Doornfontein, Johannesburg

25 November 2021

From Benzie Pikoos in Perth.

Beth Hamedrash HaGadol

This picture was taken around 1960 at the Beth Hamedrash HaGadol (Berele Chagi) shul. Do you recognise anyone there? I see Selwyn Feinblum, and Jossi Stern. These were most probably Doornfontein people.

I used to sing in the choir. Had my barmitzvah there as well. Rabbi Kossofsky was the rabbi. He was also the founder of Yeshivah College.

Doornfontein,

Berele Chagy

 

My photos of the Beit Hamidrash Hagadol, now University of Johannesburg, from Ishvara Dhyan’s walking tour of Doornfontein – 24 March 2016

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My photos of the Jewish Government School, from Ishvara Dhyan’s walking tour of Doornfontein – 24 March 2016

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Jewish government school 1959

Included in the photo is Benzie Pikoos and Mervyn Druker


Standard 1 Class of 1959 (Combined with Grade 2) Courtesy Alan Mymin
Each row L to R

Back Row: Cecil Goldstein. Jeffrey Epstein. Louis Potgieter. Benzie Pikoos. Mervyn Sherman. Reginald Rumney. Arnold Gossel.

3rd Row: Filip Nowydwor. Sylvio…………. Walter Allen. Mervyn Druker. Anthony Atkins.Tyrone Bevaud. Allan Bower. Alan Mymin.

2nd Row: Dawn Cohen. Avril Nino. Madeleine Mattis …………………Miss Shirley? Rabinowitz, Linda Shapiro. Jean Wiggil. Rene Altaris. Anita Goldstein.

Front Row: Steven (Moekie) Weiler. Calvin Fredericks. Denise Nauman. Cynthia Slutzki.Stella Botta. Denise……….. Jackie…………. Ralph Wingrove. Michael Marcus.

21 November 2021

I received a call from Ethne Epstein in Melbourne to tell me that the Harris of the Harris Camp in PE, was her grandfather, I. H. Harris from Johannesburg.

See more about Isadore Harris and Doornfontein here:

The Jewish Government School

Education Several Jewish schools were built, and one, the Jewish Government School, now the IH Harris Primary School in Davies Street, Doornfontein, still goes strong. Yiddish used to be the only language heard in the playground. (City of Johannesburg – Jews mark 120 years)

From Ethne Epstein:

I don’t have very much information on the camps, but understand they took place in Port Elizabeth in the 1920’s and 1930’s. From what I understand there were no Jewish camps, and because my Grandfather Isadore Harris was the principal of the Jewish Government School in Doornfontein, he arranged camps for Jewish families from Johannesburg during the December holidays. Exactly where in Port Elizabeth I have no idea.
They were all in tents close to the beach.
In 1966 Jewish Government was renamed the I H Harris Primary school.
A photo I have is of my Granny Minnie Harris with two of the sons, Kenny and Denny. My late Dad is on the left.

Alan who is sitting on the car is the an older brother.

I am not sure if this is another photo from camp or when my Dad was in the army. Although some of the guys were smoking it looks similar surroundings

Warm Regards
Ethne
————–

Previously from Gil Friedstein, Israel on 9 October 2021

Port Elizabeth, South Africa – mid 1920s

Harris Camp – Billy, Sidney and Hilda (1st row)
Gil Friedstein is happy to share his grandparents’  holiday photos  from Port Elizabeth sometime in the mid 1920s. 
All the  photos (exept for the last one) were taken at Harris Camp and Gil will be most thankful  for any information referring to this place  gil.friedstein@hotmail.com
 
Alan Harris must have been a member of the family that ran the camp, and the two group photos give us a pretty good idea as to the number families who came to the camp.  
Alan Harris and friends
Granny, Hilda, Billy, Sidney and Elsie
Alan Harris
Hilda and Billy
Mrs Makin, Hilda, Billy and Sidney
Oupa
Harris Camp
Oupa, Granny, Hilda, Billy and the Rosenbergs at the beach

Harris Camp, PE to Doornfontein

25 November 2021

From Benzie Pikoos in Perth.

Beth Hamedrash HaGadol

This picture was taken around 1960 at the Beth Hamedrash HaGadol (Berele Chagi) shul. Do you recognise anyone there? I see Selwyn Feinblum, and Jossi Stern. These were most probably Doornfontein people.

I used to sing in the choir. Had my barmitzvah there as well. Rabbi Kossofsky was the rabbi. He was also the founder of Yeshivah College.

