaal towns, including Duiwelskloof, between 1936 and 1939 to talk about the activities of the SAJBD, to discuss the various antisemitic movements active at the time, as well as to strengthen the ties of friendship between the Jewish and secular communities. Rabbi Lapin also undertook similar tours in 1941.

The district of Duiwelskloof and Tzaneen was reported to have been a hotbed of Nazism under Dr Hans Merensky, the owner of Westfalia Estates. Dr Merensky often openly displayed antisemitic sentiments and had received several warnings from the local magistrate. In October 1936, several meetings of a pro-German nature took place in nearby Tzaneen. At one such meeting, a German film was shown to which English and Afrikaans residents were invited. The local leader, Mr Brinkman, an employee of Dr Hans Merensky, spoke about Hitler's ideals and the work of Bohle. In 1937 hundreds of Germans from all parts of the Transvaal assembled on his estate for a three-day rally, acting under instructions of the German Foreign Propaganda Ministry. [Press Reports 1936-8 Sunday Tribune 3/10/37] Many of Dr Merensky's German employees, including a Mr Brinkman, had been interned in 1939. Since their internment the situation had been quieter.

MISCELLANEOUS

In 1938 a gentile woman, Mrs Doris Eland, of the farm Ravenshill near Duiwelskloof, wrote to the Society for Jews and Christians offering to render practical assistance to Jewish refugees. She wrote: "I have been greatly shocked by the recent happenings in Germany and feel a great urge to do something practical to help the Jewish Refugees". She referred to proposals for settling families in parts of East Africa but felt that "they will want a certain training". She noted that “here we have all the facilities for giving a young man insight into a Pioneers Life" and went on to outline the manner in which they could offer housing and training for a suitable youth. [SAJBD Corresp Duiwelskloof]

JEWISH PERSONALITIES

Jacobson Mrs Florence Mrs Jacobson was elected to the Duiwelskloof General Improvement Society in February 1919. She was one of seven women who served on this committee. In 1921 the administration of village affairs was taken over by the Duiwelskloof Health Committee. [Cartwright, p142]

Lovell Miss Aida Miss Aida Lovell, the professional name of Mrs A Osterman, was a musician who performed several times with the Cape Town Orchestra, with the Colosseum Orchestra and gave performances in aid of funds for the General and Children's Hospitals and for the Star Seaside Fund. She was a well-known broadcasting artist and gave a series of musical lectures to various societies in the country. [SA Woman's Who's Who, p455, 1938]

JEWISH RESIDENTS OF DUIWELSKLOOF

Abramowitz Mr E Resident 1922 General dealer [Dennis Edwards 1922]

Abramowitz Mr R Resident 1924 [Tel Dir 1924]

Abramowitz Mr Resident 1922 General dealer.
Owned Abramowitz Bros. [Dennis Edwards 1922; Tel Dir 1924]

Fine Samuel & Rae & fam Resident 1921 - 1936 General dealer.
Children: Doris & Cyril. Moved to Tzaneen in 1936. [Doris Ossip; List of donors Pietersburg Shul Building Fund 1921]

Goldblatt Mrs Resident 1936
Member of the first committee of the Tzaneen, Duiwelskloof & District Zionist Society. Not clear whether she lived in Tzaneen or Duiwelskloof. [1936 Zionist Record]

Hersfield Mr I Resident 1922 General dealer [Dennis Edwards 1922]
Hersfield Mr S Resident 1924 [Tel Dir 1924]

Hirschmann Mr J Resident 1934 General dealer [CT Dir 1934]

Jacobsohn/Jacobson Mr A J & Florence C & fam Resident - 1914
Florence Jacobson (15 Mar 1876 - 19 July 1936) was buried in Pietersburg. Mr Jacobson worked at Letaba Estate (1939), near Tzaneen. By 1949 he was living in Johannesburg. [Wiener; Abt 1949 - SAJBD Corresp; List of donors Pietersburg Shul Building Fund 1921]

Mosenthal Mr Resident 1924 Owned Mosenthal Bros. [Tel Dir 1924]
Myerson M Resident 1936
Member of the first committee of the Tzaneen, Duiwelskloof & District Zionist Society. Not clear whether lived in Tzaneen or Duiwelskloof. [1936 Zionist Record]
Osterman Henry Resident 1941
Died in 1941 and was buried in Pietersburg. [Charlotte Wiener]

Osterman Abe & Aida Resident 1936 Mrs – musician.
Mrs Osterman was known by her professional name, Aida Lovell. [SA Woman's Who's Who, p455, 1938]

Palte Michael Resident Moved to Pietersburg. [Wiener]

Schwabel Constance Marion Resident 1950
Died 21 May 1950, aged 51 and buried in the Jewish cemetery in Pietersburg. [Charlotte Wiener]

Schwabel Mr J M Resident 1934 Attorney [CT Dir 1934]

Shulman Peter & Urna Resident 1993 - Current (2001) General dealer .
Eight children. Still resident in Duiwelskloof as at 2001. [Charlotte Wiener]

Smueli Mr & Mrs & fam Resident 1932
Worked on the Letaba Estate, near Tzaneen. Children: Amichai (b.1932) & ? [1932 Zionist Record]

Sussman S Resident 1920 [File SA p623 & 659]

Yudelowitz Mrs Hannah Resident 1940 - 1962
Nee Osterman. Sent New Year greetings from the Duiwelskloof Hotel in 1946. Died on 22 Nov 1962 and buried in Pietersburg. [Charlotte Wiener; Jeshurun 0ct 1940]

Yudelowitz H Resident c.1929
Buried in Pietersburg c.1929/30. [Charlotte Wiener]

____________________________________________________________________

 

The history of the Jewish Community of Duiwelskloof was researched by The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot and first published in Jewish Life in the South African Country Communities, Volume II (2004): 241-254

The article is published here courtesy of The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot

Dullstroom

Emnothweni

A town in Mpumalanga province, South Africa.

Dullstroom is situated on the Steenkampsberg Plateau in the eastern Transvaal (Mpumalanga - post 1994), 245 km north east of Pretoria; 53 km south west of Lydenburg; 35 km north of Belfast, in South Africa.

Emigration from Holland to South Africa was strongly encouraged in the 1880s and support committees were set up throughout Holland. Around 1882 a company, under the leadership of Wolterus Dull, was established to strengthen ties between the two countries. The company then bought two farms, Groot Suikerboschkop (Great Sugarbush Hill) and Elandslaagte (Dale of the Eland), in order to establish a settlement. The first Hollanders to arrive were J H Janson Jnr, Anthony de Vletter and the Ottens family. They were followed in 1884-1887 by G H Ahlers and T N H Janson and others. These early settlers experienced great hardship and although some left in search of a better life, many remained. When Wolterus Dull visited the settlers at Groot Suikerboschkop in 1890 he found that a little village had been established. There were about 30 houses, a shop, a post office, a hotel, a smith, a pottery, a water-mill and a school and church. In 1891 the village of Dullstroom was proclaimed and named after Wolterus Dull. It was originally named Dull's-stroom (Dull's stream), but this was later simplified to Dullstroom.

The Dutch settlers were staunch supporters of President Kruger who often came to stay over in the village. He paid two official visits - in 1894 and in 1898. During the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), the mountains around Dullstroom were regarded by both the Boers and the British as being strategically important. Several battles were fought in the region. In May 1900 the British forces gained occupation and the village later served as the mid-station for convoys moving between Lydenburg and Belfast. Dullstroom was virtually razed to the ground during the war and women and children were sent to a concentration camp at Middelburg. Many of the townsfolk had gone back to Holland. Others returned after the war and started to rebuild the village. In 1921 Dullstroom was granted the status of a town council.

Fly fishers in nearby Dullstroom owe thanks to the postmaster, Mr J Gurr, and a watchmaker and jeweller, Mr F C Braun, who lived in the nearby town of Lydenburg. In 1912 Mr Gurr caught what looked like a trout in the Dorps River in Lydenburg. He believed that trout would thrive in the waters of the Steenkampsberg and began rearing fingerlings from ova. Thousands were distributed into many of the local waters from around 1916. After Mr Gurr left Lydenburg, the task of restocking the streams fell to Mr F C Braun. The first stocking in Dullstroom took place in 1927. Today, Dullstroom is one of the most popular Transvaal destinations for trout anglers. The rivers and streams in the area are well stocked and many resorts in the area cater specifically for anglers. The area is also well known for its groves of elm and beech trees which were planted by the Dutch settlers. Verlorenvallei Nature Reserve is the only reserve in South Africa where all three crane species occur. [Discover Dullstroom p2, 3 & 12; Erasmus p179]

Dullstroom is one of the most popular Transvaal destinations for trout anglers. Two residents of Lydenburg, Mr J Gur and Mr F C Braun, are credited with the start of this industry, when they hatched fingerlings and stocked the waters around Lydenburg from around 1916 and those around Dullstroom from 1927.

Max Borkum and Henry Hare, Johannesburg stockbrokers, owned the farm Hiddendale near Dullstroom. [Suzan p285]

As at 2001, the Bert family still own their business, The Old Transvaal Inn, although they are no longer permanently resident in Dullstroom and only spend some weekends there.

