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Southern Africa Jewish Genealogy SA-SIG



Editor: Dr Saul Issroff
Copyright © 2003-2015 Saul Issroff, Mike Getz, SAfrica SIG
and Jewishgen Inc.
Updated: 20 October 2015



  1. Book list: more than 150 literary items
  2. South African Literature in Yiddish and Hebrew by Prof. Joseph Sherman
  3. Southern Africa Jewish Newspapers


South African National Library
Search by Author, Title, Keyword, Publisher, Subject, ISBN or ISSN, Class No, Series Title and Shelf Number.


Book List
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Alphabetisation: The titles of books and of articles within books are shown in bold face with sub-titles in roman. Where book titles begin with a word such A or The, these are shown in roman and are ignored for the purpose of alphabetisation.
Numerous entries in the list below, particularly articles, have been copied from "Nova Bibliotheca Anglo-Judaica - a bibliographical guide to Anglo-Jewish History 1937-1960", (compiled by Ruth Lehmann [Librarian, Jews' College London]. This reference work was published by the Jewish Historical Society of England, 1961). Details are published here with the permission of the publishers.
The Jewish Historical Society of England, 33 Seymour Place, London W1, U.K. Telephone: +44 (0)20-7723 5852.



Der Afrikaner Yidishe Tzeitung
A Yiddish-language weekly newspaper published in Johannesburg from 1942 to 1971. Microfilm in the New York Public Library Jewish Division (Call No. *ZAN-*P49), at YIVO (Call No. 64-Y-294-309) and in the Library of Congress Hebraic Section.

An African Trading Empire: The Story of the Susman Brothers and Wulfsohn, 1901-2005
Author: Hugh Macmillan, 2005
Publisher: I.B. Tauris
ISBN-13: 978 1 85043 853 3
Partial contents: Google/Books

Another Year in Africa
Author: Rose Zwi
Publisher: Spinifex Press: North Melbourne, Australia, 1995
ISBN: 1-875559-42-6
Book awarded the 1980 Olive Schreiner Award. Story of a Lithuanian immigrant family who came to South African in 1892 and the period 1930-1940 in South Africa.

The Anti-Jewish Movements In South Africa - the need for action
Author: South African Jewish board of deputies, 1936
LCC: [DS135.A25 S7 ]

Antisemitic, Zionist, social, and political pamphlets. Part 9
Library of Congress
Collection Level Cataloging

Aspects of Jewish life in South Africa
Three lectures by B.M. Casper, A. Geyser, I. Norwich.
LCC: [DS135.S6 C37 1980 ]


Barnato, Barney, books about
    B.J. Barnato: A Memoir. Harry A. Raymond. (London:Isbister and Co., 1897).
    Barney Barnato. Richard Lewinsohn. (Trans. from French by Geoffrey Sainsbury). London: Routledge, 1937).
    Reminiscences of Kimberley. Louis Cohen. (Bennett, 1911).
    Reminiscences of Johannesburg. Louis Cohen. (Holden, 1924).
    The Great Barnato. Stanley Jackson. London: Heinneman, 1970.
    Jewish Chronicle. London. Obit. 18th June 1897.

Baym rand fun gold : tsayt poeme 1966

Bibliography of South African Jewry
Author: Veronica Belling, 1997
Kaplan Centre and UCT Libraries: Cape Town, 1997.
ISBN: 0-7992-1805-7
LCC: [Z6373.S6 B45 1997 DS135. S]
Format: Paperback. 17.5cm W x 24.7cm H x 1.1cm T. 187 pages.
CONTENTS PAGE (full text)

Bilder in shriftn
Author: H. Y. Shlomovits, 1937

Biography Of Nehemia Dov Hoffman - Founder of the Jewish Press in South Africa
Author: J.A. Poliva (Yatzkani)
Format: 75 pages, 8vo (180 x 120 mm), frontispiece portrait, printed red stiff card wrappers with blue cloth back (paperback).
Address not stated, Johannesburg), 1968.
Comment: N.D. Hoffman (1860-1928) was the first Editor and Printer of the Jewish Press in South Africa.

Birth of a Community: A History of Western Province Jewry
from earliest times to the end of the South African War, 1902. Vol. 1
Author: Rabbi Israel Abrahams
Cape Town: Cape Town Hebrew Congregation, 1955

Book of Memoirs: reminiscences of South African Jewry
Author: N.D. Hoffman
Contemporary observations on the social environment in the early twentieth century, collected in the book "The Jews of South Africa" published in 1916. Translated by Lilian Dubb and Sheila Barkunsky.
Cape Town: Jewish Publications, Kaplan Centre, 1996
See also Sefer Hazichrones (Yiddish).

Books and pamphlets by South African Jewish writers, 1940-1962; a bibliography
Author: Judith Beinash, 1965
LCC: [Z3608.L5 B4 ]

Building a home and a community: Jews in Johannesburg, 1886-1914
Author: Riva M. Krut. Thesis (PhD). London: University of London, 1985.

Building cocoons : South African Jewish emigres abroad
Author: Allie A. Dubb, 1993


Can S.A. Jewry Survive?
Isaac Goss
Publisher: The Jewish Herald, 1959, Johannesburg.
In The Jewish Herald, Rosh Hashanah Annual, p.61.

Cape Jewish Chronicle [periodical]
Editor: Irma Chiat
Address: 87 Hatfield Street, Cape Town.
Fax. no. +27-21-461-5804

The Cape Run. Everything you need to know about Ships to the Cape.
Authors: W.H. Mitchell and L.A. Sawyer.
Publisher: Terence Dalton, Lavenham, UK, 1984. Revised edition 1987.

