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    ZJC Project Presentation
    In this video Dave Bloom describes in a webinar conference called Community History Online (CHOL) held 11th August 2021, the work done to preserve the story of the ZJC.. Learn More...

    A brief history of the ZJC
    Watch this recording of a presentation given to a Synagogue in Toronto on 1st August 2021 - on the history of the Zimbabwe and Zambian Jewish Communities.. Learn More...

    Geolocation of ZJC homes in Harare and Bulawayo
    A new project has been launched to map the homes of former ZJC homes in Harare and Bulawayo. Please use the link on the page to an online form to add your own details.. Learn More...

    Latest Warren Hills tombstones - 28th June 2021
    See images of the latest Warren Hills tombstones and members of the HHC at the consecration.. Learn More...

    ZJC Reunion 13th June 2021
    Over 300 people registered for the Ndaba and you can see a full recording of the event on this page.. Learn More...

    An African Trading Empire
    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...

    Audio Visual biographies
    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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                     ZIMBABWE JEWISH Community News

    For more up-to-date reports, pictures and video clips please also see the ZJC Facebook group which has been operational since 16th Oct. 2007 



    4 SEPTEMBER 2004

    Spiritual Leader to the African Jewish Congress, Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft,
    National Chairman of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, Michael
    Bagraim, Chairperson of the African Region International Council of Jewish
    Women, Irene Zuckerman, Head of the Community Security Organization, Mark
    Notelowitz, Distinguished Guests, Visitors, Ladies and Gentlemen,
    Prior to presenting my Report for the past two year period, it gives me great
    pleasure in welcoming you all here this evening to this, the Thirty Third
    Biennial Congress of the Zimbabwe Jewish Board of Deputies which, for the second
    consecutive time is being held in conjunction with the Central African Zionist
    Organizations Biennial Conference. A hearty welcome to delegates from both
    these organizations, especially those that have made the journey from Bulawayo,
    because your participation at this Conference is vital.
    To our visitors from South Africa, thank you for coming - your support in being
    here is greatly appreciated and we look forward to your participation in our
    deliberations. Thank you for giving up your time to be with us and we hope that
    you will find your visit to have been a worthwhile one.
    In presenting my Report for the two year period 2002/2004 I would like to touch
    only briefly upon certain events as these will be reported upon in greater
    detail by delegates at tomorrow morning's session.
    The Zimbabwe Jewish Board of Deputies is divided into two Divisional Councils -
    Mashonaland and Matabeleland - each headed by a Senior Vice-President. I should
    like to take this opportunity to thank the Mashonaland Senior Vice-President,
    Illana Hasson for the assistance shown to me during the past few years and for
    keeping the Mashonaland Division an active one, with regular committee meetings
    held every 6 to 8 weeks. You will be hearing her report tomorrow, as you will
    hear Dr Bernie Tatz give his report for Matabeleland.
    Security in this day and age is of vital importance and you will hear a report
    given on that aspect by Jonathan Zlattner tomorrow.
    I would like to take this opportunity of congratulating the Bulawayo community
    and especially Brian Sher, on maintaining the high standards set by Savyon
    Lodge, Zimbabwe's only exclusively Jewish senior citizen's retirement home,
    which is strictly kosher. We feel they are doing an excellent job in a very
    difficult environment. You will no doubt hear more about Savyon Lodge in
    tomorrow's report from the Senior-Vice-President from Matabeleland.
    Likewise, the annual Yom Hashoa service both in Bulawayo and Harare will be
    reported on but I should just like to mention that fewer and fewer people are
    attending these memorial services as the years roll by, especially the younger
    folk who perhaps feel that this is an event that does not really concern them.
    In this they are mistaken, for the Holocaust concerns each and every one of us!
    Last year I had the honour of addressing senior members of both the British
    Board of Deputies and the Commonwealth Jewish Council at a luncheon held at the
    House of Lords in London. Arranged by the President of the Commonwealth Jewish
    Council, Lord Janner, the members were given an up to date briefing regarding
    the position in Zimbabwe and how it affected our community in particular. I was
    assured that, despite Zimbabwe's exit from the Commonwealth, our community in
    this country would not be affected by this decision and thus we remain full
    members of the Commonwealth Jewish Council. And, if need be, assistance will be
    rendered to us if the need arises.
    In September last year it was my pleasure to attend the Centenary Conference of
    the South African Jewish Board of Deputies in Johannesburg at their very kind
    invitation. The Conference proved to be a most interesting one and afforded me
    the opportunity of meeting delegates from various parts of the world. The
    African Jewish Congress annual meeting was held in conjunction with the
    Centenary Conference and members from various Southern African countries were
    updated on our position.
    In May this year the film 'The Nazi Officer's Wife' was screened at the
    Margolis Hall and presented by Angela Schluter from London. When I originally
    brought up the possibility of importing both speaker and film into Zimbabwe I
    was asked whether I thought that 50 people would even bother to attend. I was
    genuinely surprised at the negativity shown by many members of our community.
    My answer was to book the Margolis Hall, launch a vigorous publicity campaign
    and we drew an audience of almost 600 people for the one night performance.
    My intention was to turn this event into a public relations promotion for our
    community, as in this day and age we could certainly do with a positive image.
    Considering that 95% of the audience were non-Jewish, I certainly feel we
    succeeded in our objective.
    The Kwekwe Jewish Cemetery project was completed recently and in June this year
    we had a very successful Re-Dedication service conducted by Rabbi Silberhaft and
    Rabbi Asmoucher from Bulawayo. This was attended by over 20 people from both
    Harare and Bulawayo. Although the Kwekwe project took some time to complete due
    to various shortages of materials and other factors, I should like to mention
    that donations received from well wishers and former Kwekwe residents exceeded
    expenditure involved in this project. Kwekwe was the last of the smaller town
    and country cemeteries to be attended to; the others having been Kadoma, Gweru,
    Mutare and Penhalonga.
    Recently the Jewish community in Harare were invited to participate in an
    Inter-Faith gathering, the theme being 'Traditions, Values and Teachings of Love
    in One's Religion'. We were lead to believe that the rabbi from Bulawayo would
    represent the Jewish community but when he failed to materialize and the
    invitation was turned down by our community heads, I personally felt that our
    religion should not go unrepresented and accordingly filled in the breech with,
    I might add, a fair amount of trepidation! However, all appears to have gone
    off well and I should like to thank those half a dozen members of our community
    who came along as part of the 250 gathering of all creeds and races and lent me
    their much appreciated support.
    Although our community may be small in numbers in this country, I feel that we
    should keep our heads held high - as we have every right to do!