Doornfontein,

Berele Chagy

 

My photos of the Beit Hamidrash Hagadol, now University of Johannesburg, from Ishvara Dhyan’s walking tour of Doornfontein – 24 March 2016

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My photos of the Jewish Government School, from Ishvara Dhyan’s walking tour of Doornfontein – 24 March 2016

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Jewish government school 1959

Included in the photo is Benzie Pikoos and Mervyn Druker


Standard 1 Class of 1959 (Combined with Grade 2) Courtesy Alan Mymin
Each row L to R

Back Row: Cecil Goldstein. Jeffrey Epstein. Louis Potgieter. Benzie Pikoos. Mervyn Sherman. Reginald Rumney. Arnold Gossel.

3rd Row: Filip Nowydwor. Sylvio…………. Walter Allen. Mervyn Druker. Anthony Atkins.Tyrone Bevaud. Allan Bower. Alan Mymin.

2nd Row: Dawn Cohen. Avril Nino. Madeleine Mattis …………………Miss Shirley? Rabinowitz, Linda Shapiro. Jean Wiggil. Rene Altaris. Anita Goldstein.

Front Row: Steven (Moekie) Weiler. Calvin Fredericks. Denise Nauman. Cynthia Slutzki.Stella Botta. Denise……….. Jackie…………. Ralph Wingrove. Michael Marcus.

21 November 2021

I received a call from Ethne Epstein in Melbourne to tell me that the Harris of the Harris Camp in PE, was her grandfather, I. H. Harris from Johannesburg.

See more about Isadore Harris and Doornfontein here:

The Jewish Government School

Education Several Jewish schools were built, and one, the Jewish Government School, now the IH Harris Primary School in Davies Street, Doornfontein, still goes strong. Yiddish used to be the only language heard in the playground. (City of Johannesburg – Jews mark 120 years)

From Ethne Epstein:

I don’t have very much information on the camps, but understand they took place in Port Elizabeth in the 1920’s and 1930’s. From what I understand there were no Jewish camps, and because my Grandfather Isadore Harris was the principal of the Jewish Government School in Doornfontein, he arranged camps for Jewish families from Johannesburg during the December holidays. Exactly where in Port Elizabeth I have no idea.
They were all in tents close to the beach.
In 1966 Jewish Government was renamed the I H Harris Primary school.
A photo I have is of my Granny Minnie Harris with two of the sons, Kenny and Denny. My late Dad is on the left.

Alan who is sitting on the car is the an older brother.

I am not sure if this is another photo from camp or when my Dad was in the army. Although some of the guys were smoking it looks similar surroundings

Warm Regards
Ethne
————–

Previously from Gil Friedstein, Israel on 9 October 2021

Port Elizabeth, South Africa – mid 1920s

Harris Camp – Billy, Sidney and Hilda (1st row)
Gil Friedstein is happy to share his grandparents’  holiday photos  from Port Elizabeth sometime in the mid 1920s. 
All the  photos (exept for the last one) were taken at Harris Camp and Gil will be most thankful  for any information referring to this place  gil.friedstein@hotmail.com
 
Alan Harris must have been a member of the family that ran the camp, and the two group photos give us a pretty good idea as to the number families who came to the camp.  
Alan Harris and friends
Granny, Hilda, Billy, Sidney and Elsie
Alan Harris
Hilda and Billy
Mrs Makin, Hilda, Billy and Sidney
Oupa
Harris Camp
Oupa, Granny, Hilda, Billy and the Rosenbergs at the beach

Harris Camp, Port Elizabeth Update

21 November 2021

I have received a call from Ethne Epstein in Melbourne to tell me that the Harris of the Harris Camp in PE, was her grandfather, I. H. Harris from Johannesburg.

See more about Isadore Harris here:

https://elirab.me/jewish-doornfontein-part-4/

The Jewish Government School

Education Several Jewish schools were built, and one, the Jewish Government School, now the IH Harris Primary School in Davies Street, Doornfontein, still goes strong. Yiddish used to be the only language heard in the playground. (City of Johannesburg – Jews mark 120 years)

From Ethne Epstein:

I don’t have very much information on the camps, but understand they took place in Port Elizabeth in the 1920’s and 1930’s. From what I understand there were no Jewish camps, and because my Grandfather Isadore Harris was the principal of the Jewish Government School in Doornfontein, he arranged camps for Jewish families from Johannesburg during the December holidays. Exactly where in Port Elizabeth I have no idea.
They were all in tents close to the beach.
In 1966 Jewish Government was renamed the I H Harris Primary school.
A photo I have is of my Granny Minnie Harris with two of the sons, Kenny and Denny. My late Dad is on the left.

Alan who is sitting on the car is the an older brother.

