Kimberley Ex-Pats Newsletter #24

Kimberley Ex-Pats Newsletter no 24, September 2019

Compiled by Geraldine Auerbach MBE London, and Leon Chonin Toronto, September 2019 (with responses and memories from far flung ex-pats at the end)

High Holidays in Kimberley

I am sure we all have our memories of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in the beautiful Kimberley shul.

I can remember as a child, the palm trees, the shul lit up; the stained glass windows; the new dresses and shoes put on; and climbing those magnificent spiral stairs with the rich thick royal blue, emerald green and ruby red carpet, up to the ladies’ gallery – which was full to capacity. 

I remember entering the swing doors at the rear, being a small child just seeing the backs of the pale wooden pews, and above them, some magnificent large-brimmed hats, catching a whiff of different perfumes, Chanel no 5 and Antelope, and hearing the contented and sometimes excited murmurings or singing of the men downstairs. (See the staircase and other pics here) https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/kimberley/Shul.html#11

It’s sad for us to realise now that with only a handful of families left, the ladies gallery is no longer used. It is however, wonderful and amazing to know there has just been a beautiful community wedding bringing the synagogue back to life, and that services are still happening each week. For the High Holydays the Yeshiva Bocherim who first came in 2000 as schoolboys still come – now with their own families to make Kimberley a glorious holy place over the Yomim Norayim. If anyone within reach is looking for a service to attend – you will get a magnificent one in Kimberley – and as Barney always says, you are sure of a front row seat.

Actually, we CAN all be back there in Kimberley in some way.  If we ask Barney, he will mention the names of our family in the service on Yom Kippur. Then we, and the community there, can feel we are present with them in celebrating the High Holydays. And what is more, the donation we make to the Kimberley Yom Kippur Appeal will give strength and support to Barney and those still tasked with the burden of looking after Jewish life and the buildings as well as the cemeteries where our loved one lie. Our donation as Ex-Pats will also show them that we recognise and thank them for the great job they do on the spot.

I am going to ask Barney to mention the names of my parents Beryl and Noel Kretzmar and also my grandparents, Amalie and Jacob Bergman, and maybe also our darling late daughter Loren who loved holidaying with her grandparents in Kimberley. She sadly passed away from cancer in December 2011 aged 48. She and her husband, the famous guitarist and songwriter Bert Jansch, are buried side by side in Highgate Cemetery.

Here is a picture of Loren visiting the graves of her great grandparents Amalie and Jacob Bergman on a trip to Kimberley in 1998.

I will donate at least £50 per name mentioned. If we all did that, then we would in some way be there together again. If you join me, all our family’s names would resonate around the buildings again. (My father was always called upon to read the story of Jonah on Yom Kippur – or is it Job?)

As Leon Chonin, our co-editor says ‘I am obviously very concerned that we, (the Ex-Pats, who write the Newsletters and have created a lasting memorial to those there in the past in the website, https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/kimberley/Home.html)  should have a good working relationship with Barney and the remaining Jews in Kimberley. We would like them to recognize that we are working towards the same goals of the recognition of those that are and were in Kimberley. What we are doing is carefully preserving the history of our community for future generations.  

Leon continues, ‘I am sure you are all aware though that with the declining Jewish population in South Africa, the Board of Deputies who previously supported the smaller communities has been struggling to provide the necessary financial backing to these. Barney is now himself Chairman of the new group tasked to take this role.

‘The very small community now left in Kimberley still needs to maintain the facilities that once had the support of nearly 200 Jewish families. The most important concern is to maintain and protect the Jewish cemeteries where our loved ones now rest in peace. They at least, deserve our support to ensure that the grounds are secure and that the tombstones are not damaged.

‘We want to appeal to all our ex-Pats to consider making a donation this Yom Kippur to the Kimberley community for the maintenance of the cemeteries. We understand that the other non-Jewish cemeteries receive support from the City Council but unfortunately no allocation is made to the upkeep of the Jewish cemeteries. Our appeal is for any amount you are able to consider which will go some way to ensuring that our loved ones continue to rest in a tranquil place.’