EARLY JEWISH SETTLERS

Himmelhoch Yosef & Clara & fam 1896 Talsen, Kurland
Mr & Mrs Himmelhoch came to SA with their four young children in 1896 to settle in Dullstroom. There they had a shop and a hotel. The family endured hardship during the Second Anglo-Boer War, when first the Boers and then the British, commandeered stock from their shop. Clara Himmelhoch recalled how they helped a group of British officers on Christmas Day 1899. They gave them food and built a huge fire in their yard to dry them out. When peace was proclaimed, General Muller presented the family with a gold sovereign. [Rochlin Arch 114 Box 6 File 1]

Rodkin Zevulon 1915 Russia
In 1915 Zevulon Rodkin set himself up as a general dealer in Dullstroom. [From Shtetl to Steelmaking p49]

Sachs Mr S 1904
By 1904 Mr S Sachs was already farming in the Dullstroom district. [Name was listed in Donaldson & Hill's Farmers' Directory dated 1904, see SAJ 1976-7 p434]"

JEWISH PERSONALITIES

Kaplan Isaac Isaac Kaplan, co-founder of Cape Gate (Pty) Ltd, spent four years in Dullstroom as an assistant in his uncle's shop from 1921 to the end of 1925. Cape Gate was founded in August 1929 in Parow by Isaac Kaplan, his brother Solly Kaplan, and Solly Kushlick. It started out as small gate factory and rapidly expanded. In 1932 they produced the first chain-link machine from scrap and the name changed to the Cape Gate, Fence and Wire Works. During the Second World War, Isaac Kaplan became chairman of the Cape Allocations Committee, set up to give priority to whatever steel, wire and other material was available from Iscor to manufacturers in the Cape. The company expanded to the Transvaal in 1962 with the new factory at Vanderbijlpark under the management of Isaac's son, Mendel. The Parow factory remained under the management of the three founders until 1962 when Isaac's other son, Robert, took over as manager. In 1978 the head office in Braamfontein was bought and two factories were opened in Israel. On Cape Gate's 50th anniversary in 1979 the Kaplan Kushlick Foundation was founded which, over the years, has spent many millions of rand on a wide variety of projects in South Africa and Israel. Cape Gate is today (2001) still a family owned company. [From Shtetl to Steelmaking]

MISCELLANEOUS

Mrs Clara Himmelhoch, who was most likely the first Jewess in Dullstroom, in an interview in 1943, recalled with warmth her relationship with the Afrikaans community in the time she lived in the village. On the second official visit of President Kruger to Dullstroom in 1898, she helped the other women to prepare a large banquet in his honour. During Voortrekker celebrations in 1938 there was a Nagmaal in the nearby town of Belfast which she attended wearing Voortrekker costume. She was asked to sign the Voortrekker Book, which she was proud to do and was ‘glad to be among so many old friends from the olden days’. [Rochlin Arch 114 Box 6 File 1]

There were never enough Jews in Dullstroom to form a minyan. They probably prayed with the nearest congregation, either in Belfast, Lydenburg or Middelburg. There are no official census records for Dullstroom for the years selected for this research, nor are there any statistics available from Jewish community records kept by the SAJBD. As at 2001, there were no permanent Jewish residents in Dullstroom, but the Bert family still owned their business and hotel, the Old Transvaal Inn, and spent some weekends in the village.

JEWISH RESIDENTS

Bert Leonard & Sheryl & fam Resident 1983 - 2001 Pharmacist; restaurateur; curio shop owner The Berts originally lived in Graskop until 1977 when they relocated to Hoedspruit, at the time also owned a business in Pilgrim's Rest. They moved to Dullstroom in 1983, where they owned The Old Transvaal Inn.. They moved Johannesburg in 2001.

Himmelhoch Yosef & Clara & fam Resident 1896 Hotelier; general dealer. Came to Dullstroom in 1896 with four young children. Owned a shop and hotel. Also recorded in Belfast (1922). Children: Mary, Beatrice, Danie, Suzanna, Rachel, Charles & Wolf Ze'ev. [Rochlin Arch 114 Box 6 File 1; Belfast, Dennis Edwards 1922]

Hofland Mr J Resident 1934 General dealer [Cape Times Dir1934]

Kaplan Mrs Gertie Resident 1919 [State Archives, Death Notices, CT]

Kaplan Isaac Resident 1921 - 1926 Shop assistant.
Born 23 Nov 1906. Came to work for his uncle, Zevulon Rodkin (married to his father's sister) in 1921 at the age of 15. His job was to go into the country trading with farmers who bartered produce for goods from his uncle's shop. Stayed in Dullstroom for 4 years. Went to live in Wynberg, Cape Town, towards the beginning of 1926. [From Shtetl to Steelmaking p49-52]

Pomeravitz Szafa Resident 1927 Came to South Africa on 10 December 1927 from Antepole, Russia, to join his uncle, Zevulon Rodkin. [Immigration Records]

Rodkin Zevulon & Gittel & fam Resident 1915 General dealer. Zevulon Rodkin (1875 - 1950) was the uncle of Szafa Pomeravitz. Married Gittel Kaplan (1888 - 1953) in 1916. Gittel was the aunt of Isaac Kaplan. One child: Eber Josiah (Jess) born in Dullstroom in 1922. [From Shtetl to Steelmaking p49-53]

Sachs Mr S Resident 1904 Farmer [SA Jewry, 1976-7 refers to Donaldson and Hill's Farmer's Directory, 1904]

Schmahmann Mr B Resident 1922 General dealer; produce/livestock dealer; hotelier Owned the Transvaal Hotel (1922).

Zupan Mr P Resident 1934 General dealer [Cape Times Dir1934]

____________________________________________________________________

 

The history of the Jewish Community of Dullstroom was researched by The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot and first published in Jewish Life in the South African Country Communities, Volume II (2004): 241-254

The article is published here courtesy of The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot

 

קימברלי

עיר בדרום אפריקה.


קימברלי היא מרכז תעשיית היהלומים של צפון אפריקה. שדות היהלומים בסביבה נתגלו ב- 1870 וכעבור שנה התארגנה הקהילה המקומית; בין ראשוני המתיישבים בקימברלי היו איל- הכספים בארני בארנאטו ואחיו הארי. ראשון הרבנים הקבועים בקהילה היה מאיר מנדלסון. מאז 1906 שימשו בראשות העיר לא פחות מחמישה יהודים; סר דוד האריס ייצג את המחוז בפארלמנט בשנים 1929-1897. עם גילוי הזהב בדרום-אפריקה עברו רבים מיהודי המקום ליוהאנסבורג.

בשנת 1970 התגררו בקימברלי 600 יהודים בין 25,000 תושבי העיר (הלבנים).
פרטוריה

בירתה המינהלית של דרום-אפריקה.


יהודים הגיעו לפרטוריה עם ייסוד העיר ב-1855, הם היו פקידי ממשל, שהממשלה הבורית הביאה עמה מהולאנד. אחד מהם, מ' דה-פריז, נעשה תובע כללי וחבר האסיפה המחוקקת.

תפילה בציבור נערכה לראשונה בביתו של הצלם דניאל קיש; שם גם נערכה האסיפה הראשונה של אנשי המקום (1890). הרב הראשון שכיהן בפרטוריה היה הרב א' יפה, שהתמנה לכהונתו בשנת 1891.

ב-1969 התגוררו בפרטוריה 3,550 יהודים (%1.2 מכלל האוכלוסיה). בקהילה היו אז שתי עדות, בית-ספר יומי "כרמל", סניף איחוד הנשים, ועד ציוני ומוסדות תיאום.

בשנת 1997 חיו בפרטוריה כ- 3,000 יהודים.
איסט לונדון

(בראשיתה פורט רקס), עיר-נמל במזרח דרום-אפריקה; מספר תושביה 110,000. היישוב היהודי במקום מונה כ-1,200 נפש ופרנסתו על המסחר, התעשיה ומקצועות חופשיים. היהודים בולטים בחיי הציבור בעיר והיו ששימשו בתפקיד ראש העיר מאז ייסודה ב- 1847. בקהילה שני בתי-כנסת, עדה רפורמית (מ-1958), בתי- ספר עבריים, ארגונים ומוסדות ציונים ואחרים ומועדון יהודי. ראשון המתישבים היהודים היה גוסטב וצלאר מגרמניה (1873); ב- 1881 נתמנה חבר מועצת העיר וב-1889 נעשה ראש העיר. מספר היהודים גדל מהגירה, בעיקר בזמן במלחמת הבורים (1902-1899). הקהילה נוסדה רשמית ב-1901. ב-1903 הגיע מאנגליה עמנואל ליפקין, רב הקהילה ומייסד בית-הכנסת הראשון. כעבור 20 שנה הוקם בית-הכנסת הגדול בעיר.

מלבד וצלאר שימשו בתפקיד ראש העיר דוד לזרוס (1948-1947, 1966 1968), אברהם אדלסון (1959-1957) וליאו לאדן (1964-1962).

Zimbabwe 

Formerly: Rhodesia

A country in southern Africa. 

Jewish population in 2018: 200 out of 17,000,000

-----------------------------

Zimbabwe Jewish Board of Deputies
Telephone: +263 4 723 647
National President: Peter Sternberg

 

פורת אליזבט

עיר בדרום-אפריקה.


משפחות יהודיות היו בין המתיישבים הראשונים בפורט אליזבט, הם הגיעו מאנגליה בשנת 1820, ובית-כנסת ראשון (בבניין כנסיה לותראנית לשעבר) נפתח ב-1862.

יהודים מילאו תפקיד חשוב בפיתוח מסחר הצמר במקום (למשל, האחים מוזנטאל). במחצית השנייה של המאה ה- 19 שני יהודים שימשו כראשי-העירייה.

בשנת 1923 נבחר אדולף שודר היהודי למועצת העיר, כיהן במועצה יותר מארבעים שנה, ובשנים 1942-1940 כיהן כראש-העירייה. אדולף שודר גם היה שנים רבות ראש הקהילה האורתודוקסית ובזכות פעולתו הבין-גזעית נקרא פרוור של אפריקנים בעיר על שמו.

