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South African Jews

South African Jews

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The history of the Jews in South Africa mainly begins with the general Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an settlement in the 19th century. The early patterns of Jewish South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

n history are almost identical with the history of the Jews in the United States
History of the Jews in the United States
The history of the Jews in the United States , has been part of the American national fabric since colonial times.Until the 1830s the Jewish community of Charleston, South Carolina was the most numerous in North America. With the large scale immigration of Jews from Germany in the 19th century,...

 but on a much smaller scale, including the period of early discovery and settlement from the late 15th century to the early 19th century. Jews played a prominent role in the development of the diamond and gold fields, with Barney Barnato
Barney Barnato
Barney Barnato , born Barnet Isaacs, was a British Randlord, one of the entrepreneurs who gained control of diamond mining, and later gold mining, in South Africa from the 1870s.-Background:...

 and others becoming notable Randlords. Many Jews were involved in the anti-apartheid movement, with Joe Slovo
Joe Slovo
For Joe Slovo Informal Settlement in Cape Town, see: Joe Slovo .Joe Slovo was a South African politician, long-time leader of the South African Communist Party , and leading member of the African National Congress.-Life:Slovo was born in Obeliai, Lithuania to a Jewish family who emigrated to South...

, Albie Sachs
Albie Sachs
Albie Sachs was a judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa. He was appointed to the court by Nelson Mandela in 1994 and retired in October 2009...

, Dennis Goldberg, Harry Schwarz
Harry Schwarz
Harry Heinz Schwarz was a South African lawyer, statesman and long-time political opposition leader against apartheid, who eventually served as the South African ambassador to the United States during the country’s transition to representative democracy.Schwarz rose from the childhood poverty he...

 and Helen Suzman
Helen Suzman
Helen Suzman, DBE was a South African anti-apartheid activist and politician.-Biography:Helen Suzman, a life-long citizen of South Africa, was born as Helen Gavronsky in 1917 to Jewish immigrants....

 being among the most notable. It is estimated that around 80% of South African Jews are descendents from Lithuanian Jews
Lithuanian Jews
Lithuanian Jews or Litvaks are Jews with roots in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania:...

. South African Jewry differ significantly from those in other developing countries in that the majority of South African Jews still remain in South Africa (62% of the original 120,000 still remain), and that a significant number of those that did move abroad went to countries popular among other South African émigrés such as Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, as well as Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

.

Portuguese exploration


The modern Jewish history of South Africa began, indirectly, some time before the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

, by the participation of certain astronomers and cartographers
Cartography
Cartography is the study and practice of making maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively.The fundamental problems of traditional cartography are to:*Set the map's...

 in the Portuguese discovery
Portugal in the Age of Discovery
During the history of Portugal between 1415 and 1578, Portugal discovered an eastern route to India that rounded the Cape of Good Hope, discovered Brazil, established trading routes throughout most of southern Asia, colonized selected areas of Africa, and sent the first direct European maritime...

 of the sea-route to India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. There were Jews among the directors of the Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

, which for 150 years administered the colony at the Cape of Good Hope. Jewish cartographers in Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, members of the wealthy and influential classes, assisted Bartolomeu Dias
Bartolomeu Dias
Bartolomeu Dias , a nobleman of the Portuguese royal household, was a Portuguese explorer who sailed around the southernmost tip of Africa in 1488, the first European known to have done so.-Purposes of the Dias expedition:...

 and Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

 who first sailed around the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

 in 1488 and 1497. Portugal's baptised
Converso
A converso and its feminine form conversa was a Jew or Muslim—or a descendant of Jews or Muslims—who converted to Catholicism in Spain or Portugal, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. Mass conversions once took place under significant government pressure...

 Jews were still free until the Portuguese Inquisition
Portuguese Inquisition
The Portuguese Inquisition was formally established in Portugal in 1536 at the request of the King of Portugal, João III. Manuel I had asked for the installation of the Inquisition in 1515 to fulfill the commitment of marriage with Maria of Aragon, but it was only after his death that the Pope...

 was promulgated in 1536.

The Dutch Settlement


In 1652 the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 began the first permanent European settlement of South Africa under Jan van Riebeeck
Jan van Riebeeck
Johan Anthoniszoon "Jan" van Riebeeck was a Dutch colonial administrator and founder of Cape Town.-Biography:...

 as a representative of the Dutch East India Company. It has been noted that:
A number of non-professing Jews were among the first settlers of Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

 in 1652, despite restrictions against the immigration of non-Christians. Religious freedom was granted by the Dutch colony in 1803.


During the seventeenth and the greater part of the eighteenth century the state religion alone was allowed to be publicly observed; but on July 25, 1804, the Dutch commissioner-general Jacob Abraham de Mist
Jacob Abraham de Mist
Jacob Abraham Uitenhage de Mist was a Dutch statesman. He was Head of State of the National Assembly of the Batavian Republic from 17 April 1797 - 1 May 1797 and Commissioner-General of the Cape Colony during the interregnum from 21 February 1803 - 25 September 1804 in accordance with the...

, by a proclamation whose provisions were annulled at the English occupation of 1806 and were not reestablished till 1820, instituted in the colony religious equality for all persons, irrespective of creed.

The 1820s through 1880s


Jews did not arrive in any numbers at Cape Town before the 1820s. The first congregation
Synagogue
A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer. This use of the Greek term synagogue originates in the Septuagint where it sometimes translates the Hebrew word for assembly, kahal...

 in South Africa, known as the Gardens Shul
Gardens Shul
The Gardens Shul, formally, the Cape Town Hebrew Congregation, founded in 1841, located in the Cape Town Botanical Gardens, in the Gardens neighborhood of Cape Town, is the oldest Jewish congregation in South Africa....

, was founded in Cape Town in November 1841, and the initial service was held in the house of one Benjamin Norden, at the corner of Weltevreden and Hof streets. Benjamin Norden, Simeon Markus, together with a score of others arriving in the early thirties, were commercial pioneers, especially the Mosenthal brothers—Julius, Adolph (see Aliwal North
Aliwal North
Aliwal North is a town in central South Africa on the Orange River, Eastern Cape Province. Aliwal North is the seat of the Maletswai Local Municipality which falls within the Ukhahlamba District Municipality....