The Cape Town Hebrew Congregation 1841-1941: a centenary history
Author: Louis Herrman, with an introduction by C. Graham Botha.
Cape Town, 1941. pp.146

A Centenary History
Author: Louis Herrman

The changing pattern of Jewish life in the Platteland
Author: J. Newman
Publisher: Fieldhill Publishing House, Johannesburg, 1956.
In The South African Jewish Yearbook, 5717, pp.19-27

Chapters from S.A. History, Jewish and General
Author: Nathan Berger (Kayor, Vol.1, 1982; Vol.2 1986)

Community and Conscience: The Jews in Apartheid South Africa
Author: Gideon Shimoni, Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry Series
Publisher: University Press of New England/Brandeis University
and David Philip, Glosderry 7702, Cape Town, July 2003.
Format: Hardcover
ISBN 0 864866208
Comment: This is the definitive history of the participation of the Jews in the struggle against Apartheid. It also continues Shimoni's previous book, (also definitive) "Jews and Zionism: the South African experience, 1910-1967", by tracking the interplay of Zionist Socialism and Radicalism in shaping the Jewish experience in South Africa. It has an excellent chapter on the transformation of the community, in which Shimoni interprets the turn to religion which occurred particularly in Johannesburg in the 1980s.

Contemporary Jewish Writing in South Africa - An Anthology
Editor: Claudia Bathsheba Braude
Publisher: David Philip, Cape Town, 2001.
ISBN: 0-86486-510-4.
Comment: This is part of a series on Jewish writing in the contemporary World edited by Sander L. Gilman of University of Illinois at Chicago. The introduction by Claudia Braude is an outstanding section on the history of SA Jewish literature, with emphasis on political and sociological aspects. Therer are selections from the works of Rose Zwi, Nadine Gordimer, Dan Jacobson, Sarah Gertrude Millin, Barney Simon, Nehemia Levinsky, Dov Fedler, Lionel Abrahams, Maja Kriel, Lilian Simon, Sandra Braude, Tony Eprile, Pieter-Dirk Uys, Albie Sachs, Graeme Friedman and Matthew Krause.

Cutting Through The Mountain : interviews with South African Jewish activists
Editor: Immanuel Suttner.
Viking 1997.
ISBN: 0-670-870799-X


A Decade with South African Jewry
Author: Rabbi Bernard Moses Caspar. 1916-?
Cape Town: Howard Timmins, 1972.
LCC: [BM740.2 .C37 ]

The Devil's Chimney - Soho, New York
Author: Anne Landsman, 1997
Format: hardback
Comment: This is a novel that deals extensively with Oudtshoorn and the ostrich industry. It is fiction, but also has some Jewish characters. (Dr S. Issroff)

A diamond jubilee of Jewish life in the Rhodesias
Author: Maurice Konviser
Published: Salisbury, 1950
In The Rhodesian Jewish Times Rosh Hashanah Annual, no.52, pp.5-9

Dictionary of South African Biography, Vol. 1 – 5
Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council. Various dates.

Unter der redaktsye fun Shmuel Rozshanski, 1971


Dreambirds - The Strange History of the Ostrich in Fashion, Food, and Fortune
Author: Rob Nixon
Format: paperback
Published: 2000. The front cover shown here was used for the January 2000 edition. To view the March 2000 front cover, click here.
Comment: ' ... a superb recent book ... Interposes factual sections on the early Ostrich industry, Jews of Oudtshoorn and the contemporary industry in the USA , SA and Australia with [the author's] own recollections of growing up in the Eastern Cape. (Dr. S. Issroff)
A description of this book may be found on the web-site at

Durban United Hebrew Congregation Centenary, 1884-1984: 100 Years
Durban United Hebrew Congregation.
Durban: D.U.H.C., 1984.


The Early Days on the Rand
Author: M. Ben Yishai (Meyer David Hersch)
Publisher: The South African Jewish Board of Deputies, Johannesburg, 1959
In Jewish Affairs, xiv, no.8, pp.36-40


The First 80 Years of Hebrew Order of David
Editor: David Wacks 1985

The Fordsburg-Mayfair Jewish Community 1893-1964
Author: Bernard Sachs [more, search on page for 'bernard sachs]
Johannesburg: Eagle Press, 1972.

Founders and Followers - Johannesburg Jewry 1887-1915
Authors: Mendel Kaplan and Marian Robertson
Cape Town: Vlaeberg, 1991
ISBN: 0-947461-09-4
Deals with early Johannesburg. Comprehensive socio-history with very good bibliography.

The Fraenkel Saga
The history of Dr Sigfried Fraenkel, the first recognised Jewish doctor at the Cape - South Africa in 1809, and the beginings of the first Jewish congregation in Cape Town.
ISBN: 0-620-21236-5
Format: Hardback. 181 pages. 155mm H x 215mm W. Illustrations. Index. 400 numbered copies published, August 2000.
Contact: Fraenkel Book, PO Box 80, Main Street PO, Paarl 7622, South Africa

From A Land Far Off
South African Yiddish stories in English translation
Selected and edited by Joseph Sherman

From Refugee to Citizen.
Editor: Dr Frieda Sichel
Cape Town, Amsterdam: A.A. Balkema, 1966.
[German Jewish refugees in S.A.].


Golden Jubilee, 1928-1978 : report to the eighteenth national education conference, Johannesburg, August 3-6, 1978 [29 Tamuz-3 Av 738]
South African Board of Jewish Education, 1978
LCC: [LC748.S6 G57 ]

A Guide to Jewish Research Resources in the Cape Province
Authors: S. Friedman and N. Kagan,
Cape Town: Kaplan Centre, UCT, 1984, 3 volumes.
Vol. 1. Synagogues and research institutions of the South-Western Cape,
Vol. 2. Jewish cultural, educational, sports, welfare and Zionist organizations of the South-Western Cape,
Vol. 3. The religious and communal organizations of East London, Kimberley, Port Elizabeth and the Cape country communities.
[Review: Vol. 1: Cabo 3(4), 1985: 311; Vol. II: Cabo 4(1), 1986:25]

A Guide to Jewish Research resources in the Cape Province:
Addenda to volumes I, II and III.
Author: S. Friedman
Cape Town: Kaplan Centre, University of Cape Town, 1989.

