Arthur’s Road Shul – Digging Up The History

Last week I visited the Arthur’s Road Shul in Sea Point, Cape Town, South Africa.

My previous visit was in November 2012.

Both also included research at the Kaplan Centre, UCT and the Gitlin Library at the Gardens Shul complex.

I have a personal interest in the shul as both my grandfathers, Rev. N M Rabinowitz and Socher Zeldin were present on 28 March 1953 at the signing of the documents establishing the shul in Sea Point.

Furthermore, my late cousin, Phyllis Jowell and her husband Cecil were linked with the restoration of the shul in more recent times.

The Shul Today


Photos from 2012


The original shul was in Buitenkant Street. Documents from Kaplan Centre at UCT. Thanks to Veronica Belling.

Buitenkant St Buitenkant St Shul 3 Buitenkant St Shul

StitchSCAN0047-SCAN0049 Chabaad group photo SAJC s


Buitenkants St Shul News

Framed photos found in the shul under the ladies’ section. Thanks Wendy Berger.



The names of the men in this photo were found in a newspaper article on the same day  at the Kaplan Centre, UCT.



Second framed photo found at the shul.



The shul then moved to Virginia Ave, Vredehoek

Virginia Ave Shul Virginia Ave Shul 2

The official signing on 28 March 1953 – Arthur’s Road, Sea Point.

On the left is my paternal grandfather, Rev. Nachum Mendel Rabinowitz and on the right my maternal grandfather, Socher Zeldin.

Chabad signing 1953

Chabaad Arthur's Road 1953

Framed photo in the shul


100th Anniversary Brochure – article by Philip Goldman

Arthur's Road 100 Anniv 0

Arthur's Road 100 Anniv 1

My interview with Philip Goldman on 22 December 2013


The plaque in memory of Lily Segall, mother of Bubbles and daughter of Israel Kellner.


Bubbles Segall’s grandfather was Israel Kellner.

Her story is “A Must Read”!

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Bubbles’ parents wedding movie at the Vredehoek Shul in 1946

Photos from Dec 2013

Just received from my cousin Hannah Bloch in Israel:

Hi Eli,

I shared your picture with grandpa (Zeldin) and close friends of ours, Geoffrey & Abira Breskal posted the following:
Hi Hannah, the Isaac Frank signing the papers is my maternal grandfather. Once they bought the property my grandfather brought all the pews,etc from the shul in Van Rhynsdorp where he owned the shul. He and Kelner were the first Pres and vice pres of the Chabad and Rabbi Gur-ari was the rabbi.
Abira & Geoffrey
The world is so small.  I have been friendly with them since I was 14.
And from Ivan Kapelus’s new book:  From the Baltic To The Cape:
Kapelus 7aKapelus 9a

The Tangential Traveller Meets The Travelling Rabbi Again!

This time we meet in Africa, at Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft’s home ground, at Beyachad in Johannesburg on 16 December 2013.

We used to call this holiday – Dingaan’s Day.

Day of Reconciliation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Day of Reconciliation is a public holiday in South Africa held annually on 16 December. The date was chosen because it was significant to both Afrikaner and African cultures. The holiday came into effect in 1994 after the end of apartheid, with the intention of fostering reconciliation and national unity.[1] The day is also the de facto start of the South African summer holiday period being the first of four public holidays to fall in a sixteen-day period at the height of summer.[2] (The other days are Christmas DayBoxing Day and New Years Day).

For Afrikaners, 16 December was commemorated as the Day of the Vow,[1] also known as Day of the Covenant or Dingaan’s Day. The Day of the Vow was a religious holiday commemorating theVoortrekker victory over the Zulus at the Battle of Blood River in 1838, and is still celebrated by some Boers. On the other side of the political spectrum, 16 December is also the anniversary of the 1961 founding of Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the armed wing of the African National Congress.[1]





with Divine Guidance

The last time we met was in Perth in May this year. See my blog: