A selection of recipe books from the ZJC

This first cookbook was kindly shared  to this website by Mina Dorfan – formerly a long-standing resident of Bulawayo.  We are grateful to Mina for sharing the 1984 Cavalcade recipe book with us. It was published by the Bulawayo Women’s Zionist Society on the occasion of their Golden Jubilee. Besides the fantastic recipes, the book provides us with many names of wonderful cooks in the community and through the sponsorships and adverts we learn about the businesses connected and supporting the ZJC -in Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is not just a cookbook but a storybook…please share with us any anecdotes of the people and meals you experienced in the comments at the bottom of the page. An earlier version of the recipe book will be posted separately. The PDF’s files are word-searchable if you are looking for something specific. Click on the cover image to view the full PDF file which you are welcome to download.

Scroll down the page for more recipe books kindly sent by Laura Konviser (nee Hammar).

This cookbook below is from the Sephardi Community in Harare (Salisbury) – compiled by “The Sephardi Ladies of Salisbury” and was sent to us with many thanks by  PJ Mitchell.  Based on the notes in the book someone used this cookbook extensively.  Click on the cover to view the full PDF and download the file if you wish to have a copy on your computer.

The next cookbook is called the “Wooden Spoon” and was compiled by a committee convened by Connie Taitz, who were raising funds for Sharon School in Harare (Salisbury) – date unknown but probably the early 1970s.   We are grateful to Ylana Bloom (nee Kotzen) for taking the time to scan her copy and sharing it with us for posterity. Click on the cover to the view and download the full PDF with 197 pages.

Editor’s note – very special to see my late mother Lala Bloom’s famous felafel and tehina recipes. 

With grateful thanks to Laura Konviser for scanning and sending another amazing cookbook for our collection. It was compiled and produced in 1950 by her late mother-in-law Rae Konviser z”l. Besides the excellent recipes, the book includes the names of many members of the ZJC, adverts by local Jewish companies and was dedicated to fund-raising for the JNF. Rae was the wife of RABBI Maurice KONVISER, OBE, BA who served the Ashkenazi community with great dedication in Harare for many years. יהי זכרם ברוך

The PDF is a word-searchable file if you are looking for something specific.

This recipe book below was kindly shared with us by Mina Dorfan (formerly Bulawayo) and is an older version of the above version of the Cavalcade cookbook.  Unfortunately there is no date on the book but given that was sold for $1.50 we can assume it was published after 1965 by the Bulawayo Women’s Zionist Society.

Click on the image below and you will be able to view the full PDF file of the recipe book which is word searchable (using CTRL   F on the keyboard).


With grateful thanks to Laura Konviser (nee Hammar) for scanning and sending the recipe below for all to enjoy. The recipes are great but each page tells a story about the advertisers, the sponsors and those wonderful chefs that shared their knowledge and experience in the kitchens of Zimbabwe homes. The “Le Gourmet” was collated by the Women’s Zionist League of Harare – chaired by Inge Weisenbacher. Click on the cover of each one to view or download the PDF file and hope you and your loved ones enjoy the results.

This additional recipe book was also scanned with grateful thanks by Laura Konviser (nee Hammar). The book was compiled and published by the Lusaka Women’s Zionist Society (date unknown). If you have stories or background to the companies that advertised in the recipe book please contact the editor via the contact form below.