Guide to the Manuscript Archives of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies
Covers all aspects of South African Jewish history and activities during the past century.


Handbook for Genealogical Research in South Africa
Author: R.T.J. Lombard
Human Sciences Research Council: Pretoria, 1990.

Hashachar: a collection of addresses, essays and articles.
Publisher: South African Jewish Ministers' Association, Johannesburg, 1953.

Haven In Africa
Author: Frank Shapiro.
Publisher: Gefen, Jerusalem and New York, 2002.
Format: xii + 156 pp. Maps, photographs, bibliography, notes, appendix, index.
ISBN: 965-229-285-0.

Click for abbreviated commentary, full text.
Comment: see also the author's 1999 book Zion in Africa: The Jews of Zambia, below, and Nexus in Africa.

An Historical Dictionary of Greater Johannesburg
Author: Naomi Musiker (Archivist, South African Jewish Board of Deputies)and Reuben Musiker.
Publisher: Scarecrow Press, 1999.
Format: 380 pp. (cloth).
ISBN: 0-8108-3520-7.
Comment: Notes on currency and measurement, abbreviations and acronyms, maps, chronology, introduction, appendix, selected bibliography.

A History of the Jewish Community of Zimbabwe
Author: Majuta Kosmin, B.A.
Gwelo: Mambo Press, 1980

History of the Jews of South Africa
Author: Saron & Hotz

A History of The Jews in South Africa from the earliest times to 1895
Author: Louis Herrman
London: Victor Gollancz, 1930.

A History of The Jews in South Africa from the earliest times to 1895
Author: Louis Herrman
Revised South African edition
Johannesburg, Cape Town: South African Jewish Board of Deputies, 1935
Format: 288 pages, 8vo (225 x 150 mm), frontispiece, 22 plates, black cloth, a very good copy in the d.w.
Johannesburg, 1935.

A History of the Jews of Durban, 1825-1918
Author: S. Cohen
Thesis (PhD)
University of Natal, Durban, 1982.

The House Next Door to Africa
Author: Denis Hirson
Carcanet Press Limited, Manchester, England, 1987
ISBN: 0-85635-720-0.
The author is the translator of the poems of Breyten Breytenbach. Story of his family who came to Johannesburg, South Africa, from Minsk and then left in the aftermath of Sharpeville.


I Recall - Memoirs of Morris Kentridge
Author: Morris Kentridge
Format: 431 pages, 8vo (220 x 145 mm), frontispiece portrait, 16 illustrations, blue cloth, frayed d.w.
Johannesburg, 1959.
Editor's note: 'Morris Kentridge, when he retired from Parliament in 1958, was the only M.P. who had sat in the first Union Parliament. His political career spanned half a century of South African politics. He played a prominent part in early Labour politics and was gaoled for his participation in the 1922 strike on the Witwatersrand. He has also much to tell of the Zionist movement in the Union and abroad, in the development of which he played a not inconsiderable part.' .

In Afrike : bilder fun Yidishn lebn in Dorem-Afrike, in di frierdike yorn

In Sacred Memory, Recollections of the Holocaust by survivors living in Cape Town
Author: Gwynne Schrire
Publisher: Cape Town Holocaust Memorial Council: Cape Town, 1995
ISBN: 0-620-19074-4.

In Those Days, In These Times - spotlighting events in Jewry-South African and general
Author: Nathan Berger, 1979
LCC: [DS135.S6 B47 ]

Into Kokerboom Country: Namaqualand’s Jewish Pioneers
Authors: Phyllis Jowell and Adrienne Folb


The Jew in the Economic Life of South Africa
Author: J.L. Gray
Publisher: The Society of Jews and Christians, 1943(?), Publication no.5, p.20.

The Jew In South Africa: A Record of what individual Jews are doing in various spheres of the Country’s life.
Editors: Dora Sowden and Rev. M. Konvisser
Johannesburg: Century Publishing, 1945.[Good who’s who].

Jewish Affairs. A Quarterly Journal.
Editor: Prof. Joseph Sherman
Johannesburg: The Jewish Board of Deputies of S.A.
P.O. Box 87557, Houghton 2041, S.A.

Jewish Associations with Afrikaans
Author:Edgar Bernstein
Publisher: Fieldhill Publishing House, 1959, Johanesburg
In The South African Jewish Yearbook 5720, pp. 21-26

Jewish Communities in Frontier Societies - Argentina, Australia, and South Africa
Author: Daniel J. Elazar with Peter Medding, 1983

Jewish Divorces - report 1994 South African Law Commission
LCC: [KTL558.A24]

Jewish Life in British South Africa
Author: Norman de Mattos Bentwich
Publisher: New York, The Conference on Jewish Relations, 1942. In Jewish Social Studies, iv, no.1, pp.73-84.

