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Harare Hebrew Congregation
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    Picture and documents on Sharon School
    Oct 2014 - a large scrapbook of pictures and documents recording the early days of Sharon School in Harare through to the 1980s.. Learn More...

    History of Harare (Salisbury) Synagogues
    Sept 2014 - David Gelfand has produced a 225-page document on the history of the Jewish Communities of Harare (Salisbury) with details of Rabbis and committee members over the years.. Learn More...

    History of Bulawayo Jewish Community buildings
    March 2014 - Two documents added describing the history of the Jewish Community buildings and a copy of the Parkview Sports Club Silver Jubilee in 1961. Learn More...

    Update to Warren Hills Jewish Cemetery, Harare
    October,14 2013 - An album of 28 pictures with updates on recently laid tombstones and general scenes. Photographs by Mark Naim.. Learn More...

    Salisbury Hebrew School - 1960s
    Hand written reports by Mr Mordechai Harary as HeadMaster of the school.. Learn More...

    Additional gravestones - Bulawayo Cemetery
    June 2013 - The images of over 110 gravestones have been added to the Bulawayo Cemetery section of the website. Thanks to Vicky Kaufman for the photography. . Learn More...

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    June 2013 - Join the 760 friends on the Zim Jewish Community Facebook group and share your memories, photos, video clips and other material of common interest to the ZJC. The email newsletter is no longer active (but used from time to time as appropriate).. Learn More...

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    Harare Hebrew Congregation

    Harare Hebrew Congregation

    Picture taken in 1960 shows left to right

    J Pelham, L Thal, H Lessem, J Melman, L Harris, M Harare, n/a, A King, J Bamburger in the Salisbury St Shul built in 1920.

     

    The Salisbury Shul - circa 1960

    History of the Salisbury Hebrew Congregation 

    (this piece was written for the ceremony of laying Foundation Stones for the Salisbury Hebrew Congregation - Communal Hall, School and Youth Centre - 12th April 1964)

    THE Salisbury Hebrew Congregation was founded on June 2nd, 1895. Twenty men and two women met - that day under the chairmanship of Joe van Praagh (five years later to become the-first Jewish Mayor of Salisbury). The meeting was held in the old Masonic Hotel, Pioneer Street, and the news of the formation
    of the Congregation evoked the admiration of the Press of the day.

    Cecil John Rhodes must also have been delighted at the news for it was at this time that he smilingly remarked: "If the Jews come, my country is all right." He well knew that our co-religionists were in at the beginning and shared the hardships and disappointments of the early pioneering days.

    On right Mr I Lasovsky welcomes Federal Prime Minister Sir Roy Welensky and his wife to the Salisbury St Synagogue circa mid 1950s (click to enlarge)

    In 1901, by which time the Community had grown to 70, the first synagogue was built, in Rhodes Avenue. But by 1912 it proved too small for the growing Congregation, and services were held at the old Masonic Hall, the Drill Hall and within the old Bank of Africa Building. The present synagogue, in Salisbury Street, was erected in 1920.

    The first Minister to be appointed was the Rev. L. Rubin, who served the Congregation from 1909 to 1912 (before 1909 the community relied upon the services of lay readers). The second Minister was the Rev. Mark Harris (1913 to 1915) who, it was recorded, used to visit his flock mounted on a white horse.
    Rev. Harris was succeeded by the Rev. Monty Levy, who served the Congregation for three years. In 1918, the late Rev. J. J. Rosin, J.P., was appointed Minister and served until 1935, when the present incumbent. Rabbi
    M. Konviser, O.B.E., B.A., was appointed.

    The lay leadership has, from the outset, contained men of the highest calibre, many of whom, in addition to the services they rendered their own Community, made their mark in public life. Jews have played their full part in the affairs of the City Council, and four have served as Mayor. Others have sat in the Legislature, and outstanding contributions have been made to commerce, industry and agriculture.

    We shall always remember those who served King and country during the early Rebellions and in two world wars. We shall also never forget the names of those on our Roll of Honour, who paid the supreme sacrifice.

    By 1926, the Jewish Community had increased to 650 souls and all the usual Congregational amenities were functioning well. There had been established a Chevra Kaddisha (Burial Society), Hebrew School, Social Societies, a strong Zionist movement. Youth Societies, etc., and in various forms all these activities are still nourishing.

    Today, our Congregation has over 500 families as members.

    We are conscious of the deep debt of gratitude we owe our pioneers for the legacy they have bequeathed usa legacy worthy of the best traditions of our Faith.       m.k.

    Editor's note Sept 26, 2011 - The congregation has dwindled to under 100 souls as many congregants emigrated or passed on. Services are still maintained on Shabbat and Chagim and sometimes shared with the Sephardic Shul in Harare.

    Do you have any material to contribute ? we need digital pictures or if you are prepared to send us copies (only) of your originals - we will scan them for the site. Send information and material to us ZJC

     


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