Showing 18 results

Authority record

Abe Mirvish

  • Person
  • 1872-1947

In 1908 Rabbi Moses Chaim Mirvish (1872-1947) and his family emigrated to Cape Town from Lithuania. He and his wife Seine Mirvish (nee Margolis) had 7 children – Jacob Mirvish, Sophie Anziska (nee Mirvish), Dr Louis Mirvish, Naomi Aronson (nee Mirvish), Dr Israel Mirvish, Abe Mirvish and Ethel Helman (nee Mirvish). Rabbi Mirvish was the first fully qualified rabbi in the Cape Colony and served as the minister of the Cape Town Orthodox Hebrew Congregation (Beth Hamedrach HaChodesh) situated at the Constitution Street Synagogue, District Six.

In 1939 the community moved to the newly built Vredehoek Synagogue. Rabbi Mirvish played an important part in the activities of Jewish communal life in Cape Town, founding many of its organisations such as the Beth Din in the Cape and he served as the Av Beth Din for many years. He was chairman of the United Hebrew Schools in the Cape. He was widely known through his writings and contributed to many journals. He wrote two important books which were compilations of his sermons, essays, homiletics, Biblical commentaries, and Halachic Responsa.

On 17 August 1947, Rabbi Mirvish collapsed and died on the steps of the Vredehoek Synagogue after officiating at a wedding. Some months after his death, the Cape Town City Council renamed the street alongside the shul Rabbi Mirvish Avenue. [Source: Biography Rabbi Moses Chaim Mirvish (1872-1947). Cecil Helman Brave New World Remembering Cape Town’ s pioneer Rabbi. Juan-Paul Burke 2017, Jewish Life.].

Alex Abrahams

  • Person

Alex Abrahams is a trained curator and artist from Cape Town. Alex graduated with a BA Honours in Curatorship from University of Cape Town in 2015. Since then he has worked in a number of internships, which required skills in exhibition making, design, data analysis and research. Alex is also pursuing his art career with great commitment. He exhibited in seven group exhibitions in 2021, which was his debut year for exhibiting his art.

Benjmain Pogrund

  • Person
  • 1933-

Benjamin Pogrund was raised in Cape Town, and began his career as a journalist in 1958, writing for The Rand Daily Mail in Johannesburg, where he eventually became deputy-editor. The Rand Daily Mail was the only newspaper in South Africa at that time to report on events in black South African townships. During the course of his work Pogrund came to know the major players in the apartheid struggle and gained the respect and confidence of various leaders and members of struggle resistance groups.

Pogrund consistently reported on Apartheid activities and was imprisoned once and considered a threat to the state. Pogrund currently lives in Israel and has published many books including a memoir of fellow human rights activist and friend Robert Sobukwe [Source:].

Elsie Menasce

  • Person

Elsie Menasce (nee Mizrahi), daughter of Jacques Mizrahi and Violetta Mizrahi (nee Hasson) was born in Rhodesia where her family immigrated from the Island of Rhodes in the 1920's. The family maintained a strong connection with their Rhodian roots. Elsie Menasce (nee Mizrahi) published a cookbook, ‘The Sephardi Culinary Tradition’ which illustrate the history of the Jews from Rhodes, their customs regarding each recipe and it was illustrated with tableware passed down from generations. Elsie Menasce died on the 6th April 2019 in Toronto, Canada.

Esther Barsel

  • Person
  • 1924-2008

Esther Barsel (nee Levine) was a South African political activist. She was born in Raguva, Lithuania and left for South Africa with her parents when she was just 3 years old. Esther Barsel joined the South African Communist Party (SACP) when she was just 14 years old and was later a member of the the African National Congress (ANC).

Esther Barsel married fellow anti-Apartheid activist Hymie Barsel. Esther Barsel passed away on the 6th October 2008 [Source:].

Hyman Schauder

  • Person

Hymie Schauder was born 18 October 1910 to Freda (Shear) and Adolph Schauder. He was educated at Erica School and then at The Grey School, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He studied at Rhodes University and UNISA. His thesis “An Economic History and critical Economic account of the S.A. Boot and Shoe Industry” was published in SA Journal of Economics. The work for his scholarship was published as a newspaper article and a report.

Jack Rapeport

  • Person

Jack Rapeport was born in Rustenburg and lived there for 40 years. In 1952, he took over the business ‘W Rapeport and Son (Pty) Ltd’, a clothing outfitters and drapers store. He modernized the business, to keep up with international trends and traveled regularly abroad to source merchandise. In 1965 he sold the business to Uniewinkels Beperk. A year later he moved to Durban and with his wife set up ‘Off the Peg’, which specialized in ladies fashion wear. The business was expanded to include a mail order department. In 1973, he sold the business to Scotts Shoes. He and his wife then set up ‘Up and Coming’ a children's clothing chain, which he again sold to Scotts Shoes a few years later.

His last business venture, ‘Rag Trade’, catered for women's wear and was sold to ‘Big Blu’. He kept up contact with people from Rustenburg, including the African community of Tlhabane Township. Following Aliyah to Israel he was involved in the establishment of the Haifa lawn bowling club which catered for disabled and blind bowlers.

Jonathan Ancer

  • Person

Jonathan Ancer is a journalist, who has held various positions on a
variety of publications: reporter on The Star, editor of Grocott’s
Mail and crossword columnist for the Cape Times. He has won awards for
hard news journalism, feature writing and creative writing. He is the
author of The Victor Within (2000), Spy: Uncovering Craig Williamson
(2017) and Betrayal: The Secret Lives of Apartheid Spies (2019).

Juan-Paul Burke

  • Person

Juan-Paul Burke was born in Pretoria and after some time in SA made Aliya to Rehovot. While in SA he worked for UCT Libraries where he gained an intimate knowledge of SA Jewish History. This led him to becoming an amateur historian with a focus on SA Religious Jewish History. He has worked as a copy editor, transcriber, and translator in the field of Torah Publishing, with a focus on SA English Language Torah Publications. He has also done work for the SAJMArchive as a Digital Archivist/Researcher in setting up the Woodstock and Salt River Hebrew Congregation Collection.

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