Jewish Life in the South African Country Communities
Volume 1: The Northern Great Escarpment, The Lowveld, The Northern Highveld, The Bushveld
Research by The South African Friends of Beth Hatefutsoth © 2002
ISBN: 0-9584602-1-3

Volume I: Jewish communities in 37 country towns in the Northern Great Escarpment, the Lowveld, the Northern Highveld and the Bushveld.
Volume II: 70+ country towns in the Western & Northern Cape.
Volumes III, IV and V are due to be published in future years.
More details:

Jewish Migration to South Africa: - The Records of the Poor Jews' Temporary Shelter, 1885-1914
Authors: Aubrey N. Newman, Nicholas J. Evans, J. Graham Smith
& Saul W. Issroff.
Publisher: __________ © 2006
ISBN: 0-7992-2315-8
Illustration [.PDF], order form [.DOC]

The Jewish Population of South Africa - The 1991 Sociodemographic survey
Author: Allie A. Dubb
Cape Town: Kaplan Centre, 1994.

Jewish Roots in The South African Economy
Authors: Mendel Kaplan and Marian Robertson.
Cape Town: Struik, 1986.
ISBN: 0-86977-320-8
In 2002, Kelvyn Abramowitz wrote: "This is an economic history of SA Jewry stretching back to the late 1700's early 1800's. It details our ancestors role in the early agricultural economy through the itinerant peddlers or 'smouses' to the mining Randlords to the contributions to the financial, fashion and retailing sectors to name just a few. This is a well researched book by the eponymous benefactor of the Jewish Studies department at the University of Cape Town."

Jewish South Africans - A Sociological View of the Johannesburg Community
Author: A. Dubb
Publisher: Grahamstown, 1977.
Format: 190 pages, 8vo (235 x 160 mm), maps, tables, red card wrappers (paperback).

The Jewish Studies documentary collection at UCT (University of Cape Town): an unexpected resource for African Studies.
Author: S. Friedman
Jagger Journal 7, 1986/87: 11-13.

The Jewish Victorian
Genealogical Information from the Jewish Newspapers 1871-80.
ISBN: 1 899536 38 8
Transcribed and edited by Doreen Berger who writes: "There are mentions of South Africa throughout the book, but one has to comb through the JV to find them, as entries are under the names of individuals. All genealogies are cross-referenced. I believe, at this period, they are mostly in births, marriages, death and condolence entries. There are nearly 600 pages."

Jewish writers in South Africa
Author: Edgar Bernstein
Publisher: Jewish Book Council of America, New York, 1960.
In Jewish Book Annual, xviii, pp.54-61.

Jewries at the Frontier - Accommodation, Identity, Conflict
Editors: Sander L. Gilman and Milton Shain.
Publisher: University Press of Illinois
ISBN: 0-252-06792-4
A collection of essays, all with copious notes, which include ...
  • At the Frontier: The South African Jewish Experience, John Simon, pp67-90,
  • From One Frontier to Another: Jewish Identity and Political Organisation in Lithuania and South Africa, Gideon Shimoni, pp129-154,
  • A Frontier Experience: Israeli Jews Encounter Diaspora in Cape Town, South Africa, Sally Frankental, pp155-184,
  • The Enemy Within: Some South African Jewish Writers, Marcia Leveson, pp242-258,
  • From the Brotherhood of Man to the World to Come: The Denial of the Political in Rabbinic Writing under Apartheid, Claudia B. Braude, pp259-289,
  • Ethnonationalism, Anti-Semitism, and Identity Politics: The North American and South African Expriences, Milton Shain, pp335-350.

Jewry and Cape Society.
Author: Milton Shain
Cape Town: Historical Publication Society, 1983.

Jewry and Cape Society : the origins and activities of the Jewish Board of Deputies for the Cape Colony
Author: Milton Shain, 1983
Publisher: Historical Publication Society, 1983.

Jewry in the Eastern Province
Author: L. Leibowitz
Publisher: Fieldhill Publishing House, Johannesburg, 1956
In The South African Jewish Yearbook, 5717, pp.63-66

Jews and Zionism. The South African Experience 1910-1967
Author: Dr Gideon Shimoni, based on his doctoral thesis.
Cape Town: Oxford University Press, 1980.
LCC: [DS135.S6 S54 ]

The Jews in Apartheid South Africa
Author: Dr Gideon Shimoni
Publisher: Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry series. Brandeis University Press. [expected in July 2003]
Format: Hardback. 288pp. 16 illustrations.
ISBN: 1-58465-329-9
Publisher's comment: Offers a complete look at the Jewish experience in South Africa under the Afrikaner nationalist regime which came to power in 1948. Examining black perceptions of the Jewish community, Shimoni highlights a key paradox: as whites, Jews had many privileges, but as Jews, they raised strong, and sometimes negative, feelings among non-Jews, both black and white.

The Jews in South Africa : a history
Editors: Gustav Saron and Louis Hotz, 1955
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1955
pp. xvii, 422.

The Jews in South Africa from the earliest times to 1895
Editors: Gustav Saron and Louis Hotz
Cape Town, London, New York: Geoffrey Cumberlege and Oxford University Press, 1955.

Jews in South African Public Life
Author:Edgar Bernstein
Publisher: Fieldhill Publishing House, 1957, Johanesburg
In The South African Jewish Yearbook 5718, pp. 15-21

Jews of Johannesburg
Written in 1901 and first published in 2002.

The Jews of South Africa
Editor: Dr Gideon Shimoni
Tel Aviv: Beit Hatefusoth, Nahum Goldmann Museum of The Jewish Diaspora, 1983.

Jews of South Africa
Author: Louis Herrman

The Jews of South Africa
Author: Lewis Sowden
Publisher: The Jewish Monthly, London, 1947.
In The Jewish Monthly, i, no.1, pp.54-63.

