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Golden Jubilee
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    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...

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    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...

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     Golden Jubilee 1895-1945



    Dedicated to Our Jewish Youth of Rhodesia who have so nobly played their part in the World War II

    (Editor - selected pages from the publication - see additional pages on left)

    I have thought the occasion appropriate for offering to the Salisbury Jewish Community this short account of its history during the last fifty years. This year marks the Golden Jubilee of our Congregation, a propitious moment to place on record the origin, growth and development of Jewish life and progress in our midst.  A considerable: amount of new material, especially of a
    personal nature, has now come to light; much of this along with other data of great value has been collected for the first time from the Government Archives, Salisbury.
    My grateful thanks are tendered to the Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia, the Honourable Sir Godfrey M. Huggins, K.C.M.G., C.H., for his encouraging foreword, and to Mr, V. W. Hiller, die Government Archivist, for placing at my disposal valuable suggestions and material.  I am also indebted to the Committee of the Salisbury Hebrew Congregation for making this publication possible.

    May this Monograph evoke the spirit of the past and recall the active and conspicuous part which our predecessors played in Rhodesia.

    SIVAN 5705. - - -
    JUNE, 1945.

    By - The Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia

    HAVE much pleasure in introducing this Monograph by the Rev. M. Konviser to readers in Southern Rhodesia and beyond our borders. The part played by Jewish men and women in the early settlement of Southern Rhodesa has received little publicity and acknowledgement.

    Mr. Konviser quotes Rhodes's delightful remark when he heard of the establishment of the first Synagogue in Mashonaland : "If the Jews come my country is all right." But it was not only when the struggling young country had proved its sound commercial prospects that the Jews came. As the writer of this Monograph shows, members of his Faith were in at the beginning and shared the hardships and disappointments of the very early days.

    The sons and daughters of Israel have played a worthy part in the history of this country, and when we Consider the part the Jews are playing in the armed forces of the Crown in the present war, we realise that the spirit 'of the prophets in the land of Moses and the fanatical courage of the defenders of Jerusalem in the first century of the Christian era is not dead.

    G. M. HUGGINS.

    Founding of the Congregation                           (picture of Reverend (Capt.) Konviser - click to enlarge)

    THE JUBILEE of the Salisbury Hebrew Congregation marks an important milestone in the history of Jewry in Southern Rhodesia. The establishment of the Congregation on the 2nd June, 189'5, is, in fact, the commencement of that history.                   

    A handful of Jews numbering twenty men and two women, under the leadership of Messrs. Sam Hyman and Joe Van Praagh, met at the Masonic Hotel, Salisbury, for the purpose of forming the Congregation. At this meeting a collection towards a Synagogue was made and the handsome sum of ,399 was raised by that small gathering. Mr. Hyman was elected first President. That meeting must have been a momentous one, for "The Rhodesia Herald" of the 5th June, 1895,
    made a lengthy comment on such a remarkable achievement, adding that the Charter Company had granted three stands on which to build a Synagogue. The enthusiasm
    for matters spiritual displayed by that small band of workers evoked the admiration of their Gentile neighbours
    and the Press of the day. Small wonder that Cecil John Rhodes was really overjoyed when he was shown the foundation of the Synagogue at Salisbury. Colonel Frank Johnson, in his book "Great Days" (1940), makes an interesting comment oh Rhodes's reaction when he heard that
    a Synagogue was to be erected in Salisbury. He remarked that Rhodes became very cheerful and quite excited, exclaiming, "My country is all right if the Jews come, my country is all right! " "For he knew," says Colonel Johnson, " that the presence of Jews meant they had faith in the commercial prospects of the new country. ... How different," Johnson
    adds, "to the Hitler theory fifty years later! "

                                                   (click on picture to enlarge)  

    It was Mr. Hyman who was the first to promote the stock and share business in Mashonaland, and the first to hold an appointment as official sworn appraiser and valuator to the British South Africa
    Company in 1891. As President of the Congregation he was followed in turn by Messrs. H. Morris and J. Van Praagh. Messrs. Moss Harris, Monte Jacobs arid Morris Freeman were hon. secretaries. It was Monte Jacobs who was the promoter and secretary of the Salisbury Stock Exchange, which was then situated in the cellar of the present Posada Bar. The first Minyan during the High Festivals of 1895 was held at Julius Altaian's store there was an attendance of about twenty and a storekeeper named.
    Kaplan read the Musaph Service.  In 1896 services were read by Messrs. Mack, Rosenthal and Freeman.


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