The 1930s was a decade of threats and challenges. There was an economic depression. There was rising antisemitism and the establishment of antisemitic and neo-Nazi movements. Legislation had been passed preventing the arrival of more East European Jews followed by laws preventing Jews from Germany to arrive. And there was the arrival in South Africa of a new type of Judaism- Liberal or Progressive Reform- a threat to the membership of the orthodox congregations. But 1930 was also the year in which the women got the vote and started to challenge the status quo.
CAN WOMEN VOTE?
If behind every successful man, stands a woman, this is as true for the founders of the G&SPHC. Women were as keen as the menfolk to have a synagogue to worship in and a Talmud Torah for their children to study in, and were prepared to put in a great deal of effort to help these plans come to fruition. We have already learnt of the help of Leah Gutman who every Thursday for many years hosted twelve men at her house for meetings – probably serving them tea and cake.
With the 20th century came the first mutterings of revolt by women. Queen Victoria felt that women who wanted the vote deserved to be whipped.[i] The belief that woman's role was in the home, not outside was changing. Saul Solomon’s wife was a keen suffragette.
Jews, including Morris Alexander, his wife Ruth and Bertha Solomon, threw themselves into the women’s suffrage movement. It was only in 1930 after a heated debate in Parliament in which it was argued that scientific evidence proved what every man knew - that women had smaller brains – that women (but only white women) were given the vote. It took Solomon from 1938 when she was first elected a Member of Parliament until 1953 before the Matrimonial Affairs Act, called Bertha’s Bill by Prime Minister DF Malan, was passed, giving women legal right to their property, their income and their children. In 1963 she turned her attention to the equality of women under Jewish law. Here she was not successful and the battle continues.[ii]
Bertha Solomon, MP
In November 1928 it was proposed that co-opted members, both ladies and gentlemen, be invited to join the shul committee and be given full voting power. Mauerberger opposed this, and an amendment was passed unanimously that ladies would be given voting power - but only on sub-committees. Co-optees included Mesdames Marks, Mauerberger, Gutman and Robinson.
There was an ulterior motive to the gentlemen’s graciousness in allowing them voting powers on a sub-committee, because the chairman then explained to the ladies the necessity of raising the necessary funds with all speed to buy land for a shul. Ladies were welcome to serve tea and raise money, but only men could make decisions.[iii]
The Ladies committee decided on catering for a ball at the Bordeaux Hotel[iv] which, according to Sonia Kirsch, had lovely dancehalls and restaurants.[v] It was a great success, both socially and financially. Another ball was held two weeks before the laying of the foundation stone, with music from Muller’s Orchestra. The South African Jewish Chronicle reported the breath-taking news that the chairlady Mrs E Wolff looked very smart in a green satin frock with a sequined cape, vice chairlady Mrs. Zabow wore a black matelasse[vi] and Miss E Gutman, the secretary, looked charming in a royal blue phantom crepe with epaulettes of brown fur.[vii]
Within weeks of its establishment in 1932, the Union of Jewish Women started to tackle the issue of women’s rights in the synagogue. Up until then women could become members of a synagogue, but were not allowed to vote, attend meetings or be eligible for election to any synagogue committee. As a result of the UJW’s efforts, by October 1932 the CTHC was admitting women to full membership, with the exception of their appointment to executive offices.[viii] In the last week of September 1932 both the G&SPHC and the CTHC held their annual general meetings and both considered and approved “by a large majority” resolutions permitting women to serve on the Synagogue committee. Probably the Parliamentary decision to give the vote to women – white women - had influenced the change in four years from a unanimous exclusion except on the fund-raising committee to full voting rights.
This was confirmed by an article the following week in The SA Jewish Chronicle 7th October 1932, that as the government had granted women the same right to vote as men two years before, “it was only right that they should be allowed not only to vote but to share the responsibility of management with their menfolk in every institution.”[ix] Particularly as it was they who would be raising the funds to allow their menfolk to embark on a building project, something made clear when president Jackson remarked that a committee of ladies needed to be organised, every one of whom to be called upon to do her share (26.1.1934).