The Jews of South Africa: An Illustrated History to 1953.
With an epilogue to 1975.
Author: Naomi Musiker
Publisher: Scarecrow Books in association with the South African Jewish Board of Deputies. 2001.
Format: 274pp. Paperback.
This scholarly illustrated history of South African Jewry from earliest times to 1953 is well documented with extensive references and equipped with a bibliography and a detailed index. The author, Gustav Saron, was associated with the South African Jewish Board of Deputies for almost half a century and was exceptionally well qualified to write this landmark book. This is a totally new work, not related in any way to the book of essays, "Jews in South Africa", edited by Saron and Hotz and published in 1955. Edited and augmented by Naomi Musiker, Archivist, South African Jewish Board of Deputies, and author of "An Historical Dictionary of Greater Johannesburg." 2001.

The Jews of South Africa: portrait of a flourishing community
Author: Dan Jacobson
Publisher: The American Jewish Committee, New York, 1957.
In Commentary, xxiii, no.1, pp.39-45

The Jews of South Africa - What Future?
Authors: Hoffman and Fisher
Publisher: Southern, 1988.

The Jews of the Central African Federation
Author: Maurice Konviser
Publisher: World Jewish Congress, London, 1958.
In World Jewry, i, no.5, pp.15-16.

The Jews of Upington   [The actual title may be slightly different.]
Author: Phyllis Jowell

Jews, Zionism & South Africa
Author: Yosef I. Abramowitz.
B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundations, Washington.
1985. 36 pages.

Joe Jowell of Namaqualand - the story of a modern day pioneer
Authors: Phyllis Jowell and Adrienne Folb
Vlaeberg: Fernwood Press, 1994.

Jowell, J.: see Joe Jowell, above.


The Light of Israel - The Story of the Paarl Jewish Community
Author: Charles Press
Paarl: Jubilee Publications, 1993

Linking the Threads - A Tribute to a Litvak Tailor
Author: Hilary Rudick
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing, 2005
Format: 312 pages.
ISBN: 141960998X


Linksfield-Senderwood Hebrew Congregation : the first 25 years
Author: Herbert Abro
Compiled on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the establishment of the Linksfield-Senderwood Hebrew Congregation, from material supplied, inter alia, by Mr Nathan Mendelow ... [et al.]

Looking Back - Jews in the Struggle for Democracy and Human Rights in South Africa
Compiled by Milton Shain, Adrienne Folb, Albie Sachs, Jon Berndt, Barry Feinberg and Andre Odendaal.
Jewish Publications - South Africa. Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research, University of Cape Town, 2001.
ISBN: 0-7992-2044-2.


Marks: see Sammy Marks, below.

Memories, realities and dreams: aspects of the South African Jewish experience
Editors: Milton Shain and Richard Mendelsohn
Publisher: Jonathan Ball, Johannesburg. 2002.
ISBN: 1868421414 (hb), 1868421325 (pbk)
Comment: Except for the article by James Campbell, all the contributions emanate from a colloquium organised by the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre in Cape Town in 2000. It includes the following chapters:
------Introduction, by Milton Shain and Richard Mendelsohn,
------Growing up Jewish, by Dan Jacobson,
------Between ideology and indifference: the destruction of Yiddish in South Africa, by Joseph Sheman,
------The Boer War, the Great War, and the shaping of South African Jewish loyalties, Richard Mendelsohn,
------Insiders and outsiders: some South African Jewish writers,
------'If it was so good, why was it so bad?': the memories and realities of antisemitism in South Africa, past and present, by Milton Shain,
------Beyond the pale: Jewish immigration and the South African Left, by James T. Campbell,
------Accounting for radicals in apartheid South Africa/ Gideon Shimoni--
------The road to Rivonia: Jewish radicals and the cost of conscience in white South Africa, by Glenn Frankel,
------Jews and the open society/ Dennis Davis.

Mendelssohn's South African Bibliography
Any list of books about South Africa and its history would be incomplete without mentioning Sidney Mendelssohn. His 2000 page reference work, "Mendelssohn's South African Bibliography," was first published in 1910. It contained details of over 9,000 books beginning with early Portuguese publications and ending with books of the 20th century. You can learn more about this remarkable bibliophile (and Kimberley diamond dealer and land speculator) at:
In Roosevelt Park, Johannesburg, Mendelsohn Road is named after him.

Millionaires and Tatterdemallions: stories of Jewish life in South Africa
Author: V. Barwin
Published: 1952


Nothing Happens By Accident
Author: Rabbi Joseph J. Fogel
Publisher: Sponsored by the Green & Sea Point Hebrew Congregation, Cape Town.
ISBN: none
Format: Hardback.
Pages 103-197 cover the author's period in South Africa, 1954 to 1986. Many annotated photographs.
Excerpt from dustjacket front flap: " [Rabbi Fogel] found his way to the Orange Free State in distant South Africa where he was appointed Regional Minister of Religion to country communities, then to Johannesburg where he ministered with distinction to a large congregation composed of German-speaking Jewish refugees and eventually to Sea Point, Cape Town, on the Southern tip of the African continent where he served as Dayan of the Cape Beth Din and Associate Rabbi of one of the largest, most flourishing Jewish congregations of our post-war era.".


Oral History Collection: South African Jewry
Publisher: Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research, University of Cape Town.

Oudtshoorn, Jerusalem of Africa
Editor: Leibl Feldman, with introductory essay, by Joseph Sherman
Translators: Lilian Dubb and Sheila Barkusky (from Yiddish 1941 edition.)
Historical notes and Commentary by John Simon.
Johannesburg: The Friends of the Library, University of Witwatersrand, 1989.
ISBN: 1-868-14129-2.
Additional comment

Originally published in Yiddish as "Oydtshoorn: Yerushalayim d'Afrike."
Available from the National Yiddish Book Center (part of the Steven Spielberg Digital Yiddish Library):


The Pattern of South African Jewry
Author: Eugene Duchinsky
Publisher: Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, New York, 1955.
In Orthodox Jewish Life, October 1955, pp. 25-32.