), and James Mosenthal—who started a major wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

 industry. By their enterprise in going to Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 and returning with thirty Angora goat
Angora goat
The Angora goat is a breed of domestic goat that originated in Ankara , Turkey and its surrounding region in central Anatolia...

s in 1856 they became the originators of the mohair
Mohair
Mohair usually refers to a silk-like fabric or yarn made from the hair of the Angora goat. The word "mohair" was adopted into English before 1570 from the Arabic: mukhayyar, a type of haircloth, literally 'choice', from khayyara, 'he chose'. Mohair fiber is approximately 25-45 microns in...

 industry. Aaron and Daniel de Pass were the first to open up Namaqualand
Namaqualand
Namaqualand is an arid region of Namibia and South Africa, extending along the west coast over and covering a total area of 170,000 square miles/440,000 km². It is divided by the lower course of the Orange River into two portions - Little Namaqualand to the south and Great Namaqualand to the...

, and for many years (1849–1886) were the largest shipowners in Cape Town, and leaders of the sealing
Pinniped
Pinnipeds or fin-footed mammals are a widely distributed and diverse group of semiaquatic marine mammals comprising the families Odobenidae , Otariidae , and Phocidae .-Overview: Pinnipeds are typically sleek-bodied and barrel-shaped...

, whaling
Whaling
Whaling is the hunting of whales mainly for meat and oil. Its earliest forms date to at least 3000 BC. Various coastal communities have long histories of sustenance whaling and harvesting beached whales...

, and fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

 industries. Jews were among the first to take to ostrich-farming and played a role in the early diamond
Diamond
In mineralogy, diamond is an allotrope of carbon, where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face-centered cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice. Diamond is less stable than graphite, but the conversion rate from diamond to graphite is negligible at ambient conditions...

 industry.

Jews also played some part in early South African politics. Captain Joshua Norden was shot at the head of his Mounted Burghers in the Xhosa War
Xhosa wars
The Xhosa Wars, also known as the Cape Frontier Wars, were a series of nine wars between the Xhosa people and European settlers, from 1779 to 1879 in what is now the Eastern Cape in South Africa....

 of 1846; Lieutenant Elias de Pass fought in the Xhosa War of 1849. Julius Mosenthal (1818–1880), brother of the poet S. Mosenthal of Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, was a member of the Cape Parliament in the fifties. Simeon Jacobs, C.M.G. (1832–1883), who was a judge in the Supreme Court of the Cape of Good Hope, as the acting attorney-general of Cape Colony he introduced and carried in 1872 the Cape Colony Responsible Government Bill and the Voluntary Bill (abolishing state aid to the Anglican Church), for both of which bills Saul Solomon, the member for Cape Town, had fought for decades. Saul Solomon
Saul Solomon
Saul Solomon was an influential liberal politician of the Cape Colony. A tireless defender of racial and religious equality, Saul Solomon was an important member of the movement for responsible government and an opponent of Lord Carnarvon's disastrous Confederation scheme.Saul Solomon was born on...

 (b. St. Helena
Saint Helena
Saint Helena , named after St Helena of Constantinople, is an island of volcanic origin in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha which also includes Ascension Island and the islands of Tristan da Cunha...

 May 25, 1817; d. Oct. 16, 1892), the leader of the Cape Colony
Cape Colony
The Cape Colony, part of modern South Africa, was established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, with the founding of Cape Town. It was subsequently occupied by the British in 1795 when the Netherlands were occupied by revolutionary France, so that the French revolutionaries could not take...

 Liberal Party, has been called the "Cape Disraeli." He was invited into the first Responsible Government#Cape Colony
Responsible government
Responsible government is a conception of a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability which is the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy...

, formed by Sir John Molteno, and declined the premiership itself several times. Like Disraeli
Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield
Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, KG, PC, FRS, was a British Prime Minister, parliamentarian, Conservative statesman and literary figure. Starting from comparatively humble origins, he served in government for three decades, twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom...

, too, he early left the ranks of Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

.

At the same time, the Jews faced substantial anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

. Though freedom of worship was granted to all residents in 1870, the revised Grondwet of 1894 still debarred Jews and Catholics
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 from military posts, from the positions of president, state secretary, or magistrate, from membership in the First and Second Volksraad ("parliament"), and from superintendencies of natives and mines. These positions were restricted to persons above 30 years of age with permanent property and a longer history of settlement. As a consequence of the fact that Boer republics were only in existence from 1857 to 1902, unfortunately many residents of the Boer republics had limited access to positions in the upper echelons of government. All instruction was to be given in a Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 and Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 spirit, and Jewish and Catholic teachers and children were to be excluded from state-subsidized schools. Before the Boer War
Second Boer War
The Second Boer War was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking Dutch settlers of two independent Boer republics, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State...

 (1899–1902), Jews were often considered uitlanders ("foreigners") and excluded from the mainstream of South African life.

However, a small number of Jews also settled among and identified with the rural white Afrikaans-speaking population; these persons became known as Boerejode (Boer Jews). A measure of intermarriage also occurred and was generally accepted.

The South African gold rush began after 1886, attracting many Jews fleeing Russian pogroms in the Lithuanian province of the Russian Empire. The Jewish population of South Africa numbered approximately 4,000 in 1880; by 1914 it had grown to more than 40,000. So many of these Jewish immigrants to South Africa had come from Lithuania, that some referred to the population as a colony of Lithuania. Johannesburg was also occasionally called "Jewburg."

Second Anglo-Boer War: 1899–1902


Jews fought on both sides during the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902). Some of the most notable fights during the three years' Boer war — such as the Gun Hill incident before the Siege of Ladysmith
Siege of Ladysmith
The Siege of Ladysmith was a protracted engagement in the Second Boer War, taking place between 30 October 1899 and 28 February 1900 at Ladysmith, Natal.-Background:...