A M Jackson, president 1931-1933
Despite the government allowing women to vote, there were still some holdouts wondering whether it was halachically acceptable for women to have opinions of their own. Although both meetings quoted the authority of Rabbi JL Landau, as approving the principle, AM Jackson was still required to write to the British Chief Rabbi Dr JH Hertz in London to ask about the religious propriety of women serving on synagogue committees. To understand why, given the approval of the Chief Rabbi of South Africa , the chairman still had to get the go ahead of the British Chief Rabbi before women could be allowed to vote, John Simon[x] has pointed out that the Jews of the Cape Colony had adjusted without difficulty to the control from London, given that the Chief Rabbinate was a typical English institution which resided over an ecclesiastical dispensation largely fashioned on the Anglican Church. Thus, the authority of the British Chief Rabbi would trump that of the South African Chief Rabbi.
The holdouts had no luck, as the Chief Rabbi, in a letter which was later published, expressed the view that there was no objection whatever in Jewish law to this, but sounded a warning against any other extension of women’s privileges which might lead to measures which were “either religiously questionable or… would tend to change the traditional character and spirit of the service”.
It is to the credit of these Cape Town synagogues that they allowed their womenfolk to vote. It was not until May 1948, 16 years later, that the Durban United Hebrew Congregations gave women full voting rights and seats on the council, and then it was only because the women took matters into their own hands and formed a Women Seat Holders organisation to obtain representation on the Congregation’s Council.[xi] It helped that the same month the Congregations faced threats of competition as the Progressive Congregation with full gender equality was established.
In an article in the G&SPHC 1992 Rosh Hashanah bulletin John Simon asked what had the women done with their hard-earned privilege of serving on the shul committees? Alas, it must be said, very little. From 1932 to 1992 only five ladies had served on the CTHC committee and only two at G&SPHC. Mention might also be made of the Claremont Hebrew Congregation which never had to pass a resolution such as the G&SPHC had done in 1932 because they had enshrined into the constitution the right of ladies to serve on the committee - but only one had ever done so. Mr Simon felt that it was time for the ladies to be seen and heard to full effect in the committee boardroom.[xii]
RELIGION IN SCHOOLS AND TALMUD TORAH ESTABLISHED
The increasing antisemitism accompanied by an increase in Jewish immigration and in unemployment, resulted in a rise in antisemitism and the Sea Point parents became concerned about the way religion was being taught to their children in public schools. The shul secretary, David Harris wrote to the principal of Ellerton School. The chairman of the school board, William Hay sent an unsatisfactory reply.
The shul decided to act and Dr Kramer their president drew the attention of other Jewish bodies to the matter (26.2.1929) and they contacted the Board of Deputies and the Cape Town Talmud Torah. Mauerberger, Rabbi Mirvish and Adv Morris Alexander met with the Administrator who promised to discuss this with the Provincial Council. As a result, instructions were given that in future school entrance forms would include the parents’ wishes regarding the teaching of religion (24.7.1929).
In 1974 the same question would arise in connection with Christocentric education at Sea Point schools and once again the shul acted and approached the Board of Deputies which contacted the Department of Education. A Jewish Education programme was arranged at the Sea Point Boys Primary School, with the Board of Jewish Education and the G&SPHC each paying half the costs of running it (24.1.1979).
The other response of the congregation was to found a Talmud Torah - Jewish children needed more than chocolates to maintain their positive identification and knowledge of Judaism. A Talmud Torah sub-committee was elected with Israel Mauerberger as convenor and Mrs Robinson as Hon. Secretary and by March 1930 it had been launched in the Gutman home with A Sive as the teacher. The City Council agreed to let the Minor Town hall for two afternoons a week at 10/6d a session. The hall, Ian Sacks recalled, was next to the Adelphi Billiard Saloon where the Adelphi Shopping Centre later stood. They thought it wonderful when they moved into the new shul where the two corner blocks were partitioned into classrooms during the year and opened up for the High Holy Day services but the classrooms were much too large for the small number of pupils.
Mark Kaplan[xiii] recalled that the Hebrew School was established in 1930 as part of the original Shul establishment.