Pen Picture of the youngest Jewish community in the Commonwealth [Rhodesia]
Author: Maurice Wagner
Publisher: The Jewish Herald, Johannesburg, 1959
In The Jewish Herald, Rosh Hashanah Annual, Rhodesian Supplement, pp.27-28
Rhodesian Jewish Community

People Of The Book - images of the Jew in South African English fiction 1880-1992
Author: Marcia Leveson, 1996
LCC: [PR9362.6.J48 L48 1996]

Port Elizabeth in Bygone Days
Author: J.J. Redgrave,
Wynberg, Cape: Rustica Press, 1947.
[Pages 519-524 record the first Jews in Port Elizabeth]

Profile of a Community - South African Jewry
Author: Aleck Goldberg
Publisher: The Rabbi Aloy Foundation Trust,Johannesburg, 2002.
ISBN: 0-620-38759-0
Comment: This is a 'profile' and is not comprehensive. Topics are arbitrarily chosen and there are few references, but nevertheless it fills an important gap. The book has sections on demographics, the umbrella structure, Zionism, SA Governments and Israel, the National Party and the Jews, apartheid and the Jews, perspective on anti-semitism, general political activity, economic participation, cultural life, practising religion, social welfare network, education, the legal profession, the medical profession and sporting activities.

Progressive Judaism in South Africa (by a special correspondent)
Publisher: Fieldhill Publishing House, Johannesburg, 1959.
In South African Jewish Yearbook, 5720, pp.72-74.


Religious progress in South African Jewry
Author: Louis Isaac Rabinowitz
Publisher: Fieldhill Publishing House, Johannesburg, 1956
In The South African Jewish Yearbook, 5718, pp.7-13

Report of the Executive Council
South African Jewish Board of Deputies
LCC: [DS135.S6 S68a ]

A Review of the Work and Correspondence in Connection with the Beth hamedrash, lomdi Torah ... with fragmentary notes relating to the war in South Africa.
Author: Simon Cohen, 1900
LCC: [DS135.E5 C7]

The Ringed Fledgeling
Author: Molly Nochomowitz, Cape Town, 1967.
Romantic novel based on Jewish immigrant experience in South Africa.

The Roots of Antisemitism in South Africa
Author: Milton Shain
Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1994
ISBN: 0-8139-1488-4
[Wits U.P. 1994]


The Salisbury Hebrew Congregation golden jubilee, 1895-1945: a monograph
Author: Maurice Konviser
Published: Salisbury, 1945. pp.40

Samuel Isaac, Saul Isaac and Nathaniel Isaacs
Author: Michael Jolles
Published: Jolles Publications: London, 1998
ISBN: 0-9523105-3-8.
Monograph dealing with Anglo-Jewish Isaacs family particularly Nathaniel Isaacs who had an impact on early Natal history.

Sammy Marks: the uncrowned king of the Transvaal
Author: Richard Mendelsohn
Cape Town: David Philip
Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press in association with Jewish Publications, South Africa, 1991.

Sefer HaYachas leMishpachat Rivlin
The genealogy of the Rivlin family written in Jerusalem in 1940 by Eliezer Rivlin: Yehuda Leib RIVLIN lived in Johannesburg. He was the son of Rabbi Avigdor Rivlin of Riga. The Sefer does not, in most cases, give dates but I suspect that Yehuda Leib RIVLIN was alive then in 1940.

Sefer Hazichrones: erinnerungen fun a Litvishen maskil in drey velt-theyin, Europe, Amerike un Afrika.(The Jews in South Africa: of all matters concerning Jewish and Judaism)
Author: N.D. Hoffman
Cape Town: N. Hoffman, 1916.
B.B. wrote: He writes about "Tikvat Israel" - (Gardens Shul described as the English Shul) - "Agudat Achim" (Roeland Street Shul) - "The Poneveszer Shul", and "The Chassidic Shtiebel" besides the Beth Hamedrash Hachadash (a.k.a. Constitution and then Vredehoek Shul). Those are the only Shuls mentioned at this stage i.e. 1916. He also mentioned two early Rabbis - Rev. Joel Rabinowitz and A.F. Ornstein. It is a lovely book. Very warmly written and full of character.
See also Book of Memoirs (English translation).

Sefer Toldot Beit Josef. (Hebrew. 2 Volumes.)
Author: Rabbi J. Gad
Johannesburg: Rabbi J. Gad, 1941 (Possibly the only Sefer Prenumeratn published in SA. It lists about 1800 subscribers).

The Sephardic community in Rhodesia
Author: Manfred Papo
Published: Salisbury, 1950
In The Rhodesian Jewish Times Rosh Hashonah Annual, v, no.52. pp.24-25

Seventy Years of Southern African Aliyah
Author: Philip Gillon
Israel: S.A. Zionist Federation-Telfed, Adar Productions, 1992.

Shalom Bwana, la saga des Juifs du Congo
Author: Moise Rahmani
Publisher: Romillat, 17 rue Pascal, F-75005, Paris, France. 2002.
Written in French, it tells the story of the Jews of the former Belgian Congo (mainly originally from Rhodes) who created this tiny community in 1910 until its near end in 1990. They had, in Elisabethville (actually Lubumbashi) a synagogue in the heart of Africa with a Chief Rabbi. This book of 256 pages contains 75 black and white photographs. An earlier, 2000, book by the same author is "Rhodes, un pan de notre memoire."

Shared Lives
Author: Lyndall Gordon
Publisher: David Philip Publishers (Pty) Ltd.: Cape Town, 1992
ISBN: 0-86486-209-1.
Story of three friends coming of age who met in 1954 at Good Hope School in Cape Town, through 1988.

