Rabbi Shalom Coleman in the News

9 December 2021


Perth’s Rabbi Dr Shalom Coleman celebrates his 103rd birthday


Rabbi Shalom Coleman – 103! – Mazeltov!

With long standing friends from the Bloemfontein days, Barney and Myra Wasserman, taken last week at the Perth Jewish Centre.

Here are photos and items reposted from my previous posts

The People’s Rabbi

Rabbi Shalom Coleman

Who Am I!

Watch Video:

Source: youtu.be/bD4pm_sQ1HE


Source: elirab.com/Coleman.html


by Raymond Apple, emeritus rabbi of the Great Synagogue, Sydney

 Bio about 10 years ago

Small in size but a giant in stature – that describes Rabbi Shalom Coleman, who changed the face of Judaism in Western Australia. Thanks to his refusal to give up or give in, a sleepy, distant community was set on the path to becoming a lively centre of orthodoxy. Rabbi Coleman is now over 90, hopefully with three more decades of work ahead until the proverbial 120.

Born into an orthodox family in Liverpool on 5 December, 1918, he was both a student and a man of action from his youth. At the University of Liverpool he gained a BA degree with honours, plus a Bachelor of Letters in Hebrew and Ancient Semitic Languages and Egyptology. His education was interrupted by World War II when he served with the Royal Air Force as a wireless operator/air gunner on missions in France and Western Europe, and in 1944 he was recruiting officer in England for the Jewish Brigade Group. He returned to university in 1945 as tutor, review writer and librarian.   At Jews’ College, he gained rabbinic ordination in 1955.  He also undertook postgraduate studies in Semitic languages at Pembroke College, Cambridge.

In 1947, at the suggestion of the then Chief Rabbi of South Africa, Dr Louis Rabinowitz, he went to the Potchefstroom Hebrew Congregation in the Transvaal and then served the Bloemfontein Hebrew Congregation in the Orange Free State from 1949-1960.  Whilst in South Africa, he gained an MA at the University of Pretoria and a PhD at the University of the Orange Free State for a thesis entitled “Hosea Concepts in Midrash and Talmud”.

He was chairman of the Adult Education Council (English Section) of the Orange Free State and vice-president of the Victoria League, and introduced essay and oratory contests for schools. As a military chaplain he was active in the ex-service movement and was awarded the Certificate of Comradeship, the highest award of the MOTHS (Memorable Order of Tin Hats). He edited a Jewish community journal called “HaShomer” and an anniversary volume for the 150th anniversary of the Orange Free State.

In 1961 he came to Sydney as rabbi of the South Head Synagogue. He was a member of the Sydney Beth Din, vice-president of the NSW Board of Jewish Education and director of the David J. Benjamin Institute of Jewish Studies, for whom he edited three volumes of proceedings. He established a seminary for the training of Hebrew teachers. He lectured at the University of Sydney and wrote a thesis entitled “Malachi in Midrashic Analysis” for a DLitt.

In 1964 he received the Robert Waley Cohen Scholarship of the Jewish Memorial Council, using it for research into adult education in South-East Asia, Israel and the USA. In 1965 he became rabbi of the Perth Hebrew Congregation in Western Australia.  He held office until retirement in 1985.

He determined to turn Perth into a Makom Torah. He obtained land as a gift in trust from the State Government for a new synagogue, youth centre and minister’s residence in an area where the Jewish community lived in Mount Lawley, replacing the original downtown Shule.   At that time few members were Shom’rei Shabbat. Further initiatives led to a kosher food centre in the Synagogue grounds; a mikveh; a genizah  for the burial of outworn holy books and appurtenances; a Hebrew Academy where high school students met daily, and extra classes four days a week at a nearby state school.

He taught for the Department of Adult Education of the University of WA and served on the Senate of Murdoch University. He was an honorary professor at Maimonides College in Canada, led educational tours to Israel for non-Jewish clergy and teachers, lectured to religious groups, schools and service organisations, and wrote booklets so people of all faiths could understand Jews and Judaism. Talks with the Minister of Education led to a Committee of National Consciousness in Schools, which he chaired; the Minister called his work “invaluable”.