ב-1969 מנתה האוכלוסיה היהודית במקום 2,811 נפש (%1.1 מכלל האוכלוסיה). בקהילה היהודית היו אז שתי עדות, אורתודוקסית ומתקדמת. הקהילה הפעילה בית-ספר יומי יהודי, אגודת צדקה, וסניפים אזוריים של ועד שליחי הקהילות וההסתדרות הציונית.
דרבן DURBAN

העיר השלישית בגודלה בדרום-אפריקה.

ב-1969 התגוררו בה 6,050 יהודים. הקהילה היהודית פעילה ביותר, ולה שלושה בתי- כנסת (מהם אחד רפורמי), בית-ספר עברי יומי ומוסדות למיניהם. המועדון היהודי, היחיד מסוגו בדרום-אפריקה, תרם רבות לפיתוח חיי הקהילה (שלא קלטה, אגב, מהגרים ממזרח-אירופה בשיעור הרווח בערים אחרות במדינה). ועד הקהילה משמש גם כסניף ועד הקהילות הארצי. בשנות הששים פעולה ציונית ערה, ופעולה חינוכית בפיקוח מועצת החינוך היהודי, המסונפת למועצה הארצית. באוניברסיטת דרבן חוגים לעברית עתיקה וחדשה.

בשנת 1997 נימנו בדרבן 5,000 יהודים.

Cullinan

Including Baviaanspoort, Kaffirskraal, Rayton, Sonderwater, Sybrandskraa)

A town in South Africa
Cullinan is situated in the Highveld in the Transvaal (Gauteng - post 1994), 34 km east of Pretoria, South Africa.

The village of Cullinan was founded in 1902 on part of the farm Elandsfontein. It was named after Sir Thomas Major Cullinan, who opened the Premier Diamond Mine, which is situated close to the town, in the same year. Thomas Cullinan spent most of his free time prospecting for diamonds and gold. He found a small diamond pipe on the farm Franspoort near Pretoria. From this he deduced that alluvial diamonds found on a neighbouring farm had been washed down from a pipe on higher ground. He pinpointed the farm Elandsfontein as the possible site for this pipe. However, the owner of the farm refused to sell and it was only after his death in 1902 that Cullinan was able to buy the farm from his daughter. Cullinan's theory proved to be correct and the mine became immensely successful. On 25 June 1905 the world's largest diamond (3,052 carats) was discovered by Frederick Wells, the surface manager. The diamond was named Cullinan, after the founder of the mine, and was sold to the Transvaal government for a nominal sum. It was presented by Gen Louis Botha to King Edward VII for inclusion in the Crown Jewels. The original stone was cut into nine large stones and 96 smaller ones. The largest (Cullinan I) of 530 carats is called the Star of Africa and is set in the royal sceptre; Cullinan II (317 carats) is set in the imperial crown; all of the diamonds are guarded in the Tower of London.

Mixed farming is practiced in the magisterial district of Cullinan.

ASSOCIATION WITH JEWS IN NEIGHBOURING PLACES

The Jews in this district were closely associated with the Pretoria Hebrew Congregation, where many were members. Social contacts were also kept with the Jews of Bronkhorstspruit and environs.

EARLY JEWISH SETTLERS

By 1907 when the Rayton Zionist Association came into being, there were already a large number of Jews in the district.

Heymann Julius Nathan pre 1905 United Kingdom
Julius Heymann ran a concession store at the Premier Mine, Cullinan. When the Cullinan diamond was discovered in 1905, he was asked to transport it to the bank in Pretoria, as he owned a horse. [Info Heyman]

RAYTON HEBREW CONGREGATION

In 1919 New Year greetings were published in the Zionist Record from the Rayton Hebrew Congregation. [1919 Greetings] In the same year, the Zionist Record recorded a donation from the Rayton Hebrew Congregation to the Palestine National Restoration Fund. [File SA p526] These are the only references to the congregation that has yet come to light. Information from oral interviews indicates that the Jews of Cullinan and its environs mostly went to Pretoria for High Holy Day services and were members of that congregation.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR JEWISH EDUCATION

There were no facilities for Jewish education in either Cullinan or Rayton or any of the smaller settlements. The children attended school either in Cullinan or were sent to boarding school in Pretoria. They attended cheder in Pretoria.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR RITUAL SLAUGHTERING

No kosher meat was available in Cullinan or Rayton. This was obtained from Pretoria and from Bronkhorstspruit, when the latter community had a resident shochet.

NO JEWISH CEMETERY

In general, Jews were buried in Pretoria as there was no Jewish cemetery in Cullinan or Rayton.

RAYTON ZIONIST ASSOCIATION

A meeting was held at the home of Mr M Perel in Rayton on Sunday 29 September 1907 for the purpose of forming a branch of the Zionist Association. In speeches made at the meeting, tribute was paid to Mr Wolfsohn, "their eminent and respected leader" for "the great progress that had already been been achieved". A committee was elected with Mr J Goodman serving as the first president. [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342]

Jews living in small settlements (such as Kaffirskraal and Sybrandskraal) were also members of the Rayton Zionist Association which appears to have drawn its membership from the entire district. It was a very active society for a number of years but the enthusiasm was not sustained. A report in the Zionist Record in 1913 noted that the society had shown welcome signs of revival. [File S p292] In March 1914, the society was re-established with Mr M Perel as president and Mr H Schiff as honorary secretary. [File S p383]

STATISTICAL INFORMATION

Information from an oral interview indicates that there were 2 Jews living in Cullinan in 1938 and by 1951 there were six. [Info Katz] The Matzo Board survey conducted by the SAJBD in 1943 recorded 7 Jews in Cullinan. In 1953, according to a survey by the SAJBD, there were 13 Jews in Cullinan. Another report of the SAJBD in that year noted that there were 10 Jewish persons (3 families) in Cullinan. [SAJBD Newscuttings 100A24 Country Communities General] The official census for 1980 and 1991 put the Jewish population in Cullinan at 24 (in 1980) and 14 (in 1991). Based on available material, these numbers seem rather high but may reflect the number of Jews in a wider area.

Information from an oral interview indicates that there were 2 Jews living in Cullinan in 1938 and by 1951 there were six. [Info Katz] The Matzo Board survey conducted by the SAJBD in 1943 recorded 7 Jews in Cullinan. In 1953, according to a survey by the SAJBD, there were 13 Jews in Cullinan. Another report of the SAJBD in that year noted that there were 10 Jewish persons (3 families) in Cullinan. [SAJBD Newscuttings 100A24 country communities general] The official census for 1980 and 1991 put the Jewish population in Cullinan at 24 (in 1980) and 14 (in 1991). Based on available material, these numbers seem rather high but may reflect the number of Jews in a much wider area.

SATELLITE TOWNS

Baviaanspoort Shortly after 1882 two factories were erected to produce gunpowder in the Transvaal, one of which was at Baviaanspoort, west of Cullinan. This factory ceased production during the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). The settlement was established as a work colony and reformatory for alcoholics. It was used during the Second World War as an internment camp, mainly for German enemy subjects. With few exceptions these were civilians who had been, at the start of the war, in Africa south of Ethiopia and in ships in or near South African waters. They were treated as prisoners of war. Today, there is a large prison at Baviaanspoort.

Kaffirskraal The settlement of Kaffirskraal lies about 1 km east of Cullinan.

Rayton Rayton is a railway station and township on the railway from Pretoria to Lourenco Marques, 9 km south of Cullinan. It was founded in 1903 by the Montrose Diamond Mining Company on the farm Elandshoek and named after Mrs Ray Wollaston, wife of the general manager of the company. It is a farming district and serves as a dormitory village for people working in Pretoria.

Sonderwater The township of Sonderwater lies about 3 km south east of Cullinan. During the Second World War Sonderwater was used as a military training centre, with a large camp for prisoners of war. When Italy joined Germany against the Allies on 10 June 1940, Italian soldiers captured by Union forces in Ethiopia and elsewhere were detained at Sonderwater. There were several thousand of them and they became known throughout the country, especially on the farms, as foremen and artisans "hired out" to farmers. Today Sonderwater has a rehabilitation centre for alcoholics, a hospital for tuberculosis sufferers and a large prison.

Sybrandskraal Settlement some 32 km north of Cullinan. It had a postal order, telegraph and telephone agency (1934).

MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

There were Jews from the Cullinan and Rayton district who participated in military campaigns. For example, Joseph Kisner fought in the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899 - 1902) on the side of the British, and at the time of the South African Rebellion in 1914, Sam Bay fought on the side of the Union Forces.

During the Second World War, there were Jewish prisoners of war at the internment camps at Baviaanspoort and Sonderwater. A report in the Sunday Express of 29 September 1940 noted that efforts were being made by responsible organisations on the Witwatersrand to secure the release of 100 refugees at Baviaanspoort. It mentioned further that most of these people were anti-Nazi and Jewish refugees who "until their arrest were doing skilled and useful work, assisting the war effort of this country". Two examples highlight the plight of those interned. Peter Pauly, of German origin and working as a manager on a farm in Tanganyika (present day Tanzania), was first interned at a camp at Dar-es-Salaam and later transferred to Baviaanspoort, near Cullinan. While several German internees were repatriated, this was not an option for Mr Pauly who had two Jewish grandparents. He appealed to the president of the Society of Jews and Christians for help in obtaining his release. The matter was then referred to the Welfare Officer of the SAJBD. The other example concerns two Italian Jews who were stationed at the military camp at Sonderwater. The brothers, Sergio Calmani and Gino Calmani, civilians in Asmara, Eritrea, were interned in October 1942 and transferred as "civilian internees" to a camp at Fort Victoria, Southern Rhodesia (present day Zimbabwe). In February 1943 they were advised that all internees coming from Eritrea were to be sent to the Union of South Africa having been declared prisoners of war. The brothers reached Sonderwater on 3 February 1943. They were still stationed there in April 1945, although they had previously made representation to the International Red Cross. Their appeal was based on the premise that their internment as POWs was illegal, because as Jews they had been prohibited from serving in the Italian army. They applied to be among the first group of prisoners repatriated to Asmara. The SAJBD took up their cause with the Officer Commanding of the POW camp at Sonderwater but in his reply he stated that unless the "Allied Government of Asmara sanctioned their return as being necessary for the well-being of Eritrea no steps can be taken by this HQ to expedite their repatriation". [SAJBD Arch 210.1 File 2 WW2 Aliens & Refugees]

Over the years there have been Jewish inmates at the Sonderwater Prison.

