Browsing Category Jews in South Africa

Bach (A.) THE COUNTRY COMMUNITY SYNAGOGUES, from Cape Town to Calvinia, Wellington to Wynberg
50pp., illus., paperback, No Place, No Date. R80
An A to Z of Hebrew congregations in the Cape.
Cohen (R.) THE GIRL FROM HUMAN STREET, a Jewish family odyssey
304pp., illus., paperback, Reprint, London, (2015) 2016. R250
Roger Cohen's portrait of his mother, June Cohen, and her long struggle with manic depression. June Cohen was born in 1929 on Human Street in a mining town near Johannesburg, where her parents decided to settle thirty years after leaving Lithuania. He retraces the odyssey of his family and reflects on Jewish identity.

"The guiding spirit of this book is W.G. Sebald. Powerful storytelling, sometimes breathtaking, written with a generosity that is truly humane." New York Review of Books

Roger Cohn is a columnist for the New York Times.
Davis (H.I.) MUIZENBERG, the story of the shtetl by the sea
263 pp., 48pp. illus., paperback, Johannesburg, 2014. OUT OF PRINT
Hedy Davis's well researched history of the Jewish community of Muizenberg, from 1880-1980. Includes a selection of 120 personal photographs.
Frankel (G.) RIVONIA'S CHILDREN, three families and the cost of conscience in white South Africa
388 pp., paperback, Reprint, Johannesburg, (1999) 2012. R175
The story of a group of mostly Jewish, mostly communist activists, including Hilda and Rusty Bernstein, Ruth First and Joe Slovo, James Kantor and Harold and AnneMarie Wolpe, who either went into exile or were imprisoned for their anti-apartheid activities.

"Frankel has written a scrupulously researched, riveting examination of people who fought to make their country a better place." New York Times
Kollenberg (A.) & Norwich (R.) JEWISH LIFE IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN COUNTRY COMMUNITIES, volume III: Camdeboo, Cape Midlands, Garden Route, Langekloof, Little Karoo, North-Eastern Cape, Overberg, Settler Country, Transkei, Griqualand East
500 pp., maps, illus., paperback, Johannesburg, 2007. R530
Foreword by Marcia Leveson. Researched by The South African Friends of Beth Hatefutsoth.

Documents the history of Jewish settlement in 70 towns in the Eastern Cape: the contribution of German immigrants around Graaff-Reinet, the influx of Eastern European Jewry in the 1880s, the industries started in the Ciskei and the eastern Cape, the Jewish involvement with indigenous communities in the Transkei, and more.
Kollenberg (A.) & Norwich (R.) JEWISH LIFE IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN COUNTRY COMMUNITIES, volume V, goldfields, mountain route, Riemland, southern Free State, western Free State
594 pp., map, illus., paperback, Johannesburg, 2012. R620
Foreword by David Saks, Assistant Director, South African Jewish Board of Deputies.

Anglo-Boer War battles were fought in many of the areas covered in this volume, and there are frequent references to Jewish soldiers who fought for either the Boers or the British.
Kollenberg (A.) et. al JEWISH LIFE IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN COUNTRY COMMUNITIES, volume I, the northern Great Escarpment, the Lowveld, the northern Highveld, the Bushveld
215 pp., maps, illus., paperback, Reprint, Johannesburg, (2002) 2008. R442
"As we researched the history of the Jews of the 'dorps', we were afforded entrance into unique accounts of Jewish country life. These memories span the entire period of Jewish presence in the country, providing insight into the vibrant history of country life. Those born on the 'platteland', and those who came as young adults to the small towns of South Africa, often recall this time with great warmth and fondness as the happiest days of their lives." from the introduction
Kollenberg (A.) et. al. JEWISH LIFE IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN COUNTRY COMMUNITIES, volume II, Boland, Bushmanland, Central Karoo, Fairest Cape, Griqualand West, Kalahari Koup, Namaqualand, West Coast
528 pp., maps, illus., paperback, Johannesburg, 2004. R530
"As will quickly become clear to anyone who dips into this fine book, no effort has been spared to uncover even the most minor instance of Jewish activity in the most nondescript, out-of-the-way hamlets which few, if any, Jews visit nowadays." from the foreword by David Saks, Assistant Director, Jewish Board of Deputies.

Mendelsohn (R.) & Shain (M.) THE JEWS IN SOUTH AFRICA, an illustrated history
237pp., illus., map, paperback, Revised Edition, Johannesburg, (2008) 2014. R250
A second revised edition of this illustrated history of the Jewish community in South Africa, from the arrival of the first immigrants up to the present day.

