Yom Hazikaron and Zoref

My third great grandfather, Avraham Shlomo Zalman Zoref, was the first official victim of terror in the modern era, recognised by the State of Israel – see below.

The first official victim of terror

The first official victim of terror

Rabbi Avraham Shlomo Zalman Tzoref was killed trying to rebuild the Hurva Synagogue in 1851.

Source: www.haaretz.com/1.4977625

Shlomo Zalman Zoref
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rabbi Avraham Shlomo Zalman Zoref also known as Ibrahim Salomon (1786-1851), born in Kėdainiai, was one of the first pioneers who rebuilt the Ashkenazi Jewish community in Jerusalem in the beginning of the 19th century.

After making Aliyah and arriving in Ottoman Jerusalem, in 1824 the rabbi was sent to Constantinople by the head of the Perushim of Jerusalem, and succeeded in procuring a royal firman, commanding the kadi of Jerusalem to enforce the declaration of debt annualization concerning the Ashkenazi Jewish community of Jerusalem.[1]

With the annexation of Jerusalem by Muhammad Ali of Egypt in 1831, a window of opportunity arose for the Perushim. On 23 June 1836, after traveling to Egypt, rabbi Zoref, together with the backing of the Austrian and Russian consuls in Alexandria, obtained the long-awaited firman for the reconstruction of the Hurva Synagogue.

Zoref became deeply engaged with Jewish lands seized by the creditors in Jerusalem and appeased the Arabs with annual bribes, but at some point the arrangement ceased and they tried to kill him. One night he was shot at by an unknown assailant who missed but later drowned after falling into a cistern. On a second occasion he was attacked on his way to prayers early one morning. In 1851, Zoref was struck on the head with a sword and died of his wounds three months later.[2]

The first official victim of terror


Kedainiai, Lithuania
Kedainiai, Lithuania

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


Sammy Marks & Heiny Ellert

Two men who came from the same town of Neishtot-Tavrig  in Lithuania

Sammy Marks square in Pretoria is one of the best known landmarks in South Africa’s capital city, but how many people actually know who Sammy Marks was?

The interesting history of Sammy Marks on Simcha TV (South Africa SABC) with Prof Richard Mendelsohn (ret) UCT History Dept.

Simcha TV

Simcha is SABC 2’s Jewish Magazine programme aimed at allowing Jews to celebrate their life of faith and culture and offering others an opportunity to learn about Judaism.

Naumiestis, Lithuania

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

This town in Lithuania has over time been known as eleven different names!
Heiny Ellert
Another son of this town is Heiny Ellert, who lives in Perth Australia
Heiny’s  story is also on the above KehilaLink
Heiny Ellert’s Testimony

Heiny Ellert’s Testimony

Heiny Ellert, a Lithuanian Holocaust survivor, tells his story to Eli Rabinowitz. Accompanying him is his wife Toby, also from Lithuania, but who escaped to …

Source: youtu.be/118HN2_NYHs

His photebook is also on the KehilaLink:
Photo book


Yom Hashoah – The Partisans’ Song Legacy

Commencing tonight, on 20 April 2020, and continuing tomorrow, on the 21st, corresponding to the 27th day of Nisan, the State of Israel and many Jews around the globe, commemorate the six million Jews who perished in the  Holocaust, as well as the heroism of survivors, and Jewish Partisans and rescuers.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and global lockdown, regular ceremonies will not be held.

We have compiled this YouTube highlights video to give you a perspective of why the the Partisans’ Song is so integral to a meaningful commemoration:

Educators and students are welcome to download a functional powerpoint presentation (1.8gb) that matches this video:


I can also run an online ZOOM presentation for your school or organisation.   Please contact me at  eli@elirab.com to arrange this. There is no charge for this or the accompanying lesson plans and films.

Here is a pdf of the List of Slides on my presentation:

A List of Slides


Here is more information for you:

Yom Hazikaron laShoah ve-laG’vurah or Holocaust Remembrance Day.

