Bulawayo jewish businesses

This introductory text was posted by Simon Lewis on the ZJC Facebook group in October 2020 and resulted in a 232 responses. The exchanges represent an important record of Jewish businesses in Bulawayo.  This page will be further edited and improved.  Below are a few images of Abercorn St – from the 1950s. Jewish businesses were located throughout the city and the industrial area.  This list wishes to record and recognise the contribution these businesses made to the economy of Bulawayo and the country.
If you wish to add details of known Jewish businesses/factories/clinics etc. please go to the ZJC Facebook group or use the contact form below.
Simon Lewis writes – “Jewish Jason Moyo Street formerly Abercorn St in Bulawayo. From the 1890s there has been a more than significant Jewish life here so I will start off with my family part and tell you that according to documents I have, from 1942, nos. 53, 53a and 53b were owned by a relative and likely to have been owned much earlier than this.
The shul was nos. 39 to 41 and across the road I believe, the Guild Hall, and now over to the rest of you…
There are some directories as guides and I thought it would be fun to place business, cultural and religious buildings from earliest time til now. Anyone like to contribute or expand on this?
I think the odd and even numbering of the street remained the same when the street name was changed. Is that right?” 
Simon Lewis
Between twenty and thirty per cent of the 1902 Congregation gave an address along old Abercorn St.

Emma Gampell

Simon Lewis I believe my great grandparents were Number 1. I have a photo of the house somewhere

 I also have another relative at no.55 who was my 2xgt uncle. this was the late 1940s or very early 1950

Mark Nussbaum

My grandparents Oscar & Bertha Nussbaum owned a ladies dress shop Robertas on Abercorn for many years

Debbie Leifer Sachs Tucker

My mother, Charlotte Leifer, had Juniors – a kiddies’ clothing shop opposite Meikles. She bought the shop from Ressie Herlitz in 1965 just before UDI.

Moira Gerszt

My late grandparents had a house one block away from the shul on the corner of Abercorn Street and Fourth Avenue on same side of road as the shul. Alfred and Selma Carl. Ian David Simon Carl

Ilan Elkaim There are two sides to 4th AVE. St Gabriel’s on one side and across the road is the other corner. Both on same side as the Shul. Goldschmidt family lived across from St Gabriel, and were possibly the closest to the Shul.

Ivan Kaye

Abercorn Pharmacy was a magical place ….. where customer service was paramount. My mum (Naomi Kaye and dad – Dave Kaye) worked there , my Gran used to sit at a desk and sell lottery tickets for the “Rhodesian Lottery” and there were the most amazing … 

Naomi Kaye

What a lovely message today must say they were precious years and a privilege to be living in Bulawayo lots of luv mom 

Julie Grill Measroch

My mom, Laura Grill had a gift shop on Abercorn St, next to Batars

Ivan Herscovitz

Went Zippers and Helbrons Butchery on Abercorn Street as well?
Ivan Zippers yes, not sure about the butcher
Ivan Herscovitz Heilbron’s butchery, Dundee Butchery was indeed on Abercorn Street between 9th and 10th Avenue

Beverley Mathison

My dad’s shop Rhodesian Watch and Jewelery was in Abercorn St Bulawayo opposite Ok Bazaars I loved that shop there were so many beautiful things to see.
Beverley Mathison
Didn’t he also sell crockery? We had a beautiful English tea set from his shop. Items broken could be replaced if necessary by your Dad ordering the item from England.
Beverley Mathison –  Bertha and Percy were my hole in the fence neighbors. Of course i was best friends with Jeff and even shared a house with Michael in Johannesburg. 

Brian Marks

Yes she was. Quite the little shtetl! Kay’s across the road, Eliasov’s at the end of the road, Len Rabinowitz opposite me, the Krengall’s next door and the Broombergs behind Golembo.

Gail Lerman

My father had a garage on abercorn st.. Sagers motors
Gail Lerman Look at this! Can you spot Sagers?
No photo description available.
Simon Lewis Yes on the corner beyond Bradlows Building.. Right side, near centre of the photo. What year was this taken. Pre 1960?

Merryl Herrmann

My Dad Solly and his brother Simon Wolffe had a men’s outfitting business called Bernard’s which I think was in Abercorn St. in the 1950’s and 60’s.
Merryl Herrmann. Just before leaving for University in England in August 1965 I bought a suit from your dad. If my memory serves me correctly your uncle Simon was a bachelo
My Granny Becky Feigenbaum lived in Treger House on Abercorn St next to her sister Dora Shulman. 

