Stellenbosch 2019

Early morning in Stellenbosch

Wednesday 6 March 2019

Stellenbosch Shul

Meeting Daniella Van Niekerk

Translated the Partisans’ Song into Afrikaans & presented her project on the Jewish wedding ceremony to her ed  last year.

Highlight Photos

Who We Are

THe Partisans’ Song In AFRIKAANS
Translated by Daniella Van Niekerk


Moet nooit sêdaar wag net dood vir jou nie,

alhoewel loodswaar hemele die blou lug mag versteek,

want die uur waarna ons gehunker het, is naby;

die aarde sal bewe onder ons tree – ons is hier!


Van die land van palmbome, tot die vêrre land van sneeu,

sal ons kom met ons pyniging en geween,

en oral waar ons bloed in die aarde ingesyfer het,

sal ons dapperheid, ons krag, uitbloei!


Ons sal die môreson hê om ons dag te laat gloei,

en al ons gisters sal verdwyn saam met ons vyande.

En indien dit nog lank is voor die son weer verskyn,

laat hierdie lied soos ‘n sein voortklink deur die jare.


Hierdie lied is geskryf in bloed, nie lood nie.

Dit is nie ‘n lied wat somervoëls oorhoofs sing nie.

Dit was ‘n volk ter midde van brandende versperrings,

wat die lied van ons gesing het met pistole en grenate.


Moet nooit sêdaar wag net dood vir jou nie,

alhoewel loodswaar hemele die blou lug mag versteek,

want die uur waarna ons gehunker het, is naby;

die aarde sal bewe onder ons tree – ons is hier!

Daniella’s Tour of Stellenbosch University

The Botanical Gardens

Daniella Van Niekerk
Jewish Wedding Class – March 2018

Using resources from Eli Rabinowitz

Enacting Breaking the Glass

Comments by students





Bubbles – From Stellenbosch to Australia’s Top End

Bubbles – From Stellenbosch to Australia’s Top End

a new publication by Bubbles Segall


Bubbles Segall was born in South Africa and moved to Australia in 1974.
She moved to the Northern Territory in 1976 where she worked for thirty-three years as a midwife, as a Community Health Nurse and as a Community Development Officer in Darwin and in remote Aboriginal communities.

“This autobiography of Bubbles tells the story of her journey from Cape Town to the Northern Territory of Australia, which more than lived up to the enchantment she held in her childhood.”

This is her story.

From Bubbles:

After many months of slaving over my laptop, I have finally finished a book about my life.

The title: Bubbles. From Stellenbosch to Australia’s Top End.

To celebrate, I had a launch at our favourite Irish pub on Sunday 26 July 2016 with somewhere between 60 and 70 people friends and family.

To order copies go to the website

Click on Buy Books

Scroll down to Quick Links (listed by author’s surname).

Click on S-Z and find my book
Love from  Bubbles Segall”


The Boerejode of the Boland


A visit to Cape Town is not complete without a drive to one of the towns in the Boland.

From Wikipedia:

Boland, Western Cape

The Boland (Afrikaans for “top country” or “land above”[1]) is a region of the Western Cape province of South Africa, situated to the northeast of Cape Town in the middle and upper courses of the Berg and Breede Rivers, around the mountains of the central Cape Fold Belt. It is sometimes also referred to as the Cape Winelands because it is the primary region for the making of Western Cape wine.

Although the Boland does not have defined boundaries, its core lies around the towns of StellenboschPaarl and Worcester. It may be understood to extend as far as MalmesburyTulbaghSwellendam and Somerset West. This is approximately the area included in the Cape Winelands District Municipality, which was formerly called the Boland District Municipality. To the southwest lies the Cape Town metropolitan area, to the northwest the Swartland and West Coast, to the northeast the Great Karoo, to the east the Little Karoo, and to the south the Overberg.

The “Boland” name is given to a number of sports teams from the region, including the Boland cricket team and the Boland Cavaliersrugby union team.


Many of the Jews who came to Africa from Europe settled in rural areas and small dorps. They formed a subculture within the Afrikaner environment of these towns and many were known as Boerejode, Afrikaner Jews or more literally “farmer Jews”.

These towns could be regarded as Africa’s version of the shtetl back in Eastern Europe.

In the earlier years of settlement,  there was the Jewish pedlar or smous, who travelled from town to town, farm to farm, selling his wares. Here is a memorial to the smous or pedlar on my new Graaff Reinet KehilaLink:


Below you will find a selection of my images of Stellenbosch, one of the main towns of the Boland with its striking mountains, rich winelands and outstanding Cape Dutch architecture.

