News from the SA-SIG – latest newsletter

Here are a few items that appear in the latest SA-SIG newsletter.

SA-SIG stands for South African Special Interest Group of JewishGen.

These articles have been extracted from the newsletter with permission of the editor, Colin Plen.

For the full newsletter, go to the link:

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This article was taken from Rabbi Liebenberg’s sermon.

Claremont Shul

SA-SIG-Newsletter June 2005

SA-SIG-Newsletter June 2005

SA-SIG-Newsletter June 2005

SA-SIG-Newsletter June 2005

Zaida Obituary 1966

SA SIG Eli Blog

Abe Sher

SA SIG Abe Sher

The Tangential Traveller Meets The Travelling Rabbi!

Travelling Rabbi

This blog has been updated.

It now includes video clips as well as photos. If your connection is slow, you may wish to wait for the video to download before playing it.

Last night in Perth, Western Australia, I had the pleasure of hearing Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft speak to an enthusiastic crowd at the PHC, the Perth Hebrew Congregation. I had just returned early the same morning from my 3rd Roots trip to Europe, Israel, Turkey and the UK, so the timing was perfect!

While his job is a serious and often a difficult one, Rabbi Silberhaft is a great storyteller. He kept his audience of mainly expat South Africans entertained throughout his presentation.

At lunchtime today, Rabbi Silberhaft spoke at a lunch at CHABAD WA and was again well received.

I highly recommend his book, written by Suzanne Belling, which I bought in South Africa last year. I immediately connected with it.

We both travel extensively – I can relate to being on the road visiting Jewish communities. Just read my previous blogs!

Ruth Feigenbaum, who co-heads the running of SGOFOTI in Bulawayo, is my brother-in-law Gidon Katz’s sister.

A predecessor of Rabbi Silberhaft, Professor Rabbi Dr Jacob Newman was my rabbi in the early 60s at Waverley and then at the Green & Sea Point shuls.

A couple of photos from last night.




The 15 minute SHALOM presentation edited from the hour long film shown on the SABC


Photos from CHABAD WA today:

The video of Rabbi Silberhaft’s talk at CHABAD today  – parts 1, 2, & 3 are in order.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Enjoy and be inspired

Eli Rabinowitz

London – 26 May 13

London Tube Map

London Tube Map

East End

Bevis Marks

Missed seeing the inside of the Bevis Marks.

But here are some photos of getting there and the outside.


Liverpool St Station and the Memorial to the Kindertransport


Jewish Spitalfields, Soup Kitchen and  Sandy’s Synagogue


Petticoat Lane


The Jewish Museum, Camden Town


New book

Jewish London


The West End, The National Gallery and Piccadilly


The long way home


Dubai Airport and Emirates

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Istanbul 2 – 24 May 13


Send your passport details to the Turkish Jewish Security at least a week before your visit. You will be given an appointment time.

Mehmet’s driver takes me to the Ahrida Synagogue.

I walk to the Jewish Museum, some distance away near the Galata Tower.

Jewish Museum Istanbul

The Jewish Museum which I visited two years ago

The short walk to the Ashkenazi Synagogue where I meet Rabbi Aaron Edili


Walking around the Galata area

Across the bridge to the Golden Horn

The Spice Market, the Grand Bazaar and surrounds.

Grand Bazaar

My first visit to a Turkish Bath!


The walk around the Golden Horn, back to Taksim and the Metro to Kanyon

The driver takes me to Mehmet’s place at Kemer Country where I meet my other Turkish second cousins at a barbie.

Ahmet and Pinar – Mehmet’s brother and wife whom I met in 2011.

Cihad and Seda

Haluk and Sena

They were delightful and it was a lovely fun evening.

I discover that Cihad and Seda have a daughter, Selen, doing her post doc in Neuroscience at the UNSW in Sydney.