Stella Marcus Greenberg

My dad had a tailor shop Marcus Bros. Opp.haddon and sly.fife street??
He later sold to Eric Davis and opened a depot for his factory Express Dry Cleaners…. 
Stella Marcus Greenberg  – Wasn’t it next to Gerber’s Music shop, close to Morrison

Stella Marcus Greenberg

Mike Kuttner yes.you are right. I have since discovered that it was abercorn street but he had 2 dep0ts at one stage…

Judy Thomas

My dad Fred Tennant had ‘Tennant Displays’ and used to do the window displays for the Kaye family at Abercorn Pharmacy.. I remember shopping there with my mum.

Annette Samuelson

My dad had jewelry shop, diagonally opposite Hadden & Sly, called Gaffen & Son.
Annette Samuelson I knew Dave we’ll. I believe we also played Cricket on the same Maccabi team.

Annette Samuelson

Brian Marks wow. Its amazing how people are constantly being connected. Dave now lives in Durban.

Ronnie Elkaim

Annette Samuelson Before your dad moved his shop to the address you mention he had his shop in Abercorn street a few doors away from Mr. Mathison’s shop. I remember it well.

Annette Eastwood

What a vibrant community…Salisbury similar, but more spread about. Wonderful memories of the fifties and sixties.

Robert Zipper

My Parents, Dave and Leah, had Zippers for ladies and Esquires for men, both on Abercorn Street. In the 50s both shops were next to the Palace Hotel and then in the 60s moved up, Esquires next to OK Bazaars and Zippers across the road. They also had Co… 

John H Abeles

Robert Zipper I worked at Esquires for one school holiday – with Anthony Cooper

Ivan Fleisch

Abers Furnishers owned by Solly and Sonia Aber was a few blocks away from the shul on the opposite side of the road .
Eventually moved to Fort St.next to Peeps Golden’s clothing outfitters. Poswell Percy was Ivan’s dad

Michael Kretzmer

My Dad, Dr Chaim Kretzmer, had one of his surgeries in Abercorn St.

Renee Rosenberg

A wonderful trip down memory lane
Michael Kretzmer Right at the top.of the street Mike. Abercorn House, I think the building was called. Downstairs on street level was Abercorn Pharmacy owned by Dave Kaye.

Brian Marks

My dad Abie marks’ Times Furniture was on Abercorn St between Townshend and Butcher and Preece and McKenzie.
John Abeles
I remember Teddy Liberman’s watch and jewellery store on Abercorn

Also nearby was the Goldman pharmacy … 

My late dad Lionel Goldman (thanks for the mention John H Abeles) had 8th Avenue Pharmacy on the corner
Graeme Max Goldman I remember Lionel and Geoff – and their parents – with affection…
Graeme Goldman what a legend your Dad was – taking us to Borrowdale and Mr and Mrs Finch for swimming training every evening
Ivan Kaye yep Lionel was a legend and he loved Dave. They had a lot of fun together and great memories left behind for us to ponder. Take care

Michael Greenspan

Nosel’s , Gerber’s, Romance (Cilla Langberg), Abercorn Motors (Zurnamers), Wilfred’s Furniture (Willy Fredman) Lily Cohen’s sweet shop next to the Palace cinema, Mrs. Levine’s bookshop, Palace Hotel (Harry Schur), Cash Wholesalers ( Levy/Suskin, Steely… 

Michael Greenspan what about Juniors. My late moms shop
Allan Herlitz It was already mentioned by Charlotte Liefer whose mom bought it from your mom.
Michael Greenspan Nosel’s was on Fife or Grey, 1 up (towards Grey St. ) from Abercorn.

Allan Herlitz

My mom had Juniors opposite Meikles.

Debbie Leifer Sachs Tucker

Allan Herlitz my mother bought juniors from Ressie

Richard Schwartz

Even though I’m from Harare, this thread brings tears.
Marcelle Trappler Weiss I played cricket with Jack in the Bulawayo maccabi team. He was a good friend of my dad Abie Marks.

Marcelle Trappler Weiss

Whitesons Furniture store. My family.
Marcelle Trappler Weiss Hi Marcelle. Are u related to the late Jack Trappler? He is listed in the book S. A. Jewry 1976-7

Tony Shulman

Simon’s Self Service – early 60’s I think
Fay Treger
Sweet memories. ..