Known as “the rabbi who never stops”, he was a member of the Karrakatta and Pinarroo Valley Cemetery Boards and wrote two histories for them to mark the State’s 150th anniversary in 1979 and the Australian Bicentenary in 1988. He was a member of the Perth Dental Hospital Board and chaired the Senior Appointments Committee and then the Board. The North Perth Dental Clinic is now known as the Shalom Coleman Dental Clinic.

A Rotarian since 1962, first in Sydney and then in Perth, he was President 1985/86 and Governor 1993/9, representative of the World President in 1995, and representative of WA Rotary at the UN Presidential Conference in San Francisco in 1995. He was co-ordinator of the District Ethics and Community Service Committees and chaired the Bangladesh Cyclone Warning Project, which saved the lives of 40,000 residents of the chief fishing port of Bangladesh. He received a certificate of appreciation as District Secretary of Probus Centre, South Pacific. He has spoken at conferences all over the world and is a patron of the Family Association of WA. He has been a vice-president of Save the Children Fund since 1967.

He was a foundation member of the Perth Round Table and their first lecturer. He is still an honorary military chaplain and was on the executive of the Returned Services League and edited their “Listening Post” from 1989-91. He holds high rank in Freemasonry. He is honorary rabbi at the Maurice Zeffertt Centre for the Aged and was made a Governor of the Perth Aged Home Society in 2004. After several years as president of the Australian and New Zealand rabbinate his colleagues made him honorary life president. Several times he went to NZ as interim rabbi for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. He shines in the pulpit, and is a fine chazzan.  He has received awards from the Queen and the Australian Government. The University of WA gave him an honorary LLD in April 2000.  He is still, despite his age, a prolific speaker and writer; travels widely and his services are in constant demand.

In 1942 he married Bessie Anna Daviat, who died in 1982.   He has a son in Melbourne, a daughter in the USA, grandchildren and great- grandchildren. He married Elena Doktorovich in 1987; she died in 1997.

Small in stature, Rabbi Coleman is a giant in energy, enterprise and enthusiasm, and is one of Australia’s best known figures. Largely thanks to him, Judaism is strong in Perth, with five synagogues, a Chabad House, a Jewish school, a fine kashrut system, and many shi’urim; his own Talmud shi’ur is legendary. No longer is it a struggle to be Jewish in Western Australia.

The Community Rabbi
With Rabbi Dan Lieberman
With Rivka Majteles
With Rabbi Dovid Freilich and the Blitz Family
With Rabbi Marcus Solomon, Eli Rachamim & Eli Rabinowitz
With Eli Rabinowitz & Joanna Fox

Spiritual Treasure – Book Launch at the Perth Hebrew Congregation

Source: elirab.me/spiritual-treasure-book-launch-at-the-perth-hebrew-congregation/

Rabbi Coleman and The Bloemfontein Reunion

Rabbi Coleman and Bloemfontein Reunion

Rabbi Coleman reminisces about his time in Bloemfontein as Jewish Spiritual Leader – 1949 to 1959.  Perth, Australia 3 February 2016

Watch Video:

Source: youtu.be/GVUN1PtPD0g


Harry’s 19th Yahrzeit

Tonight, 10 Heshvan 5782, 15 October 2020,  is the 19th yahrzeit of my dad, Cantor Hirsh Zvi (Harry) Rabinowitz

Harry’s abridged ancestral family tree (extends to over 20 generations)

Harry was born in Volksrust, Transvaal,  South Africa on 28 September 1914.

Volksrust – Wikipedia

Volksrust is a town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa near the KwaZulu-Natal provincial border, some 240 km southeast of Johannesburg, 53 km north of Newcastle and 80 km southeast of Standerton.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volksrust

To hear sound clips of Harry (plus others) including Chief Rabbi Louis Rabinowitz, click on this image below:

Here is a collection of images to remember him on his yahrzeit.

With his parents and two older brothers Leib and Isaac, who were born in Jerusalem.

His two younger sisters Rachel and Sarah were born in Cape Town.


Harry was a musician and cantor, a baritone who sang in many languages in concerts, recitals, operattas and on radio

Here is a small selection from his scrapbook:


On the radio

He was often accompanied by his sister Rachel Rabinowitz, a concert pianist.