In 1920 the Jewish children of the district started a Children's Aid Society in Bronkhorstspruit. Money was raised for the SA Jewish Orphanage. Rosie Mofsowitz of Sybrandskraal collected £1 at a concert given by her. [File SA p603]

JEWISH RESIDENTS

Abrahamson D Resident 1913 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p295]

Aronoff Mr J Resident 1971 Prisoner Prisoner at Sonderwater Prison (1971). [SAJBD Arch 17.7 corresp. Cullinan]

Bay Sam Resident 1913 General dealer.
Had a shop and petrol pump at Sybrandskraal. Served with the Union Forces (1914-1915). [Info Mabel Horn; File SA p95; 1913 File S p295]

Benjamin Mr N Resident 1907 Recorded in Rayton (1907). [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342]

Blomson D Resident 1915 [File SA p27]
Bloom Mr I Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p102 - 1910]

Bloom Mr S Resident 1909 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p140]

Brazil Mr Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Brookstone Leon Resident 1980 Prisoner
Prisoner at Sonderwater Prison (1980). [SAJBD Arch 17.7 corresp. Cullinan]

Brown Mr & Mrs Resident 1966 General dealer.
Lived in Cullinan. Bought shop at Kaffirskraal from Mr Thal. [CC Rabbis corresp. Cullinan]

Calmani Sergio Resident 1943 - 1945 Prisoner of war
Brother of Gino Calmani. Italian citizen of Asmara, Eritrea, interned at camp at Sonderwater.

Calmani Gino Resident 1943 1945 Prisoner of war
Brother of Sergio Calmani. Italian citizen of Asmara, Eritrea, interned at camp at Sonderwater.

Dreyer Mr & Mrs Maurice Resident 1960s General dealer.
He bought general dealer store in Rayton from Mr Taitz. [Info Friedman]

Egnos Mr S Resident 1907 Recorded in Rayton (1907). [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342]

Friedman Hymie & Alys Resident 1940 – 1972
Son of Mr & Mrs Joseph Friedman; born 1923 in Pretoria. In 1940 at the age of 17 returned to Rayton from Pretoria to run his father's farm. Farm sold in 1965. In 1972 moved to Rustenburg. [Info Friedman]

Friedman Mr & Mrs Joseph & fam Resident c.1912 - 1963 Farmer
Came from Skudvill, Lithuania to Pretoria. Bought a half share of a farm in Rayton together with the Liebman family c.1912. Also had a home in Pretoria. At times lived in the city and travelled to the farm three times a week. Children: Hymie (b.1923 in Pretoria) & ? Died on the farm in 1963 aged 84. [Info Friedman]

Glass Mr & Mrs & fam Resident Lived at Kaffirskraal, a farming area in the Cullinan district.

Golach Nathan Resident 1907 Recorded in Rayton (1907). [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342]

Golansky Isaac Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Golomb Mr B & Miriam Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. Miriam moved to Pretoria [File S p102 & 121 - 1910]

Goodman Mr J Resident 1907 Recorded in Rayton (1907). [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342]

Gordon Mr Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Green Mr Resident 1911 Recorded at Kaffirskraal (1911). [File S p141]

Green Mr & Mrs A Resident 1913 Recorded in the Rayton district at Pinclife (1913). Children: a son (b.1913) & ? [File S p293]

Green Mr O Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [file S p121 - 1910]

Green Mr P Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [file S p121 - 1910]

Hack Mr & Mrs Harry & fam Resident 1920 General dealer
Came from Lithuania. Went to live at Sybrandskraal where he farmed for 40 years. Had a general dealers store at Sybrandskraal (1934) and at Kaffirskraal (1927). Children: Mabel (born in Sybrandskraal) & ? Moved to Pretoria. [File V.2 Tel Dir 1927; Info Mabel Horn; CT Dir 1934; File SA p700 1920]

Heymann Julius Nathan Resident 1905 Shopkeeper.
Born March 1867 in England. Married the governess of Sammy Marks' children in Feb 1906. Wife not born Jewish. Ran a concession store at Premier Mine, Cullinan.
Hirsch Mr E A Resident 1945 Prisoner of war.
Interned at Baviaanspoort (1945). [SAJBD Arch 210.1 WW2 Aliens & Refugees]

Holtz Mr R B Resident 1912 Recorded in Rayton. [file S p215]
Isakow Mr Resident Worked in the Kisner business in Rayton for many years. Died in Rayton. [Info Friedman]

Jacobson Mr I Resident 1914 Recorded in Rayton (1914). [1914 Greetings]

Katzenellenbogen Mr J Resident 1913 Recorded in Rayton. Also recorded in Pienaarsrivier and Bronkhorstspruit. [File S p295]

Katzenellenbogen Mr S Resident 1907 Recorded in Rayton (1907). Also recorded in Pienaarsrivier and Bronkhorstspruit. [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342; File S p295]

Kisner H Resident 1927 Recorded in Rayton (1927). [1927 Zionist Record]

Kisner Joseph & Jane Fanny Resident 1907 General dealer; farmer.
Lived in Rayton. Married Jane Fanny Perel, daughter of Mr & Mrs Morris Perel, in 1913. Children: Cyril, Gerald & Sylvia. [state archives death notices cape town; SAJC 14 Nov 1913 p179; SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342; File V Tel Dir 1927; 1922 Dennis Edwards; File SA p708]

Kisner Mr I Resident 1920 Recorded in Rayton.

Kisner Gerald Resident General dealer.
Son of Mr & Mrs Joseph Kisner. Qualified as a geologist. Returned to Rayton to run his father's business until it was sold to Mr Taitz. Then lived in Johannesburg. [Info Friedman]

Klass Mr Resident 1913 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p295]

Kopelowitz Benjamin Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Kopelowitz Mr A Resident 1911 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p141]

Levenstein Willie Resident 1941 Recorded at Sonderwater (1941). He was stationed at the military camp there during the Second World War. [1941 Greetings]
Levin Mr Resident 1913 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p295]
Liebgott Mr & Mrs H & fam Resident 1907 Recorded in Rayton (1907). Children: Clara & ? [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342; File S p109]

Liebman Sidney & Pip Resident c.1912 Farmer.
He bought a half share of a farm in Rayton together with Joseph Friedman c.1912. Later moved to Pretoria, with Sidney commuting daily to the farm. [Info Friedman]
Madnitzky Mr & Mrs & fam Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Margolius Mr Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Margolius Louis & Polly Resident 1912 General dealer.
Recorded at Sonderwater (1912). Owned the firm Margolius Bros. Married Polly Berger of Johannesburg in 1912. [SAJC 15 Nov 1912; File S p295]

Mendelsohn Mr & Mrs J L & fam Resident 1930
Children: Jessel Leon (b.1917) & ? [Zionist Record 1930]

Mofsowitz Mr & Mrs M & fam Resident 1913 Produce & livestock dealer. Recorded at Sybrandskraal. Children: Rosie, a son (b.1913) & ? [1922 Dennis Edwards; SAJC 5 Dec 1913 p127; File SA p603]

Mofsowitz Mr D Resident 1920 Recorded at Premier Mine, Cullinan (1920). [1920 Greetings]

Myerston Mr Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Pauly Peter Resident 1943 Prisoner of war Interned at Baviaanspoort (1943). [SAJBD Arch 210.1 WW2 Aliens & Refugees]

Perel Mr & Mrs Morris & fam Resident 1907
Recorded in Rayton (1907). Children: Jane Fanny (married Joseph Kisner), Dora, Bertha & ? [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342; File P.3 p130; File S p109]

Rabinowitz Max Resident 1907 Recorded in Rayton (1907). [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342; File N p18]

Rechtman Rev Capt R Resident 1945
In 1945 Rev Capt R Rechtman of the Citizen's Force was based at the Chaplain's Office, at the army base at Premier Mine, near Cullinan. [Jewish Chaplaincy Committee corresp. 1946-1961]

Rose Alexander (Eliyah), Bluma & family Resident 1900
General dealer. Alexander Rosenfeld (later changed to Rose) came from London. Married Bluma Hartstein. Alex was builder by trade - may have built the first First National Bank in Johannesburg. Came to Rayton c.1900 and afterwards may have moved later to Cullinan. Ch: Ethel, Reuben (b.1898 in London), Monica. Family moved to Doornfontein later. [Zionist Record. 1910 - File S p121] [Info. David Rose Oct. 2006]

Rosenthal Mr Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Schiff Mr & Mrs Harry & fam Resident 1913 -1931 Shopkeeper; timber merchant. Lived in Rayton and ran Rayton Co-operative Stores (1922). Children: Elijah/Ellias David (b.1913), Sybil & Felix. [File S p338; 1917-31 Greetings; 1927 Zionist Record; 1922 Dennis Edwards; Schlosberg see Bronkhorstspruit p22]

Shain Mr I Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton (1910) and at Kaffirskraal (1911). [File S p117 & 141].

Shapiro B M Resident 1913 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p295]

Shindler Mr Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Sleyan Mr (Jnr) Resident 1913 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p295]

Sleyan/Slegan Mr B Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton (1910) and at Kaffirskraal (1911). [File S p121 & 141].

Solomon Mr Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

Strauss Joseph & Friedel & fam Resident 1936 - 1971 Butcher; farmer; businessman. Came to Cullinan as a refugee from Germany in 1936. Son of Julius & Else Strauss. Started out at Kaffirskraal and then moved into Cullinan. Trained in the meat trade. Opened a butchery which developed into a wholesale and retail business. Later also went into farming. Married Friedel Haas. Children (born in Cullinan): Dennis (died 1964) & Marianne. Left in 1964. [Info Katz]

Strauss Julius & Else & fam Resident 1939
Came in 1939 as refugees from Germany. Parents of Joseph Strauss. [Info Katz]

Taitz Mr Resident General dealer
Bought the Kisner business in Rayton and later sold it to Mr Dreyer. [Info Friedman]

Thal Mr & Mrs Resident General dealer.
Recorded at Kaffirskraal, a farming area in the Cullinan district. Sold his shop to Mr Brown.

Wolfsohn Mr Resident 1907 Recorded in Rayton (1907). [SAJC 25 Oct 1907 p342]

Woolfson Dr & Mrs & fam Resident 1926 - 1934 Doctor
He qualified in Edinburgh, Scotland and was appointed assistant district surgeon for Premier Mine at Cullinan. Children (born in Cullinan): Pip, Leonard & Sonia (b.c.1932). The family moved to Pretoria in 1934. Died in 1937, aged 43. [Info Gordon]

Yellen Mr Resident 1913 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p295]

Zeeman Mr Resident 1910 Recorded in Rayton. [File S p121 - 1910]

____________________________________________________________________

 

The history of the Jewish Community of Cullinan was researched by The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot and first published in Jewish Life in the South African Country Communities, Volume II (2004): 241-254

The article is published here courtesy of The South African Friends of Beit Hatfutsot

 

לסוטו 

איות נוסף: לסותו

Swaziland

Renamed Eswatini in 2018, official name: Kingdom of Eswatini

21st Century

Estimated Jewish population in 2018: 50 out of 1,150,000

Swaziland Jewish Community
Phone: 268 7 604 0766
Email: koberamokgadihighschool@gmail.com

גולדסמיד, אלברט אדוארד ויליאמסון
גודאקר, ג'.
גורדימר, נאדין
Ornstein, Abraham Philip
יצחק אוכברג
אנגל, גרשון מאיר
גולדרייך, ארתור
Goldsmid, Albert Edward Williamson (1846-1904), Colonel in the British army, born at Puna, India. He enlisted in the British army in 1866, was promoted to the rank of captain in 1878, to major in 1883, lieutenant-colonel in 1888, and finally colonel in 1894. His father and maternal grandfather were born Jewish, but had converted to Christianity in order to achieve the social and economic opportunities which were denied to Jews. As an adult, when he became attracted by Jewish culture and by Zionism, Goldsmid formally converted to Judaism and always maintained that being Jewish had not impinged upon his military career. Goldsmid's wife, Ida Stewart Hendriks, was also a convert to Judaism; she had been raised a Christian by her Protestant mother and Jewish-born father.

In 1892 Colonel Goldsmid was selected by Baron de Hirsch to supervise the colonies in Argentina, but resigned from the position when he was appointed to become colonel-in-command of the Welsh regimental district at Cardiff in 1894. In 1899, he acted as chief staff-officer at the camp at the Aldershot base near London, and was entrusted with the duties of mobilization. In 1899, when the sixth division of the South-African field force was mobilized for service in the Boer War, Goldsmid was selected to be chief staff-officer to General Kelly-Kenny with the grade of assistant adjutant-general, and in that capacity was present at the battle of Paardeberg. During the earlier stages of the war, he was commandant of the Orange River, Herbert, and Hay districts. Goldsmid was the highest ranking Jewish officer in the British Army in the 19th century.

Colonel Goldsmid became an ardent Zionist, and was head of the Hovevei Zion movement of Great Britain and Ireland. From 1896-1904 he was associated with Theodor Herzl as the head of the British Zionist movement and the key contact in the failed Zionist effort to establish a British Zionist protectorate in the Northern Sinai area of El Arish. He was one of the founders of both the Jewish Lads' Brigade and of the Maccabeans, of which he became president in 1903.
Novelist, essayist, screenwriter and political activist

Born in 1923 in the Transvaal gold mining town of Springs, she has lived all her life in South Africa. Unlike most other white liberal writers, she chose not to go into exile but to remain and fight against apartheid from within the country. A courageous and respected writer, she published her first book, a collection of short stories, Face to Face, in 1949, which was followed by many other collections. Her first novel The Lying Days was written in 1953. Her style, like her person, is precise, concise, and polished; her writing sensitive portrayals of the fate of individuals in the complex South African society; her theme, the growth of self-awareness and maturity. In collaboration with another South African writer, Lionel Abrahams, in 1967 she published the anthology South African Writers Today, which, like many of her other writings, was banned in her own country. Having been conferred ten important literary awards and fourteen honorary degrees, in 1991 she won the Noble Prize for literature. A prolific writer, Gordimer has published so far a total of twelve novels, among her latest works are Burger’s Daughter (Nov. 1980); The Conservationist (reissued Feb. 1983); The House Gun (Feb. 1999) as well as ten collections of short stories and was responsible for the screenplays of four films.
Rabbi

Born in London, England, he started his career as a teacher at the Jews’ Free School in London, and then he was principal of the Hebrew National School in Birmingham, England, from 1860 to 1866. He was minister to the Hebrew congregation in Melbourne, Australia, from 1866 to 1875 and then he served as principal of the Aria College for training Jewish ministers in Portsmouth, England. In 1882 Ornstein went to Cape Town, South Africa, and headed its Hebrew Congregation (est. 1841) until his death. He sought unsuccessfully to found a Jewish public school but he started and ran a private 'Collegiate School' for Jewish boys which gave both a Jewish and a general education; its boarding house also accepted girls.

יצחק אוכברג (1937-1878), איש עסקים, ציוני ונדבן, נולד באומן, אוקראינה. בגיל שבע עשרה היגר לדרום אפריקה שם הפך ליזם מצליח מאוד ואיש עסקים מוערך. הוא התחיל את עסקיו באמצעים דלים ביותר ורכש את הונו בזכות השקעות נכונות בנכסים ומכירה של ספינות ישנות.

ההתקפות על היהודים של מזרח אירופה בשנים שלאחר מלחמת העולם הראשונה הביאו להרס מוחלט של קהילות יהודיות שלמות. ב-1921 כאשר הידיעות על הזוועות המתרחשות באזור הגיעו למערב אוכברג יזם ומימן מבצע להצלת ילדים יהודים שנותרו יתומים.
הוא הצליח להשיג היתרים מיוחדים ממשלת דרום אפריקה שיאפשרו לו להוציא מאתיים ילדים יתומים מהתופת של מזרח אירופה. במקביל הצליח לשכנע את הקהילה היהודית לשתף אתו פעולה ולהקל על קליטתם.

במרץ 1921 אוכברג יצא למסעו האפי לאסוף קבוצות של ילדים יתומים מוכי גורל. הוא נסע בין הכפרים והעיירות בכל אמצעי תחבורה שעמד לרשותו, ביקר בבתי יתומים ונאלץ לעשות החלטות כואבות בקשר ליתומים אותם רצה להציל. אחים, בני משפחה אחת, לא הופרדו ורק ילדים בריאים יכלו להיכלל בקבוצה שלו. לאחר שחצה את האזורים המוכים ביותר באוקראינה, ביילורוס ופולין הוא הצליח להעביר את היתומים שלו דרך וארשה ודנציג ללונדון ומשם לדרום אפריקה אליה הגיעו באנייה בספטמבר 1921. בדרום אפריקה שוכנו הילדים בשני בתי יתומים יהודים: אורניה בקייפטאון וארקדיה ביוהנסבורג. הילדים קראו לו "אבא אוכברג" והם מעולם לא שכחו את האיש שהציל אותם והבטיח להם עתיד טוב יותר במולדתם החדשה.

אוכברג היה יהודי גאה וציוני נלהב. "אני מאמין בכל ליבי שהבעיה היהודית תגיע לפתרונה הסופי רק בארץ ישראל," אמר לאחר ביקור בארץ ישראל ב-1926. הוא האמין בכך כל חייו. ב-1929 שימש כנציג הקהילה היהודית של דרום אפריקה בקונגרס הציוני ה-16 בציריך.

כשאוכברג נפטר ב-1937 נודע שבצוואתו הוריש תרומה גדולה לקרן הקיימת לישראל. זאת הייתה התרומה האישית הגדולה ביותר שהועברה לקרן הקיימת לישראל מאז ועד היום.
בכספים שקיבלה נקנה שטח אדמה גדול ליד זיכרון יעקב עליה יושבים היום קיבוץ דליה וקיבוץ גל-עד (אבן יצחק). נדיבותו לא ידעה גבולות ותרומות נוספות הוענקו לארגונים רבים בדרום אפריקה שפעלו למען מיעוטי היכולת, ללא הבדל של צבע, דת ואמונה. באוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים הוקמה קתדרה לחקלאות ע"ש בתו רות אוכברג שנפטרה בגיל שבע עשרה. זאת בנוסף לאגף יצחק ופאולין אוכברג בבניין וולפסון שבהר הצופים, בו נמצאים היום הספרייה של הפקולטה למשפטים ושני מכוני מחקר.