In Israel, flags are lowered to half-mast, there is no public entertainment; ceremonies are held, and a siren at 10:00 signals the start of two minutes of silence.

The ceremonies held, usually conclude with Zog Nit Keynmol, the Partisans’ Song and Hatikvah.


Zog nit keyn mol” (Never Say; Yiddish: זאָג ניט קיין מאָל‎, [zɔg nit kɛjn mɔl]) or “Partizaner lid” (Partisan Song) is a Yiddish song considered one of the chief anthems of the Holocaust survivors and is sung in memorial services around the world.

The lyrics of the song were written in 1943 by Hirsh Glick, a young Jewish inmate of the Vilna Ghetto. The title means “Never Say”, and derives from the first line of the song. Glick’s lyrics were set to music from a pre-war Soviet song written by Pokrass brothers, Dmitri and Daniel, “Терская походная” (Terek Cossacks’ March Song), also known as “То не тучи – грозовые облака” (Those aren’t clouds but thunderclouds), originally from the 1937 film I, Son of Working People (story by Valentin Kataev).

Glick was inspired to write the song by news of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. During World War II, “Zog nit keyn mol” was adopted by a number of Jewish partisan groups operating in Eastern Europe. It became a symbol of resistance against Nazi Germany‘s persecution of the Jews and the Holocaust.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


For more information on the WE ARE HERE! Foundation, a not for profit organisation, please visit:

WE ARE HERE! For Upstanders

WE ARE HERE! For Upstanders

For Upstanders – Founded by Eli Rabinowitz

Source: wah.foundation


Sea Point March 2020

Sea Point, Cape Town

29 February 20
Tea at the Winchester Mansions Hotel

Beachfront Walk

6 March 20

With Ian Stein and Dimitri Coutras

Cheryl Edwards

Foggy morning on the SEA POINT beachfront

7 March 20

Marais Road, Sea Point

Bordeaux – cnr Beach Road &  Marais Road

Ruemer Court  – I lived here from 1967 to 1975. Rent – R48 per month!

Green & Sea Point Hebrew Congregation

Queens Road – house once owned by my Zeldin grandparents

Ian & Irene Stein

Leaving Cape Town


Socher and Chassia moved to Queens Road Sea Point in 1953.

Socher Zeldin outside his Queens Road house.
Socher and Chassia Zeldin – outside their house in Sea Point
Socher and Chassia, their 5 married daughters and their husbands.


11 of the 15 his Cape Town grandchildren.

The founding of the Arthurs Road Shul, Sea Point in 1953
Socher passed away on Guy Fawkes Day – 5 Nov 1958 aged 77.
Pinelands #1

Clifton Beach, Cape Town

Clifton was originally called Skoenmakers Gat (Cobbler’s Cave) after a ship deserter who lived in a cave above second beach – see Wiki below

Here are some of my photos on a magnificent March day!

Believe it or not, the water was not freezing, and so I had a quick swim after the walk to Moses’ Beach from 4th Beach and then back, followed by a delicious Gatti’s Granadilla Fruit Sherbet ice lolly! Nothing like it! Yum!

In the old days, we never went to Clifton for a swim, only to socialise. For a swim, we went to Muizenberg on the False Bay coast in the morning, before the South-Easter came in! See my previous post on Muizenberg.

One way of finding out the weather in Muizenberg in the old days was to call the Muizenberg Police Station or a hotel for a weather report. They always answered very positively, but by the time we got there, the wind was up and unpleasant. Were they really being honest? So we sheltered between the rows of boxes or in  Snake Pit corner. The boxes have mostly disappeared, and the ones that remain, are in poor condition. The water is much warmer there, but also difficult to swim when the bluebottles washed in! Muizenberg is great for surfers!

On Clifton, the beaches are numbered First, Second, Third, Fourth and Moses’ Beach. At different stages in our own histories, we frequented different beach numbers. First was the beach for students in our time, sometimes Second was, and Fourth was the “family” beach. In those days, Third was the domain of gays, and Moses Beach was for those who wanted some seclusion.  It should be noted that when the tide was in, it wasn’t always straightforward to get from one beach to another.