Harry made a record of Popular Yiddish Melodies with Solly Aronowsky’s orchestra on His Masters Voice

Chazonim Oif Probe – an entertaining track from the LP

A review

With my mother, Rachel

With me, my mom, aunty Rachel and my bobba, Chana Chesha Miriam

With other world class chazonim in Johannesburg, including Moshe Stern and Johnny Gluck.

Singing with his choir

His matseva at West Park Cemetery, Johannesburg

With Jill in shul at yahrzeit memorial board


Miriam Lichterman – A Treasured Jewel


Link to the full document:


Nozyk Synagogue 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

Source: youtu.be/RGsYvLVsSpc

Full video here (1 hour 19 mins)


Cape Town Kehilalink – Vredehoek Shul

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

Source: youtu.be/tnaCtuqVBgg

Chana Chesha Herison Rabinowitz 55th Yahrzeit

Today, 30 Tishri 5782, 6 October 2021,  is the 55th yahrzeit of my bobba, Chana Chesha Herison Rabinowitz

14 October 1966 – 30 Tishri 5727

Chana Chesha’s abridged ancestral family tree (extends to over 20 generations)

Chana Chesha Miriam Herison – Ancestor Chart

Chana Chesha was born in Jerusalem

Here is a collection of images to remember her on her yahrzeit.

With her sons Harry (my dad), Leib & Isaac, and my Zaida Nachum Mendel

Her daughters Rachel and Sarah , who were born in Cape Town.

My dad Harry, me, my mom Ray, & aunty Rachel, & my bobba, Chana Chesha

Chana Chesha Herison Rabinowitz

Ray’s 20th Yahrzeit

Ray (Raele) Zeldin Rabinowitz’s 20th Yahrzeit tonight, 4th Av

To play Mamele on Facebook, click here:


Momele by Cantor Yanky Lemmer – 2 July 2015

Ray was born on 11 May 1919 in Dvinsk, now Daugavpils, Latvia.

She passed away on 24 July 2001 in Cape Town, South Africa

Ray passed away on 24 July 2001.

The last photo

Academic Article on Orla by Wojciech Konończuk

Author: Wojciech Konończuk — political scientist and historian, deputy director of the Centre for Eastern Studies in Warsaw; specializes in problems of contemporary Eastern European countries, the history of Jews in the Russian Empire and the Second Polish Republic, and deportations of Polish citizens to Siberia during the Second World War. Contact: wojtekk7@wp.pl

Heinrich, Marek, Ray, Eli, Jill & Wojciech at the Orla Synagogue in 2012

Wykazuja_najwyzsza_sklonnosc_do_emigrac (1)

English Translation (Google)

Wojciech Article Adademia Eng Trans

Extract from the above article

Page 7


“They show the highest tendency to emigrate” thousands of other migrants from Lithuania. According to the census of 1911, 47 thousand Jews lived in South Africa, many of whom were Lithuanians, although there were also Jews from Podlasie.

Nachum Mendel Skaryszewski (Rabinowitz) & his brother,  Moshe Zalman Rabinowitz from Orla

An example is Nachum Mendel Skaryszewski from Orla, who first emigrated to Palestine, from where in 1911  he moved to South Africa. After a few years, he was joined by his brother, sister and several other residents of his native shtetl (20) .

Migration level of Jews was so significant that already in 1895,  there were voices calling until the border is closed to them, and South Africa playfully was called the “colony of Lithuania” 21 .

Relatively little popularity before the outbreak of World War I, Palestine, which was part of the Ottoman Empire, enjoyed this manski, where in the first (1882-1903) and second (1904-1914) aliji came over 40 thousand. Russian Jews, including 23,000 in years 1905–1914 22 . They came mainly from the Ukrainian lands, in the most more affected by pogroms at the beginning of the 20th century. Funds from numerous Zionist organizations were gathered to buy land in Palestine, and one of the largest was founded in 1912. Białystok Society Land purchase, supporting the departures of Białystok Jews 23 . As it follows, according to the findings of Gur Alroey, emigration to Palestine was caused by not only the idea of ​​Zionism, but this area was also seen as a potential attractive place to live, and thus the reasons for emigration did not differ from those related to going to the USA 24 . Interesting there is also the level of returns from Palestine, possibly emigration from there to the US or another country was very high and in the period before at the outbreak of World War I, it ranged from 50 to 75 percent. 25  It was from a difficult climate, poverty, limited possibilities of finding work, relative proximity to the migrants’ place of origin, but also disenchantment with Zionism 26 .

