Shabbat Nachamu

Maftir and Haftorah at the Nozyk Synagogue and related stories
Back From the Polish and Litvak Diaspora

I am pleased to advise that for those of you arriving early in Warsaw for the IAJGS Conference, I will be reciting / singing my barmitzvah Maftir and Haftorah at the Nozyk Synagogue on 28 July 2018 – Shabbat Nachamu.

My barmitzvah was held on 14 August 1965 – 16 Av 5725 at the Waverley Shul, Bramley in Johannesburg, South Africa.

My good friend Phillip Levy’s barmitzvah book  – our barmitzvahs were on the same day on 14 August 1965. We didn’t know each other yet!

Books as gifts

My zaida, Rev Nachum Mendel Rabinowitz

This is a significant milestone for our family both historically and genealogically speaking. My zaida, Rev Nachum Mendel Rabinowitz, left Poland in 1905 for Jerusalem, and then in 1911 for South Africa. I have sung in shul choirs in South Africa and Australia since 1960, but this will be the first time since 1905 that the voice of one of our Rabinowitz family will be heard in a shul in Poland! My zaida, my father and my uncle were all cantors.

In 2011 in Orla, I played a recording of my zaida from Johannesburg made in 1961


Nachum Mendel Rabinowitz in the Orla Synagogue

Nachum Mendel sings in Orla Synagogue, Poland


Now in 2018, I return not to play a recording, but to sing in the only synagogue in Warsaw that survived the Holocaust – a return to my roots!

My lecture at IAJGS: Back From the Polish and Litvak Diaspora: Virtual Journeys That Connect Us To Our Roots, is on Thursday 9 August at 4-5pm.


A repeat of my barmitzvah was held in Perth in 1992 – the invitation


Nozyk Synagogue 2018

Send-off from Noranda CHABAD Thursday 26 July 2018

Cantor Jakub Lichterman

The last cantor at the Nozyk before the Holocaust


The visit of the Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, the Ponevezh’s Rav to Cape Town in 1953. My zaida – Rev Nachum Mendel Rabinowitz – seated third from the left. Cantor Jakub Lichterman 2nd from the bottom right. 

Pinelands Cemetery, Cape Town

Vredehoek Shul Closing 1993


Vredehoek Shul Closing

8 August 1993 Cape Town South Africa – edited speech


Full video here (1 hour 19 mins)

Cape Town Kehilalink – Vredehoek Shul

Richard Shavei Tzion

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of his barmitzvah at Camps Bay Shul, Cape Town 

28 July 2018

Richard Shavei-Tzion Thanks so much Eli for posting the Sefer story. Here’s the continuation: 70 Years after its consecration and 20 years after I first came across and read from it, with HH’s permission I hope to borrow it for a Shabbat. Cheryl and I and our 3 daughters will be spending Shabbat Nachamu, 27-28/7/18 at the Camps Bay Shul, celebrating the 50th anniversary of my Barmitzvah. once again a special connection- the Sefer was installed just weeks after the founding of the State of Israel, now to be used by Jerusalem family with all the significance attached to the number 70 in Jewish tradition. All Blochs-Saevitzons-Sloans-Wienburgs invited to the Brocha after Shabbat morning service. 
Richard Shavei-Tzion
Richard in 1968


The Bloch Sefer Torah

The Bloch Sefer Torah

More about Aphraim and Chava and the Bloch & Cynkin Families: Source: The visit to Cape Town from Israel by Beverly Jacobson and her children on …



With Miriam and Ivor Lichterman 2018

The Cape Town Holocaust Centre

Herzlia School 2018

Miriam and Ivor Lichterman at Highlands House 2018

With Cantors Ivor Lichterman & Joffe at Cafe Rieteve 2018

The Global Partisan Song Project 2018


The Global Partisan Song Project

Every year on Yom Hashoah – the Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and Heroism, Holocaust survivors and Jewish communities sing the song Zog Nit Keynmol (‘W…



JewishGen Success Stories

Featured on the new JewishGen Success Stories site:

Click on the image or source link below to read the article.

Finding Mr. Katz – Success! Stories of Connection

This story is a sequel to From One Photograph to a Journey of Discovery, my research into the tragic romance of my great-uncle Moshe Rabinowitz and Paula Lichtzier, recently published by JewishGen.