On the Atlantic Coast, the water at Saunders Rock, at the end of Sea Point, is rather cold, but not a breath of wind!

There are also numerous beaches on the Sea Point Atlantic coast, but not as popular. Several have rock pools for protected swimming.  Rocklands is directly opposite my old high school, Sea Point High School  (Boys’ High in my time at school) 

So, take your pick!

Notice the mezuzah on the house doorway above Clifton Second Beach!

Clifton, Cape Town – Wikipedia

Clifton, Cape Town – Wikipedia

Clifton is an affluent suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. It is an exclusive residential area and is home to the most expensive real estate in South Africa,[2] with dwellings nestled on cliffs that have sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean.[3]

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clifton,_Cape_Town

Saunder’s Rock

Saunders Rock

Saunders Rock Beach in Bantry Bay, Cape Town

Saunders Rock Beach in Bantry Bay, Cape Town

Saunders Rock Beach in Bantry Bay, Cape Town. Saunders’ Rocks Beach, so named because of the imposing granite rocks that are a feature of this mostly …

Source: www.sa-venues.com/things-to-do/westerncape/saunders-rock-beach/

Cape Town KehilaLink


Jewish Community of  Cape Town

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

Muizenberg: A Walk and a Swim

Amazing Muizenberg weather at the beginning of March 2020

Low tide and no South Easter!

Great memories!
The Walk to St James
St James
Back in Muizenberg
Gail and Arnold Sharp
Muizenberg – Wikipedia

Muizenberg – Wikipedia

Muizenberg (Dutch for “mice mountain”) is a beach-side suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. It is situated where the shore of the Cape Peninsula curves round to the east on the False Bay coast. It is considered to be the main surfing spot in Cape Town and is currently home to a surfing community, centered on the popular ‘Surfer’s Corner’.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muizenberg

Muizenberg KehilaLink


The Muizenberg Kehilalink

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

54th Yahrzeit Rev N.M. Rabinowitz

54th Yahrzeit  – 8 Nissan  5780 – 2 April 2020

My Zaida, Rev Nachum Mendel Rabinowitz

Nachum Mendel ben Avrom Yaakov


Volksrust, South Africa

(from SA Jewish Life in the Country Communities book just published) 


Vredehoek Shul, Cape Town

Arthurs Road Shul, Sea Point, Cape Town

The visit of Rav Kahaneman to Cape Town

Rev NM  – second row from The front, third from the left



Descendants of Rev NM Rabinowitz

Nachum Mendel Rabinowitz – Descendant Chart


Eli Rabinowitz talks about his family from Orla | Virtual Shtetl

Eli Rabinowitz talks about his family from Orla | Virtual Shtetl

My name is Eli Rabinowitz. I live in Perth, Australia.  My three siblings live in New York, Israel and South Africa. I am married to Jill Reitstein (originally Rotzstejn, from Nasielsk). 

Source: sztetl.org.pl/en/towns/o/682-orla/104-cultural-texts/139505-eli-rabinowitz-talks-about-his-family-orla


elirab.digital historical audio

Rev NM Rabinowitz benching with two of his sons, Leib and Harry, at Sorrel and Gidon Katz’s wedding in Johannesburg 1961

Source: elirab.com/Audio.html

Zaida with me at 107 Corlette Drive, Birnam, Johannesburg.

My People Of South Africa

February / March 2020

Cape Town


Jewish Community of  Cape Town

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




Johannesburg, South Africa

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

Other KehilaLinks


Lithuania Alita (Alytus) Aran (Varena) Balbieriškis Birzh (Birzai) Druskieniki (Druskininkai) Keidan (Kedainiai) Kibart (Kybartai) Kopcheve (Kapciamiestis)  Koshedar (Kaisiadorys) Mariampol (M…

Source: elirab.me/kehila