 — involved Jewish soldiers like Major Karri Davies. Nearly 2,800 Jews fought on the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 side and the London Spectator counted that 125 were killed. (Jewish Encyclopedia)

Around 300 Jews served among the Boers during the second Boer War and were known as Boerjode: those who had citizenship rights were conscripted along with other burghers ("citizens"), but there were also a number of volunteers. Jews fought under the Boers' Vierkleur ("four colored") flag in many of the major battles and engagements and during the guerilla phase of the war, and a dozen are known to have died. Around 80 were captured and held in British POW camps in South Africa. Some were sent as far afield as St. Helena, Bermuda
Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

, and Ceylon
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 to where they had been exiled by the British. Some Jews were among the Bittereinder
Bittereinder
Bittereinders were a faction of Boer guerrilla fighters, resisting the forces of the British Empire in the later stages of the Second Boer War ....

s
("Bitter Enders") who fought on long after the Boer cause was clearly lost.

From Union through World War II


Although the Jews were allowed equal rights after the Boer War, they again became subject to persecution in the days leading up to World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. In 1930, the Quota Act of 1930 was intended to curtail the entry of Jews from Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

. The vast majority of Eastern European Jews immigrating to South Africa originated from Lithuania. The 1937 The Aliens Act
Aliens Act 1937
Aliens Act 1 of 1937 was a South African law aimed at curtailing Jewish immigration to South Africa just as it was increasing due to increased anti-Semitic repression in Nazi Germany...

, motivated by a sharp increase the previous year in the number of German Jewish refugees coming to South Africa, brought the migration to almost a complete halt. Some Jews were able to enter the country, but many were unable to do so. A total of approximately six-and-a-half thousand Jews came to South Africa from Germany between the years 1933 and 1939. Many Afrikaner
Afrikaner
Afrikaners are an ethnic group in Southern Africa descended from almost equal numbers of Dutch, French and German settlers whose native tongue is Afrikaans: a Germanic language which derives primarily from 17th century Dutch, and a variety of other languages.-Related ethno-linguistic groups:The...

s (i.e. Boers) felt sympathy for Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, and organizations like Louis Weichardt
Louis Weichardt
Louis Theodor Weichardt was a South African political leader who founded the Greyshirts, a National Socialist organization.Born in Paarl of German extraction...

’s "Grayshirts" and the pro-Nazi Ossewabrandwag
Ossewabrandwag
The Ossewabrandwag was an anti-British and pro-German organization in South Africa during World War II, which opposed South African participation in the war...

 were openly anti-Semitic. During World War I, many Afrikaner
Afrikaner
Afrikaners are an ethnic group in Southern Africa descended from almost equal numbers of Dutch, French and German settlers whose native tongue is Afrikaans: a Germanic language which derives primarily from 17th century Dutch, and a variety of other languages.-Related ethno-linguistic groups:The...

s, who had little respect for Britain, objected to the use of "Afrikaner women and children from the British concentration camps" in fighting the German territory of South West Africa on behalf of Britain. This had the effect of drumming up pro-German sentiment among a population of Afrikaners. The opposition National Party
National Party (South Africa)
The National Party is a former political party in South Africa. Founded in 1914, it was the governing party of the country from 4 June 1948 until 9 May 1994. Members of the National Party were sometimes known as Nationalists or Nats. Its policies included apartheid, the establishment of a...

 argued that the Aliens Act was too lenient and advocated a complete ban on Jewish immigration, a halt in the naturalization of Jewish permanent residents of South Africa and the banning of Jews from certain professions. After the war, the situation began to improve, and a large number of South African Jews, generally a fairly Zionist
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 community, left to join the new nation of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. While it is understandable that many South African Jews would feel uncomfortable with formerly pro-Nazi Afrikaners rising to power in 1948, many leading apartheid-era Afrikaner politicians publicly apologized to the South African Jewish community for their earlier anti-semitic actions and assured it of its continued safety in South Africa.

South African Jews and Israel



When the Afrikaner
Afrikaner
Afrikaners are an ethnic group in Southern Africa descended from almost equal numbers of Dutch, French and German settlers whose native tongue is Afrikaans: a Germanic language which derives primarily from 17th century Dutch, and a variety of other languages.-Related ethno-linguistic groups:The...

-dominated National Party
National Party (South Africa)
The National Party is a former political party in South Africa. Founded in 1914, it was the governing party of the country from 4 June 1948 until 9 May 1994. Members of the National Party were sometimes known as Nationalists or Nats. Its policies included apartheid, the establishment of a...

 came to power in 1948 it did not adopt an anti-Jewish policy despite its earlier position. In 1953 South Africa's Prime Minister, D. F. Malan
Daniel François Malan
Daniel François Malan , more commonly known as D.F. Malan, was the Prime Minister of South Africa from 1948 to 1954. He is seen as a champion of Afrikaner nationalism. His National Party government came to power on the program of apartheid and began its comprehensive implementation.- Biography...

, became the first foreign head of government to visit Israel though the trip was a "private visit" rather than an official state visit
State visit
A state visit is a formal visit by a foreign head of state to another nation, at the invitation of that nation's head of state. State visits are the highest form of diplomatic contact between two nations, and are marked by ceremonial pomp and diplomatic protocol. In parliamentary democracies, heads...

. This began a long history of cooperation between Israel and South Africa on many levels. The proudly Zionistic South African Jewish community, through such bodies as the South African Zionist Federation and a number of publications, maintained a cordial relationship with the South African government even though it objected to the policies of Apartheid being enacted. South Africa's Jews were permitted to collect huge sums of money to be sent on as official aid to Israel, in spite of strict exchange-control regulations. Per capita, South African Jews were reputedly the most financially supportive Zionists abroad. During the 1980s Harry Schwarz
Harry Schwarz
Harry Heinz Schwarz was a South African lawyer, statesman and long-time political opposition leader against apartheid, who eventually served as the South African ambassador to the United States during the country’s transition to representative democracy.Schwarz rose from the childhood poverty he...