This is how you do it. Contact Barney to tell him what names to mention at Adrian B. Horwitz ahorwitz@lantic.net. Then make a transfer to the community bank account as follows:

The bank details of the Congregation are as follows:

Bank:                           Standard Bank

Branch:                        Kimberley

Branch Code:             050002 

Swift Code:                  SBZAZAJJ            

Account Name:             Griqualand West Hebrew Congregation

Account Number:         04-005-444-6

I will ask Barney to convey to all still in Kimberley over these high holidays the wishes of the ex-pats for a sweet, peaceful and productive year ahead for everyone – and to make them aware of the website which is a lasting memorial to the active Jewish life in Kimberley in the mid-20thcentury.

And that is also the wish from Leon and myself, and our wonderful webmaster Eli Rabinowitz, to all our Kimberley ex-Pats around the world.

Best wishes from

 

Geraldine Auerbach MBE London, geraldine.auerbach@gmail.com

Leon Chonin, Toronto, chonin@rogers.com

September 2019. 

You can use this link to read about the wonderful wedding weekend in Kimberley created for Barney’s daughter Ida to Zach Lieberman on 15 September 2019. We are so glad that many ex-pats were able to attend.

https://www.sajr.co.za/news-and-articles/2019/09/19/kimberley-shul-shines-in-first-wedding-in-almost-30-years?utm_

In response to this Newsletter 24,we have received some amazing recollections of High Holydays in Kimberley including these below:

Gwynne Robins (née Schrire) writes:

I remember sitting upstairs in a fluffy white angora bolero my Mom had knitted for me and pulling off bits of fluff and watching them floating down to stick onto the men’s hats and jackets below.

And worse – the pictures here seem to show that the railings upstairs have been changed. They used to be of brass with solid brass balls on top, here and there and I remember playing with the ball, screwing and unscrewing  it until – oops – it fell out of my fingers!

I watched in horror.  Fortunately, instead of braining some unfortunate soul underneath, the heavy brass bullet landed onto an empty hat placed on a seat.

Gwynne

 

And Daphne Gillis (née Toube) writes from Cape Town

Thanks as always, Geraldine and Leon, for the interesting information and the amazing photos of the Kimberley Shul.  They certainly brought back many memories.

Earlier this week my son, Glenn, went to a memorial service for Alan Goldberg at Highlands House.  When I asked him why the service was there, he said that Alan had spent a lot of time there, conducting services, etc because his mother, Nan (née Sagar from Kimberley), lived there.

Alan was the grandson of Mr and Mrs Bernard Goldberg, very wealthy and one of the most prominent members of the Kimberley Jewish community.  Mrs B (Sarah) played cards with my parents, (Violet and Abie Toube) and was the first person I had ever met who had a white lady companion. She sat in the middle of the front row in the Shul, right above the bimah and facing the Ark. When we all stood up during the service, she would place her hands on the shiny brass railing around the upstairs seats.  We always said it was to show off the wonderful diamond rings her husband gave her.

Mr and Mrs B, as they were called, had three sons, Sam who was a doctor in Muizenberg, Alfie who lived in Kimberley (not sure what he did there), but later owned a garage near the overhead bridge entrance to Muizenberg.  The third son was Dudley, married to Nan Sagar….they were Alan’s parents.

One other anecdote from my youth was that Alf Goldberg almost stopped my marriage.  He was an avid radio ham, and this had apparently caused a great deal of tension in his own marriage.  When my fiancé Harry told my mother that he too was a radio ham, she said that we could not get married because he wouldn’t have time to be a proper husband!!!!

63 years later we are still married!

Not sure how much information you have about the Goldberg family.  They were certainly one of the most prominent Kimberley families in my youth.

Once again, Chag Sameach, and kindest regards to all from Harry and Daphne Gillis.

David Friedman writes from Los Angeles

The Kimberley shul brings back such memories. I can still remember it from the time we first left Kimberley, shortly after war broke out which means I must be going back nearly 80 years. 

One unusual feature was that the gabboyim sat in a sort of enclosure in front of the bimah. I seem to think that Noel (Kretzmar) was once amongst those sitting in this place of honour.