20  E. Rabinowitz, Personal Journeys. From One Photograph to Journeys of Research and Discovery , Avotayline Online, August 31, 2016, http://avotaynuonline.com/2016/08/from-one-photograph-to-journeys-of-research-and-discovery (access: February 17, 2020).

21  A. Żukowski, Konsekwencje , p. 128; HR Diner, Roads Taken , p. 36.

22  G. Alroey, An Unpromising Land , p. 110.

23  R. Kobrin, Żydowski Białystok and its diaspora , Sejny – Białystok 2014, pp. 67–68.

24  G. Alroey, An Unpromising Land , pp. 61, 233.

25  Ibid, pp. 211-217, 236.

Also further down in the article


Wojciech Konończuk

Table 2. Emigration of inhabitants of Bielsko and Orla to the USA in the years 1885–1914

It should be emphasized that the above calculations do not give the full picture Jewish emigration from both localities, and only provide information about confirmed newcomers to the United States. Uses- the scanned numbers are certainly far from complete for several reasons.

Firstly, as already mentioned, in relation to some of the migration documents, However, the record of a person’s place of origin is unclear or it was written distorted. Thus, it made it impossible the identification of all emigrants from both places.

Secondly, the data included in the table do not include migration from Bielsko and Orla to other countries, which – if data for departures of Jews from the Empire are accepted Russian – was 22 percent. -all migrants.

We have source confirmation of emigration in both surveyed towns Jews living there to Argentina, South Africa and Palestine 43 .

Third, many Jews from smaller towns were leaving, the most first to larger cities, then emigrate from there abroad nothing. As a result, American migration statistics often show their whereabouts, not of origin, appeared. In case of Bielsko and Orla, such a natural center was Białystok 44, 50 km away .

43  For example: in 1905, Aryeh Levin from Orla (1885-1969) emigrated to Palestine, in later years a famous rabbi and teacher; in 1907, Bielski left for Argentina Jew Dawid Abraham Gail (R. Gail, The Gail Family. From Bielsko to Argentina and the USA , “Bielski Hostineć “2019, 2, pp. 63–64); 

in 1911 the above-mentioned Nachum Mendel Skaryszewski, and shortly after him, several other Orla residents emigrated to South Africa                    (E. Rabinowitz, op. Cit.).

Rabinowitz Eli, Personal Journeys. From One Photograph to Journeys of Research and Disco- very, Avotayline Online, 31 VIII 2016, http://avotaynuonline.com/2016/08/ from-one-photograph-to-journeys-of-research-and-discovery (dostęp: 17 II 2020).

A Tragic Romance & Finding Mr Katz
by Eli rabinowitz

A Tragic Romance & Finding Mr Katz

This story is divided into: A Tragic Romance (From One Photograph to Journeys of Research & Discovery) and Finding Mr Katz   Finding Mr Katz by Eli Rabinowitz Finding Mr Katz is an importa…

Source: elirab.me/litvak-portal/a-tragic-romance/

Heinrich, Marek, Ray, Eli, Jill & Wojciech at the Orla Synagogue 2012

Contact: eli@elirab.com

Afrikaner-Jewish relationship ((Part 1)

How true a reflection of the Afrikaner-Jewish relationship was the pre-1948 antisemitism of the Afrikaner Press and Politicians? ((Part 1) – SA Jewish Board of Deputies

How true a reflection of the Afrikaner-Jewish relationship was the pre-1948 antisemitism of the Afrikaner Press and Politicians? ((Part 1) – SA Jewish Board of Deputies

East European Jews en route to South Africa, Rosh Hashanah 1903

Ivan Kapelus considers the respective histories and complex relationship between of two distinct South African communities