Shemot - August 2012
The August 2012 issue of Shemot, the journal of The Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, is a special issue on South Africa, covering a wide variety of topics. The issue is reproduced here with the permission of the Shemot Editor, Bernard Valman. Thanks are due to Bernard, and to Mark Nicholls, Chairman of JGSGB, for providing the PDF file for posting on the SA-SIG site.
The JGSGB website can be found at and membership in the Society is encouraged – see Further items are available from the JGSGB catalog at

Ships and South Africa
Author: M. Murray
London: Oxford University Press, 1933

Shomrim In The Land of Apartheid. The Story of Hashomer Hatzair in South Africa 1935-1970
Author: Chaim Shur
Givat Haviva/Havazelet: Yad Yaari-Maarechet,1998

A Short History of the Jewish Press and Literature in South Africa from the earliest days to the present time. (two vols.)
Author: J.A. Poliva
Publisher: Prompt Printing, Vereeniging, Johannesburg, 1961.

Slutzk, Johannesburg, Jerusalem
Author: Moshe Chigier

Social welfare work in Johannesburg Jewry
Author: Golda Myburg
Publisher: Fieldhill Publishing House, Johannesburg, 1957
In The South African Jewish Yearbook, 5718, pp.45-49

The Song of Africa
Author: Isaac Benatar
Publisher: Writers Club Press: Lincoln, Nebraska, 2000, U.S.A.
ISBN: 0-595-08847-5
Story based on the author's and his family experiences during the period 1948-1980 in Zimbabwe (formerly Southern Rhodesia).

South Africa I. The Jewish Community
Author:Gustav Saron
Publisher: The American Jewish Committee, New York, 1941.
In Contemporary Jewish Record, iv, no.4, pp.367-372

South Africa II. The Racial Conflict
Author: Edgar Bernstein
Publisher: The American Jewish Committee, New York, 1941.
In Contemporary Jewish Record, iv, no.4, pp. 372-380.

South Africa’s 800: The Story of South African Volunteers in Israel's War of Birth
Authors: Heny Katzew. Compiled by Maurice and Marcia Ostroff. Editor: Joe Woolf.
Israel: Privately published: 2003, pp 393, with additional 58 pages, photograph album.
South African Zionist Federation (Telfed). 19/1 Schwartz Street, Ra'anana, 43212 Israel. info&

South African impressions
Author: Harold Soref
Publisher: The Council of Christians and Jews, London, 1960.
In Common Ground, xiv, no.3, pp.24-27.
Contemporary South African Jewry.

South African Jewish biography, 1900-1966: a bibliography
Author: Maureen Joan Stern
Cape Town: University of Cape Town Libraries, 1972 [9], 28 p.
University of Cape Town Libraries. Bibliographical series. School of Librarianship.

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies, its role and development; an analytical review on its 70th anniversary
Author: Gustav Saron, 1973, 1905-
LCC: [DS135.S6 S25 ]

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies. Report: September, 1955 to March 1958. Submitted to the Twenty-first Congress, Johannesburg, 13th to 16th March, 1958.
pp.71. Johannesburg, 1958.

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies: the story of fifty years, 1903-1953
pp.48. Johannesburg 1953.

South African Jewish Frontier
South African Zionist socialist Party
LCC: JQ1998.S6 S6

South African Jewish Year Book 1929
Editors: Morris de Saxe and I.M.Goodman
Johannesburg: SA Jewish Historical Society, 1929.

South African Jewish Yearbook (incorporating the S.A. Rosh Hashanah Annual
Publisher: Fieldhill Publishing House, Johannesburg, 1941 onwards

South African Jewry
see 'Oral History Collection: South African Jewry,' above.

[The following four year-books contain surveys of most aspects of Jewish life in S.A. and very good brief biographies of many prominent individuals].

South African Jewry, A Survey of the Jewish Community;
     its contributions to South Africa; directory of Communal Institutions;
     Who’s Who of Leading Personalities 1965
Editor: Leon Feldberg
Johannesburg: Fieldhill, 1965.

South African Jewry, A Survey of the Jewish Community;
     its contributions to South Africa;
     directory of Communal Institutions;
     Who’s Who of Leading Personalities,
     revised edition 1967/1968
Editor: Leon Feldberg
Johannesburg: Fieldhill, 1968.

South African Jewry 1976/77
Editor: Leon Feldberg
Roodepoort: Alex White,1977.
Two indexes to the third edition of South African Jewry have been compiled by Louis Zetler who writes .. The indexes contain the names of the people in the Who's Who section. I have listed the women according to their maiden names, with the exception of a few whose maiden names are not mentioned, in which case I have listed them under their married names (in brackets). There are two alphabetical lists, the first consisting of the people listed in the book and the second consisting of the people listed in the book and their spouses (women under their maiden names.) I have also attempted to establish the dates of death of those who have died and where they died.

South African Jewry, A Contemporary Survey
Editor: Marcus Arkin
Cape Town: Oxford University Press, 1984.
[Good review with extensive annotated bibliography].

South African Jewry in 50 Years of Union
Jewish Affairs special festival issue.
Publisher: South African Jewish Board of Deputies, Johannesburg, 1960.
Articles on:
  • Cape Town Jewry in 1910
  • 1910 - some Jewish highlights
  • Fifty years and the changes they brought
  • The Jewish impact on economic progress
  • Jewish contributions to the Union's literature
  • Jews in public life
  • Bydrae van die Joodse Gemeente tot die Afrikaner Volk
  • Zionism and the Union of South Africa
  • Fifty years on the religious scene
  • The changing pattern of Jewish welfare work
  • Jews in the artistic life of South Africa
  • Yiddish in South Africa 1910-1960
  • Jewish women on the community scene
  • Then and now in Jewish education
  • The Board of Deputies: a mirror of our history
  • A milestone in communal growth
  • Youth tries to find its way

South African Jews and the Nationalist Government
Author: Moses Cyrus Weiler
Publisher: The Jewish Monthly, London, 1950.
In The Jewish Monthly, iv, no.9, pp.564-571.