It was of course the shul in which my parents were wed in 1932. One thing in later years that always struck me as incongruous was the fact that this beautiful edifice had a corrugated iron roof – of course all the houses in Kimberley at the time had similar roofs

But it also brings back bitter-sweet memories. My mom Katie (née Bergman) died the weekend before Herbert and Jennifer Hendler’s son Mark’s barmitzvah. We decided we would nonetheless go to the barmitzvah and as is the custom on the Friday night service I had to wait outside until the point in the service where mourners were asked to come in. That was 42 years ago and the last time I was in the Kimberley shul . Much love to you and your family and best wishes for the New Year from the Los Angeles branch of the Bergman family 

David

 

June Haberfeld writes from Johannesburg

Hi Geraldine and Leon

Thank you for the informative and interesting newsletters. Even though I was not born there, having married Ivor and lived there for 21 years, there is so much I can relate too.

I remember arriving in shul the first Yom Tov in 1971 the shul was so full there wasn’t a seat for me. In fact, I sat on the steps near my mother-in-law for 2 to 3 years eventually finding a place at the back on a chair. When I left, December 1991 my younger daughter, Nadine, and I were the only 2 ladies upstairs!!!!

My children and grandchildren went back a few weeks ago and had such a wonderful weekend of reminiscence.  They are 3rdgeneration Haberfelds at both schools and had so much to see and show the little ones. They were most impressed with the 2 Haberfeld streets!

Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year and an easy Fast.

Best wishes

June Haberfeld

 

Theo Klewansky writes from the USA

Superb! Thank you for making the effort to show such a magnificent example of a Jewish Historical Site, in such detail.  May you and yours enjoy 5780, a year of Achievement, Success and Joy.

 

Geraldine’s friend in London, Janet Falush writes

That’s really a great newsletter Geraldine. I read the attachment as well. I can image what it must mean to the Kimberley diaspora.  Your effort deserves copying by all those who want to conserve the memories of their community.  But they would struggle to do it as well.

 

Jonathan Joseph writes from London

Hi Geraldine  

I thought you might like to know that I attended Barney’s daughter’s wedding in the Kimberley shul, last Sunday. She (Ida) married Zach Lieberman, a Johannesburg man. It was a beautiful and moving experience, very well attended by family and friends from all over the world. It was particularly moving for me because it was 72 years, almost to the day, since my own parents (Pamela Horwitz and Philip Joseph were married there. See:https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/kimberley/Joseph_2.htmlhttps://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/kimberley/Joseph.html

Hope to see you on Rosh Hashana at our own beautiful Belsize Square Synagogue, London Warmest regards, Jonathan 

And Barney Horwitz writes from Kimberley

Many thanks Geraldine and Leon, I really appreciate your efforts as funding is a challenge.

I will certainly read out the names and your message at Yiskor on Yom Kippur. If there are any sick people in any ex-pats family, I am also willing to add them to our Mishebeirach list on the High Holy days.

The wedding was an amazing experience. One hundred and sixty people once more in the Kimberley Shul, it was very emotional for everyone there and the vigour with which everyone participated in the Israeli dancing at the reception was quite astounding. We are still here and who knows maybe your late father’s prediction might still come true. Noel used to say Jews will come back to Kimberley in their droves. Mandela used to say everything is impossible until its done. The wedding was such an event.  Good Shabbas to you both.

This is our message that Barney says he will read out at Yizkor on Yom Kippur

The Association of Kimberley Ex-pats would like to wish all those celebrating the High Holidays in the Kimberley Shul, warmwishes for a sweet, peaceful and productive year ahead for everyone.

The Ex-pats regularly send round Newsletters about life in Kimberley. We have created a website that memorialises the families that lived there and the activities they undertook in the Jewish and wider Kimberley community. You can find it by googling Kimberley Jewish Community. If anyone present would like to be on the mailing list then please send Barney or Rabbi Silberhaft your email address – to pass on to Geraldine Auerbach (née Kretzmar) and Leon Chonin, or contact us via the Kimberley shul Facebook page. 
Compiled by Geraldine Auerbach MBE London, and Leon Chonin Toronto, September 2019 

Birzh Commemoration – A Reflection In The Stone!

