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.


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

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
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
Harris Camp
Oupa, Granny, Hilda, Billy and the Rosenbergs at the beach

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