South African Jews in World War II
Johannesburg: S.A. Jewish Board of Deputies, 1950.
LCC: [D810.J4 S62]
pp. xix, 189

Southern African Dictionary of National Biography
Compiled by Eric Rosenthal
Publisher: Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd.

Der Soyt-Afrikanisher Yohr-bukh. (S.A. Jewish Year Book)
Editor: N.D. Hoffman
Cape Town: Beinkenstadt, 1920

Spilt Milk
Author: Len Lotzof
Publisher: Wild and Woolley, Australia.
ISBN: 1 74018 351 7


The Story of the Pretoria Jewish Community up to 1930
Editor: Jill Katz
Bophuthatswana:Heer Publishing, 1987.

A study of the trends and tendencies of Hebrew and Yiddish writings in South Africa, since the beginning of the early nineties of the last century to 1930
Author: M.P. Grosman
3 volumes, Thesis (D.Phil.) , University of Witwatersrand, 1973.
The original is held by the University of Witwatersrand. A copy is held at the Kaplan Centre Archives.


The Thorny Path of Jewish Immigration to South Africa
A translation of this article by the South African Yiddishist historian J. M. Sherman can be read online as part of the Rakishok (Rokiskis, Lithuania) Yizkor Book web page. This book was published in 1952 in Johannesburg. It can be read at:

Tiger Tapestry
Author: Rudy Frankel
Publisher: Struik, 1988.

Towards an Appraisal of South African Jewish Historiography
... published in Festschrift in Honour of Frank Bradlow, edited by P.E. Westra and B. Warner (Cape Town: Friends of the South African Library, 1993)
Author: John Simon
Note: provides an overview of the principal published material on South African Jewry.

Transvaal Jewry and the problem of Johannesburg: a headache in communal organsiation
Author: Edgar Bernstein
Publisher: Fieldhill Publishing House, Johannesburg, 1956
In The South African Jewish Yearbook, 5717, pp.29-39

Trends in Jewish family life in South Africa
Author:Golda Myburg
Publisher: Fieldhill Publishing House, Johannesburg, 1959.
In The South African Jewish Yearbook, 5720, pp.9-16.


The Unbroken Chain - Biographical Sketches and Genealogy of Illustrious Jewish Families from the 15th-20th Century.
Author: Dr. Neil Rosenstein. (Graduate, U.C.T. Medical School).
Publisher: C.I.S. Publishers and Distributors. 1990.
Format: Hardcover. 16.5cm W x 24.2cm H. Two volumes totalling 1,323 pages. Glossary. Index, 63 pages.
Comment: This is meticulous genealogical research on a massive scale. It documents the genealogy of the descendants of the 16th century rabbi, the Maharam of Padua, Rabbi Meir Katzenellenbogen. There are many references to South Africa.

Union Castle Chronicle 1853-1953
Author: Murray, M.
London: Longmans Green, 1953.


The Vision Amazing. The Story of South African Zionism
Author: Marcia Gitlin
Johannesburg: Menorah Book Club, 1950
Format: 374 pages, 8vo (220 x 145 mm), 31 illustrations, maps on endpapers, green cloth, d.w.
Johannesburg, 1950.


War of Words, Memoirs of a South Africa Journalist
Author: Benjamin Pogrund
Publisher: Seven Stories press: New York, 2000
ISBN: 1-888363-71-1
Details the career of Benjamin Pogrund, South African Jewish journalist, who was African Affairs reporter on the Rand Daily Mail. Spans the period of 1950-2000.

Who were the Jews of early Natal?
Author: Abe Tobie Shrock
Publisher: The Jewish Herald, Johannesburg, 1959
In The Jewish Herald, Rosh Hashanah Annual, pp.84-86

The Wild Almond Line
Author: Larry Schwartz
The author, a former South African and now Australian journalist, was born in 1957 and his autobiography covers both his growing up years and partly includes tracing his family's roots in Dotnuva, Panevezys and Rokiskis, Lithuania, and their arrival to South Africa and settlement in Paarl and Cape Town.
Publisher Allen & Unwin: St. Leonards, NSW, Australia, 2000.
ISBN: 1-86448-763-1

Women's work in South African Jewry
Author: Adele Sherman
Publisher: Fieldhill Publishing House, Johannesburg.
In The South African Jewish Yearbook, 5718, pp.35-39.
In The South African Jewish Yearbook, 5720, pp.55-59.

Worlds Apart - The Re-Migration of South African Jews
Authors: Colin Tatz, Peter Arnold and Gillian Heller
Publisher: Rosenberg Publishing Co., Australia
Format: Paperback. 225 x 150 mm, 360 pages, 100 illustrations, AU$35.00
ISBN: 9781877058356
Available: August 2007
Description: If the 19th and 20th centuries witnessed the greatest migrations in the history of the world, then the story of the exodus of Jews from Lithuania to South Africa and then on again to Australia is one of the most extraordinary.


Yeshiva College - The First Fifty Years

Yidn in Dorem Afrika
Author: Leibl Feldman
Vilna, 1937

Yidn in Yohannesburg: biz yunion, 31-tn May, 1910 (The Jews of Johannesburg)
Author: Leibl Feldman
Johannesburg: S.A. Yiddish Cultural Federation, 1956.
Format: 8vo, 303 pp., a few b/w photos.


Zion In Africa - The Jews of Zambia
Authors: Hugh MacMillan & Frank Shapiro
Book review
Comment: see also Frank Shapiro's book Haven in Africa, above.


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