The first classes were held in a room in a boarding house on the Main Road, Sea Point almost opposite the Town Hall. I had the honour of being the first pupil accepted, followed by two of my siblings, plus another three cousins, making a total of six Kaplan students! There were two other pupils, Lubinski brothers. The principal and only member of the teaching establishment was A Sive, a young, kind and very able teacher, a comparative newcomer to the country. Mr Sive was a very industrious principal and decided that his pupils would do well on the stage! He came up with a few one-act plays all in Hebrew. We spent many an hour learning our parts. It is difficult for a child to learn a part off by heart in English, let alone in Hebrew. In one of the scenes in the play in which I participated, I had to approach my sister with a cup and saucer in my hand. I was to stumble and drop the cup which was supposed to shatter in pieces as part of the play. Horrors! The cup did not break! However, as a good thespian I carried on as if nothing had happened and saved the play. The boys, as is wont among Jewish eleven and twelve-year olds were not very sympathetic to him and, at times, we gave him a very difficult time. At first we had combined classes and then, as we progressed, classes were split as new pupils joined our little group. I was not very fond of Hebrew classes and sought all ways to avoid attending. On one occasion when I had been particularly aggressively ‘naughty’, Mr Sive made me stand in front of the class as punishment. While he was busy teaching and had his back to me, I quietly moved towards the door, opened it and ran out! What followed was a severe tongue lashing from my father, who was not very charmed when Mr Sive told him of my ‘escape’. After that Incident I settled down to become a good cheder boy as I was about to embark on the first of my lessons for my bar Mitzvah. I was not only the first student in the Hebrew school, I was also the first to have a bar mitzvah which was held in the Gardens Synagogue as the Shul was not yet built.
Mr Sive must have had a great deal of patience as I was not a very good pupil and found it very difficult to read Hebrew without the vowels. Eventually, by good fortune, after months of practice and heartache I learnt my part parrot fashion and recited it without any problems. I must have impressed the cheder committee as I was awarded a book prize for second place in Standard 3. I still have the book, inscribed as a presentation by the president, AM Jackson. Some years later a separate Talmud Torah and Nursery School were built in the adjoining ground. I was later to marry Hilary Sladen in the synagogue in 1946.
By the time the new school year started in 1931, Mr Sive had 22 pupils, up from 18 the year before, and another room was hired three times a week, for £2/10/- a month.
Cheder Committee 1933-34
Seated L to R, Mr Seef,(sic) teacher, J Gutman, Dr Kramer, Mr Mauerberger, P Kossick, S Kaplan
ANTISEMITISM, IMMIGRATION RESTRICTIONS, ECONOMIC DEPRESSION
By now the committee was confident that sufficient people would join the synagogue and started worrying about losing their independence if it were to become a branch of the Gardens Shul and under its control. Letters went to and fro, interviews took place, with hardly any progress. Negotiations were becoming too drawn out and finally the Sea Point committee recommended that they build the shul independently. This decision was confirmed by a general meeting on 30th March 1931. As Rabbi Shrock concluded, “What a different tale there might have been to tell if the leaders of the Gardens had been more amenable to reason! But then, how were they to know that within twenty years or so, the Sea Point congregation would become the largest in the Cape?”
It took much faith and commitment to the future to build a house of worship in the 1930s in the midst of a depression. Then came the sudden passing of the Quota Act in March 1930, a heavy blow. This Act stopped Eastern European Jewish immigration by instituting a quota of only fifty immigrants allowed to enter each year from quota countries which included Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. This meant that they would no longer be able to bring over parents, siblings and relatives from Eastern Europe. To quote Professors Mendelsohn and Shain, “it abruptly severed the half-century-old umbilical cord to the Litvak wellspring.”[xiv]
Antisemitism worsened with the ascent of Hitler to power and the involvement of his government and this ambassador in supporting antisemitic organisations and anti-Jewish propaganda spread through the German-based Radio Zeesen broadcasting in different languages, including Afrikaans. Antisemitic and neo-Nazi movements began to flourish in South Africa. With the onset of the Great Depression, world trade slumped, demand for South African agricultural and mineral exports fell drastically; poverty and unemployment skyrocketed as did xenophobia. It was easy to scapegoat outsiders and the Carnegie Commission on The Poor White Problem in South Africa in 1932 proposed instituting segregation as a solution. Jews once more became scapegoats.