להנצחת האיש ופועלו הקימה הקרן הקיימת לישראל את האתר המרשים בפארק מנשה הצופה על האדמה שנרכשה על ידי אוכברג. במקום עומדת מצבת אבן שהוקמה מחדש לזכרו וכן "גבעת השמות" ועליה לוחיות קבועות בסלע הנושאות את שמות כל אחד ממאה שבעים ושבעה היתומים שעשו את המסע המופלא לדרום אפריקה ולחיים טובים יותר.
טקס חנוכת האתר נערך ב-2011 והשתתפו בו נכבדים רבים ושלוש מאות צאצאים של היתומים. רבים מהם עשו את הדרך הארוכה מקנדה, ארה"ב, דרום אפריקה, בריטניה ואוסטרליה כדי לכבד את זכרו של האיש שבזכותו הם קיימים.

1917 - 1994
רב

נולד בסאטו מארה (סאטמר), רומניה, אז חלק מאוסטרו-הונגריה. בנם של שמואל חיים ורחל אנגל. למד בישיבות הנודעות של ניטרה ופרשבורג בברטיסלבה, סלובקיה (אז צ'כוסלובקיה) ושם קיבל סמיכה לרבנות בשנת 1937. בתקופת מלחמת העולם השנייה נשלח למחנה עבודה בהונגריה, הועבר לחזית המזרחית ואל שטחי הכיבוש של הוורמאכט. שוחרר על ידי הצבא האדום ב- 1945. באותה שנה הצטרף לארגון ההגנה בפראג, הרפובליקה הצ'כית.

אנגל עלה עם משפחתו לישראל ב- 1948 והשתתף במלחמת העצמאות. ב- 1949 התגייס לשירות קבע כרב וקצין מנהלה בתל השומר עד 1956, ואז נקרא לדרום אפריקה להעניק שירותי דת לקהילה הקטנה. עד 1970 כיהן כרב, מורה ושוחט בקהילות דטנדרטון, ולקם וויטבנק. ב- 1970 נתמנה לרב הראשי. בתפקידו זה נסע לאורכה ולרוחבה של דרום אפריקה ושל ארצות דרום מערב אפריקה במטרה להגיע אל יהודים מבודדים ולהעניק להם שירותי דת וחינוך מגוונים.

אנגל הרים שתי תרומות חשובות: יצירת תוכן יהודי אור-קולי מגוון שכלל מגזין לילדים שערך; ואיתורם ומיפויים של בתי עלמין יהודיים, כולל רישום של כל אדם שקבור בהם, על מנת להבטיח שתהיה מצבה לכל קבר ולדאוג לתחזוקה מכובדת.

הוא התכוון לפרוש ב- 1982, אולם נענה לבקשתן של קהילות פוצ'פסטרום וקלרקסדורפ, שם כיהן עד 1993. במשך 37 הקדיש עצמו ליהדות דרום אפריקה. בכל מקום היה ביתו פתוח לכולם, בכל מקום נהג במידת הכנסת אורחים אמיתית ובייחוד במקומות בהן היו יחידות צבאיות עם חיילים יהודים. החיילים זכו תמיד לאירוח ידידותי בבית הרב. אנגל היה אדם חברותי, חם ודואג עם יכולת הקשבה ואמפתיה יוצאת דופן, שתמיד נתן עצות מתאימות. אדם בעל אמונה עמוקה, מורה דרך רוחני לא רק לבני קהילתו אלא גם למשפחתו – וזאת על אף המרחק הגאוגרפי הגדול. תארים ותפקידים נוספים חבר בליגה הדרום אפריקנית היהודית וב HOD: Hebrew Order of David; רב צבאי במחנה מידלבורג.
התחתן ב- 1945 עם עדינה רייך, ואב לבת ששמה אסתר.
Goldreich, Arthur (1929-2011), professor of architecture, abstract painter and anti-Apartheid activist in South Africa. He grew up in Pietersberg in the Northern Transvaal, moved to Israel in 1948 as a Mahal volunteer, fought with the Palmach during the War of Independence, and then returned to South Africa in 1954, where he became well known as one of the country's most successful artists.

In 1955, he won South Africa's Best Young Painter Award for his figures in black and white. Goldreich was political active with the anti-Apartheid movement. In 1962 he was a key suspect in the clandestine operations of the anti-Apartheid underground. He, together with lawyer Harold Wolpe, had used South African Communist Party funds to buy the Lillies farm in Rivonia, north of Johannesburg. Goldreich with his family lived as the tenant of the farm while permitting the underground leadership of the banned African National Congress to meet there secretly. Nelson Mandela hid there, posing as a gardener. Goldreich and Wolpe had also helped to locate sabotage sites for the military arm of the ANC. After a raid in 1963, 17 ANC members, including Goldreich and Wolpe were arrested. Before they could be tried the two broke out of a Johannesburg jail and fled to Swaziland disguised as priests to avoid being identified by the potentially pro-South African British colonial authorities (At the time Swaziland was not yet independent).

Goldreich then returned to Israel where he became a leading figure in the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. In 1966 he became the head of the academy's Industrial and Environmental Design Department, and helped transform it into an internationally recognized center for design, He found the architecture department at Jerusalem's renowned Bezalel Academy, from where he saw architecture and planning evolve as tools for territorial expansion after the 1967 war. He became very critical of Israel's settlement policy. The Israeli governments, he said, was more interested in territory than peace.
Ornstein, Abraham Philip
יצחק אוכברג
אנגל, גרשון מאיר
Rabbi

Born in London, England, he started his career as a teacher at the Jews’ Free School in London, and then he was principal of the Hebrew National School in Birmingham, England, from 1860 to 1866. He was minister to the Hebrew congregation in Melbourne, Australia, from 1866 to 1875 and then he served as principal of the Aria College for training Jewish ministers in Portsmouth, England. In 1882 Ornstein went to Cape Town, South Africa, and headed its Hebrew Congregation (est. 1841) until his death. He sought unsuccessfully to found a Jewish public school but he started and ran a private 'Collegiate School' for Jewish boys which gave both a Jewish and a general education; its boarding house also accepted girls.

יצחק אוכברג (1937-1878), איש עסקים, ציוני ונדבן, נולד באומן, אוקראינה. בגיל שבע עשרה היגר לדרום אפריקה שם הפך ליזם מצליח מאוד ואיש עסקים מוערך. הוא התחיל את עסקיו באמצעים דלים ביותר ורכש את הונו בזכות השקעות נכונות בנכסים ומכירה של ספינות ישנות.

ההתקפות על היהודים של מזרח אירופה בשנים שלאחר מלחמת העולם הראשונה הביאו להרס מוחלט של קהילות יהודיות שלמות. ב-1921 כאשר הידיעות על הזוועות המתרחשות באזור הגיעו למערב אוכברג יזם ומימן מבצע להצלת ילדים יהודים שנותרו יתומים.
הוא הצליח להשיג היתרים מיוחדים ממשלת דרום אפריקה שיאפשרו לו להוציא מאתיים ילדים יתומים מהתופת של מזרח אירופה. במקביל הצליח לשכנע את הקהילה היהודית לשתף אתו פעולה ולהקל על קליטתם.

במרץ 1921 אוכברג יצא למסעו האפי לאסוף קבוצות של ילדים יתומים מוכי גורל. הוא נסע בין הכפרים והעיירות בכל אמצעי תחבורה שעמד לרשותו, ביקר בבתי יתומים ונאלץ לעשות החלטות כואבות בקשר ליתומים אותם רצה להציל. אחים, בני משפחה אחת, לא הופרדו ורק ילדים בריאים יכלו להיכלל בקבוצה שלו. לאחר שחצה את האזורים המוכים ביותר באוקראינה, ביילורוס ופולין הוא הצליח להעביר את היתומים שלו דרך וארשה ודנציג ללונדון ומשם לדרום אפריקה אליה הגיעו באנייה בספטמבר 1921. בדרום אפריקה שוכנו הילדים בשני בתי יתומים יהודים: אורניה בקייפטאון וארקדיה ביוהנסבורג. הילדים קראו לו "אבא אוכברג" והם מעולם לא שכחו את האיש שהציל אותם והבטיח להם עתיד טוב יותר במולדתם החדשה.

אוכברג היה יהודי גאה וציוני נלהב. "אני מאמין בכל ליבי שהבעיה היהודית תגיע לפתרונה הסופי רק בארץ ישראל," אמר לאחר ביקור בארץ ישראל ב-1926. הוא האמין בכך כל חייו. ב-1929 שימש כנציג הקהילה היהודית של דרום אפריקה בקונגרס הציוני ה-16 בציריך.

כשאוכברג נפטר ב-1937 נודע שבצוואתו הוריש תרומה גדולה לקרן הקיימת לישראל. זאת הייתה התרומה האישית הגדולה ביותר שהועברה לקרן הקיימת לישראל מאז ועד היום.
בכספים שקיבלה נקנה שטח אדמה גדול ליד זיכרון יעקב עליה יושבים היום קיבוץ דליה וקיבוץ גל-עד (אבן יצחק). נדיבותו לא ידעה גבולות ותרומות נוספות הוענקו לארגונים רבים בדרום אפריקה שפעלו למען מיעוטי היכולת, ללא הבדל של צבע, דת ואמונה. באוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים הוקמה קתדרה לחקלאות ע"ש בתו רות אוכברג שנפטרה בגיל שבע עשרה. זאת בנוסף לאגף יצחק ופאולין אוכברג בבניין וולפסון שבהר הצופים, בו נמצאים היום הספרייה של הפקולטה למשפטים ושני מכוני מחקר.

להנצחת האיש ופועלו הקימה הקרן הקיימת לישראל את האתר המרשים בפארק מנשה הצופה על האדמה שנרכשה על ידי אוכברג. במקום עומדת מצבת אבן שהוקמה מחדש לזכרו וכן "גבעת השמות" ועליה לוחיות קבועות בסלע הנושאות את שמות כל אחד ממאה שבעים ושבעה היתומים שעשו את המסע המופלא לדרום אפריקה ולחיים טובים יותר.
טקס חנוכת האתר נערך ב-2011 והשתתפו בו נכבדים רבים ושלוש מאות צאצאים של היתומים. רבים מהם עשו את הדרך הארוכה מקנדה, ארה"ב, דרום אפריקה, בריטניה ואוסטרליה כדי לכבד את זכרו של האיש שבזכותו הם קיימים.