Success stories main page:


New photos of great uncle Moshe Zalman Rabinowitz found by my cousin Hadara Boczko in Israel

My zaida Nachum Mendel Rabinowitz and his brother Moshe Zalman

Moshe in Orla, Poland

Moshe – top left with friends?

Posted from Orla, Poland to Volksrust, Transvaal, South Africa

Talks in South Africa

In Johannesburg


Sunday 5 February at 7.30pm

Please join us for a presentation by


Traces and Memories of Jewish Life
Connecting to our Litvak Shtetls

Eli Rabinowitz’s presentation has been compiled from six visits to Litvak lands.
His collection of photos and stories showcases:
– the shtetl, where most South Africans originated
– the people on the ground memorialising the shtetl
– the Tolerance Education Centres in schools
– the use of online resources to advance your own heritage research

“How will our children know who they are, if they don’t know where they came from?” —John Steinbeck

Eli Rabinowitz (ex- South Africa) is involved in Jewish community activities, filming events, photographing, researching, lecturing internationally and blogging on Jewish life and heritage. He presented at the IAJGS 2015 conference in Jerusalem. He manages 76 KehilaLinks websites for JewishGen. He led the first JewishGen Virtual Heritage Tour of Europe. Eli lives in Perth, Australia.

WHEN: Sunday 5 February at 7.30pm
DONATION: R90.00 (including refreshments)
VENUE: Clive M Beck Auditorium
               Rabbi Cyril Harris Community Centre (RCHCC)
               cnr Glenhove Rd & 4th Street Houghton, East of the M1 
BOOKING: Hazel or René (011 728 8088/8378) After Hours (011 728 8378)
email: or

Bank details:
Nedbank Norwood      Code: 191905
Account name: RCHCC
Account number: 1920 116 699

Please put your name as reference

In Cape Town

Traces and Memories of Jewish Life

Connecting to our Litvak shtetls

Eli Rabinowitz’s presentation has been compiled from six visits to Litvak lands

His collection of photos and stories showcases:

– the shtetl, where most South Africans originated 

– the people on the ground memorialising the shtetl

– the Tolerance Education Centres in schools 

– the use of online resources to advance your own heritage research

Gardens Synagogue – Nelson Mandela Auditorium

 8 February 2017 at 7:30 pm

My Upcoming Talks at the Great Park & Gardens Shuls

 Traces and Memories of Jewish Life  Connecting to our Litvak shtetls The Great Park Synagogue RCHCC, Johannesburg 5 February 2017 at 7:30pm and The Nelson Mandela Auditorium at the Gardens Shul, C…


Two Talks In Jo’burg & Cape Town

Hi all
I am giving two talks, in Johannesburg next Tuesday 25 August and in Cape Town on Thursday 3 September.
I look forward to seeing you there, if you are in town.
Here are the details:
Gitkin Advert
Plus, I will report back on the recent IAJGS35 International Jewish Genealogical Conference in Jerusalem in July.
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At the Jewish Genealogical Society South Africa
on Tuesday 25 August 2015 at 7pm for 7:30pm
at the HOD Hall
58 Oaklands Road
JohannesburgRSVP by 24 Aug
Tel: 011-486-2188
At the Jacob Gitlin Library
on Thursday 3 September 2015 5:30pm for 6pm
88 Hatfield Street
Cape TownRSVP by 27 August
Tel: 021-462-5088
Paula & Moshe
 Microsoft Word - Paula Lichtzier and Moshe (her fiancee) and his
Israel July 2015
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A Fabulous Time In Israel

I was in Israel to lecture at the IAJGS35, the International Jewish Genealogical conference in Jerusalem.


Uncle Moshe Orla 1920 s

Besides my lecture, this video is my moment of fame at the conference: JewishGen’s Avrami Groll presenting new projects for this year

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Here are some images of people I met at the conference

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I was also able to travel around and take other photos outside of the conference. Included are unusual street signs in Ashkelon, meeting Dan Brotman and the visiting ANC Youth Leaders in the Old City, the Humus Bar in the Carmel Shuk that was once a synagogue, meeting for the first time – 30 of my cousins from one family in Sumaria, and my talk on my Litvak heritage travels at Beit Protea in Herzlia.

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Israel is full of fun, family and a fabulous place to visit!

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Scooter cam: A fun scooter ride with cousin Nachi before shabbat from Kiryat Moshe to Machane Yehuda

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