I am not sure if this is another photo from camp or when my Dad was in the army. Although some of the guys were smoking it looks similar surroundings

Warm Regards
Ethne
————–

Previously from Gil Friedstein, Israel

Port Elizabeth, South Africa – mid 1920s

Harris Camp – Billy, Sidney and Hilda (1st row)
Gil Friedstein is happy to share his grandparents’  holiday photos  from Port Elizabeth sometime in the mid 1920s. 
All the  photos (exept for the last one) were taken at Harris Camp and Gil will be most thankful  for any information referring to this place  gil.friedstein@hotmail.com
 
Alan Harris must have been a member of the family that ran the camp, and the two group photos give us a pretty good idea as to the number families who came to the camp.  
Alan Harris and friends
Granny, Hilda, Billy, Sidney and Elsie
Alan Harris
Hilda and Billy
Mrs Makin, Hilda, Billy and Sidney
Oupa
Harris Camp
Oupa, Granny, Hilda, Billy and the Rosenbergs at the beach

Muizenberg Memories

Muizenberg Memories

By Marlene Davis Stanger
My mom, Pearl Davis, at her engagement party to my dad, with her parents, Esther Bryna (nee Friedman, from Zemelis, Lithuania) and Morris Herman (Moshe Zelig Woznica) from Poland
Abe & Pearl Davis Wedding 1948
Muizenberg kids at Betar meeting with Madrichim David Lazarus and Alan Pick. I am in pigtails with hand at heart
Marlene with friend Gillian Mansfield on left and the late Clem Stoltz on right. Taken lunch time one summer while working at Tockar’s pharmacy
Muizenberg memories
Marleme with Eunice Baartman on a picnic in Simonstown
Muizenberg Corner stone steps
With Dr Stan Davis St James Beach on one of regular Mzb to Kalk Bay walks whenever there
Dad – Abe Davis at “Stanette”
Dad & Sister
The six Davis grandchildren on the wall at Stanette , Windermere Rd, Muizenberg. Two Davis girls, two Stanger boys and two Simantov boys.
The Muizenberg KehilaLink:

managed by Eli Rabinowitz

eli@elirab.com

A Fairy Tale Of Two Cities

In memory of my parents

By Marlene Davis Stanger

This story is written as a tribute to my late parents, Abe and Pearl Davis, who lived in Muizenberg for 56 years before moving to Highlands House, Oranjezicht, in 2005. Abe passed away October 22, 2007 aged 94 – less than a mile from where he was born – and Pearl passed away on July 24, 2016, aged 92.

My granny, Mrs. Esther Bryna Herman, from Malvern by way of Vilnius, had a friend called Sonya Blechman.  My dad, born at 2 Prince Street, Gardens, had an aunt called Tilly Josman.   Mrs. Blechman told her friend, Aunty Tilly, about the beautiful daughter of her friend and Aunty Tilly thought, “Ahh, time for my nephew Abie to settle down…enough of the post-war gallivanting…”  So next time Abie was up in Joburg – Roodepoort to be exact, to see the relatives – Aunty Tilly invited Mr. and Mrs. Herman and the Blechman’s and Pearl came along too.

Abie was smitten. The blond, blue eyed, water-polo playing Davis boy could not stop thinking of the dark-haired, tall, thin and elegant Pearl and when he got home to Cape Town, he wrote her a letter.  It was written on thin, air-mail paper on two pages on the letterhead of his brother, Simon’s company that was simply called Simon Davis.  But he had crossed out the name Simon and replaced it with Abe.

It was a love letter and said he believed they could have a happy life together. An engagement followed and Pearl, an only child, flew down to Cape Town to meet the Davis family.  She wore a new white suit and a new stylish hat but by the time she arrived, air-sick and disheveled, she felt anything but stylish. Abe brought her to the family home at 7 Marais Road, Sea Point.  There she met “Mother” (Chaya Itil “Annie” nee Josman) and “Father” (Hyman Davis formerly Melnick in the old country prior to telling Cape Town customs that his name was Chaim Dovid….).  This is how the Davis children referred to their Yiddish speaking parents.  The children consisted of Abe and his siblings, who were Simon, Louis, Issy, Ethel, Harry, Alfred and Lily.  Pearl was welcomed into the fold and soon found out about the gregarious, sporty, movie loving boys – all fast eaters –  and the sisters, the older one sassy and irreverent and the baby, sweet and adored.

The wedding took place at Marais Road shul and Pearl and Abe had to decide where they wanted to settle down – Camps Bay, where brother Alfred and his wife Rae (nee Katzeff), had set up home, or Muizenberg, where Simon and Rose and Issy and Rose lived.  Muizenberg it was. 1948 – what a year!  As Hedy no-relation-Davis aptly stated, veritable Shtetl by the Sea.  They moved to Clevedon Cottage in Clevedon Road and had their first baby, Stan, in 1949.  The following year they moved to Windermere Road and in 1951, baby number two, Annette was born.  They named their house “Stanette.”