, a prominent Jewish anti-Apartheid politician engaged in private meetings with Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i Prime Minister's Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
GCMG is the ninth President of the State of Israel. Peres served twice as the eighth Prime Minister of Israel and once as Interim Prime Minister, and has been a member of 12 cabinets in a political career spanning over 66 years...

 and Yitzhak Shamir
Yitzhak Shamir
' is a former Israeli politician, the seventh Prime Minister of Israel, in 1983–84 and 1986–92.-Biography:Icchak Jeziernicky was born in Ruzhany , Russian Empire . He studied at a Hebrew High School in Białystok, Poland. As a youth he joined Betar, the Revisionist Zionist youth movement...

 and was assured by them that Jews in South Africa would not become isolated
Solitude
Solitude is a state of seclusion or isolation, i.e., lack of contact with people. It may stem from bad relationships, deliberate choice, infectious disease, mental disorders, neurological disorders or circumstances of employment or situation .Short-term solitude is often valued as a time when one...

 and links between the Jewish community and Israel would be maintained.

South African Jewish moderation and liberalism


South African Jews can be described as being mostly mildly liberal
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 and overwhelmingly supported opposition parties such as first the United Party
United Party (South Africa)
The United Party was South Africa's ruling political party between 1934 and 1948. It was formed by a merger of most of Prime Minister Barry Hertzog's National Party with the rival South African Party of Jan Smuts, plus the remnants of the Unionist Party...

, then the Liberal Party, Progressive Party
Progressive Party (South Africa)
The Progressive Party was a liberal party in South Africa that opposed the ruling National Party's policies of apartheid, and championed the Rule of Law. For years its only member of parliament was Helen Suzman...

 and its successors during the decades of National Party apartheid rule. (See Liberalism in South Africa
Liberalism in South Africa
This article gives an overview of liberal parties in South Africa. It is limited to liberal parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having had a representation in parliament.-Introduction:...

). The community in general was not aligned with any particular Communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 or revolutionary elements, or violent movements though there were prominent South African Jewish socialists and communists such as Joe Slovo
Joe Slovo
For Joe Slovo Informal Settlement in Cape Town, see: Joe Slovo .Joe Slovo was a South African politician, long-time leader of the South African Communist Party , and leading member of the African National Congress.-Life:Slovo was born in Obeliai, Lithuania to a Jewish family who emigrated to South...

, Ruth First
Ruth First
Ruth First was a white South African anti-apartheid activist and scholar born in Johannesburg, South Africa...

, Denis Goldberg
Denis Goldberg
Denis Goldberg is a South African social campaigner, who was active in the struggle against apartheid and was imprisoned along with other key members of the anti-apartheid movement....

 and Albie Sachs
Albie Sachs
Albie Sachs was a judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa. He was appointed to the court by Nelson Mandela in 1994 and retired in October 2009...

. The prime example of the more moderate approach is that of the highly-assimilated Harry Oppenheimer
Harry Oppenheimer
Harry Frederick Oppenheimer was a prominent South African businessman and one of the world's richest men...

 (1908–2000) (born Jewish but converted to Anglicanism upon his marriage), the richest man in South Africa and the chairman of the De Beers
De Beers
De Beers is a family of companies that dominate the diamond, diamond mining, diamond trading and industrial diamond manufacturing sectors. De Beers is active in every category of industrial diamond mining: open-pit, underground, large-scale alluvial, coastal and deep sea...

 and Anglo American corporations. He was a supporter of the liberal Progressive Party and its policies, believing that granting more freedom and economic growth to South Africa's Black African majority was good politics and sound economic policy. The banner for this cause was held high by Helen Suzman
Helen Suzman
Helen Suzman, DBE was a South African anti-apartheid activist and politician.-Biography:Helen Suzman, a life-long citizen of South Africa, was born as Helen Gavronsky in 1917 to Jewish immigrants....

, as the lone Progressive Party member in South Africa's parliament, representing the voting district of Houghton
Houghton Estate, Gauteng
Houghton Estate, often simply called Houghton is a wealthy suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa, north-east of the city centre. Part of it is located in Region 3, the other part in Region 4 ....

, home to many wealthy Jewish families at the time.

Harry Schwarz


Harry Schwarz
Harry Schwarz
Harry Heinz Schwarz was a South African lawyer, statesman and long-time political opposition leader against apartheid, who eventually served as the South African ambassador to the United States during the country’s transition to representative democracy.Schwarz rose from the childhood poverty he...

 was one of the most prominent anti-apartheid leaders and politicians of the Jewish community. He arrived as a Jewish refugee from Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 in 1934 at the age of 10. An early advocate for non-violent resistance to apartheid, he co-founded the Torch Commando
Torch Commando
The Torch Commando was born out of the work of the Springbok Legion, a South African organisation of World War II veterans, founded in 1941 during the second world war by progressive anti-fascist servicemen, and the War Veterans Action Committee established with the involvement of Springbok...

, an ex-soldiers' movement to protest against the disenfranchisement of the coloured people in South Africa. As an advocate, he was on the defense team of the Rivonia Trial
Rivonia Trial
The Rivonia Trial was a trial that took place in South Africa between 1963 and 1964, in which ten leaders of the African National Congress were tried for 221 acts of sabotage designed to overthrow the apartheid system.-Origins:...

 and visited Nelson Mandela in prison. Advocating a credible and more aggressive political opposition to the National Party in the 1960s and 1970s, he clashed with the United Party
United Party (South Africa)
The United Party was South Africa's ruling political party between 1934 and 1948. It was formed by a merger of most of Prime Minister Barry Hertzog's National Party with the rival South African Party of Jan Smuts, plus the remnants of the Unionist Party...

 establishment, until finally he signed the Mahlabatini Declaration of Faith with Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi is a South African Zulu politician who founded the Inkatha Freedom Party in 1975 and continues to lead the party today.His praise name is Shenge.-Early life:...

 for a non-racial democratic society in South Africa that led to the realignment of opposition politics in South Africa. A passionate opposition leader, both inside and outside parliament, he forcefully denounced the National Party's racial policies and was recognised as amongst the most effective and forthright campaigners against apartheid. In 1991 Schwarz was appointed as Ambassador
Ambassador
An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization....

 to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, South Africa's top diplomat and the first Jew and sitting opposition party member to become an ambassador in South African history
History of South Africa
South African history has been dominated by the interaction and conflict of several diverse ethnic groups. The aboriginal Khoisan people have lived in the region for millennia. Most of the population, however, trace their history to immigration since...

