1993 was a year of celebrations. For the 50th anniversary of the Ladies Guild a special tea party was held with Rabbi Steinhorn as a guest speaker and songs from Cantors Aryeh Rand and Ivor Joffe (12.7.1993). A mini-shul for daily minyanim was inaugurated with a cocktail party with Rabbi Steinhorn[i] explaining how that happened and most importantly, it was their 60th anniversary with congratulatory notes from many including Chief Rabbi Harris, Rabbi Steinhorn,[ii] and Mayor Frank van der Velde who wrote that Cape Town was very proud of her Jewish community which had dedicated its energies and lives to create a marvellous city. Bnei Akiva’s Shaun Borstrock thanked it for their long and pleasurable history together going back more than 16 years, from Shul services in the Minor Hall, weekly meetings and annual functions to inter-Shul co-operation on Yomim Tovim. Rabbi Prof Jacob Newman, from Bar Ilan University, recalled the years he spent with G&SPHC as the most gratifying period in his Rabbinic career - the large attendances at services, the very friendly attitude of its members, and the wonderful spirit that prevailed in the community which was a heart-warming and fulfilling experience.

Marais Road Synagogue Sea Point, Cape Town 6 - YouTube


Mini-shul for weekday minyanim

As for the Chevra Lomdei Torah, the shul had opened the Gabriel Sacks Torah Resource Centre, named after long time and keen member.[iii] Furthermore, the G&SPHC choir had released a tape, Sounds of Shabbat, featuring Cantor Rand and choir which was sold for R30.00 and to top off the anniversary celebrations, the congregation put on a musical farce for two nights, a New Mock Wedding, with the story by Gertie Awerbach[iv] and a video of the event. The audience was convulsed with laughter as they watched the nuptials of the bashful bride, Miss Abe Newman, with her father Mr Zundelfartz alias Abe Swersky, her mother-in-law Mrs Tzupperpupick alias Philip Krawitz, her bridegroom and his alter ego, Abe and Solly Krok, Eric Samson and Aaron Searle as the dutiful pole holders.[v] Unfortunately, although a most enjoyable and fantastic P.R exercise, it was a financial loss.

Argus 5.8.93


Argus 5.8.93

[i] “In 1980 many of the daily worshippers felt that for the early and dark winter mornings, the main Shul was inappropriate for Service. We always have a fine minyan but with over 1,600 seats we felt lost… except for the rare occasion, when, on a Sunday afternoon with a wedding scheduled for the big shul at the same time as Minchah, we would “daven” in the hall. When we invited our Bnei Akiva youth to use the “David and Minnie Samson Mercaz” for their Shabbat services, it was always a difficulty to set up this venue every Friday for Shabbat services…In addition, the Chevra Lomdei Torah found that when we could utilise the Board Room, the learning took on an added dimension as did our daily recitation of Tehillin at 6:20 a.m. which sounded warmer and more significant round a table… Change was necessary. The time had come. How? With what funds? Well, the Almighty works in His own fashion. “One evening in early 1992, I was visiting with old friends Ruby and Anne Chaitman, in their flat at Mimosa, He told me of his unhappiness at the closure of the “Oranjia” complex and especially the Shul which was dedicated to the late Abe (Bill) Belson…“Ruby”, I said, “If our committee agrees and if Oranjia agrees, will you initiate bringing the Oranjia Shul to Sea Point as a daily Shul and a Shabbat Shul for Bnei Akiva?” Both Anne and Ruby agreed to make the initial contribution in order preserve a glorious Cape institution which would cover the move… Since the little Shul would be housed in the Dave and Minnie Samson Mercaz, we approached Eric Samson for additional assistance with installing air-conditioning. Shortly after the passing of Leah Berzack, her daughter and family came forward with additional funds that were needed. Success! Has it worked? Well, ask those who come to Shul at 6:00 a.m. daily. Ask Louis Waynik and the Chevra Lomdei Torah who learn there every day. Ask the brides and grooms who have married there. The answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’’ Steinhorn, Rabbi Dr EJ, “The small shul”, G&SPHC Rosh Hashanah Annual, 1993 – 5754 60th Anniversary, 55,57


[ii] G&SPHC Rosh Hashanah Annual 1993 – 5754, 60th Anniversary


[iii] 61st Annual Report, 1994 - 5754, 8


[iv] Argus 5.8.1993. Also thanks to Philip Krawitz for details, 14.11.2017


[v] The beautiful bride was escorted by a large retinue of equally beautiful bridesmaids including Ido Sargo, Micha Wistyn, Leon Markowitz, Graham Gordon, Phil Jones, Ian Maltz, Charles Scher, Julian Platz. Lennie Eisman, Ronnie Abel, Dr Tony Ashberg and Prof Wayne Derman and a large gaggle of giggling girls including Peter Murinik, Anton Stoltz, Mervyn Rosenberg, Basil Appolis, Jonathan Taylor, Mark Banks. Of course there was a rabbi and a cantor - Owen Futeran and Cantor Aryeh Rand with the G&SPHC choir and a shadchan (the minutes state it would be either Joey Wishnia or Lesley Weinkove). Others in the party were Koeksuster Alvin Collison, Paraguay Brazil Len Davis, Currie and Cloves David Kramer, Marie Antoinette Kenneth Marcow, Cleopudler Kevin Derman and Cave lady Dean Murinik. It was difficult to guess who gained the greatest enjoyment out of the simchah – the bridal party or the audience.