I came along in 1954.  And what do I remember?  I will first of all say that Bobba Bryna Herman was living with us by that time, since Morris Zelig (after whom I was named Marlene “Masha” Zelda) had passed away suddenly while on holiday in Muizenberg a few years before.  I remember the promenade walks on summer nights, the ice-creams at the Milk Bar in the pavilion, the Sunday trips to Mr. Raad’s café for toffee apples and Tex bars, the egg-salad sandwiches at Sunrise beach on balmy February evenings when we all went swimming after dad came home from work, the Kushners next door, playing in the park across the road from shul, playing at the park near the vlei, playing marbles on the field next to the Liebrecht’s house – all under the loving protection of Abe and Pearl, and of course, Bobba.  There were the Sunday drives through Tokai, stopping to buy Hanepoort grapes when in season, to see Zayda in Sea Point and have tea with the extended Davis family.  The large dining room table surrounded by uncles, aunts and first cousins.

By then, my dad had his own business importing home wares from China and traveling on sales trips.  He had a driver, Courtman, who taught me Xhosa and who named his firstborn Stanley.  Then Abe’s fortune changed and he lost the business.  I remember the anxious day when a man came to meet with my parents to talk about the insurance business.  He was with Sun Life of Canada. My dad joined them and continued through to Liberty Life, leaving only in his 80’s.  The young staff by that time called him Uncle Abie.  My mom got a job as well. I was six.  She was secretary at Floyd and Emery, prominent architects in their day.  Zayda (my dad’s “Father”) died round that time as well. His tailor shop, Davis and Stevens, on Long Street, purveyors of fine cloth and excellent taste, had the distinction of making the graduation gown for Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) when she received her honorary Doctor of Laws degree from UCT in April, 1947.  He also rode a Harley with a side car and was the tall, handsome patriarch, rocking in the chair at 7 Marais Road, always dressed impeccably with his pocket watch an object of fascination for all the grandkids.

School, cheder, the beach, the freedom to play, catching the train to town on a 21c ticket to go to lunch at Garlicks and a movie and still having change from R1, and the knowledge that the world had an order defined by a fine moral compass and the love of family. It was a village. It took a village.

Then there was the music.  Dan Hill and his orchestra, Frank Sinatra, Buddy Holly, always music.  And standing in my parent’s room at my mom’s dressing table watching her get dressed to go dancing with my dad on a Saturday night.  The beautiful brocade dress with roses on the waist sash, the purple satin dress with the built in petticoat, the impossibly small waistline… I learnt about perfume behind your ears and on your wrists…

Into the teens.  Socials at the Herzl Hall in Wherry Road. How embarrassing for me that my dad and others on the shul committee who had organized the event were in the kitchen selling Fanta, Coke and Bar Ones…didn’t want him to see me slow dancing with Joburg and Durban boys in Muizies for the season.  Bands were Shag and Jimmy Retief and the Idiots.  Jimmy used to play the guitar with his teeth…

My mom always had an expanding Shabbat table.  When my dad came home from shul, we never knew how many Navy boys he would bring with him on a Friday night.  Another incentive to look nice for Shabbat! My mom also had a remarkable, expanded vocabulary and I called her my walking dictionary.  She graduated from Jeppe Girls’ High and her leather bound prize books which I cherish attest to her brilliance. First in Latin, First in Math, First in class.  She could have been a doctor like her Reichman cousins in Joburg, but instead she learned to type.

Baking, collecting rummage, organizing meetings – always involved in the community.  My dad, shul chairman or president for as long as I can remember.  Both life members of the shul.  Charity and acts of loving kindness were part of the fabric of my home, with early lessons about helping others very clearly imprinted in my mind.

Overall, we made one another happy and laughed so much.  I watched Monty Python with my mom at the Empire and by the time the opening credits for And Now For Something Completely Different came on the screen, we were already in tears from laughing so much.  I learned about fun and laughter, music and dancing, from my parents. I learned about reading voraciously and hard work, from my parents. I learned about faith and loyalty and relationships from my parents.  When Stan, Netty and I remember our father, we go : “He he he” (the e like staccato air without the r.)  We learned about happiness and contentment, the riches of good family relationships, from him.

I cannot even begin to tell the whole story of who they were and what they meant to me and those who knew them. My beloved parents, village elders who held the community in their hearts.  Both in Muizenberg where they lived their halcyon years and at Highlands House where they lived their final years, together there for a short time and now together again. Joburg girl and Cape Town boy with Muizenberg their medina.

So when I walk on the beach in Del Mar or Torrey Pines and I wear the floppy hats I brought home with me after burying darling Pearl next to her Abe, I will think of those who wore the hats before me on the sands of Muizies and walk tall and happy knowing that their spirits are both alive and flowing in me.  The music, dancing, fun and reading, learning, working and giving will continue.

Wherever you may be, Mrs. Blechman and Aunty Tilly – thank you for the great mitzvah.

With love,

Marlene

https://stanger-immigration.com/

The Muizenberg KehilaLink:

managed by Eli Rabinowitz

eli@elirab.com