.

Helen Suzman


Politician Helen Suzman
Helen Suzman
Helen Suzman, DBE was a South African anti-apartheid activist and politician.-Biography:Helen Suzman, a life-long citizen of South Africa, was born as Helen Gavronsky in 1917 to Jewish immigrants....

, represented the Houghton constituency as the Progressive Party's sole member of parliament, and the sole parliamentarian unequivocally opposed to apartheid, from 1961 to 1974. Suzman was noted for her strong public criticism of the governing National Party's policies of apartheid at a time when this was atypical of white South Africans, and found herself even more of an outsider because she was an English-speaking Jewish woman in a parliament dominated by Calvinist Afrikaner men. She stepped down from Parliament in 1989, though continued to campaign against apartheid. She visited Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

 on numerous occasions while he was in prison, and was present when he signed the new constitution in 1996.

Others


Writer Nadine Gordimer
Nadine Gordimer
Nadine Gordimer is a South African writer and political activist. She was awarded the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature when she was recognised as a woman "who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity".Her writing has long dealt...

 helped edit Mandela's speech in his defence at the Rivonia Trial (in 1991, Gordimer donated her Nobel Prize money to the Congress of South African Writers
Congress of South African Writers
The Congress of South African Writers is a South African grassroots writer’s organisation.Launched in July 1987, its initial aims were to promote literature and redress the imbalances of apartheid education...

, which was allied with the African National Congress
African National Congress
The African National Congress is South Africa's governing Africanist political party, supported by its tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party , since the establishment of non-racial democracy in April 1994. It defines itself as a...

).

During the Rivonia Trial Dr. Percy Yutar
Percy Yutar
Dr. Percy Yutar was South Africa’s first Jewish attorney-general. Yutar was one of eight children in a family of Lithuanian immigrants...

, South Africa’s first Jewish attorney-general, who was said to be indifferent towards Apartheid, prosecuted Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

 while Jewish attorney
Lawyer
A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

 Arthur Chaskalson
Arthur Chaskalson
Arthur Chaskalson, is a former President of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and Chief Justice of South Africa...

 was part of Mandela's defense counsel. In that trial, Denis Goldberg
Denis Goldberg
Denis Goldberg is a South African social campaigner, who was active in the struggle against apartheid and was imprisoned along with other key members of the anti-apartheid movement....

, engineer and leader of the Congress of Democrats, was sentenced to life in prison along with Mandela and other ANC leaders.

In 1979, Chaskalson established the Legal Resources Center, an organization dedicated to the pursuit of justice and human rights in South Africa. Chaskalson challenged the implementation of apartheid laws, provided legal services, and trained paralegal personnel to help blacks. When Mandela came to power he appointed Chaskalson as President of the Constitutional Court of South Africa
Constitutional Court of South Africa
The Constitutional Court of South Africa was established in 1994 by South Africa's first democratic constitution: the Interim Constitution of 1993. In terms of the 1996 Constitution the Constitutional Court established in 1994 continues to hold office. The court began its first sessions in February...

 and later as Chief Justice of South Africa
Chief Justice of South Africa
The Chief Justice of South Africa is the head of the judiciary of South Africa, who exercises final authority over the functioning and management of all the courts...

.

Many Jewish anti-apartheid activists were the target of state security force violence: Ruth First
Ruth First
Ruth First was a white South African anti-apartheid activist and scholar born in Johannesburg, South Africa...

 was assassinated; Albie Sachs
Albie Sachs
Albie Sachs was a judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa. He was appointed to the court by Nelson Mandela in 1994 and retired in October 2009...

 lost an eye and an arm. Rowley Arenstein was exiled for thirty-three years. Abstract painter Arthur Goldreich
Arthur Goldreich
Arthur Goldreich was a South African-Israeli abstract painter and a key figure in the anti-apartheid movement in the country of his birth.-Early life:...

 was arrested as a political prisoner in July 1963 but eventually escaped. Joe Slovo
Joe Slovo
For Joe Slovo Informal Settlement in Cape Town, see: Joe Slovo .Joe Slovo was a South African politician, long-time leader of the South African Communist Party , and leading member of the African National Congress.-Life:Slovo was born in Obeliai, Lithuania to a Jewish family who emigrated to South...

, longtime leader of the South African Communist Party
South African Communist Party
South African Communist Party is a political party in South Africa. It was founded in 1921 as the Communist Party of South Africa by the joining together of the International Socialist League and others under the leadership of Willam H...

, served on the ANC's National Executive Committee, as did Ray Simons and Raymond Suttner. Ronnie Kasrils
Ronnie Kasrils
Ronald Kasrils is a South African politician. He was Minister for Intelligence Services from 27 April 2004 to 25 September 2008...

 was head of intelligence for the ANC's military wing. (Adler 2000)

Jews also played a significant role in providing humanitarian assistance for black communities. Ina Perlman founded "Operation Hunger", an organization that reached two million South African blacks. Influenced by skills learned in Israel, the South African Union of Jewish Women (UJW) developed outreach programs in black townships: they focused on teacher training and pre-school development and even sponsored a few black South African teacher visits to Israel. UJW also created a multiracial youth group and engaged in the Women's National Coalition. The group was the first to import black dolls from the United States so that children might have a choice. (Adler, 2000)

Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa...

's Oxford Synagogue and Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

's Temple Israel assisted the black townships by running nurseries, medical clinics and adult education programs, and by providing legal aid for victims of apartheid laws. (Adler 2000)

Many Jews objected to enlistment in the South African Defence Force and the Border War
South African Border War
The South African Border War, commonly referred to as the Angolan Bush War in South Africa, was a conflict that took place from 1966 to 1989 in South-West Africa and Angola between South Africa and its allied forces on the one side and the Angolan government, South-West Africa People's...

. Johnathon Handler, chairperson of the UCT
University of Cape Town
The University of Cape Town is a public research university located in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. UCT was founded in 1829 as the South African College, and is the oldest university in South Africa and the second oldest extant university in Africa.-History:The roots of...

 branch of South African Union of Jewish Students, was one of a group of 15 conscientious objectors to make public their resistance to war in the townships shortly before the End Conscription Campaign
End Conscription Campaign
The End Conscription Campaign was an anti-apartheid organisation allied to the United Democratic Front and composed of conscientious objectors and their supporters in South Africa...

 was banned.

