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    ZJC Reunion 13th June 2021
    You are invited to a worldwide reunion via Zoom of the ZJC. For details see..... Learn More...

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    Dec 13 2019 - A new page on the site with text from the first chapter of this fascinating book recording the story of the Susman brothers and Wulfsohn who created a farming and commercial empire in Southern Africa.. Learn More...

    Additional Ketuboth added
    December 2016 - ZJC has gratefully received from Colin Gordon some missing Ketuboth from the period 1956-1959 which have now been added to the website. . Learn More...

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    December 2016 - ZJC is pleased to publish a number of audio visual biographies of former members of the community.. Learn More...

    Bulawayo Hebrew Congregation committees
    July 6, 2016 - We have added two comprehensive documents prepared by David Gelfand and listing a) the numerous committees of the Bulawayo Hebrew Congregation going back to 1923. b) a list of all the Presidents of the Bulawayo Hebrew Congregation going back to 1894.. Learn More...

    Bulawayo Hebrew Congregation - full copy
    June 2016 - Pleased to advise that Paul Bernstein has scanned the full Bulawayo Hebrew Congregation Centenary magazine published in 1994. It is now available on the ZJC website. Many many thanks to Paul for all his efforts and contribution in digitizing this material and preserving it for us all. There is a summary of the contents of each section. See the material here.. Learn More...

    History of the Harare (Salisbury) Synagogues
    April 2016 - David Gelfand has updated an extensive document on the history of the Jewish Communities of Harare (Salisbury) with details of Rabbis and committee members over the years. Now includes pictures of Shul Presidents and a section on the Union of Jewish Women.. Learn More...

    FaceBook Group for ZJC
    !3 Dec 2019 - Join over 2,300 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 The email newsletter is no longer active (but used from time to time as appropriate)..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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    KweKwe (QueQue) Cemetery Redication 

    KWEKWE CEMETERY - RE-DEDICATION SERVICE 
    Speech given by Peter Sternberg

    SUNDAY JUNE 13, 2004

    Rabbi Silberhaft, Rabbi Asmoucha, Presidents of the Bulawayo, Harare and
    Sephardi Congregations, Ladies & Gentlemen, On behalf of the Zimbabwe Jewish Board of Deputies I should like to welcome you to the Kwekwe Cemetery service. As you are probably aware, the Board of Deputies, after having witnessed the cemetery in Kadoma being repaired and renovated, decided to start a programme of their own regarding country cemeteries in Zimbabwe, and as a result, work on the Gweru Cemetery commenced a few years ago. In due course the small cemetery in Penhalonga

                                                       Picture above taken at the ceremony June 2004 by Benny Leon

                                                       L-R F Plein, S Benatar, Rabi Silberhaft, P Sternberg,   Rabbi Asmoucha, A Feigenbaum

    .... was repaired and protected and this in turn was followed by the Mutare cemetery around which a wall was constructed. 

    This finally left the Kwekwe cemetery to be attended to and, after almost two
    years of endeavour, this project has now come to fruition. And the reason that
    this project has taken almost two years to complete - well, attempting to
    organize and supervise any project from a distance of over 200 kilometres away can prove somewhat frustrating to say the least!

     Finding a reliable builder who will undertake a relatively small project such as this one can be a problem from the start. Obtaining a quotation in this day and age with prices escalating on a daily basis proved to be a problem. Then a cement shortage engulfed the country, halting all work for some months. When cement once again became available the local crushing plant was in no position to supply stone, and when the stones finally became obtainable there was a fuel shortage and trucks could not deliver the stone because of lack of diesel


    In the meantime the gates had been delivered but the night before they were due to be installed, they were stolen, so that replacement gates had to be
    manufactured. The tap, after being broken and not working for many years, was
    replaced - only to be stolen within the first week or two!
    It has not been an easy ride!

    However, with much perseverance the project was finally completed and for that
    I must thank the builder Mr Ahmed 'Jack'Moosa. Unfortunately, Mr Moosa passed away just a few weeks ago.


    In the meantime weeds and undergrowth had once more made their presence felt within the cemetery, as is wont to happen in this country in cemeteries
    everywhere, and so I obtained the kind services of Mr Mohammed Miya, one of the leaders of the community here in Kwekwe to supervise the cleaning of the
    cemetery so that it is in the condition you see here today. I would publicly
    like to thank Mr Miya for undertaking this task and would like to state that
    relations amongst our two communities are extremely cordial and respectful -
    and long may it remain so! 


    You may be wondering why there are but 16 graves in this cemetery and that the first grave only dates back to 1953 when one considers that Kwekwe has had a Jewish presence since the turn of the last century. The reason is that all
    deceased prior to the 1950's were buried either in Gweru or mainly in Bulawayo.


    This explains why the Kwekwe cemetery has far fewer graves than the other two Midlands towns of Gweru and Kadoma. There are a lot of 'thank you's' which it is my pleasant task to perform today. If I leave anyone out, my apologies for the oversight. To the members of the Zimbabwean Jewish Board of Deputies for agreeing on the Country Cemeteries project in the first place. In today's uncertain times, and the possible future, or perhaps lack of future that our community faces, it is incumbent upon us to undertake projects of this nature, because we know all too well what can and does befall places such as these.


    To Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft who flew up from Johannesburg to be with us for this special occasion, our sincere thanks. 'The Travelling Rabbi' by which name he is widely known, is indeed a unique person and we are blessed to have him
    administer to us, and for his always solid advice. My thanks to Rabbi
    Asmoucha of Bulawayo for coming here today and giving us the opportunity of
    meeting him for the first time. I hope there will be many other opportunities
    to do so.


    To those of you who have driven here from both Harare and Bulawayo to make this service possible, our grateful thanks - your appearance here today is much
    appreciated. I wish to thank those former residents of this town who responded
    whole-heartedly to my worldwide appeal for funds to help finance this project.
    A number of generous donations were received which went a long way towards
    meeting the costs involved.


    To our wives who will be providing us with lunch in the open despite the
    somewhat spartan conditions. Unfortunately the last kosher restaurant closed
    in Kwekwe a few decades ago. In the circumstances I thank our ladies most
    sincerely for their devotion to duty. And last but not least we honour today the memory of those who lie buried here, some of them stalwart pioneers from a previous generation, who helped build Kwekwe into a thriving town and who were part of a small but vibrant Jewish community with its own synagogue, resident Minister, cheder and active Zionist Society. Their descendants have largely emigrated and left Africa but I am sure that their thoughts will be with us today.


    Thank you.
    PETER STERNBERG
    NATIONAL PRESIDENT
    ZIMBABWE JEWISH BOARD OF DEPUTIES

     

     

     

     

     


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