Conversion records South Africa #southafrica

Anne Budlender

Does anyone know who holds Orthodox conversion records for South Africa? I have been trying for many years to find a record from 1907. The civil wedding took place in Cape Town but the Cape Town Beth Din says it only has records from 1947. The Johannesburg Beth Din doesn’t have this record. I have contacted individual shuls  where their children were married hoping the Rabbi or secretary may have noted sighting the conversion certificate. All to no avail. 

Could they have been held by the London Beth Din? 

Thank you for any help.
Anne Budlender
Melbourne, Australia

Jeremy Lichtman

My understanding is that the Beit Din in RSA only started keeping records in 1924.

This according to a doctoral thesis I found online some while back - "Conversion to Judaism in South Africa", by Rabbi Pinchas Zekry. It's a massive document (300+ pages) covering a lot of detail. If you can track down the author, he might be able to point you to where the archives are, since he appears to have consulted them in 1998!


Jeremy Lichtman
Toronto, Canada


1: Kaplan Center KC@...
2: Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies - info@...

One of them should be able to tell if such records exist and if so how to access them.

Herman Salmenson