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Archival description
SAJM Jewish Digital Archive Project (JDAP) Series
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Abe Mirvish Photograph and Document Series

Consisting of a large number of family photographs, documents and various correspondence, the Abe Mirvish Photograph and Document Series depicts various aspects of Jewish life, such as religious ceremonies (bat mitzvahs) and weddings, as well as every-day life of the Mirvish family. Also included are images of Rabbi Moses Chaim Mirvish while studying, as well as attending the opening ceremony of the Beit Hamedrash in Vredehoek around the 1930s. A small bonus included is a hand-drawn map of a shtetl in Plungian, Russia.

Abe Mirvish Video Series

The Abe Mirvish Video Series contains digitised footage. It was donated by Gillian Cress and contains videos of the Mirvish family around Cape Town.

Astra Centre for Jewish Sheltered Employment Series

The Astra Centre for Jewish Sheltered Employment Collection comprises a small number of images donated by the Astra Centre of Cape Town covering the period of the early 2000's and depicting varius events and persons.

Astra Jewish Sheltered Employment comprises of three Group Homes; Rosecourt House, Rosecourt Terrace and Vriende House; as well as a Workshop on the Astra premises, where workers are taught skills in a protective and sheltered environment. They are involved in contract work, such as packaging goods for companies, packing flyers and brochures, as well as the manufacture of a large range of unique and high-quality craft goods, which are in great demand in the market place. There are various departments: painting, woodwork, needlework, weaving, catering and philately. The Workers enjoy the dignity of being occupied daily which enhances their self-esteem, while at the same time giving them the opportunity for social interaction.

Included in the photographs are Selwyn and Merle Furman, two of Astra’s longest standing executive committee members. They are seen delivering speeches, installing mezuzahs and celebrating renovations with a Table Mountain backdrop.

Whenever possible research has been conducted to enrich the information in these collections. If you would like to add any additional information please contact us.

Barsel Family Photograph and Document Series

The Barsel Family Photograph and Document Collection comprises a number of photographs of Esther Barsel and her family, including her husband Hymie Barsel. From photographs of Esther Barsel's childhood in Raguva, Lithuania to her political and activist career during Apartheid in South Africa. The Collection also contains a few documents including correspondence and geneology relating to the Barsel and Bahar families.

Benoni Park Street SynagogueSeries

The Benoni Park Street Synagogue Collection, donated by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies Archives includes a small number of photographs covering a large period of time of the Park Street Synagogue in Benoni, South Africa.

These photographs are well preserved and document the prominent names of those involved in the Synagogue. Those people include statesmen, executive committees, rabbis, the Synagogue choir and nursery school children.

On 15 October 1932, Dr Chaim Weizmann, President of the World Zionist Organisation and first President of the State of Israel, visited Benoni and the new Synagogue in Park Street. A photograph documenting his visit is included in the collection.

Dr Isaac Halevi Hertzog, Chief Rabbi of Israel, is also seen about to turn the first Sod for the Talmud Torah and Hall in 1952.
The Synagogue’s first Bar Mitzvah service, first Bat Mitzvah service and first wedding service are all included in the collection.
The Council photographs range in timeframe from between 1924 and 2009.

The Rose Kirschner nursery school images show children playing, dancing and singing. There are also names of the nursery school children included in the collection.

The collection also includes a photograph of the exterior of the Synagogue building.
This collection is historically fascinating as it deals with a prestigious South African Synagogue. Those involved on the Council are well recorded. The nursery is shown to have been a successful institution. The number of first services recorded shows how proud the Synagogue is of its history. The prestigious statesmen and rabbis who have been involved with the Benoni Synagogue is also testament to Park Street’s status as a premier synagogue in South Africa.

Whenever possible research has been conducted to enrich the information in these collections. If you would like to add any additional information please contact us.

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