Mehmet’s intro


The next morning – delicious breakfast with Mehmet and Billur before leaving for London

Istanbul – 23 May 13


I flew from Ben Gurion to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport which is on the Asian side. Pegasus is a Turkish budget airline. Cute safety instructions. Excellent prices.

The driver took me to the Kanyon shopping centre where I met my Turkish cousin, Mehmet Imre.

Mehmet put me on the Metro to Taksim Square. I walked down to Galata and back to the Kanyon. Here is what I saw, including the Neve Shalom Synagogue, which I attended on my 2011 visit and the nearby Ashkenazi Synagogue.


Kemer Country

We went back to Kemer Country, a beautiful golf estate where Mehmet, his wife Billur and daughter Yasemin live.

Last Day Israel – 22 May 13

Tel Aviv

Thanks to my nephew Eytan Katz who shlepped me around the countryside!

I met Orna Bird who made the delightful film about Tzoref and organised the 200th anniversary celebrations in 2011

See the trailer and read about Tzoref on the Kedainiai Kehilalink

Then a lightning visit to say goodbye to my family at Gan Yavne near Ashdod

Gan Yavne

We met Chani Levene and her husband Yechezkel at Bar Ilan University where she teaches. Chani gave us a lovely tour.

Chani’s grandfather was the famous Rabbi Aryeh Levin, who was born in Orla, Poland, the same town as my Zaida, Nachum Mendel Rabinowitz.

Aryeh and Nachum Mendel were related, we think cousins. See:

Aryeh Levine

Then off to Ra’anana. Bumped Evan Newman at the Canyon


Then gave my talk to the IGRA, the Israel Genealogical Research Association at Beit Fischer. It was well and enthusiastically attended.

Saw some familiar faces.

Afterwards met up with Dorit & Avigdor Lichtenstein in K’far Sava. Dorit has been Jill’s pen pal for 45 years. They have met a handful of times.


Jerusalem 3 – 21 May 13

The Mount of Olives

Mount of Olives



With guide Daniel Shani, who is excellent and highly recommended. With me are my cousins Rachelle and Murad Taqqu from Boston.

These were some of the graves Daniel researched and showed us:

Abraham Shlomo Zalman & Heshe Tzoref
Yitzchak Tzoref-Salomon & Adel Golda Kahana-Shapira
Mordechai & Hanna Tzoref-Salomon (brother and sister-in-law of Yitzchak)
Michel Avraham & Dvorah Chaia Alta Herison.
Yoel Moshe Solomon
Yitzchak Yaakov Herison
Rachel & Sheina Fruma (daughters of Yitzchak Yaakov)
Ozer Herison (Michel Avraham’s nephew)
Yitzchak & Lilly Rabinowitz
Yehoshua Gershon & Bella Herison
Hadass Herison
Yehoshua Meir Reichman & brother
Natan Reichman
Avrom Yaakov Rabinowitz
Aharon Mordechai Aggasi-Birenbaum (Hadassah Rosenberg-Agassi’s brother)


Daniel points out the grave of Avraham Yaakov Rabinowitz, my great grandfather. Interestingly, the surname is Rabinowitz, not Skarishevski, his original name


The memorial for my 3rd great grandfather Avraham Shlomo Zalman Tzoref


More Jerusalem images


Our visit to my cousins Hadara & Rabbi Shaul David Boczko in Yochar Yaakov. Shaul David started and runs the impressive yeshiva in the town.

Yochav Yaakov


Late bus to Tel Aviv

Jerusalem 2 – 20 May 13

The Tayelet & walk to the Old City from Alfie’s apartment

Back to the Hurva

Barmitzvahs at the Kotel

Shul in Old City

Walk to the Damascus Gate in the Old City

More images  around the Mamilla & Rehavia district

Tony & Yonatan Sachs, Richard & Cheryl Shavei Zion, Meirav and others

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My cousin Nachum Stepansky, Chava and family

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Nachi leading the study at his shul


Books for sale


My cousins Alfie & Ania Zinn