Community History On-Line - CHOL Preserving the footprint of the Southern African Jewish community online #southafrica #events

Eli Rabinowitz

Community History On-Line -  CHOL  Preserving the footprint of the Southern African Jewish community online
Memories of Muizenberg Exhibition

preserving the footprint of the southern african jewish community online

This free public conference will take place on Zoom over three weekly sessions on 28 July, 4 August and 11 August from 7pm to 8.30pm (Australian Eastern States time).


The SA Jewish Museum and the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies at UCT invite you to explore the resources available and consider some of the solutions in use to recreate South African Jewish communities online. We will consider websites, social media platforms such as Facebook groups, Zoom reunions and also virtual cemeteries. We will hear from those in the field, about their processes and successes and what they feel still needs to be worked on, so that others may follow in their footsteps.   Both for dwindling and for still vibrant Jewish communities, many enthusiasts and professionals are endeavouring to celebrate and preserve the Jewish footprint online. Time is of the essence while sources can tell the stories firsthand. The recent tragic fire that engulfed UCT’s Jagger Library underlines the importance of securing heritage resources, both physically and digitally. So please join us for this first Community History Online (CHOL) Webinar.   Register here and you will be sent the zoom link. (Sessions will be recorded and uploaded on the CHOL playlist of the South African Jewish Museum.)
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Eli Rabinowitz & The SAJM Team
More details of sessions

Website Templates, KehilaLink & The SAJM Archive

Wednesday 28 July, 11am - 12.30pm (SA time)
A Virtual City & How to Make It
Outlining the processes needed to create an online presence preserving the footprint of a Jewish community, demonstrating the Kimberley KehilaLink site as an example.


Presented by Geraldine Auerbach | MBE | London, UK


Born in Kimberley, Geraldine Auerbach studied art and teaching at Wits and UCT.  She taught art in London and has created many platforms for Jewish cultural activity, including the Jewish Music Institute; Simcha on the Square; European Cantors Association; International Forum for Jewish Music Studies

The Anatomy of a KehilaLink Website & WordPress Blog
How to build, connect & share the memories of your town.


Presented by Eli Rabinowitz | Founder & CEO of the WE ARE HERE! Foundation | Perth, Australia


Eli, an ex-Capetonian now living in Perth, writes and manages 88 KehilaLink websites of Jewish communities in South Africa, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, and others. See   for Jewishgen, the world’s largest Jewish genealogical organisation. Eli has written over 800 posts on WordPress, and is the only non-American board member of the IAJGS. Eli is the founder of the international WE ARE HERE! Foundation More here:


What You Should Know About the SAJM Archive
A short introduction to the SAJM digital Archive: communal resources, navigation tools, and family histories for our digital age.


Presented by Leila Bloch | Archivist & Researcher at the SA Jewish Museum | Cape Town, South Africa


Leila Bloch manages the SAJM archive at the South African Jewish Museum, drawing from her experience in heritage studies, oral histories, and life writing.


Moderator: Gavin Morris, Director of the SA Jewish Museum, Cape Town

Websites, Zoom, Social Media & Archives

Wednesday 4 August, 11am - 12.30pm (SA time)
Once Upon a time in Vryburg: Remembering a country community through a website  
A journey to recount and remember the personal and collective stories of the Vryburg Jews, mistakes made and lessons learnt.


Presented by Gary Sussman | Tel Aviv, Israel    


Gary Sussman was raised in Vryburg and attended Kimberley Boys High. He later studied at UCT and was very involved in Habonim before making Aliyah. He did his post-graduate studies at Tel Aviv University and LSE. Gary is married to Dorit and is the father of Amit, Rotem and Galia.

Creating An Online Community From Scratch
Challenges faced online and suggestions of how to overcome them. Unexpected advantages and outcomes.


Presented by Rabbi Ryan Newfield | Muizenberg Hebrew Congregation | Cape Town, South Africa


Rabbi Newfield has had international pulpit experience and is a surfer, yogi, guitarist, food and adventure enthusiast. He is also a world traveller in search of G-d always and everywhere.  


The Woodstock & Salt River Hebrew Congregation Collection at the SAJM Archive 
The goals, steps and experience of creating the WSRHC digital archive collection for the SAJM Archive.


Presented by Juan-Paul Burke | Freelance Copy Editor, Librarian, Archivist & Historical Researcher | Pretoria, South Africa


Juan-Paul Burke is a Pretorian who freelances as a copy editor, librarian, archivist and historical researcher and who has a fascination for South African Jewish history.


Moderator: Geraldine Auerbach

Virtual Cemeteries, Facebook & Available Resources

Wednesday 11 August, 11am - 12.30pm (SA Time)
Facebook & Zoom, the Southern African Jewish Community Website   
Preserving the footprint of the southern African Jewish Community.


Presented by Dave Bloom | Partner at Exsys & Professional Personal Historian


Dave Bloom was born in Zimbabwe and made Aliyah in 1973 as part of a Habonim garin. He is married to Gail and they have two daughters and seven grandchildren. Gail and Dave were founder members of Kochav Yair where they have lived since 1986. Dave has been involved professionally in the high-tech and media industries for over 40 years, including senior positions at Reuters. He is currently a partner at Exsys. Dave is also a professional personal historian through his company Milestones&Meanings. He has researched, edited and maintained the extensive Zimbabwe Jewish Community website since 2000. He has been an active Telfed volunteer for nearly 30 years and has held several positions, including chairman of the Telfed Media Committee, SASI Committee and Telfed History Project and is a past Chairman of Telfed itself.

A Place to Reflect & Find Comfort 
The evolution of a site from a database of graves to a fundraising platform and a service to the community.


Presented by Eric Berger | Executive Director of the Cape Town Jewish Cemetery Maintenance Board | Cape Town, South Africa


Eric Berger is 65 years old and has been married to Wendy (nee Shorkend) for 37 years. They have two children and four grandchildren all living in Israel. Born in Wellington in the Boland, Eric grew up and was educated in Cape Town. He has been involved with Jewish communal work for over twenty years and has been the Director at the CTJCMB and UOS for over twelve years.


Preserving Family & Communal Histories  
An introduction into the ways in which we preserve original materials and make them accessible for future use.


Presented by Katie Garrun | Archivist at the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies | Cape Town, South Africa


Katie Garrun is an archivist and information specialist at the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies. She has a keen interest in emerging technologies for archives and exhibitions.


Moderator: Professor Adam Mendelsohn, the Kaplan Centre UCT

Join to automatically receive all group messages.