Jews were labelled as exploitative capitalists. Jews were labelled as revolutionary communists. Jews had become too successful - they had developed trade and industry both in the small towns and in the big cities, they had contributed to art and culture, to medicine and law, but strangely they were still regarded as undesirable and unassimilable.
The Jewish Board of Deputies convened a conference in November to obtain more community funding to fight antisemitism from Nazi movements like the Greyshirts and to protect the community more forcefully. Morris Alexander started visiting country towns throughout the Union to reassure the Jewish communities and establish personal contacts with the ministers of religion, magistrates and heads of municipalities[xv] excluded by this government.[xvi] Morris Alexander gave up his chair of the Jewish Board of Deputies to tour the country communities to advise them of the antisemitism and persuade them to become members in order to gain money to fight the scourge.
The shul committee arranged for IM Goodman to address their members on antisemitism and they agreed to affiliate to the Jewish Board of Deputies, forwarding them a cheque of two guineas as their contribution (4.11.1931). They had been approached to do so in April but had decided to wait until they were properly constituted (15.4.1931). Mr Goodman was appointed to represent the G&SPHC at the monthly Board of Deputies meetings and AM Jackson would attend Board congresses (8.12.1931).[xvii]
Understandably the wisdom of building a synagogue was being questioned on all sides and in May 1932 it was proposed that the project be abandoned temporarily. Six months later they had a rethink and Architect J Lonstein was invited to design a synagogue on a more modest scale and in August 1933 Rev M Rosenberg was appointed as cantor and regular Shabbat services started, still in the Gutman home.
In October 1933 the South African Gentile National Socialist Movement was started by Louis Weichardt[xviii] headquartered in Cape Town with a constitution advocating the immediate revocation of South African nationality to Jews who had arrived after November 1918, the prevention of Jews from holding official positions or owning immovable property and their treatment as merely temporary guests.[xix] Brochures were being distributed saying: ‘Jews are Asiatics ... they will never be otherwise. Their ideas do not conform to ours and will not, even though they live among us for ten generations. A leopard cannot change its spots. Jews are Asiatics, are a menace to this country and should be excluded by this government[xx]’ Jews, they alleged, fomented the South African War, inspired blacks against white civilization, controlled the press, exploited Afrikaners and dominated society.[xxi] Known as the Greyshirts, it was a paramilitary organisation with uniforms, discipline and salutes, and it spread rapidly among young Afrikaners. Prof Milton Shain related this to an intensification of poor whiteism following the world depression, the emergence of Nazism and the rise of an illiberal, anti-modernist and exclusive Afrikaner nationalism.[xxii]
CORNER STONE LAID BY GENERAL SMUTS
In the same month the Greyshirts were founded, the community started to build their synagogue. Despite the Greyshirts, despite the antisemitic agitation, despite their fears and the economic problems, the Sea Point Jewish community believed in the importance of their survival as Jews, a survival dependent on their ability to practice their religion as a community inside a synagogue. Fund raising and building operations went ahead.
South African Jewish Chronicle 13 April 1934
On 18th April 1934 General J C Smuts, Minister of Defence laid the corner stone of the new Synagogue which was consecrated by the Rev AP Bender[xxiii] to an audience of several hundred including representatives of various synagogues and communal organisations. On a temporary platform Rev P Rosenberg recited the opening prayer with his choirboys dressed in white with straw boaters. Chairman AM Jackson welcomed General Smuts as someone to whom world Jewry was indebted for his participation in establishing the British Mandate over Palestine and the Balfour Declaration and were grateful for the opportunity to engrave his name on the corner stone of its synagogue, and present him with a silver trowel.
In his welcome Jackson also said:
The Jewish race during their long history had always looked to their traditions and their synagogue for spiritual guidance. We were passing through troubled times, and even in South Africa we found that antisemitism had been imported. History had proved that no country could harm its Jewish population without the hurt recoiling on itself”.[xxiv]
Mr Kossick at the laying of the foundation stone – with Mr. Archie Sacks looking on
Mr Kossick, the secretary, placed a rod containing the names of prominent people into the foundation and with great pride and a sense of achievement he and vice chairman Archie Sacks watched as brick by brick the foundations were laid.[xxv] Philip Coleman[xxvi] was so keen to see what was happening that he edged a little too close to the General who accidently dug Philip in the ribs and turned around to apologise.[xxvii]
Amid loud applause General Smuts rose to speak and referred to the problems caused by the rise of Hitler.