Richard Mendelsohn teaches history at the University of Cape Town and is a Deputy Dean of its Faculty of Humanities. He is the author of "Sammy Marks: 'the uncrowned king of the Transvaal'" and co-editor, with Milton Shain, of "Memories, Realities and Dreams: aspects of the South African Jewish experience".
Milton Shain teaches modern Jewish history and is Director of the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research at the University of Cape Town. His books include "Jewry and Cape Society: the roots of antisemitism", and Jewries at the Frontier: accomodation, identity and conflict" (co-edited with Sander Gilman).
Phillips (H.) CEMETERIES AND SYNAGOGUES, the foundation of organized jewry in South Africa
48pp., b/w & colour illus., paperback, Cape Town, 2017. R250
"These essays are built upon painstaking archival research conducted over many years. Phillips has uncovered and interpreted material that adds colour and nuance to our portrait of the foundation of Jewish communal life in South Africa. Sometimes these documents - synagogue minutes, correspondence, maps - have redrawn that picture entirely. He has done so, moreover, with the mission of the professional historian in mind: his goal has not been to celebrate but to illuminate and reveal." Adam Mendelsohn, Director, Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Cape Town

Emeritus Professor Howard Phillips worked in the Department of History at the University of Cape Town from 1974 to 2014.
Pimstone (M.) THE JEWS OF DISTRICT SIX, another time, another place
81 pp., oblong 4to., b/w & colour illus., paperback, Cape Town, 2012. OUT OF PRINT
This book accompanied the exhibition that was held at the South African Jewish Museum, Cape Town, in 2012.

The book and exhibition set out to capture the lives of the Jews who lived in District Six, and makes extensive use of personal memoirs and a series of interviews conducted in the early 1980s by the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research at the University of Cape Town.

Includes a 12 minute DVD.
Pollak (J.B.) THE KASRILS AFFAIR, Jews and minority politics in post-apartheid South Africa
198 pp., paperback, Cape Town, 2009. R255
In 2001 cabinet minister Ronnie Kasrils launched a declaration calling on South Africans of Jewish descent to protest against Israeli policies towards the Palestinians. Joel Pollack documents the Kasrils declaration and its implications, places the Kasrils affair in the context of South African Jewish history and experience, explores the controversy and debate the declaration caused and how it has affected politics in the Jewish community, and South Africa in general.

Joel Pollack served a speechwriter for Tony Leon, former head of the Democratic Alliance and Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of South Africa. He currently studies at Harvard Law School and is a teaching fellow at Harvard College.
Saks (D.) BOEREJODE, Jews in the Boer armed forces, 1899-1902
165 pp., illus., paperback, , 2010. R195
David Saks' study of the approximately three hundred Jews who fought on the side of the Boers during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902.
Schrire (C.) & (G.) eds. THE REB AND THE REBEL, Jewish narratives in South Africa, 1892-1913
260pp., b/w & colour illus., maps, paperback, Cape Town, 2016. R275
This book includes the personal histories of an immigrant father, Reb Yehuda Leib Schrire (1851-1912), and his Cape-born son, Harry (1895-1980), in the form of a diary, a memoir, and an epic poem. Also includes analysis of the context of the manuscripts by Carmel and Gwynne Schrire, an essay on the authors by Carmel Schrire, and a genealogical table of Yehuda Leib Schrire compiled by Paul Cheifitz.

"The original documents are worth their weight in gold. They are rich and so revealing of an important piece of Jewish history. I think that the project of exploring the histories of the places to which Jews immigrated and settled is one of tremendous value." Hasia Diner, Professor of American Jewish History, New York University

Carmel Schrire is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA.
Gwynne Schrire is the Deputy Director off the Cape South African Jewish Board of Deputies and an independent researcher.
Shain (M.) A PERFECT STORM, antisemitism in South Africa, 1930-1948
389pp., illus., paperback, Johannesburg, 2015. R275
Milton Shain explores the growth on antisemitism in South Africa between 1930 and 1948, documenting the rise of the "Jewish Question", the growth of organisations like the Greyshirts, the New Order and the Ossewa-Brandwag, and the National Party's use of antisemitism to win electoral advantage.

"Shain’s masterful study explores a little understood but crucial period in the development of Afrikaner nationalism within South Africa … a major contribution to the study of the cancerous spread of antisemitism in the interwar period. This cements Shain's reputation as the leading expert on South African Jewish history." Adam Mendelsohn, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, College of Charlston

Milton Shain is Professor Emeritus of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town and former Director of the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research. In 2014 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa. His other books include "The Roots of Antisemitism in South Africa."
263pp., illus., paperback, Johannesbg, 2015. R300
In putting together this portrait of Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris, Geoff Sifrin has drawn together accounts and anecdotes collected from people who had personal contact with him.

In 1987 Cyril Harris left his position at St John's Wood Synagogue, London, and moved to Johannesburg to take up the position of Chief Rabbi, a position he held until he retired in 2004. He died in 2005.