Focused on internal Jewish communal issues


Despite the over-representation of Jews in the struggle against apartheid, the Jewish establishment and the majority of South African Jews remained focused on Jewish issues. Most individuals were unsupportive of the anti-apartheid cause and communal institutions remained distant from the struggle against racial injustice until relatively late. In 1980, 32 years after the creation of apartheid, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies passed a resolution urging "all concerned, in particular members of our own community, to cooperate in securing the immediate amelioration and ultimate removal of all unjust discriminatory laws and practices based on race, creed or color". A few rabbis spoke out against apartheid early, but they failed to gain support and it was not until 1985 that the rabbinate as a whole condemned apartheid. (Adler 2000)

Today


Although the Jewish community peaked in the 1970s (at around 120,000), about 70,000 mostly nominally Orthodox, remain in South Africa. Despite low intermarriage rates (around 7%), approximately 1,800 Jews leave the country for economic reasons every year, mainly to Israel, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The Jewish community in South Africa is currently the largest in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, and, although shrinking due to emigration, it remains one of the most nominally Orthodox
Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism , is the approach to Judaism which adheres to the traditional interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah as legislated in the Talmudic texts by the Sanhedrin and subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and...

 communities in the world. The current Chief Rabbi, Dr. Warren Goldstein
Warren Goldstein
Rabbi Warren Goldstein is the Chief Rabbi of South Africa since 2005. Born in Pretoria, he currently lives in Johannesburg. He is the first Chief Rabbi of South Africa who was born in South Africa and the youngest person ever to be appointed to that post, at age 32.-Education:The Chief Rabbi...

 (2008), has been widely credited for initiating a "Bill of Responsibilities" which the government has incorporated in the national school curriculum. The Chief Rabbi has also pushed for community run projects to combat crime in the country.

The community has become more observant and in Johannesburg, the largest centre of Jewish life, with 66 000 Jews, there is a high number and density of Kosher restaurants and religious centres. In politics, the Jewish community continues to have influence, particularly in leadership roles. Currently, the sole national Jewish newspaper, with a circulation of about 40,000, is the South African Jewish Report. In 2008 a Jewish Radio Station, Chai FM, commenced broadcasting in Johannesburg, and also broadcasting on the internet to the large South African "diaspora". Despite a fall in number, since 2003 the number of South African Jews has stabilised. Furthermore, they are growing evermore religious with over 80% of South African Jews claiming to be Orthodox.

Lemba


The Lemba
Lemba
The Lemba or 'wa-Remba' are a southern African ethnic group to be found in Zimbabwe and South Africa with some little known branches in Mozambique and Malawi. According to Parfitt they are thought to number 70,000...

, a minority ethnic group which resides in Limpopo
Limpopo
Limpopo is the northernmost province of South Africa. The capital is Polokwane, formerly named Pietersburg. The province was formed from the northern region of Transvaal Province in 1994, and initially named Northern Transvaal...

, may have been the first ethnic Jews to have resided in what is now South Africa, having emigrated to the area some 2,500 years ago from San'a', Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

. In addition to that, there was the extraordinary finding of the Cohen modal haplotype. This is the element in the Y chromosome that appears to be a signature element, if you like, for the Cohanim or Jewish priesthood. The fact that we found this marker in such high concentrations in one of the Lemba subclans, the Buba—much higher, incidentally, than the general Jewish population—seemed finally to provide a real, useable link between the Lemba and Jews.

Jewish education in South Africa


Traditionally, Jewish education in South Africa was conducted by the Cheder
Cheder
A Cheder is a traditional elementary school teaching the basics of Judaism and the Hebrew language.-History:...

 or Talmud Torah
Talmud Torah
Talmud Torah schools were created in the Jewish world, both Ashkenazic and Sephardic, as a form of public primary school for boys of modest backgrounds, where they were given an elementary education in Hebrew, the Scriptures , and the Talmud...

, while children received secular education at government and private schools. There were, initially, no formal structures in place for Rabbinical education
Semicha
, also , or is derived from a Hebrew word which means to "rely on" or "to be authorized". It generally refers to the ordination of a rabbi within Judaism. In this sense it is the "transmission" of rabbinic authority to give advice or judgment in Jewish law...

. (Note that although the majority of South Africa's Jews are descendants of Lithuanian Jews
Lithuanian Jews
Lithuanian Jews or Litvaks are Jews with roots in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania:...

 who venerated Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

ic scholarship, the community did not establish schools or yeshivot
Yeshiva
Yeshiva is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah study. Study is usually done through daily shiurim and in study pairs called chavrutas...

 for several decades.)

An important change took place in 1948, when King David School
King David Schools, Johannesburg
The King David Schools are a network of Jewish day schools in Johannesburg, South Africa, offering nursery through high school education. There are three campuses across Johannesburg: Linksfield, Victory Park, and Sandton; "each school has an atmosphere of its own serving the specific community"...

 was established as the first full-time dual-curriculum (secular and Jewish) Jewish day school
Jewish day school
A Jewish day school is a modern Jewish educational institution that is designed to provide Jewish children with both a Jewish and a secular education in one school on a full time basis, hence its name of "day school" meaning a school that the students attend for an entire day and not on a part time...

 – the high school was established in 1955. Today, King David is amongst the largest Jewish day schools in the world, with thousands of students. King David's equivalent in Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

 is "Herzlia" (United Herzlia Schools
United Herzlia Schools
- Brief History :One of the earliest Jewish schools was the Hope Mill Hebrew Public School which was located at the top of Government Avenue, close to the Cape Town Hebrew Congregation. By 1901 it had about 350 pupils. Due to financial constraints, the school received state assistance from the Cape...