Craig Baron

My late Grandparents Hal and Doreen Sager owned a sweet shop called Jack Marks in Kirrie Buildings.
Simone Lobel
Miriam Jacquelyn Poswell
My dad owned Union bottle store next to Dundee butchery
I remember Paul Jaffa owning Paul of Carnaby Street which was downstairs near the OK Bazars
Ivan Kaye
Laura Konviser and the best Chinese restaurant there – across the road was Bobs motors
Laura Konviser
My husband’s (Julian) auntie Lily had the sweet shop and I believe she played the piano for the silent movies at the cinema
Laura Konviser
The shop was at the Palace cinema. Lily owned it and sister Janie worked with her.
Max-carol Wolf
I am impressed by your keen memories
Remember my dreaded haircuts at Nosels when I was a kid
Max-carol Wolf
Everyone went there before Renata opened and we moved into the world of the razor cut.
Ivan Kaye Max-carol Wolf followed by Ramjis to get our school clothes
Ivan Kaye
Ramjis was for our “fancy duds”… Hassamals (sp) was where we got our school uniforms!!
Ivan Herscovitz
Went Mechula and Bothwell on Abercorn Street?
Rachel Rachbind Judelman
Great memories. Many Jewish owned businesses in the vicinity
Ben Steinberg
My mum has Children’s Fashion House in the arcade opposite the town hall and where Wimpy was at the other end of the Arcade. And my Dad had Fabric’s Bazaar opposite Haddon and Sly.
Ben Steinberg and Ascot Cafe – and your mum was the best Hebrew teacher on the planet
Lyn Weeden Pieters
Many beautiful historical memories.
Leigh Sagar
My dad and my uncle Basil had Farmers Butchers next to Woolworth’s. They made the best billing in town. Which, of course, made it the best in the world.
Sandra Klibansky
My dad had Abercorn Pharmacy.
Michael Greenspan
Morrison’s (Thelma Eliasov), Seckel’s.
Michael Greenspan – Morrison was in Fife AVE next to Standard Bank and opp Haddon and Sly.
Mike Kuttner Fife Street
David Gelman
My late grandfather, Abe Gelman, owned Kirrie Buildings (Abercorn str.), Shell House and Belvedere (Fort str.), and the building housing Terblanche Furnishers.
Helene Brian Rabinowitz
Brings back lots of wonderful memories
Simon Lewis – An aerial view showing Sagars .
No photo description available.
Simon Lewis my father owned Sager
Neville Port
My Dad owned Whitesons furnitures at 95 A Abercorn Street next to Dundee butchery and opposit Bradlows building
Elsa Roth
Wonderful memories and reminiscences – I remember all the places and people mentioned. I still live in Bulawayo.
I think I am a generation older than most of the respondents, and actually lived in Abercorn street for a while as did many of my contemporaries.
Robert Zipper
Hi Raykie. You were my madrich. I think a compilation of Byo. memories would be amazing, worthwhile and a Herculean task. Please do it.  
Simon Lewis
Elsa Roth Yes, great idea. I have more to contribute and will send by email.
Simon Lewis
Miss Millers Private Hospital was at 6 Abercorn St. Early 1900s births were here.
Sandra Linde
My mom had a dress shop on Fife St called Nina’s in the mid 60’s. She also opened a children’s clothing shop on Selborne Ave called Sandra’s
Ivan Kaye
Many – were refugees from Lithuania 🇱🇹
Miriam Bloch Lipshitz
What a special, emotional and emotive thread. Bulawayo will always be home to many, no matter where we are in the world.
My family, especially my brother, Eric Bloch, were so invested in the community, the city and the country.
David Gelman
My grandfather and thence my father owned Kirrie Buildings, Abercorn/9th Avenue.
Gideon Miller
Lovely thread. Can’t contribute as my parents’ business was in Industrial Sites. But… this inspired me to go look at the now Jason Moyo st. in google maps and it turns out they have just updated the satellite imagery of Bulawayo – it is as of 2023!
Joanne Simon Verster
My dad had Victoria service station. My grandparents had several properties in town, one of which was a Bata building. Julie Duek do you remember any of the others?
Jill Boyer Samowitz
What a fantastic thread so many memories thank you so much
Les Melamed
I new it as Abecohen St
Dave Bloom
Thanks to all for great thread. We already have the names and addresses of over 50 Jewish homes mapped out in Bulawayo on a Google map and can either add Jewish businesses to it or create a separate version. Of course it would be wonderful to have the stories.
See Jewish Homes in Bulawayo – Zimbabwe Jewish Community 
Annette Samuelson
My folks has a jewellery shop called Gaffen and Son.
Julie Duek
95 Grey Street. Cycle and General Distrubutors. Started by my Grand father Solly Cohen
Eric Frenkel
So nice to see and read all about the past I believe that it would be great if someone as Elsa Roth suggests to put a book together about our wonderful past.
I also remember most of the people mentioned and had business dealings with.
Marcia Saul
What wonderful memories of so many people about the amazing life we all had growing up in Bulawayo..🙏. There are so many names, roads and businesses that have suddenly come back to life in my mind.
Whiteson’s Furnishes… My father, Harry Goldman
Rifca Freed
Ask Dave Gaffen. He has just visited Bulawayo.
Leonard Brenda Marcus
No one has mentioned Fritz’s on Grey Street next to the City Hall which stretched from Fife St to Grey. It was a pie stall
Had the best hot dogs, later moved to 14th Avenue to become more up market
Very popular to visit on a Sunday night after Habonim.
Leonard Brenda Marcus
They started as a little hot dog stand outside the city hall. It was a highlight of Sunday for the whole family to end up at Fritz’s for an early supper.
Gillian Solomon
Oh goodness this is it’s like reliving the marvellous mrs Mazel
Mark Nussbaum
My Grandparents Oscar & Bertha Nussbaum had Roberta’s Dress Shop on Abercorn Street next to Lieberman’s Jewelry.
David Gaffen
Just spent a week in Bulawayo .
Each day was spent going to places in and around the city recalling what we did there in our youth !!!
Some still in good shape others neglected !!
Mervyn Taub
Also…….my Dad had Modern Motors on Janeson and 10th to 11th Ave.
My late wife and I had Music, ext door to 8th Ave Pharmacy, and whet delightful neighbors the Goldmans were, plus Music in 8the Ave Arcade next to Wimpy and Truworhs and Mc. and Both…
Mervyn Taub what great memories and how lucky we all were

