Muizenberg Sunrise

Here is a selection of my photos from last week’s sunrise walk from Muizenberg to St James and back.


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Muizenberg – A Surfers Paradise

Here are a few of the photos I took at Muizenberg last week.

The people and cultures on this popular South African beach present quite a contrast to the heydays of the Litvaks, who were here in the 40s, 50s and 60s and then left!

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Here is a short video clip:


On my last day in Cape Town, I arrived in time to see the sunrise. I enjoyed the walk to St James and back. These photos will appear in a later post.

Muizenberg Comes To San Diego

Save the date for South Africa’s most popular and travelled exhibition:


Memories of Muizenberg  is coming to San Diego!

After successful runs in South Africa, Israel, the UK, Australia and Canada, the exhibition is about to hit the USA.


Visit the KehilaLink for more on Muizenberg:

Litvaks On The Move


Visit: litvak-portal

Jeppestown Walking Tour

Ishvara Dhyan’s walking tour of Doornfontein two weeks ago was fabulous – a highlight of my visit to South Africa.

I will be posting my photographic memories of it shortly

Ish is leading another tour this weekend. I am not sure if there are places available, but email him at:

This is what he says:

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    The Jeppestown Walk  ~ on Saturday 27th Feb 2016

     ..will begin at 10 am  

     we are meeting at the HOUSE of BAOBAB No 20 Kruger St 

      at the Maboneng Precinct near Arts on Main – 

       there is secure parking in the surrounding streets.. the walk ends at the same place at approx 13h30 


   Jeppestown is Johannesburgs oldest residential suburb. (1889)

  We will visit many places of historical & cultural interest on the walk, including :

* the mosaics at Maboneng Precinct by artist Hannelie Coetzee
* the Jooste & Bryants Building ( Victorian Beauty)

* the Mentis Building ( Art Nouveau ) 
* the Jozi Mall ( Somali shops – designed as a result of xenophobia )
* old Jewish shops & homes of Jeppestown
* the scenes of the 2008 xenophobic attacks
* the Anglican Church – Joburgs oldest (still functioning) church
* the restaurant used in the movie “ Long Walk to Freedom “  
* traditional herbalist shops of Zulu Inyangas 
* scene of the Jeppestown massacre 2006

* the first Lithuanian Shul 1903 – 1926
* the Main Jeppestown Synagogue 1926 -2002
* Salisbury House – Philosophy school 1903
* St James Preparatory School 1905 

We return to the Maboneng Precinct for an optional lunch  at your own expense

( Senegalese buffet ) at ” The House of Boabab ”  restaurant.
Cost : R150-00 per person

Claremont Shul, Cape Town

My Litvaks on the Move talk took place at Claremont Shul last Sunday night.

An audience of about 80, mostly of Litvak heritage, attended the presentation.

Question time was held afterwards. Discussion centred around finding ones shtetl.

Thanks go to Rabbi Matthew Liebenberg and Steven Sherman for organising this most successful event.

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Images of the evening’s talk

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The main synagogue

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The small shul

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Walls covered with the history of both Claremont and Wynberg Shuls

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Images from the archives at the Kaplan Centre, UCT.

My thanks to the librarian, Juan-Paul Burke, for his assistance and allowing me to use this amazing material housed at the Kaplan Centre.


Jerry Z Bar

Jerry Zinn’s barmitzvah photo in 1953. Jerry is not in the photo!

Herzlia – Atzalyno Bridges

Panorama 1


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My Litvak Powerpoint slides

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Litvak Hangout with Cape Town & Kedainiai: A Unique Event!

On 11 February 2016, a unique event will take place!

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Two quite different schools on opposite sides of the world, will link up in a Litvak Hangout.

A joint session between students of Herzlia, the Jewish Day School in Cape Town, South Africa and those of Atzalyno Gimnazija, a high school in Kedainiai, Lithuania will be held at 11am South African and Lithuanian time.

Eli Rabinowitz will make some introductory comments about Jews of Lithuania and South Africa and how the Litvaks got to SA.

Three of the Lithuanian students will talk about the Jewish history, the importance of Kedainiai and the Jewish sites in the town.

Three Herzlia students will talk about their Lithuanian heritage, their family shtetl, and when and how their family came to SA.

And then we will talk about the future!

Click here for the link to watch this event live on YouTube:

Several people around the world have been working hard to make this event happen:

Laima Ardaviciene, the English teacher at Atzalyno in Kedainiai

Mark Helfrich, Curriculum Head at United Herzlia Schools, Cape Town

Steve Sherman, Chief Imagination Officer at Living Maths, Cape Town

Eli Rabinowitz, Perth Australia.

Read more about Eli’s bond with Atzalyno:

My bond with Atzalyno Gimnazija, a school in Kedainiai


The students take me on a multicultural tour of Kedainai, the last stop being the two former synagogue complex, one of only a handful in Lithuania. The centre is run by Rimantas Zirgulis, director of the Museum and includes a permanent Jewish display, one of the first towns in Lithuania to do so.

The video report on a Lithuanian TV channel with a synopsis in English by two of the students: Juste & Julija

Kedainiu Zinios 7:21 – 9:55 – meeting at our school
The English teacher Laima Ardavičienė surprises her students every single lesson. She is diversifying her lessons with various tasks and even guests.
Laima says, „ Last year I was working on a project and the main idea was to introduce different cultures to students. I found a video of Jewish weddings which reflected Jewish traditions. After watching this video, I asked the author if I was able to use it and I got shocked when he replied „ Laima, you can use it. By the way, you can be really surprised, but I‘m rooted in Kėdainiai“. The author of the video was our guest Eli Rabinowitz. It‘s the second time Eli Rabinowitz is visiting our school. Last year he was a participant in our project too, while students were learning about different communities in Kėdainiai. Meetings like this never end. We keep in touch via skype and have skype meetings with students.

An article in the Lithuanian press:

Anglų kalbos pamokos kitaip
Iš arčiau 2015/05/29 by Vilija Mockuvienė
Vieni „Atžalyno“ gimnazijos mokiniai mokytojos Laimos Ardavičienės anglų kalbos pamokų laukia su baime, kiti – su džiaugsmu. Gimnazistai žino, kad šios patyrusios pedagogės pamokose nebus nei nuobodulio, nei tuščio laiko leidimo.
Paįvairindama pamokas „Atžalyno“ gimnazijos mokytoja Laima Ardavičienė į Kėdainius pakvietė Australijoje gyvenantį žydą E. Rabinovičių, kuris turi sąsajų su šiuo miestu ir mielai bendrauja su jaunimu.

For further see:

My images are supplemented with some provided by Vilius, a delightfully engaging student, who would like one day, to have sports photography business, possibly in South Africa!

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Rabbi Coleman and the Bloemfontein Reunion

Bloem Choir 82

The choir in 1982 – thanks to Marc Kopman, top row middle.

A Bloemfontein reunion Shabbat dinner will be held in Johannesburg on Saturday February 20.

Last night in Perth, Australia, Rabbi Shalom Coleman reminisced about his years as the Jewish spiritual leader in Bloemfontein from 1949 to 1959

Those of you who do not know Rabbi Coleman, he has the most phenomenal memory, and recently celebrated his 97th birthday!


Rabbi Coleman with his book: Life Is A Corridor which includes photos and stories from his time in Bloemfontein.


Here is the video clip in which Rabbi Coleman talks about Bloemfontein:

Visit the Bloemfontein KehilaLink. If you have photos and stories connected to Jewish Bloemfontein, please email me at

More about Rabbi Coleman