    Unlike in South Africa, where this has become a major concern and even, of all
    places, New Zealand, we in Zimbabwe, to date anyway, have remained relatively
    unscathed from this sickness. Not that we feel it cannot happen here- far from
    it - and so we remain as vigilant as we can possibly be, but thank goodness
    relationships between the religious factions in Zimbabwe look to be relatively
    calm. I would like to add that the Kwekwe Jewish cemetery is being cleaned and
    looked after by the Muslim Community - not just by an odd member but by the long
    standing leader of their community! This sort of co-operation augers well, and
    long may it remain so.
    The decision was taken earlier this year to close down the Board of Deputies
    offices in both Harare and Bulawayo, as expenses were escalating and the day to
    day workload no longer warranted these increases in expenditure. Certain duties
    have been split up and this will continue for the present time.
    To Elsie Alhadeff, our long serving Board Secretary, who chose to step down,
    our very best wishes for a long and happy retirement.
    A Website dealing with both past and present Zimbabwe Jewry has been launched
    in Israel under the auspices of Dave Bloom and various others. We have been
    requested to furnish records, memorabilia and as much local history and
    information as we can. Photographs of tombstones in all the cemeteries
    throughout the country are also requested and I am pleased to state that to date
    we have supplied those of Kadoma and Kwekwe. This will now become another
    ongoing project.
    Early in 2005 we expect a visit from an American University professor who will
    be spending several weeks in this country in order to illustrate past and
    present synagogues and to write some sort of history of our various communities.
    I trust he will receive your co-operation should he call upon you for
    I would like to appeal to the members of Bulawayo community to keep in touch
    with us here in Harare. With numbers being as low as they are now, we can
    ill-afford to operate separately and must pull together if we are to try and
    survive the present crisis. We hope in the near future to persuade the Bulawayo
    community to let us have the services of Rabbi Asmoucher so that he may check on
    various food processing plants throughout the country and hopefully issue a
    guide to kosher products processed and manufactured in Zimbabwe.
    A number of Mashonaland Board members emigrated during the past year but none
    will be missed as much as the late Adolph Leon and I wish to pay tribute to his
    long years of service to this community. Our committee's losses reflect the
    general trend in the community as a whole, for we now number less than 400
    persons in the whole country, being approximately 240 in Harare and 140 in
    Bulawayo, with a minute handful in other centres. Unfortunately this trend of
    losing people will continue, of that there is no doubt, and the question
    'Yesterday, Today and IS There a Tomorrow' may well be the theme of this
    Conference. At the current rate of attrition, be it through age or emigration,
    the future of Zimbabwean Jewry does not bode well. And government is speeding
    up this process through its education bills and others of a similar nature.
    I wish to thank the members of the Mashonaland committee and likewise, Dr
    Bernie Tatz of the virtual 'one man' Matabeleland committee, for their
    assistance and co-operation during my term of office. And I would like to take
    this opportunity of also thanking Mashonaland Senior Vice-President Illana
    Hasson, CAZO President Zac Menashe and CAZO Treasurer Franklin Plein, for
    serving on this Conference Sub-Committee and their assistance in staging this
    week-end's gathering. And of course to the ladies of WIZO for their usual high
    standard of catering. Despite the times we live in, they always manage to
    produce the goods! And Lucy Plein deserves full credit for her always willing
    assistance - throwing a dinner party or hosting a rabbi is no big deal to her!
    Thank you Lucy. And to all others who assisted in one way or another, whether
    during the year or on this particular occasion, my sincere thanks.
    And a special thank you to Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft for fully supporting this
    Conference and at whose instigation the South African visitors are here tonight
    - unfortunately for an all too brief period - to see for themselves how the
    Jewish community is faring 'north of the Limpopo'. They will no doubt come to
    their own conclusions as to how we still manage to keep functioning and retain
    our synagogues, schools and institutions with a total Jewish population compared
    in numbers to, let us say, suburbs such as Milnerton and Glenhazel!.
    Please convey our best regards to Mervyn Smith, President of the Africa Jewish
    Congress for his ever willing support to the Zimbabwe Board of Deputies. He is
    indeed a true friend. And our thanks to those responsible at Beyachad House in
    Johannesburg for mailing us copies of the 'Jewish Report' every week free, of
    charge so that these newspapers may be distributed amongst our members.
    My sincere thanks to the President and Committee of the Sephardi Hebrew
    Congregation for your permission to let us use the Rodis Memorial Hall for the
    staging of this Congress. And last, but certainly not least, my thanks to all
    of you who have attended this evening's function in order to support our
    combined Congress and so hopefully make it a success. And if you can attend
    tomorrow morning - so much the better!
    Thank you



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