Marcia Saul

What wonderful memories of so many people about the amazing life we all had growing up in Bulawayo..🙏. There are so many names, roads and businesses that have suddenly come back to life in my mind…
Whiteson’s Furnishes… My father, Harry Goldman, worked there for many years… The owners were Abe Whiteson and Leah Port (nee Whiteson)… My brother, Lionel Goldman owned 8th Avenue Pharmacy…
My younger brother Jeff became a Doctor… As many of you will remember I became a teacher and was involved with Education from 1960 and retired completely in about 2018… Bernard and I moved to Durban in 1974 and have had an amazing Life living here… We send best wishes to everyone who remembers us… 🤩
Marcia (Goldman) Saul

Saville Katz

Dave Melmed had a men’s outfitter shop on Abercorn Street. He also sold tickets for the State Lottery. My dad would often send me round the corner to buy a ticket.
Jon-Carmel Gersh
TheGersh’s,Baron’s,Diamond’s,Rosenas’s and Gorleski’s lived
Jon-Carmel Gersh
The Gersh’s,Baron’s,Diamond’s,Rosenas’s and Gorelski’s lived two blocks
Saville Katz
My late father, Sam Katz Watchmaker & Jeweller, always wanted to have his shop on Abercorn Street. He had worked for Lieberman on Abercorn St when he came to Byo after Dachau, and he considered that block the best location in Byo CBD for a small shop.
His shop was on the ground floor of Colonial Mutual Building at 9th Avenue and Main. At the time it was the second-tallest building in Byo, and was directly across the road from African Life Building, which was the tallest building in Byo.
The location turned out fine. And for us kids when we visited it was a dream. Mackay’s (sp?) was across the road, and Radio Limited right next door. We could go to either and listened to records all the time. What a wonderful town Bulawayo is. So glad to have grown up there – and when I did. There’s nowhere like it in the world.
Lee Kemp
My Mom and Dad Faye and David Salomon had a Real Estate business together on Abercorn, D. H. Salomon & Co. Added a travel Agency after several years. I remember a framing shop next door. Forget the name.
Great memories on this chain. Thanks to all. Ex Leonie Salomon.
I f you wish to submit details of your family’s business – please use the contact form below.  Please also send any appropriate pictures to this email address.