1917 - 1994
רב

נולד בסאטו מארה (סאטמר), רומניה, אז חלק מאוסטרו-הונגריה. בנם של שמואל חיים ורחל אנגל. למד בישיבות הנודעות של ניטרה ופרשבורג בברטיסלבה, סלובקיה (אז צ'כוסלובקיה) ושם קיבל סמיכה לרבנות בשנת 1937. בתקופת מלחמת העולם השנייה נשלח למחנה עבודה בהונגריה, הועבר לחזית המזרחית ואל שטחי הכיבוש של הוורמאכט. שוחרר על ידי הצבא האדום ב- 1945. באותה שנה הצטרף לארגון ההגנה בפראג, הרפובליקה הצ'כית.

אנגל עלה עם משפחתו לישראל ב- 1948 והשתתף במלחמת העצמאות. ב- 1949 התגייס לשירות קבע כרב וקצין מנהלה בתל השומר עד 1956, ואז נקרא לדרום אפריקה להעניק שירותי דת לקהילה הקטנה. עד 1970 כיהן כרב, מורה ושוחט בקהילות דטנדרטון, ולקם וויטבנק. ב- 1970 נתמנה לרב הראשי. בתפקידו זה נסע לאורכה ולרוחבה של דרום אפריקה ושל ארצות דרום מערב אפריקה במטרה להגיע אל יהודים מבודדים ולהעניק להם שירותי דת וחינוך מגוונים.

אנגל הרים שתי תרומות חשובות: יצירת תוכן יהודי אור-קולי מגוון שכלל מגזין לילדים שערך; ואיתורם ומיפויים של בתי עלמין יהודיים, כולל רישום של כל אדם שקבור בהם, על מנת להבטיח שתהיה מצבה לכל קבר ולדאוג לתחזוקה מכובדת.

הוא התכוון לפרוש ב- 1982, אולם נענה לבקשתן של קהילות פוצ'פסטרום וקלרקסדורפ, שם כיהן עד 1993. במשך 37 הקדיש עצמו ליהדות דרום אפריקה. בכל מקום היה ביתו פתוח לכולם, בכל מקום נהג במידת הכנסת אורחים אמיתית ובייחוד במקומות בהן היו יחידות צבאיות עם חיילים יהודים. החיילים זכו תמיד לאירוח ידידותי בבית הרב. אנגל היה אדם חברותי, חם ודואג עם יכולת הקשבה ואמפתיה יוצאת דופן, שתמיד נתן עצות מתאימות. אדם בעל אמונה עמוקה, מורה דרך רוחני לא רק לבני קהילתו אלא גם למשפחתו – וזאת על אף המרחק הגאוגרפי הגדול. תארים ותפקידים נוספים חבר בליגה הדרום אפריקנית היהודית וב HOD: Hebrew Order of David; רב צבאי במחנה מידלבורג.
התחתן ב- 1945 עם עדינה רייך, ואב לבת ששמה אסתר.
יצחק אוכברג

יצחק אוכברג (1937-1878), איש עסקים, ציוני ונדבן, נולד באומן, אוקראינה. בגיל שבע עשרה היגר לדרום אפריקה שם הפך ליזם מצליח מאוד ואיש עסקים מוערך. הוא התחיל את עסקיו באמצעים דלים ביותר ורכש את הונו בזכות השקעות נכונות בנכסים ומכירה של ספינות ישנות.

ההתקפות על היהודים של מזרח אירופה בשנים שלאחר מלחמת העולם הראשונה הביאו להרס מוחלט של קהילות יהודיות שלמות. ב-1921 כאשר הידיעות על הזוועות המתרחשות באזור הגיעו למערב אוכברג יזם ומימן מבצע להצלת ילדים יהודים שנותרו יתומים.
הוא הצליח להשיג היתרים מיוחדים ממשלת דרום אפריקה שיאפשרו לו להוציא מאתיים ילדים יתומים מהתופת של מזרח אירופה. במקביל הצליח לשכנע את הקהילה היהודית לשתף אתו פעולה ולהקל על קליטתם.

במרץ 1921 אוכברג יצא למסעו האפי לאסוף קבוצות של ילדים יתומים מוכי גורל. הוא נסע בין הכפרים והעיירות בכל אמצעי תחבורה שעמד לרשותו, ביקר בבתי יתומים ונאלץ לעשות החלטות כואבות בקשר ליתומים אותם רצה להציל. אחים, בני משפחה אחת, לא הופרדו ורק ילדים בריאים יכלו להיכלל בקבוצה שלו. לאחר שחצה את האזורים המוכים ביותר באוקראינה, ביילורוס ופולין הוא הצליח להעביר את היתומים שלו דרך וארשה ודנציג ללונדון ומשם לדרום אפריקה אליה הגיעו באנייה בספטמבר 1921. בדרום אפריקה שוכנו הילדים בשני בתי יתומים יהודים: אורניה בקייפטאון וארקדיה ביוהנסבורג. הילדים קראו לו "אבא אוכברג" והם מעולם לא שכחו את האיש שהציל אותם והבטיח להם עתיד טוב יותר במולדתם החדשה.

אוכברג היה יהודי גאה וציוני נלהב. "אני מאמין בכל ליבי שהבעיה היהודית תגיע לפתרונה הסופי רק בארץ ישראל," אמר לאחר ביקור בארץ ישראל ב-1926. הוא האמין בכך כל חייו. ב-1929 שימש כנציג הקהילה היהודית של דרום אפריקה בקונגרס הציוני ה-16 בציריך.

כשאוכברג נפטר ב-1937 נודע שבצוואתו הוריש תרומה גדולה לקרן הקיימת לישראל. זאת הייתה התרומה האישית הגדולה ביותר שהועברה לקרן הקיימת לישראל מאז ועד היום.
בכספים שקיבלה נקנה שטח אדמה גדול ליד זיכרון יעקב עליה יושבים היום קיבוץ דליה וקיבוץ גל-עד (אבן יצחק). נדיבותו לא ידעה גבולות ותרומות נוספות הוענקו לארגונים רבים בדרום אפריקה שפעלו למען מיעוטי היכולת, ללא הבדל של צבע, דת ואמונה. באוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים הוקמה קתדרה לחקלאות ע"ש בתו רות אוכברג שנפטרה בגיל שבע עשרה. זאת בנוסף לאגף יצחק ופאולין אוכברג בבניין וולפסון שבהר הצופים, בו נמצאים היום הספרייה של הפקולטה למשפטים ושני מכוני מחקר.

להנצחת האיש ופועלו הקימה הקרן הקיימת לישראל את האתר המרשים בפארק מנשה הצופה על האדמה שנרכשה על ידי אוכברג. במקום עומדת מצבת אבן שהוקמה מחדש לזכרו וכן "גבעת השמות" ועליה לוחיות קבועות בסלע הנושאות את שמות כל אחד ממאה שבעים ושבעה היתומים שעשו את המסע המופלא לדרום אפריקה ולחיים טובים יותר.
טקס חנוכת האתר נערך ב-2011 והשתתפו בו נכבדים רבים ושלוש מאות צאצאים של היתומים. רבים מהם עשו את הדרך הארוכה מקנדה, ארה"ב, דרום אפריקה, בריטניה ואוסטרליה כדי לכבד את זכרו של האיש שבזכותו הם קיימים.

יצחק אוכברג

יצחק אוכברג (1937-1878), איש עסקים, ציוני ונדבן, נולד באומן, אוקראינה. בגיל שבע עשרה היגר לדרום אפריקה שם הפך ליזם מצליח מאוד ואיש עסקים מוערך. הוא התחיל את עסקיו באמצעים דלים ביותר ורכש את הונו בזכות השקעות נכונות בנכסים ומכירה של ספינות ישנות.

ההתקפות על היהודים של מזרח אירופה בשנים שלאחר מלחמת העולם הראשונה הביאו להרס מוחלט של קהילות יהודיות שלמות. ב-1921 כאשר הידיעות על הזוועות המתרחשות באזור הגיעו למערב אוכברג יזם ומימן מבצע להצלת ילדים יהודים שנותרו יתומים.
הוא הצליח להשיג היתרים מיוחדים ממשלת דרום אפריקה שיאפשרו לו להוציא מאתיים ילדים יתומים מהתופת של מזרח אירופה. במקביל הצליח לשכנע את הקהילה היהודית לשתף אתו פעולה ולהקל על קליטתם.

במרץ 1921 אוכברג יצא למסעו האפי לאסוף קבוצות של ילדים יתומים מוכי גורל. הוא נסע בין הכפרים והעיירות בכל אמצעי תחבורה שעמד לרשותו, ביקר בבתי יתומים ונאלץ לעשות החלטות כואבות בקשר ליתומים אותם רצה להציל. אחים, בני משפחה אחת, לא הופרדו ורק ילדים בריאים יכלו להיכלל בקבוצה שלו. לאחר שחצה את האזורים המוכים ביותר באוקראינה, ביילורוס ופולין הוא הצליח להעביר את היתומים שלו דרך וארשה ודנציג ללונדון ומשם לדרום אפריקה אליה הגיעו באנייה בספטמבר 1921. בדרום אפריקה שוכנו הילדים בשני בתי יתומים יהודים: אורניה בקייפטאון וארקדיה ביוהנסבורג. הילדים קראו לו "אבא אוכברג" והם מעולם לא שכחו את האיש שהציל אותם והבטיח להם עתיד טוב יותר במולדתם החדשה.

