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. .
Audio Visual biographies
December 2016 - ZJC is pleased to publish a number of audio visual biographies of former members of the community..
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..
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..
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..
FaceBook Group for ZJC
June 2016 - Join over 1,300 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 The email newsletter is no longer active (but used from time to time as appropriate)..
TORAHS AND TRAGEDIES
by Maggie Kriel
It might be a world record, having
lived within a thousand meter radius
for ones whole life. Born in Lawley Road, teenage years in Livingstone
Road one block down, and adult years in Pauling Road, yet another block down in the same suburb called Suburbs in
Just how many memories can one have of one's own lifelong back yard ?
Walking the dogs is easy, one thing is for sure, I will never get lost
And walking the dogs brings back so many joyous memories. "Thats
house that so and so used to live in, over there was one of the first
corrugated iron houses ever built in the city", and so on and
The houses in Suburbs are an eclectic mixture of beautiful modern homes
and derelict old treasures with the oregon pine floors, the pressed
ceilings, and the deep, wide verandas all the way round.
With the recent tragedy that befell
the Bulawayo Jewish Community when
their wonderful old Synagogue being razed to the ground, I started to
think of all the young Jewish girls who had been at school with me.
In the days when zoning was enforced, all the girls who lived to the
west of Selborne Avenue (Now Leopold Takawira Avenue) were obliged to
attend Eveline High School and so many of my friends were Jewish girls
from Suburbs and Kumalo.
There in Lawley Road had lived Julia Fish, a mathematical genius,
whatever happened to her, we often played together in her Spanish Style
bungalow, the games that teenage girls play. Over there lived Maya
Weinberg, Maya was very bright and brilliant at art and at poetry, she
has some real gems in the Annual of The Eveline High School that could easily have become poetry treasures.
Desiree Grevler also used to live near us, as did Ann Margolis and
Ilana Jacobsen. Another memorable Jewish Eveline School girl was
Audrey Silver whose parents ran a photographic studio, and many folk
both here and abroad must have a portrait done by Leo Silver on their
Marilyn Sidelsky is another name that comes to mind as I jog (or
shuffle may be a better description) with my canine friends around my
own private park ! Marilyn was an incredible swimmer if I remember
rightly. Teresa Winkler was another character at Eveline School.
I wonder what these women will think when they hear of the demise of
their precious shul. Memories must abound for many thousands of Jewish
folk as Bulawayo was the home of a very large proportion of Zimbabwe's
Jewish congregation in the fifties, sixties and seventies.
Bulawayo was the hub of the nations industrial workings. Here all the
textile firms, the factories were run by Jewish folk and a large
proportion of the doctors and lawyers in the town were Jewish.
Miraculously many of the treasures of the Synagogues were saved by
brave members of the Bulawayo Hebrew Congregation, and against all
odds, the 4 precious Torahs were saved by these brave men.
They also managed to rescue the many sumptuously decorated Ark curtains
and cloths and the silver ornaments used on the Torahs. One of the
curtains dates back to the year 1725 and although permeated with smell
of smoke it is proudly intact.
Each of the Torahs tells a story and their history echoes the journey
of Jews around the globe. Many were carried to safety from the flames
that consumed our Nation in the holocaust. How remarkable it is that
they still lie in our thankful hands, saved yet again.
The Jews of Bulawayo have unerringly and lovingly protected their
heritage since the community was formed back in 1894. For the last
three years this tiny, yet determined community has been reeling under
the effects of a country in political turmoil. From its heyday in the1960's when their numbers boasted over 2800 souls, they have dwindled
to a standing community of under 150.
How many memories were left behind in the flames, how many brides did
the lovely old synagogue bless, how many families did it hold together
during glad times, sad times and times when people need each other for
Our thoughts are with Bulawayo's Jewish Community.
Read more from Maggie's
website reporting on life in Bulawayo at