) with Carmel School in Pretoria
Pretoria
Pretoria is a city located in the northern part of Gauteng Province, South Africa. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the executive and de facto national capital; the others are Cape Town, the legislative capital, and Bloemfontein, the judicial capital.Pretoria is...

 and Durban
Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

 (both subsequently renamed), and the Theodore Herzl School in Port Elizabeth (est. 1959). In Total, nineteen Day Schools, affiliated to the South African Board of Jewish Education, have been established in the main centres. The Jewish day schools regularly place amongst the top in the country in the national "Matric" examinations.

The first religious day school, the Yeshiva College of South Africa
Yeshiva College of South Africa
The Yeshiva College of South Africa , commonly known as Yeshiva College and formerly known as Yeshivat Bnei Akiva. It has around 900 pupils, between the ages of 3 and 18...

, was established in the mid 1950s
1950s
The 1950s or The Fifties was the decade that began on January 1, 1950 and ended on December 31, 1959. The decade was the sixth decade of the 20th century...

, drawing primarily on the popularity of the Bnei Akiva
Bnei Akiva
Bnei Akiva is the largest religious Zionist youth movement in the world, with over 125,000 members in 37 countries. It was established in Mandate Palestine in 1929.-History:...

 Religious Zionist
Religious Zionism
Religious Zionism is an ideology that combines Zionism and Jewish religious faith...

 youth movement. As an institution with hundreds of pupils, Yeshivah College is today the largest religious school in the country. Other educational institutions within this ideology include the Kollel
Kollel
A kollel is an institute for full-time, advanced study of the Talmud and rabbinic literature. Like a yeshiva, a kollel features shiurim and learning sedarim ; unlike a yeshiva, the student body of a kollel are all married men...

 (Bet Mordechai) and Midrasha
Midrasha
A refers to an institute of Jewish studies for women. In Israel, it is often an Orthodox institution that caters solely to women, and roughly the equivalent of a yeshiva for men. The term is often translated as 'seminary'. In the United States, the term has also been used to refer to...

 (Emunah) of Mizrachi
Mizrachi (Religious Zionism)
The Mizrachi is the name of the religious Zionist organization founded in 1902 in Vilnius at a world conference of religious Zionists called by Rabbi Yitzchak Yaacov Reines. Bnei Akiva, which was founded in 1929, is the youth movement associated with Mizrachi...

, Johannesburg, and the Yeshiva of Cape Town
Yeshiva of Cape Town
The Yeshiva of Cape Town is a kollel and yeshiva established in 1994. Its full title is "The Rabbi Cyril and Ann Harris Yeshiva of Cape Town", named for the late Chief Rabbi. It is based in the Beit Midrash Morasha community, in the suburb of Sea Point, Cape Town.The Yeshiva's ideology is Religious...

, a Torah MiTzion Kollel.

In parallel to the establishment of Yeshiva College, and drawing on the same momentum, several smaller yeshivot
Yeshiva
Yeshiva is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah study. Study is usually done through daily shiurim and in study pairs called chavrutas...

 were opened, starting in the 1960s
1960s
The 1960s was the decade that started on January 1, 1960, and ended on December 31, 1969. It was the seventh decade of the 20th century.The 1960s term also refers to an era more often called The Sixties, denoting the complex of inter-related cultural and political trends across the globe...

. The Yeshiva Gedolah of Johannesburg, established in 1973, is the best known of these, having trained dozens of South African Rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

s, including Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi
Chief Rabbi is a title given in several countries to the recognized religious leader of that country's Jewish community, or to a rabbinic leader appointed by the local secular authorities...

 Dr. Warren Goldstein
Warren Goldstein
Rabbi Warren Goldstein is the Chief Rabbi of South Africa since 2005. Born in Pretoria, he currently lives in Johannesburg. He is the first Chief Rabbi of South Africa who was born in South Africa and the youngest person ever to be appointed to that post, at age 32.-Education:The Chief Rabbi...

. The Yeshiva follows the "Telshe"
Telshe yeshiva
Telshe yeshiva was a famous Eastern European yeshiva founded in the Lithuanian town of Telšiai. After World War II the yeshiva relocated to Wickliffe, Ohio, in the United States and is currently known as the Rabbinical College of Telshe, It is one of the most prominent Haredi institutions of Torah...

 educational model, although accommodates students from across the spectrum of Hashkafa
Hashkafa
Hashkafa is a Hebrew term often used when referring to one's personal worldview as regards Jewish philosophy and Halacha. See Diversity within Orthodox Judaism under Orthodox Judaism....

(Hebrew: worldview, outlook, beliefs within orthodox Judaism).

This era also saw the start of a large network of Chabad-Lubavitch
Chabad-Lubavitch
Chabad-Lubavitch is a Chasidic movement in Orthodox Judaism. One of the world's larger and best-known Chasidic movements, its official headquarters is in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York...

 activities and institutions. There is today a Lubavitch Yeshiva in Johannesburg (Lubavitch Yeshiva Gedolah of Johannesburg
Lubavitch Yeshiva Gedolah of Johannesburg
The Lubavitch Yeshiva Gedolah of Johannesburg is a Chabad Yeshiva based in Orchards, Johannesburg. It is headed by Rabbi Noam Wagner, with Rabbi Y...

) serving the Chabad community, a Chabad Semicha
Semicha
, also , or is derived from a Hebrew word which means to "rely on" or "to be authorized". It generally refers to the ordination of a rabbi within Judaism. In this sense it is the "transmission" of rabbinic authority to give advice or judgment in Jewish law...

 programme in Pretoria
Rabbinical College of Pretoria
The Rabbinical College of Pretoria is a Chabad Yeshiva in Pretoria, South Africa. It was established in 2001 under the inspiration of late Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris...

 (having ordained 98 Rabbis since its establishment in 2001), and Lubavitch Day schools in Johannesburg (the Torah Academy
Torah Academy School, Johannesburg
The Torah Academy is a Chabad Jewish day school in Johannesburg, South Africa. It comprises a Boys' High School, a Girls' High School , a Primary School and a Nursery School. The Mission of the school is to "provide and promote the highest quality Jewish and general education to a diverse community...

 school) and Cape Town. Johannesburg boasts ten Chabad House
Chabad house
A Chabad house is a centre for disseminating Orthodox Judaism by the Chabad movement. Chabad Houses are run by the local Shaliach , who was sent to that place by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who founded all Chabad Houses...

s, Cape Town two and Kwazulu-Natal one- all of which offer a variety of Torah classes, adult education programmes and informal children's educational programmes.

