=> Home -> History -> Rhod. Jewry Story -> Jewish Businesses in Zimbabwe
Rhod. Jewry Story
  • A. Contents of manuscript
  • B. Page One
  • C. Page Two
  • D. Page Three
  • E. Page Four
  • Jewish Businesses in Zimbabwe
  • M.Schwartz on Central Africa
  • Rosh Hashana 1974
    Whats new
    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...

    Quick Search

    powered by

                           ZIMBABWE---SOUTHERN RHODESIA 

    Jewish Businesses

    by Manfred  J  Schwartz 


    Allied and Paper Processing Toilet Roll Factory Manfred Schwartz--Central African Pharmaceuticals Jos Schwartz and Partners (no relation) --Arthur Cohen Grocery Jamieson Ave--Bill Feigenberg Windsor Hotel then step son Albert Ruda --Forman Plumbing and Hardware Merchants --Dereck Friend Music Salon--Stan Guerlen Chemical Mfgrs--Paul Gillis Engineer (civil)--Goldsmiths and Silversmiths --Issy Haimowitz Bookkeeper--Handler and Schrier Cardboard boxes and fibreboard suitcases--Hoffman (Barney) attorney ??? Hoffman Water Judge--Joelson Bros Plumbing and Hardware Merchants--Boris Kass Director Lysaght & Co Ltd Engineering works--Bennie Kass & Guy Singer‘Timber and Hardware’ Kaufmans Wholesalers--Krikler and Lasovsky Wholesalers--Margolis William (Bill) ( Chairman of the Maize Board)--He and his Business Partner --Anolik had a very large Grain and Milling company. Bill was presented with the OBE --?? Odes Toilet Roll Factory--Palte Bros ran a Maize Milling Co Pichanic Bros the Express Nut and Oil Factory--Ivor Pitch ( Pitchanic) Mayor of Salisbury Huby Ponter Mattress and Furniture Factory--Bernard Ponter Sales Representations -- Leslie and Harry Bloom of Blooms Furnishers -- Jack Pelham of Pelhams Furnishers, Joe Salem of Salem Carpets, 

    Robinson and Schwartz Wholesalers--Toby Rabinowitz and son Sweet Factory--Toby Rabinowitz and son-in-law Meltzer Tobies Bottle Store--Schwartz Agencies M J Schwartz--m/s Sugerman (Medical Doctor)--van den Berg brothers Terry towel manufacturers--Zlotnik Dentist --? Regenstraat Dentist Hilliard Bamberg Doctor-Albert Zinn Doctor

    Marandellas--Raoul Codron General Dealer

    Odzi-Goldberg Bros Farmers and Hotel

    Inyazura- Louis Buffenstein Farmer (South Devon Stud) and Race Horse Owner, David Buffenstein farmer Sholem Buffenstein, tobacco farmer - Farm called Mount Shalom


    Arcade Kaplan and his brother Outfitters--Abe Abrahamson Member of Parliament--Banet and Harris Furniture Dealers-Berman Colin manager-Economy Stores P Eagle manager-Major Harold Ellenbogen Furniture-Fredman Bros Wholesalers-S S Grossberg Wholesalers-Grahame Kadey Pharmacist-Harris Bros (Standish) Milling Co-Bennie Lobel and Brothers Biscuit Factory--Lobel Bros Bakeries-Lobel Delicatessen-Lepar and Partner S & L (Essanel )_Choclate Sweey Fcatory -Plate Glass Gerald Lubner

    Posen Radio-Rhodesian Paper Barons-Sam Rabinowitz & son Clem Bulawayo Clothing-S Rabinowitzanufacturers Agents--Sager Motors--Sacks sweets? -M & E Solomon Clothing

    Harry Suhr (well known Skin and Hide Dealer from early days )--Sussman Brothers Phillip and Harold Radio Assembly Factory--Sussmans Ranches in Northern Rhodesia--Meyer ? Phil Taube Modern Motors (General Motors distributors in Central Africa), A Zipper Clothing--Zlattner Textile Works

    Gwelo--Rabinowitz Clothing Shop

    General Observations

    When the layout of Bulawayo was being decided on , Cecil Rhodes insisted that the streets be wide enough to allow a wagon and full span of oxen to turn around. An other suggestion was that the streets as well as the avenues had names and or numbers. Thus if the address would be 123 First Street an added instruction was given such as, between 7th and 8th Avenues this pin pointed the building/house precisely

    Harry Shur as an early resident of S Rho naturally was friendly with Meikle (string of Shops and Hotels) who stipulated in his will that Shur enjoy at any and all his hotels free accommodation for life.