THE BIRZAI/BIRZH MEMORIAL PROJECT, LITHUANIA – SA Jewish Board of Deputies

THE BIRZAI/BIRZH MEMORIAL PROJECT, LITHUANIA – SA Jewish Board of Deputies

On 16 June 2019, a new memorial for the victims of the massacre that took place near Birzai, Lithuania, was unveiled. Located in the Astravas Grove in the Pakamponys forest four kilometres outside the town, it is the third memorial in Lithuania to bear the names of the victims at the massacre site.

Source: www.sajbd.org/media/the-birzai-birzh-memorial-project-lithuania

Ben Rabinowitz

Look at the reflection on the memorial stone in his photo taken (by someone else) of Ben Rabinowitz in the above article! Eerie!

Reflection
Birzai Commemoration

My 16 June 2019 post

Birzai Commemoration

Sunday 16 June 2019 Birzai, Lithuania Photos of the event The Castle Tree planting Walk to the Holocaust Site The Ceremony Back to the Castle

Source: elirab.me/birzai-commemoration/

Ben Rabinowitz
Eli Rabinowitz & Ben Rabinowitz
With Veronica Belling
With other Litvak activists!

Birzai, Lithuania – Website  Source: kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/birzai/Home.html

The Lost Names of Lithuania Final TX

The Lost Names of Lithuania Final TX

This is “The Lost Names of Lithuania Final TX” by MDK Associates on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

Source: vimeo.com/392266976

Other Commemorations in the European Summer:
Shabbat in Keidan
They Are Returning

They Are Returning

Atzalynas Gimnazija, Kedainiai Lithuania 13 June 2019 VIDEO OF OUR EVENT IN LITHUANIA They Are Returning ‘’TILTAI-BRIDGES-בריקן’’ For video, click here: Source: www.youtube.co…

Source: elirab.me/they-are-returning/

Kedainiai, Lithuania Website:

Source: kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/kedainiai/Home.html

Bielski Reunion in Belarus

Bielski Reunion in Forest Jerusalem 2019

Bielski Reunion in Forest Jerusalem 2019

    9 July 2019, Naliboki Forest A Day with the Bielskis 9:00 – All the guests are brought to the village of Naliboki by minivans.  11.00  – meeting Alexander Pilinkievich…

Source: elirab.me/bielski-reunion-in-forest-jerusalem-2/

Novogrudok, Belarus – Website

Source: kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/navahrudak/Home.html

Naliboki Belarus – Website

 

 

Kimberley Ex-Pats Newsletter #23

September 2019

Compiled by Leon Chonin, Toronto

LEON CHONIN <chonin@rogers.com>

It has been so inspiring for me to receive acknowledgement from former Kimberley chaverim who have enjoyed some of my articles that have been published on the Kimberley Jewish Community Kehilalinks website. Your feedback is encouraging and helps us to decide on the most popular material content that will create interest and interaction between our former Kimberley residents. I have covered some aspects of Jewish life in Kimberley, but I am sure there are others that I have not thought of and your suggestions will certainly stimulate research into the topic.

I was so pleased that several Ex-Kimberley people, some of whom have not been in touch before, have emailed us since the article I wrote about Jewish Education in Kimberley. (Eli has now posted this article and you can read it on the website here: https://elirab.me/kimberley-ex-pats-newsletter-22-2-2/)

From Marion Lewis (née Schild) Cape Town simonl@iafrica.com

Hi Leon, I remember in 1952 or 1953 you and I were in school together. We were in Sub A or B at Belgravia Junior school.  I was Marion Schild at that time, and now I am Marion Lewis living in Cape Town with my husband.  We have two children, a daughter Avril, living across the road from us in Sea Point and a son Simon, married in London. We have three lovely grandchildren.

We all had happy childhoods in Kimberley and were free to grow up in a normal society and all had a good education. I enjoyed reading your article on the early days with cheider classes.  Because I was of German parents, there were some children who did not understand much about the holocaust and how could there be German Jews in South Africa! My parents agreed that I did not have to attend cheider any more as the teacher did not want to get involved in the dispute!  Things were different in those days and believe it or not, we survived!

