South Africa SIG #SouthAfrica Cemeteries, Rouxville, Small Communities, etc.,etc #southafrica

Ed Goldberg <egoli@...>

I have just returned >from a two week urgent visit to Johannesburg to visit
my sick father. Before he passed away this past Sunday I managed to spend a
couple of hours in the Westpark Cemetery to visit the graves of my late
mother and other family members. In general the cemetery is well maintained
and in good condition. The problem graves are those that do not have a
solid slab over them but rather just gravel and stones. Some of those had
sunken in or were collapsing. I spoke to a relative who had just spent
about R200 (about US$30) to have a grave repaired. I don't know what
happens to graves where all the family have left overseas. The Chevrah
Kadisha at the cemetery does have an Eternal Care Project for grave
maintenance and repair. For an annual fee of R205.20 (about US$30) plus
V.A.T. per grave or R17.10 per month they will clean the grave once a
month, repair the bed and white chips (if collapsed), repair the cement
surround and repair the silver lettering. They do accept all credit cards
and their e-mail is jhbchev@...

My late grandfather - Rev. Hirsch Goldberg - was the religious leader in
Rouxville in the early 1930s. My father's youngest sister was born there in
1932 and in 1933 they left for Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia.

I also had the opportunity to make contact with Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft
<msilber@...> with the African Jewish Congress and Rabbi for the
country communities. He is very involved with the history of the small
communities of Southern Africa and gave me booklets with the history of the
Jewish Community of Graaf-Reinet (includes the names of all the residents
over the years), a list of all the people buried in the Kadoma (Gatooma)
Jewish Cemetery, a detailed history of the Jews of Mauritius (with the
names of everyone buried in the St. Martin's Jewish Cemetery) and a
detailed history of the Jews of Lourenco Marques (Maputo), Mozambique. Also
short reports on the present day Jewish communities in Botswana, Congo,
Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South
Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

While at a second hand bookstore in Rosebank I managed to pick up a copy of
South African Jewry 1967-68 for R65 (less than US$10). An uncle of mine had
a 1945 copy of The Jew In South Africa and this also has a fairly nice
Who's Who at the end. I managed to make a copy of this. For those people
living in Johannesburg a very good possible source for books are the
Sandringham Jewish Old Age Home and Our Parent's Home. Both of them sell
off old books at very good prices that have been donated by residents. Our
Parent's Home has an enormous amount of books but is very disorganised
and the volunteers are only there in the mornings for a couple of hours.
The volunteer on the day that I was there said he had a copy of one of the
editions of South African Jewry somewhere but I didn't have the time to
climb over and search the piles of boxes. There were several old prayer
books - some of them hundreds of years old and in beautiful condition -
such a pity to see them like that. I spent less than US$2 and walked out
with 3 or 4 books on general Jewish history.

Ed Goldberg

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