אוכברג היה יהודי גאה וציוני נלהב. "אני מאמין בכל ליבי שהבעיה היהודית תגיע לפתרונה הסופי רק בארץ ישראל," אמר לאחר ביקור בארץ ישראל ב-1926. הוא האמין בכך כל חייו. ב-1929 שימש כנציג הקהילה היהודית של דרום אפריקה בקונגרס הציוני ה-16 בציריך.

כשאוכברג נפטר ב-1937 נודע שבצוואתו הוריש תרומה גדולה לקרן הקיימת לישראל. זאת הייתה התרומה האישית הגדולה ביותר שהועברה לקרן הקיימת לישראל מאז ועד היום.
בכספים שקיבלה נקנה שטח אדמה גדול ליד זיכרון יעקב עליה יושבים היום קיבוץ דליה וקיבוץ גל-עד (אבן יצחק). נדיבותו לא ידעה גבולות ותרומות נוספות הוענקו לארגונים רבים בדרום אפריקה שפעלו למען מיעוטי היכולת, ללא הבדל של צבע, דת ואמונה. באוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים הוקמה קתדרה לחקלאות ע"ש בתו רות אוכברג שנפטרה בגיל שבע עשרה. זאת בנוסף לאגף יצחק ופאולין אוכברג בבניין וולפסון שבהר הצופים, בו נמצאים היום הספרייה של הפקולטה למשפטים ושני מכוני מחקר.

להנצחת האיש ופועלו הקימה הקרן הקיימת לישראל את האתר המרשים בפארק מנשה הצופה על האדמה שנרכשה על ידי אוכברג. במקום עומדת מצבת אבן שהוקמה מחדש לזכרו וכן "גבעת השמות" ועליה לוחיות קבועות בסלע הנושאות את שמות כל אחד ממאה שבעים ושבעה היתומים שעשו את המסע המופלא לדרום אפריקה ולחיים טובים יותר.
טקס חנוכת האתר נערך ב-2011 והשתתפו בו נכבדים רבים ושלוש מאות צאצאים של היתומים. רבים מהם עשו את הדרך הארוכה מקנדה, ארה"ב, דרום אפריקה, בריטניה ואוסטרליה כדי לכבד את זכרו של האיש שבזכותו הם קיימים.

אנגל, גרשון מאיר
1917 - 1994
רב

נולד בסאטו מארה (סאטמר), רומניה, אז חלק מאוסטרו-הונגריה. בנם של שמואל חיים ורחל אנגל. למד בישיבות הנודעות של ניטרה ופרשבורג בברטיסלבה, סלובקיה (אז צ'כוסלובקיה) ושם קיבל סמיכה לרבנות בשנת 1937. בתקופת מלחמת העולם השנייה נשלח למחנה עבודה בהונגריה, הועבר לחזית המזרחית ואל שטחי הכיבוש של הוורמאכט. שוחרר על ידי הצבא האדום ב- 1945. באותה שנה הצטרף לארגון ההגנה בפראג, הרפובליקה הצ'כית.

אנגל עלה עם משפחתו לישראל ב- 1948 והשתתף במלחמת העצמאות. ב- 1949 התגייס לשירות קבע כרב וקצין מנהלה בתל השומר עד 1956, ואז נקרא לדרום אפריקה להעניק שירותי דת לקהילה הקטנה. עד 1970 כיהן כרב, מורה ושוחט בקהילות דטנדרטון, ולקם וויטבנק. ב- 1970 נתמנה לרב הראשי. בתפקידו זה נסע לאורכה ולרוחבה של דרום אפריקה ושל ארצות דרום מערב אפריקה במטרה להגיע אל יהודים מבודדים ולהעניק להם שירותי דת וחינוך מגוונים.

אנגל הרים שתי תרומות חשובות: יצירת תוכן יהודי אור-קולי מגוון שכלל מגזין לילדים שערך; ואיתורם ומיפויים של בתי עלמין יהודיים, כולל רישום של כל אדם שקבור בהם, על מנת להבטיח שתהיה מצבה לכל קבר ולדאוג לתחזוקה מכובדת.

הוא התכוון לפרוש ב- 1982, אולם נענה לבקשתן של קהילות פוצ'פסטרום וקלרקסדורפ, שם כיהן עד 1993. במשך 37 הקדיש עצמו ליהדות דרום אפריקה. בכל מקום היה ביתו פתוח לכולם, בכל מקום נהג במידת הכנסת אורחים אמיתית ובייחוד במקומות בהן היו יחידות צבאיות עם חיילים יהודים. החיילים זכו תמיד לאירוח ידידותי בבית הרב. אנגל היה אדם חברותי, חם ודואג עם יכולת הקשבה ואמפתיה יוצאת דופן, שתמיד נתן עצות מתאימות. אדם בעל אמונה עמוקה, מורה דרך רוחני לא רק לבני קהילתו אלא גם למשפחתו – וזאת על אף המרחק הגאוגרפי הגדול. תארים ותפקידים נוספים חבר בליגה הדרום אפריקנית היהודית וב HOD: Hebrew Order of David; רב צבאי במחנה מידלבורג.
התחתן ב- 1945 עם עדינה רייך, ואב לבת ששמה אסתר.
אנגל, גרשון מאיר
1917 - 1994
רב

נולד בסאטו מארה (סאטמר), רומניה, אז חלק מאוסטרו-הונגריה. בנם של שמואל חיים ורחל אנגל. למד בישיבות הנודעות של ניטרה ופרשבורג בברטיסלבה, סלובקיה (אז צ'כוסלובקיה) ושם קיבל סמיכה לרבנות בשנת 1937. בתקופת מלחמת העולם השנייה נשלח למחנה עבודה בהונגריה, הועבר לחזית המזרחית ואל שטחי הכיבוש של הוורמאכט. שוחרר על ידי הצבא האדום ב- 1945. באותה שנה הצטרף לארגון ההגנה בפראג, הרפובליקה הצ'כית.

אנגל עלה עם משפחתו לישראל ב- 1948 והשתתף במלחמת העצמאות. ב- 1949 התגייס לשירות קבע כרב וקצין מנהלה בתל השומר עד 1956, ואז נקרא לדרום אפריקה להעניק שירותי דת לקהילה הקטנה. עד 1970 כיהן כרב, מורה ושוחט בקהילות דטנדרטון, ולקם וויטבנק. ב- 1970 נתמנה לרב הראשי. בתפקידו זה נסע לאורכה ולרוחבה של דרום אפריקה ושל ארצות דרום מערב אפריקה במטרה להגיע אל יהודים מבודדים ולהעניק להם שירותי דת וחינוך מגוונים.

אנגל הרים שתי תרומות חשובות: יצירת תוכן יהודי אור-קולי מגוון שכלל מגזין לילדים שערך; ואיתורם ומיפויים של בתי עלמין יהודיים, כולל רישום של כל אדם שקבור בהם, על מנת להבטיח שתהיה מצבה לכל קבר ולדאוג לתחזוקה מכובדת.

הוא התכוון לפרוש ב- 1982, אולם נענה לבקשתן של קהילות פוצ'פסטרום וקלרקסדורפ, שם כיהן עד 1993. במשך 37 הקדיש עצמו ליהדות דרום אפריקה. בכל מקום היה ביתו פתוח לכולם, בכל מקום נהג במידת הכנסת אורחים אמיתית ובייחוד במקומות בהן היו יחידות צבאיות עם חיילים יהודים. החיילים זכו תמיד לאירוח ידידותי בבית הרב. אנגל היה אדם חברותי, חם ודואג עם יכולת הקשבה ואמפתיה יוצאת דופן, שתמיד נתן עצות מתאימות. אדם בעל אמונה עמוקה, מורה דרך רוחני לא רק לבני קהילתו אלא גם למשפחתו – וזאת על אף המרחק הגאוגרפי הגדול. תארים ותפקידים נוספים חבר בליגה הדרום אפריקנית היהודית וב HOD: Hebrew Order of David; רב צבאי במחנה מידלבורג.
התחתן ב- 1945 עם עדינה רייך, ואב לבת ששמה אסתר.
גולדרייך, ארתור
Goldreich, Arthur (1929-2011), professor of architecture, abstract painter and anti-Apartheid activist in South Africa. He grew up in Pietersberg in the Northern Transvaal, moved to Israel in 1948 as a Mahal volunteer, fought with the Palmach during the War of Independence, and then returned to South Africa in 1954, where he became well known as one of the country's most successful artists.

In 1955, he won South Africa's Best Young Painter Award for his figures in black and white. Goldreich was political active with the anti-Apartheid movement. In 1962 he was a key suspect in the clandestine operations of the anti-Apartheid underground. He, together with lawyer Harold Wolpe, had used South African Communist Party funds to buy the Lillies farm in Rivonia, north of Johannesburg. Goldreich with his family lived as the tenant of the farm while permitting the underground leadership of the banned African National Congress to meet there secretly. Nelson Mandela hid there, posing as a gardener. Goldreich and Wolpe had also helped to locate sabotage sites for the military arm of the ANC. After a raid in 1963, 17 ANC members, including Goldreich and Wolpe were arrested. Before they could be tried the two broke out of a Johannesburg jail and fled to Swaziland disguised as priests to avoid being identified by the potentially pro-South African British colonial authorities (At the time Swaziland was not yet independent).

Goldreich then returned to Israel where he became a leading figure in the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. In 1966 he became the head of the academy's Industrial and Environmental Design Department, and helped transform it into an internationally recognized center for design, He found the architecture department at Jerusalem's renowned Bezalel Academy, from where he saw architecture and planning evolve as tools for territorial expansion after the 1967 war. He became very critical of Israel's settlement policy. The Israeli governments, he said, was more interested in territory than peace.