My advice to Jews here and all over the world is the same. The foundations of the earth may shake, but the heavens are not falling. The storm in Europe will be weathered in the history of Jewry. The dogs bark but the caravan moves on. The progress of civilisation was at stake for all mankind which was passing through a spiritual testing period of history. In quietness and confidence shall be your strength. The Jewish question was not merely Jewish, but was more and more a question for Christian conscience.
Mr Jackson thanked General Smuts for his interest in the Sea Point Jewish Community and they toddled off to tea in the Sea Point Town Hall where a toast was given by the Mayor, Councillor Louis Gradner, conveying the good wishes of the City Council. The synagogue was a great achievement costing £15,000, half of which had already been raised.
There is nothing to fear while we have men like General Smuts and Mr Madely in the Cabinet, nor do I believe that Jewry is threatened.
If the City of Cape Town could elect a Jewish mayor (like himself) and if people like Smuts could talk the way he had, Mayor Gradner believed the Jews would be safe. He was sure General Smuts appreciated how their pride, their self-respect and their dignity had been hurt and he believed that the Government was about to act and that the poisonous tongues would be sealed for good and all.
Adv Morris Alexander responded, equally optimistically, saying that the words of General Smuts would echo through the world as a clarion call for justice, freedom and fair play – not only for the Jews but for humanity. They would face their enemies bravely and defend to the uttermost the treasured possessions they had inherited from their forefathers. The synagogue stood like a monument to the traditions they had inherited and he hoped the congregation would be founded on the pillars of unity, brotherly love and peace.
Neither Smuts nor the audience were to realise that their words would bring no comfort. The poisonous tongues would not be sealed. Quietness and confidence would be to no avail and the heavens would fall on six million innocent Jews. Events in Nazi Germany would prove that there had been no progress of civilization since the dark ages of barbarity.[xxviii]
THE CHOIR - ELECTRICITY AND AN ORGAN
In May 1934 a decision was taken to establish a choir and the following year Cantor Morris Katzin, from Riga, Latvia, was appointed. He was to retire in 1965 after nearly thirty years of loyal service.[xxix] Cantor Katzin and Archie Sacks canvassed new members by going from door to door and speaking with potential congregants and soon had 42 members. Five years later they appointed their first choirmaster, Mr Sher, to train the choir which consisted of five men - Mr Horner, Mr Ruditsky, Mr Brajtman and five boys including Sam Chait who sang in the choir from 1932 until his barmitzvah in 1942 and re-joined the choir later as a bass.
Green and Sea Point Hebrew Congregation Choir 1934
A realistic description of the importance of a choir and a fine building to an up and coming ambitious congregation was described in an editorial in the South African Jewish Chronicle (9.10.1903) and could not be bettered.
The magnetic influence of the synagogue seems to extend only over those three days (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) and over the first day of the festivals should the same happen to fall on a public holiday when there is no race meeting, …. Religious feelings seem to be an element of very minor importance in the founding of modern synagogues though in the synagogue every provision is made for the fostering of that feeling, The financial power of Judaism was in the past consulted for the interest of this feeing by building elegant structures to pray in, by providing accomplished Cantors and trained choirs to adorn the recital of the prayers with all the charms of a vocal display and by maintaining eloquent preachers to paint in vivid colours the ugliness of vice and the beauties of virtue and to set an example of religious observance which it is understood is not to be followed by the flock.
Cantor Katzin, a warm-hearted, compassionate and humble man, was passionate about improving and augmenting his choir, whose degree of professionalism, as choirboy Ian Sacks admitted, was nowhere near the present standard and it was necessary for the cantor to be in constant touch with the choirmaster and vice versa, so a field telephone was instituted. An electric button connected the bimah to the choir loft and he would press it three times to say Well Done!
