SA Country Communities

By Gwynne Robins

Unlike the Gauteng branch of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies, which transferred responsibility of their country communities to a separate body, the Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies had maintained its involvement with its Western Cape country communities, most of which are now defunct. The professionals visit the towns, repair cemeteries – sometimes the damage is the result of antisemitic desecration –   when necessary contact councils  to remind them of their own commitments regarding the graveyards, provide access to Pesach food or kosher meat when requested.

When Stuart Diamond was the executive director, he asked me to write short articles about some of the towns for our monthly Cape Jewish Chronicle. The articles turned out to be a minefield of vereibbles, with frequent complaints because I had left out a great grandfather or a grandmother’s sister-in-law’s nephew’s shop. When I replied that most of the material had come from the invaluable and  thoroughly researched volumes   Jewish life in the South African country communities published by the  South African Friends of Beth Hatefutsoth – which even listed  names of Jewish families  who had lived there – the complainant replied that they knew the volume was wrong but I should have known better and should insist that the volume  be reprinted with the omission corrected. When I offered to publish an article in the Chronicle with information on the missing ancestor, the angry woman replied that she was not prepared to waste her time doing so.

Vereibbles aside, these articles resulted in much positive comments and interest and provided a potted history to people who had come from those towns. Much credit and gratitude must go to Eli Rabinowitz whose dedicated work with has enabled many far flung descendants to keep in touch with their old friends  and learn about their community and its history.

Kind regards


With Albie Sachs

Desrae Saacks Acting Editor – Cape Jewish Chronicle

We are very happy to share these articles in the Cape Jewish Chronicle written by Gwynne Robins

Click on links below to read the full article:

A tribute to Gwynne Robins on her retirement from the Cape SAJBD

With thanks to Desrae Saacks and the Cape Jewish Chronicle

JPEF Yom Hashoah

JPEF – Jewish Partisans Educational Foundation
Yom Hashoah Commemoration
San Francisco USA
27 April 2022
The introduction:
featuring: Carmel School & Ellenbrook Secondary College, Perth Australia 
JDS Seattle WA USA 
Herzlia School Cape Town South Africa 
The introduction featuring the school choirs is taken from the initiative of the WE ARE HERE! Foundation
Eli Rabinowitz

Western Cape Synagogues

Jewish Journeys in the Western Cape

By Steven Albert

Steven travelled through most of the Western Cape, researching, writing, and documenting the synagogues and Jewish communities in the small dorps and towns. He photographed the synagogues, cemeteries (i.e. headstones),  the sections of the town museums on the local Jewish communities, and gathered information from local sources.

This includes a new photo gallery:

Steven: The shuls around the Western Cape that I photographed; where possible, I photographed the interiors, the foundation stones, and the sections of the town museums detailing the Jewish community. I also found some old archival photos of some of the shuls.















Steven managed to find some old photographs in the Cape Town library (Roeland str, Schoonders Str and an old leaflet of Marais Road). In the case of the Vredehoek shul, he was given some old photos by the then owner.

Here is the list of shuls in Cape Town that Steven photographed:








Steven also photographed all the stones in Maitland/Gate 8 and 7th Street cemeteries.

For further information WC shuls, there is an earlier publication by Amy Bach, which I bought several years ago from the bookshop at Cafe Rieteve, Cape Town .

Eli Rabinowitz

Perth Australia


Annual Gathering of Remembrance, presented by @MuseumofJewishHeritage

Every year, thousands come together to say with one voice, “never forget.” WE ARE HERE! Foundation is proud to be a partner for this year’s Annual Gathering of Remembrance, presented by @MuseumofJewishHeritage in New York City. We remember those we’ve lost in observance of Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Steven Skybell sings Zog Nit Keynmol on MJHNYC Annual Gathering of Remembrance, 24 April 2022.

The Northern Suburbs: Partners In Primary Care

by Gail Loon-Lustig

Powerpoint presentation  –  pdf

Gail - History group

Video of Gail’s Chol presentation: session #3 on 13 April 2022

at the 19 minute mark

For other CHOL sessions:


Cape Town KehilaLink


For more information, contact:

Eli Rabinowitz

Perth Australia







Bielski Jewish Partisans – The Together Plan

The Bielski Partisans

7 April 2022

Tunnel or Partisans

by Nance Adler

The Together Plan’s Presentation featuring Tamara Vershitskaya

The Full Program



The WE ARE HERE! Foundation

The Partisans’ Song in Yiddish and Maori

Holocaust Centre of New Zealand
United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Thursday 27 January 2022 ?The Holocaust was a turning point in history which prompted the world to say, ?never again?. In 2005, t? links – Litvak Resources

LYVA Resources by Dovid Katz

WELCOME to the Lithuanian Yiddish Video Archive (LYVA), which provides raw unedited footage of native living Lithuanian (/Litvish /Litvak /Northeastern) Yidd…


29 March 2022

Dovid Katz has created a remarkable video library on YouTube of his
interviews with Litvak Yiddish speakers about towns in Lithuania called
the Lithuanian Yiddish Video Archive.

This month Professor Katz posted his 600th video.  I’ve started an index
based on the titles of these videos (name of person interviewed and the
towns that an interviewee lived in).  These interviews are probably rich with background information about life in Lithuania before World War II.

I have to say “probably” because I don’t speak Yiddish.

Peggy Mosinger Freedman
Atlanta, GA USA