Source: www.sajbd.org/media/how-true-a-reflection-of-the-afrikaner-jewish-relationship-was-the-pre-1948-antisemitism-of-the-afrikaner-press-and-politicians-part-1

The former Calvinia synagogue, now a museum (Courtesy: SA Friends of Beth Hatefutsoth)

Boer graves and monument, Krugersdorp concentration camp

Online Jewish Genealogical Society Talk

Online Jewish genealogy resources to be focus of Jewish Genealogical Society talk on 23 May 2021

Online Jewish genealogy resources to be focus of Jewish Genealogical Society talk on 23 May 2021

Eli Rabinowitz, a board member of the IAJGS who lives in Australia and is from South Africa, will speak on “Journeys from Shtetl to Shtetl” for the Sunday, 23 May 2021, virtual meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. His live streaming presentation will begin at a special time: 7:30 pm CST.

8:30 pm ES 5:30 pm WST

Monday 24 May 2021: 10:30 am Sydney, 8:30 am Perth, 3:30 am Israel, 2:30 am South Africa, 1:30 am UK

Registration https://jgsi.org/event-3988686

After you register, you will be sent a link to join the meeting. This webinar will be recorded so that JGSI’s paid members who are unable to view it live will be able to view the recording later.

For more information, see https://jgsi.org or phone 312-666-0100.

In his presentation, Rabinowitz will explain how to trace our past and plot our future, using 88 KehilaLinks, over 800 WordPress blog entries, Facebook posts, and other social media. He will also discuss heritage travels in the actual and virtual worlds.

In his talk, Eli will describe special events including commemorations and reunions of descendants. “An important activity is to visit a local school—either physically or online, to engage with students, especially in towns where a few buildings with Jewish symbols, or cemeteries that often contain illegible matsevot, are the only tangible memories of a once thriving community,” he said.

It is also important that family histories should be documented and shared at the same time as the special events, Eli said.

Examples of such recent ceremonies were the Bielski partisans’ descendants’ reunion in Naliboki and Navahrudak, Belarus; the new memorial for victims of the massacre that took place near Birzai, Lithuania; and the groundbreaking ceremony for the Lost Shtetl Museum in Šeduva, Lithuania.

Eli Rabinowitz was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and has lived in Perth, Australia, since 1986. He has researched his family’s genealogy and associated Jewish cultural history for over 30 years. Eli has travelled extensively, writing about Jewish life, travel, and education on his website, Tangential Travel and Jewish Life (http://elirab.me). He writes and manages dozens of JewishGen KehilaLinks and more than 750 WordPress blog posts. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy. Eli has lectured internationally at educational institutions, commemorative events, at IAJGS and other conferences, and online.

He is a board member of the IAJGS—The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, an independent non-profit umbrella organization that coordinates an annual conference of 84 Jewish genealogical societies worldwide.

Eli also advises on Litvak and Polish heritage tours.

He writes and manages 88 KehilaLinks—Jewish websites for JewishGen.org, the world’s largest Jewish genealogical organization, with a database of 500,000 followers. His KehilaLinks include sites in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Germany, Russia, China, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa and Australia.

The Jewish Genealogical Societyof Illinois is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping members collect, preserve, and perpetuate the records and history of their ancestors. JGSI is a resource for the worldwide Jewish community to research their Chicago-area roots. The JGSI motto is “Members Helping Members Since 1981.” The group has more than 300 members and is affiliated with the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

JGSI members have access to useful and informative online family history research resources, including a members’ forum, more than 65 video recordings of past speakers’ presentations, monthly JGSI E-News, quarterly Morasha JGSI newsletter, and much more. Members as well as non-members can look for their ancestors on the free searchable JGSI Jewish Chicago Database.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

New Memorial Orla Poland 2021

Ray @ 102 Colorized

Celebrating what would have been my mother Raele (Ray) Zeldin Rabinowitz’s 102 birthday. Ray was born on 11 May 1919 in Dvinsk, now Daugavpils, Latvia.

These colour photos were originally in b/w. I used MyHeritage.com’s Colorized to bring them to life!



The photos below are in their original colour.

Ray passed away on 24 July 2001 in Cape Town.

The last photo