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Woodstock and Salt River Hebrew Congregation Collection

  • Collection
  • 2021

A variety of photographs, documents and audio display different aspects and character of the Woodstock and Salt River Hebrew Congregation and its Talmud Torah, which were active between the 1900s and the 1980s in the Woodstock and Salt River suburbs of Cape Town. Also featured are memorialisations and a 2004 reunion undertaken by ex-Woodstockers.

See the SAJM Youtube Channel for a specific playlist of additional audio content related to the Woodstock Collection

Introduction by Cecil Gelbert:

This project has been on our minds for a long time and has at last come to fruition.

On behalf of Herschel Gelbart in Boca Raton and Harold Idesis and myself Cecil Gelbart from Cape Town, we want to express our deep gratitude to all who helped put together this exciting platform on the Woodstock Jewish Community.
We will all have incredible memories of our time living in Woodstock, mixing freely with all races and people of different religions.

Central to our heritage must be the legacy left by Rev. Gulis and his teachings in his own inimitable way. A great teacher teaches his students to become independent. That is what Rev. Gulis did. He gave each one of us the choice in later life to decide how we would continue to live from an ethical and spiritual point of view. For example each of Herschel, Harold Idesis, Harold Fligel, Woolfie Levin and I can do any Haftorah.

Thank you to each one of you who contributed photos and articles.
A huge thank you to JP [Pesach] Burke for putting it together even after he went on Aliyah.
A special debt of gratitude to SA Jewish Museum, Gavin Morris, Leila Bloch and Katie Garrun at the Kaplan Centre for coordinating the project and finalising it.

It gave me great pleasure and joy to have worked with Herschel who was tireless in tracing and digging up the information and people from all over the world who have contributed and for Harold, who has been an intellectually stimulating in guiding this project.
The influence of our Woodstockers worldwide – which is extensive and stretches to USA, Australia, Canada, England, Israel and those still in South Africa.

Living as we did in a shtetl of Woodstock close to each other gave us the edge to bond and grow as a community.
I appeal to all of you to please comment on anything appertaining to life in Woodstock and please feel free to add anything to this website as it was impossible for us to cover everything.

May you Woodstockers continue to be blessed and continue to make your mark in whatever field you are involved in.
Wishing you all peace, wellness, blessings and hatzlacha.
Cecil Gelbart.

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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