I married Leslie Lewis in 1966 whose sister CynthiaLewis was married to Lampy (Leib) Maresky, he died 6 years ago.  The Lewis’s always bragged that they found their diamonds from Kimberley.  Lampy’s parents were Sarah and David Maresky and his siblings were Mannie (Emanuel) and Ray who married Gummy Gamarov.  Lampy became a very well-loved physician in Cape town and he was highly respected in our community. I was very excited to connect with Harold Hecht a few months ago.  I have been trying to find Ruth Witepski but to no avail.  All I know is that she is married and living in Japan and is a nursery-school teacher.  Michael her brother lives in Johannesburg, but no one seems to know how to get in touch with him. I am in touch with Delia Benn (née Brown) and Bobby in America.  Here in Cape town we are friends with David Diamond, Daphne Gillis (née Toube), Sheila Grant, (née Frank) and Vicky Weinberg (née Capon).

Here is a picture of the Marion Lewis (née Schild) family, Cape Town

From the left: Leslie, Marion, Cathy our daughter-in-law, Avril our daughter and Simon our son. (Cathy & Simon live in London (UK). The children: Naomi (Simon & Cathy daughter), Matthew (Avril’s son) and Reuben (Simon & Cathy son). 

Thank you so much Marion for your email. It’s such an amazingly small world that Mannie Maresky son Neil was married to my brother-in-laws cousin, so we used to see him and Doreen on many yomtavim. (I am delighted to read that we had a crush on each other before I started shaving). Ruth Witepski I believe still lives in Japan and has a daughter. Her brother Michael is a Facebook friend but is non active. 

I appreciate your encouraging comments about my articles. I am trying to leave for our future generations a flavor of what Jewish life was like in the old South Africa but particularly Kimberley. If we don’t document our history, it will be lost and those who came before us will be forgotten.  Please keep in touch and if ever you visit Toronto again please look me up so that we can meet to call back the past and see if we still have that youthful sparkle?

From Beverly Solsky (née Buirski) Sydney solsky@tpg.com.au

Hi Leon
Hope you and your family are well. I read with nostalgia your piece on Jewish Education in Kimberley. I am not sure if you remember my sister Lynette and I? We used to live in Memorial Road a few houses down from the Jacobson’s. I remember my days in Habonim and still remember the songs we sang and certainly have a clear memory of you.

We left Kimberley to live in Cape Town when I was 12. I went to Belgravia Junior School and attended Cheder with Mrs Werner as our teacher. I so enjoy receiving the newsletters and reminiscing of the happy years spent in Kimberley.

We are now living in Sydney and every now and again I bump into Jack Klein, Robin Apter,  Shelley Jawno,  David Goldberg and Sharon Seidel to name a few. I see Shelley more than anyone else as we are socially friendly.

My husband and I are now retired and enjoying our 5 grandchildren who also attend a Jewish Day School continuing in the footsteps of their parents who all attended a Jewish Day School both here and in Cape Town before we emigrated in 1987. (You can see a lovely picture that Beverly sent of Rabbi and Rebbitzen Werner with 50 Kimberley children, including herself and her sister Lynette, and read her family story on the website under ‘Families’ Solsky here: https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/kimberley/Solsky.html).

I look forward to reading the next Newsletter which I understand you will be editing. We visited your beautiful city some years ago for a few days when we visited Canada and Alaska. Wishing you everything of the best. Fond regards, Beverly Solsky

Beverly, how could I ever forget all my Kimberley chaverim,. I remember you in our Habonim group and I can recall your sister, but the faces seem to be a dim memory. 

 

From Eleanor Kotkis kotkis@worldonline.co.za  

Hi Leon

I am Eleanor Finberg now known as Eleanor Kotkis. My husband and I have been married 46 years and we live in Joburg. We both still work. I work as a pharmacist. We have two children who are now in their 40’s. My how time flies! My daughter lives in Melbourne with her husband and 3 children and my son lives in London with his wife and 3 children. So, we are left here all alone. My children went to King David Linksfield school which gave them a fantastic education. They have followed the trend and their children are now going to Jewish schools in both Melbourne and London. We see them about once a year and were lucky enough to celebrate our eldest grandsons barmitzvah in April in Melbourne. Our youngest granddaughter is 3 living in Melbourne. My parents have both passed away. My mother 14 years ago and my dad, Mickey Finberg, 12 years ago. They were living in Joburg at the time. I wanted them here, so they lived in my house for a few years and then in Sandringham Gardens which is the Jewish home for the elderly

Eleanor. Sent from my iPhone.