The 1980s
1980s
File:1980s decade montage.png|thumb|400px|From left, clockwise: The first Space Shuttle, Columbia, lifted off in 1981; American President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev eased tensions between the two superpowers, leading to the end of the Cold War; The Fall of the Berlin Wall in...

 saw the establishment of a Haredi
Haredi Judaism
Haredi or Charedi/Chareidi Judaism is the most conservative form of Orthodox Judaism, often referred to as ultra-Orthodox. A follower of Haredi Judaism is called a Haredi ....

 kollel
Kollel
A kollel is an institute for full-time, advanced study of the Talmud and rabbinic literature. Like a yeshiva, a kollel features shiurim and learning sedarim ; unlike a yeshiva, the student body of a kollel are all married men...

, Yad Shaul
Kollel Yad Shaul
Kollel Yad Shaul is a Charedi yeshiva and Beit Midrash, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Established in 1975, it was originally based in Yeoville, Johannesburg until 2000, when it moved to the suburb of The Gardens...

, as well as the growth of a large baal teshuva
Baal teshuva
Baal teshuva or ba'al teshuvah , sometimes abbreviated to BT, is a term referring to a Jew who turns to embrace Orthodox Judaism. Baal teshuva literally means, "repentant", i.e., one who has repented or "returned" to God...

 ("returnees" [to observant Judaism]) movement – this was supported by the Israel-based organizations Ohr Somayach
Ohr Somayach, Jerusalem
Ohr Somayach was founded in 1970. It is a yeshiva based in Jerusalem, Israel, catering mostly to young Jewish men, usually of college age, who are already interested in learning about Judaism...

 and Aish HaTorah
Aish HaTorah
Aish HaTorah is a Jewish Orthodox organization and yeshiva. Aish HaTorah is actively pro-Israel and encourages Jewish people to visit Israel and connect to the land and its history. Some consider the organisation to reflect a more Religious Zionist philosophy in its attachment to Israel, promoting...

 which established active branches in South Africa; Arachim also has an active presence. Ohr Somayach, South Africa
Ohr Somayach, South Africa
Ohr Somayach in South Africa is an affiliate of Ohr Somayach, Jerusalem, a network of Haredi yeshivas and Synagogues. Like its parent institution, it focuses on educating baal teshuvas...

 operates a full time Yeshiva in Johannesburg – with its Bet Midrash established in 1990, and its Kollel
Kollel
A kollel is an institute for full-time, advanced study of the Talmud and rabbinic literature. Like a yeshiva, a kollel features shiurim and learning sedarim ; unlike a yeshiva, the student body of a kollel are all married men...

 (Toras Chaim) in 1996 – as well as a Midrasha
Midrasha
A refers to an institute of Jewish studies for women. In Israel, it is often an Orthodox institution that caters solely to women, and roughly the equivalent of a yeshiva for men. The term is often translated as 'seminary'. In the United States, the term has also been used to refer to...

 (Ma'ayan Bina); it also runs a Bet Midrash in Cape Town. There are several Haredi
Haredi Judaism
Haredi or Charedi/Chareidi Judaism is the most conservative form of Orthodox Judaism, often referred to as ultra-Orthodox. A follower of Haredi Judaism is called a Haredi ....

 boy's schools in Johannesburg - each associated with one of the yeshivot - as well as a Beis Yaakov girls' school.

The Progressive Movement
Progressive Judaism
Progressive Judaism , is an umbrella term used by strands of Judaism which affiliate to the World Union for Progressive Judaism. They embrace pluralism, modernity, equality and social justice as core values and believe that such values are consistent with a committed Jewish life...

 maintains a network of supplementary Hebrew and Religious classes at its temples. These schools are all affiliated to the SA Union for Progressive Judaism.

Conservative
Conservative Judaism
Conservative Judaism is a modern stream of Judaism that arose out of intellectual currents in Germany in the mid-19th century and took institutional form in the United States in the early 1900s.Conservative Judaism has its roots in the school of thought known as Positive-Historical Judaism,...

 / Masorti's presence in South Africa is limited to one synagogue in Johannesburg.

Limmud
Limmud
Limmud is a British-Jewish educational charity which produces a large annual winter conference and several other events around the year on the theme of Jewish learning...

 was introduced to the country in 2007. The Limmud South Africa
Limmud South Africa
Limmud South Africa is the South African chapter of Limmud UK. Its mission is "to allow each Jew to take one step further on their Jewish journey" and holds annual conferences in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban...

 conferences are held in August/September each year, with over 1000 attending. South Africa's Orthodox rabbis do not participate, taking their lead from the UK Orthodox Rabbinate; see Limmud: Relationships with Centrist Orthodoxy in Britain.

See also

  • Afrikaner-Jews
    Afrikaner-Jews
    Afrikaner-Jews or Boere-Jode as they are sometimes known, are an off-shoot of Afrikanerdom and Judaism. At the beginning of the 19th century, when greater freedom of religious practice was introduced in South Africa, small numbers of Ashkenazi Jews arrived from Britain and Germany. They established...

  • Chief Rabbi# South Africa
  • Gardens Shul
    Gardens Shul
    The Gardens Shul, formally, the Cape Town Hebrew Congregation, founded in 1841, located in the Cape Town Botanical Gardens, in the Gardens neighborhood of Cape Town, is the oldest Jewish congregation in South Africa....

  • History of South Africa
    History of South Africa
    South African history has been dominated by the interaction and conflict of several diverse ethnic groups. The aboriginal Khoisan people have lived in the region for millennia. Most of the population, however, trace their history to immigration since...

  • Orthodox yeshivas in South Africa
  • Jewish population of South Africa
    Jewish population of South Africa
    According to the 2001 census there are 75,745 Jews in South Africa. Their distribution according to the municipal boundaries are as follows:...

    , Detailed population count
  • Jewish Report
    Jewish Report
    The Jewish Report is a weekly publication of the Jewish community in South Africa....


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