I have also included some interesting articles which I found at the Kaplan Centre archives at UCT, the Univeristy of Cape Town, my alma mater!

A big thank you to Juan-Paul Burke, the librarian at the Kaplan Centre, always so obliging and helpful, for allowing me to use them.

And on a tangent – on campus there was no sign of Cecil John Rhodes, except for the old signs!


in Wikipedia, die vrye ensiklopedie



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

According to the South African Jewish Museum, “Many of the later immigrants arrived with no resources other than their wits and experience. Most could not speak English when they arrived. Often they would learn Afrikaans before English. Their households were often multi-lingual, with parents speaking Yiddish and Afrikaans, and the children learning English at school.”[citation needed]

The University of Cape Town Jewish Studies library has a comprehensive collection of South African Yiddish books. Its collection of Yiddish periodicals is, however, not as comprehensive.

Famous Afrikaner-Jews

Stellenbosch – at and near the Lanzerac Hotel – still so beautiful!

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In and around Stellenbosch

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From the archives at the Kaplan Centre, UCT:


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IMG_3576  IMG_5867 IMG_5866


UCT, Cape Town


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Our previous visit to Stellenbosch


If you are looking for a great tour of Cape Town and / or the Boland, Gerald Potash’s “The Famous Tour” is a must!

Gerald also writes an excellent but sobering weekly blog. Contact Gerald here.


With Gerald at the Waterfront.

elirab Home



What’s happening in Stellenbosch

Hi All

I have started work on a new Stellenbosch Kehilalink.

Have a look at our progress and add your photos and stories by emailing me The address is:

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 2.39.23 pm

Gerald Potash has contributed a delightful report on the new shul hall:

The new hall at the Stellenbosch Shul

 Stellenbosch has a small but vibrant Jewish community which operates a full functioning Shul and now with a new little hall to accommodate the religious chagim and other connected services.

 Bev Zetler met me in Stellenbosch to tell me the story  of the hall a day or two after Yom Kippur and it goes like this:

Last year this time we started with the building of our new little hall.

Why? I asked. For the Yomtavim; we really needed a place to have a Brocha. You see, she went on, the old Hall has been let out and so has the old Cheder building (Die Skuinshuis, now an Historical monument and a fascinating slice of Stellenbosch history all on its own). The firms hiring from us are doing very well and need all the space we can let them have and so it was necessary to add to our requirements, she added.

 The hall is built at the back of the Shul and can seat about 85 people.

Jeffrey  Zetler, the long-time Chairman of the congregation put his shoulder to the wheel and in about three months the old Sukkah was converted into a beautiful modern hall with all the necessary facilities.

 The fact that our tenants were doing so well, and the fact that we had the funds encouraged us to build our hall, added Jeff.

 The congregation is made up of about 12 families and they included members from Fransch Hoek, Simondium and Somerset West. Also Jeff pointed out that Stellenbosch attracts not only holiday makers but also academics who regularly visit this university town and the Jewish amongst them often support the services when they come to town.

 The congregation accommodates about 20 religious men (and some wives and children) annually, at the high festivals, to assist with the services and that added to the need to have a place for them to eat and to congregate between services. When I enquired how long these “regulars” having been coming to Stellenbosch and I was surprised to learn that they have been doing that for about 15 years.

Most of “regulars” come from Cape Town but often they bring visitors with them and they are more than welcome.

 A feature of the hall is the magnificent wall-hanging representing not only a religious theme but also a family with a Stellenbosch connection. Each square bears a family name that is meaningful to the community. Beverley tells me that she tasked the members of the community with one square each and eight months later with the artistic help of Brenda Wittenberg this is what emerged:

Stell 003

Stellenbosch is vibrant community that doesn’t miss a Shabbath or Yomtov.

They receive regular rental income and have no expense of a Rabbi and so a local,

Hilton Philips, often leads the services.

There is, of course, a strong Zetler connection to the congregation and Julian Zetler did all the tiling at the hall, but an enormous influence is Gerry Rosendorff, (for years with his wife Bernice were the only Jewish couple actually living in the town) who keeps the place going on a daily basis and is most days in the vicinity checking, fixing or simply opening to show visitors the magnificent old Shul.

The hall has already been used for two weddings and a bar mitzvah and an Australian will be having his Bar Mitzvah function in this hall at the end of this year. Do pop in and come and have a look not only at the famous old Shul but the beautiful little hall at the back, when you are next in Stellenbosch.

Gerald Potash

October, 2014

Sukkot Sameach