Thanks so much Eleanor for your update. I am happy to include your profile in this newsletter we are circulating around the time of Rosh Hashana. Keep well and my regards to Ronny.

From Brenda Nathan (née Garsh) Johannesburg brenmail@telkomsa.net

Hi Leon. 
Have just received your articles on the different aspects of life In Kimberley and so enjoyed reading them. Having left so many years ago I still value the years of growing up there. I left Kimberley for Johannesburg in 1960 but still remember the close

Community life we led.

Kindest regards

Brenda (Garsh) Nathan

 

It was really wonderful to hear from you Brenda after almost 45 years. I think we matriculated very much at the same time. Although I lived in Joburg most of my life we never bumped into each other in all those years. I recall you had an older sister Jill and if I am not mistaken you have family living in Toronto. Please keep in touch and tell us your family stories.  

From Daphne Gillis (née Toube), Cape Town

Hi Geraldine
Thanks for your latest newsletter.  It is always wonderful to go back and think about one’s youth. Just a couple of thoughts about Jewish education for Leon.  Goldberg was a Reverend, not a Rabbi, but he taught most of the Barmitzvah boys; no Batmitzvah in my time.  Also, we had regular visits from the inspector for Hebrew education from Johannesburg.  He was Rabbi Jack Klewansky who was married to my mom’s sister, Lily (née Blumenthal). I did not enjoy his visits as languages were not my strongpoint. I did however go to Cheder classes until the end of my Std 9 year, 1947.  Most boys left after Barmitzvah. and girls about the same time.
Keep up the good work. Kind regards, Daphne Gillis.
(You can read more about the Klewansky family under ‘families’ on the website  https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/kimberley/Klewansky.html.Also, more on the Gillises (and Toubes) too, on the website under ‘Families’

 

From Trevor Toube, London,(Daphne’s brother)

Thanks Geraldine, for another interesting Newsletter.
Leon, you may not know that Anita Kaplan did Hebrew for Matric in 1955. Because she was doing the course, which included ‘Ivrit Chayah’ (modern Hebrew grammar) as well as Biblical text-works, Ivor Brown and I, who were a year behind her in school, attended all the classes – and that knowledge still informs the basis of my Hebrew. I was also the first child in Kimberley ‘in living memory’ [allegedly!] to layen the whole sedra for my barmitzvah (1952). I think I conducted the Friday evening service as well (I have certainly done that so very many times since – as well as most other services, so I must have learned to do so at some point). All the best, Trevor

Geraldine writes:  I have just come from celebrating Trevor’s 80thwith him and his family on 1 September in London. It began with a wonderful Shabbat Service at his shul, the New West End Synagogue in Bayswater, near Marble Arch, with a professional choir of 8 trained Jewish voices. Trevor, a very important minyan man – and much else for the synagogue, read the haftorah and a member of their choir,Benjamin Till, a professional composer,was commissioned to write a special new Yismechufor the occasion. They also sang Benjamin’s beautiful Ein Keloheinu. This beautiful service was followed by a great kiddush. (There are many South Africans in the community and a few months ago they apparently had a South African ‘brocha’ including chopped herring trimmed with grated boiled eggs and kichel!)  The celebrations continued on Sunday with a brunch at the home in Notting Hill Gate of his daughter Felicity.

Trevor, son of Abie and Violet Toube (née Blumenthal) pictured left at their wedding in the Kimberley shul in 1929) left Kimberley in 1957 to go to Rhodes University. He got his BSc (Hons) in 1960. Then in 1961,he got his MSc at Natal University, and received his PhD from Cambridge in 1965. Trevor – who was always reckoned to be super-bright, rose in the British academic field and was Senior Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at Queen Mary University of Londonwhen he retired. He then continued to lecture, this time to students from New York University. He married American, Sharlott Abramsin 1965, and they settled in North-East London, initially in Loughton and later in Woodford. 

