The Jews of South Africa: a special community at the tip of the continent  

Sunday, December 4

USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

UK 8:00 pm / France 09:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

About this talk

The history of the Jews in South Africa began during the period of Portuguese and Dutch exploration and colonization. But it was during the period of British colonial rule in the 19th century that the Jewish South African community expanded greatly, in part thanks to the gold rush which attracted tens of thousands of Jews from Lithuania.

The first congregation in South Africa, known as the Gardens Shul, was founded in Cape Town in September 1841, and the initial service was held on the eve of Yom Kippur.

On this multi-media presentation, we will explore the history of the Jewish community's roots in Cape Town's city center. From the first synagogue to the Great Synagogue; from Jewish politicians and political activists to artists and artisans. We will witness the growth from a small service of 17 men in 1841 to the healthy and vibrant community of today.

We will also make a visit to the community of Johannesburg, the largest center of Jewish life, with 40,000 members and the highest number and density of kosher restaurants and religious institutions.

About Craig

Craig Nudelman was born in Johannesburg, but moved to Cape Town in 2013, where he obtained his Master's degree in Justice and Transformation from the University of Cape Town. He quickly grew to love not only the beauty of this city, but also its incredible history.

The Jewish story within it is fascinating, a history with twists and turns, which made him found "Mother City Jewish Tours", a company offering guided tours around Cape Town's Jewish heritage sites.

Craig is married to Gabi, and has two daughters, Jessica and Livi.

Choose your contribution amount

With your contribution you will also be donating to the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre (JHGC), South Africa. The JHGC explores the history of genocide in the 20th century with a focus on the Holocaust and the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. 

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