The funniest sight to see was that of the Cantor frantically cranking the telephone handle in order to make contact with the choir – sometimes our singing was so loud that we couldn’t hear the telephone ring in the choir room!
Klaus Yitzchak Abt[xxx] joined the choir in 1944 as an alto together with Peter Shrock, Samuel Ellis, Issy Goldman and the bass Mr Horner. Cantor Katzin nursed the choir with his tuning fork as did Mr Koorland, the choirmaster. Abt remembered the occasion when Mr Koorland’s tuning fork went flying over the choir balcony, landing on the top hat of the Shammas as he opened the ark. The loud “ping” resonated throughout the startled synagogue.
Record of Cantor Katzin singing Adonaj adonaj
Ian Sacks and his brother Roy used to go to shul every morning before school and every evening after sports or homework to make a minyan. One of the choir boys was Abe Newman who was enrolled by Cantor Katzin who told his mother that her little boy sang like a ‘night in jail’. The choir master was a Mr Scher, they had one practice a week from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., had to be at shul on Friday nights and Saturday morning and were paid 2/6d a month.
When you are a member of the Choir believe me, you learn many things about being Jewish. You learn the Siddur or the Machzor, you learn about Shul politics. Cantor Katzin was a magnificent Chazan who was replaced by Cantor Badash who had the sweetest melodious voice. When he sang there was absolute silence in the shul. For my barmitzvah in 1943 I was allowed to take twelve friends to the Odeon bioscope and then return home for a hotdog.
The Orthodox congregation saw no problem in using electricity on Shabbat and chagim to enhance their services by allowing the chasan to communicate with his choir. A generation later, with a turn to the left of the rabbinical authorities, the use of an electric button would become a No No.
The shul also had an organ. The first mention of its existence was found in the minutes of 2.9.1948 when the committee received a complaint, not about its use, but about its condition, The acceptability of the organ is another example of how traditions change - in the 21st century no Orthodox synagogue would allow an organ or electric buttons, yet here in the Orthodox G&SPHC with its Orthodox rabbi and Latvian cantor, it had been accepted without query – no letters having been sent to London about its use and ten years later requests were still being made for a mixed choir.
[i] Fulford, R, Votes for Women, Faber & Faber 1958, 2
[ii] Schrire, Gwynne, The Cape SAJBD, the Silver Salver and Bertha’s Bill, IN Jewish Affairs, Chanukah 2013, 68:3
[iii] Fund raising suggestions were a garden party at Bordeaux, (subject to Mr Dent’s approval), a troupe for open air performance, a dance, a picnic, raffling a Sefer Torah. The Entertainment committee was to report back (18.11.1928)
[iv] Harris, Bubbles, op cit
[v] Murray,M, ”Old houses and Village characters” Under Lions Head, p 132 Sonia Kirsch, 20th September 2008, Recorded interview.
[vi] Matelassé (French) a weaving or stitching technique yielding a pattern that appears quilted or padded – the writer did not know either.
[vii] Levy Sarzin, Anne, op cit, 31
[viii] Strauss, Terri, The Child of My Heart and My Mind’ – The History of the Union of Jewish Women, Cape Town, 1932 – 1997, unpublished manuscript, UJW.
[ix] South African Jewish Chronicle, 7th October 1932, 673, IN Belling Veronica Ph.D. thesis, Recovering the lives of South African Jewish Women during the Migration years, c1880-1939, University of Cape Town, available online.
[x] Simon, John, A study of the nature and development of Orthodox Judaism in South Africa c. 1935, M.A thesis, Department of Jewish Studies, University of Cape Town, 1996, 155
[xi] Miller, Arnold, The Jewish Community in Natal, United Communal Fund in Natal, Durban, 1981, 97; Manoim, I, op cit, 224
[xii]Simon, John, “Where are our modern prophetesses?”, G&SPHC Rosh Hashana Annual, 1992 – 5753, 26-27
[xiii] Kaplan, Mark, “Early days of the Green & Sea Point Hebrew Congregation”, G&SPHC Rosh Hashana Annual 2007 - 5768, 10
[xiv] Mendelsohn, Richard & Shain, Milton, The Jews in South Africa, Jonathan Ball, Cape Town, 2008, p 103
[xv] Robins, Gwynne, “The work of the Cape Board 1912-1948” IN Robins, G (Ed) South African Jewish Board of Deputies (Cape Council): A Century of Communal Challenges, SA Jewish Board of Deputies, 2004, 19
[xvi] Quoted in Berger, N, In those days, in these times, Johannesburg, undated, 53
[xvii] Such was the calibre of the G&SPHC members that AM Jackson was to become a Board chairman, as did Leon Segal, Gerald Kleinman, John Simon, Solly Kessler, Philip Krawitz, Michael Bagraim, Judge Dennis Davis, Li Boiskin and Gary Eisenberg.