Trevor and Sharlott had two children; Felicity, now a Queen’s Counseland David, the Director of Policy of Quilliam. He works in anti-extremism. Sharlott passed away in 2006and Trevor moved to Bayswater to be nearer to Felicity and his three Miller grandsons. Trevor’s son David, and his wife, who is a Judge, live in a village near Colchester with their two children.

Above is an iconic picture of ‘Blumenthal’s Corner’ Pan Road /Jones Street. Where the Toube’s ran their Central Jewellers emporium. It is opposite the SA PERM and Edgars and diagonally opposite the Dee Bee Bazaar with its iconic Clock Tower (once owned by the Klein Brothers) now at the Big Hole Museum.

(More pictures of and information about Jewish businesses can be seen on the website at the bottom of my business survey here https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/kimberley/Business.html)

Where have we all ended up?

Looking at the spread of our responses, I thought that another topic that would be of historical and communal interest is the migration patterns of our former Kimberley Jewish residents. Obviously, we are all aware were most of our former residents have moved to English speaking countries and to Israel but perhaps it may be of value to know who went where and why they decided to migrate to that country. And if their children have migrated anywhere else! Such a research paper would need the collaboration of those in the various countries and I would need a volunteer from each country to gather the data for me. Are there any chaverim out there interested in helping me.

How Jewish are our grandchildren?

Yet another topic I am considering is the threat of assimilation to the future viability and survival of small Jewish communities and how they can overcome this dilemma. Anti-Semitism is another growing threat to the safety of the Jewish people worldwide and I have considered documenting how we coped in Kimberley with this plague which may also require some impressions from former Jewish residents on whether or not they ever experienced any form of discrimination. Our generation grew up after the end of the Second World War but during the war years there was a very strong Afrikaner movement who supported Hitler and were not well disposed towards the Jewish community. Today the threat is from the fanatical Muslims and the so-called liberal left wing.  Again, I would welcome contributions from all Kimberley Jewish residents and non-residents.

Keeping in touchOur Common Bonds

While we may all live in different cities and countries, we all share that common heritage that we grew up in a small united Jewish community and were a close and vibrant bunch of men and women, boys and girls that gave us the values we hold onto today. Let us try to remember those former days by remaining in contact with each other for as long as we are all able to read and write.

I want to attract regular visitors to our Kehilalinks website. This is an amazing place to record and document the people and events in the Kimberley Jewish Community. The best way I can do it if we can provide interesting and current information. Please send your stories and photos and share our website with all the old Kimberley folk living in your region and ask them to contact me with their family status.

It would really stimulate interest if you could provide us with a recent family picture so that we can give all our old chaverim an idea of our maturing years.  Here below, by way of example, is my own family in June 2018 at my granddaughter Gemma’s Batmitzvah. 

Leon Chonin Family Photo, Toronto 2018

From the left: Kevin Moshal (son-in-law), Melissa Moshal (daughter), Megan Moshal (granddaughter), Gemma Moshal (granddaughter), Jayden Sussman (grandson), Clifford Sussman (son-in-law), Tanya Sussman (daughter), Dylan Sussman (grandson), Barbara Chonin (wife), Leon Chonin. Front row: Benjamin Moshal (grandson), Evan Sussman (grandson)

Have a look at  the visitors’ book section where we post your emails to us https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/kimberley/Visitors_Book.htmland our Newsletters which  https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/kimberley/News.htmlare all up on the site. and fill in the form in the ‘contact’ section to start your own family page.

On behalf of the editorial team, (Geraldine Eli and me) I wish you all a happy New Year and a meaningful Yom Kippur. May you all be inscribed in the book of life for another healthy joyous year and may you all share these high holidays with your loved ones. We look forward to hearing from you.  

Best regards

LEON CHONIN chonin@rogers.com   

Newsletter no 23 Compiled by Leon Chonin, Toronto, September 2019

 

Kimberley, South Africa

KehilaLink

Source: kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/kimberley/