    Harry Shur stored his hides etc at his large site out at the Industrial sites, (the boundry fences was composed of hessian woven cloth, nothing was ever stolen from his yard) where he stored bones and horns, the pile had accumulated over scores of years. Eventually in about 1950 some Rumanian Industrialists interested in Glue factories bought the mountain paying at that time the unheard of figure of ?25000-00

    Issy Haimowitz in his early days was employed by Harry as his Bookkeeper, who would go through his cheque book stubs and tell Issy what he paid and all the particulars of each and every deal from memory. Paragha his Matabele chauffeur, driver and travelling companion was his righthand man and manager. After so many scores of years of working together they had built up an unique relationship. It is not known if Paragha could speak English but they certainly conversed in Matabele, which is virtually Zulu. As Harry could not read or write English he was said to be ignorant and illiterate. Quite the contrary he had been a Yeshiva Bocher in the Old Country and was well versed in both Hebrew and Yiddish which he could read and write.He never married and his large estate was left to the many Charities.

    In those years every general dealer would have men working at sewing machines making khaki shorts and other clothing items either in the shop itself or on the verandahs in good weather. Another particular aspect was that in clothing factories all the machinists would be young men, unlike in South Africa where women did this type of work. The majority of the clothing as well as the textile factories were owned by Jews In the years just after WW11 import permits were required for American and other Dollar sourced goods. Funds on the other hand were available for any products provided from Sterling Areas, Before the war many German and other Jews seeking asylum from the Nazis were able to enter South Africa and Southern Rhodesia However when the low quotas set for these Immigrants were reached no more were allowed in. Fortunately the British Protecorates eg Swaziland- Bechuanaland- Northern Rhodesia allowed a small number to enter and settle. There were a number from the Baltic States who went to Livingstone near the Victoria Falls, and Lusaka and Ndola.

    The Belgium Congo--Zaire


    Amato Freres were very big merchants, dealers and manufacturers with factories making oil and soaps-and bye products from the local crops. When the Congo gained Uhuru (independence) the Amato family relocated to Umtali (S Rho) and South Africa. At Benoni they had a jute bag and textile factory. In East London they had an oil expressing factory, (a trade of which they were familiar in the Congo). They used Sunflower and Cotton seed and Peanuts--Towards the end of 1948 and onwards many South African Jews elected to settle in S Rhodesia.

    During the war many servicemen were trained in the two Rhodesias due to the ideal weather conditions prevailing for the most part of the year in Southern Africa many Royal Air Force schools were established. Many servicmen returned after the war and settled in the Rhodesias.

    Of these there were quite a number of young Jewish men. The influx of talent and ideas added to the local communities cultural and artistic activities of plays, concerts, fetes, and on and on

    Added to this was the establishment of the State of Israel, which gave added impetus to the Zionist fervour and support and bonding to the new young democracy. for fund raising from the generous community knowing no bounds

    During the early 1920s Capt Joseph Ellman MC and after demobilization from the Royal Engineers joined the Rhodesian Railways and worked as Chief Railway Engineer on the routes mainly in Northern Rhodesia to plan, survey and oversee the laying of the railway line in wild undeveloped virgin bush. No heavy construction available as three decades later when the Great North Road was built from Livingstone to Lusaka and on to Abercombe in the far north of N Rhodesia to connect with the Tanganiya and beyond to further and modernise Cecil Rhodes’dream Cape to Cairo Route and on to Fort Jamieson in the far east of N Rhodesia to connect with Tete in Nyasaland

    Early in the 1900s transport was pedestrian, using porters to do the lifting and carrying, not to forgetthe forked stick messenger. Tsetse Fly and Horsesickness prevented draught animal transport. For this reason Zeederberg Bros who had the Mail Stage Coach Contract to service the Pietersberg to Bulawayo route experimented with Zebras, not a very easy animal to domesticate and train but were immune to the diseases. For quite a number of years they used these animals. It was a unique and picturesque scene to see, out of a cloud of dust, the Stage Coach pull up and these beautiful shiny sleek white and black striped restless animals at the end of their work shift or stage for that day.

    Issy Haimowitz arrived (from Rumania) in Beira and WALKED (just as everybody else had to do till the railway line was built from the coast to the hinterland) to Ndola in N Rhodesai and onto the Belgium Congo This‘long walk’ took about nine months. One cannot realize the attendant dangers which the Pioneers faced of wild animals, river crossings with crocodiles, insects, snakes, ticks, sleeping sickness, malaria rough terrain, unfriendly local residents, fresh food and vegetables, lack convenience store on the corner and on and on. People must have been very tough and many survived, life was interesting although it was relatively short. With all that physical and manual effort and strain, the modern mental type of stress was not encountered. Sent to Saul on 09/06/2003

    Additions after 09/06/2003

    Nkana-Kitwe VicDiamond General Dealers--? Kollenberg General Dealers

    Livingstone Jack Furmansky did Architecture at Wits

    Wankie During the 1030;s General Dealers Business owned by Gedalia Sackstein of Market Street Johannesberg

    Bulawayo Kollenberg

     Please send any updates to the editor

    Contact Us | Site Map