[xviii] Shimoni, G, Jews and Zionism: The South African Experience (1910-1967), Cape Town, 1980, 110-114
[xix] Terblanche, the leader of The People’s Movement, a similar movement summed up the policy thus: “We cannot throw them out as Hitler did, but we can make it impossible for them to live here.” Ibid, 113
[xx] Quoted in Berger, N, In those days, in these times, spotlighting events in Jewry - South African and General, (Johannesburg, 1979), 53
[xxi] Shain, M, The Roots of Antisemitism in South Africa, Johannesburg, 1994, 144
[xxii] Shain, M, “If it Was So Good, Why Was it So Bad”, IN Shain, M & Mendelsohn, R, Memories, Realities and Dreams: Aspects of the South African Jewish Experience, Cape Town, 2000, 87
[xxiii] Sacks, Ian, op cit, 45
[xxiv] SA Jewish Chronicle, 20.4.1934, reprinted in G&SPHC Rosh Hashana Annual 70th Anniversary 5765, 4
[xxv] “Mr Kossick remembers…, “ G&SPHC Rosh Hashana Annual,1974- 5735 40th Anniversary, 8
[xxvi] Coleman. Philip, “My association with the shul”, G&SPHC Rosh Hashana Annual 1997 – 5758 p 43
[xxvii] Archie Sacks joined the committee in 1928, serving on it till his death in 1979, as president 1934-1938 and 1941-1943, and life trustee.
[xxviii] General Smuts at Sea Point, IN SA Jewish Chronicle, 20.4.1934; Levy Sarzin, Anne, op cit; Sacks, Ian, op cit 44, 45
[xxix] Cantor Katzin’s daughter Shirley Greek remembered the flurry of activity in their home created by the Yom Tovim. Pesach was always her ‘mother’s chag’. The Yomim Noraim were her ‘father’s Yom Tovim’. Not only was there the voice factor, but he always found the emotional strain very draining. He had an erev Yom Kippur ritual. He would go to Minchah at about 1:00 p.m. followed by lunch of kreplach soup and then at about 4:00 p.m. the children were called one by one to his study to Shlag Kapporot, he would then bless them, listen to records of his father and mother (which she still had) and then get ready for Kol Nidrei. After Ne’ilah they would have many guests to break the fast but as for the cantor, he would only stay a short while, drink soda water, excuse himself and go to bed. In 1947, in appreciation for ‘excelling himself’ during Ne’ilah service, 15 worshippers who occupied adjoining seats decided to show Cantor Katzin some tangible expression of thanks and felt that, since his duties included visiting the sick all over the Peninsula, a car was a virtual necessity. He was presented with a Chevrolet which was his first and only car. Most of the visiting rabbonim and chazanim came to their home including Chief Rabbi Jakobowitz whom Shirley remembered spending Shabbat with them. Their house was always filled with music. Cantor Katzin officiated at thousands of weddings, was the Cohen at countless Pidyonei Haben and although during the years at Sea Point he was offered numerous posts, both in South Africa and abroad, he remained faithful to the congregation he loved. By the time he retired in 1965, the shul had about 2,500 members and was the largest single congregation in the Southern hemisphere. He was its Shaliach tzibur and when he died in 1974, Rabbi Newman insisted on honouring her father by having him brought into the shul below the Aron Hakodesh and having a short service.
[xxx] Abt, Klaus Yitzchak” I remember”, G&SPHC Rosh Hashana Annual, 2007-5768, 59