True, the historic Art Deco building was home to South Africa’s first Reform congregation and is a treasured relic of Jewish history here. The upkeep of Temple Israel and its heritage center is expensive, and Forman says one of her biggest challenges is financing it. Samuel Moses, another convert from Nigeria, attends services every Friday night and Saturday morning with his 6-year-old daughter, Angela. This was completely revolutionary. Progressive Jewish rabbis and lay leaders were in the … ), Tracey Korsen, who lives nearby, has been attending services at Temple Israel for three years. As early as 1933, he was able to persuade the committee that certain principles must be adhered to with regard to membership – the most important being complete equality between men and women, and the practice of unassigned seats. He conducted services in private homes during 1930, and later arranged public lectures, gave talks on the radio and wrote articles on Progressive Judaism in the Jewish and daily press. And if you manage to entice the children… the parents will always follow. “I feel very much at home in this shul,” says Hurwitz. Covers … Judaism -- South Africa dc.subject.lcsh Proselytes and proselyting, Jewish -- Converts from Christianity dc.title Conversion to Judaism in South Africa en dc.type Thesis dc.description.department Religious … Ghettos were being … A Progressive congregation was soon formed and the first service was held at the Freemasons’ Hall. Normalisation of diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE, 38 Oxford Road, Parktown 2193 (Entrance on 3rd Ave.), The Southern African Union for Progressive Judaism Golden Jubilee magazine, 1981, The United Progressive Jewish Congregation of Johannesburg Golden Jubilee magazine, 1983. Weiler and his family moved to Israel in 1957, where he became active in the Reform movement. The Reform movement oversees a disproportionately large share of these conversions. South African Reform evolved its own forms of religious practice which were more Zionist and more conservative than those in the USA. To claim a donation as a deduction on your U.S. taxes, please keep … Tracey Korsen at Temple Israel synagogue in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. When the results were announced, it turned out her side had just barely prevailed, earning a one-vote majority. Haaretz.com provides extensive and in-depth coverage of Israel, the Jewish World and the Middle East, including defense, diplomacy, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the peace process, Israeli politics, Jerusalem affairs, international relations, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Israeli business world and Jewish life in Israel and the Diaspora. 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On the High Holy Days, says Forman, the entire membership of the congregation — about 70 people — is typically in attendance. accordance with site policy. Forman never met him but says he was “the type of human being I adore — a real humanitarian activist.” In 1945, while visiting the township of Alexandra, located north of Johannesburg, he was struck by the sight of black children running around barefoot in the street while their parents were at work, and resolved to set up a school there. Today, WRJ has global affiliates in South America (Argentina and Brazil), South Africa, and Israel. The hon. The Temple Israel synagogue in Hillbrow, the only shul in Johannesburg to be granted heritage site status. About Who’s Who Please Donate Israel Recruitment Safeguarding Policies Complaints Whistleblowing RJ@Home Advice and Resources Hub RJ:TV – Online Community from Reform Judaism It was in South Africa… By contrast, on Friday nights, hardly a handful turn up. The first High Holy Days services that year brought in a large number of new members and other interested people. Reform Judaism (also known as Liberal Judaism or Progressive Judaism) is a major Jewish denomination which emphasizes the evolving nature of the religion, the superiority of its ethical … How do you keep Shabbat if you’re running after elephants? It was August 1933. To mark its 80th anniversary three years ago, the Temple Israel Heritage Centre — which serves as the repository of the archives of the Reform movement in South Africa — was opened in the same building, with an A-list of Jewish and non-Jewish dignitaries present at the gala affair. Reform Judaism shares the universal Jewish emphasis on learning, duty and obligation, rather than creed as the primary expression of a religious … By the late nineties, “Classical Reform” had been largely abandoned across the world, and Progressive and Conservative Judaism … But now that I have more time on my hands, I just love coming. I should also like to thank the Chief Rabbi of South Africa, C.K. “Before I retired, I didn’t spend as much time here. Once he was ordained, Rabbi Weiler came to Johannesburg. This Shabbat morning trip to the synagogue is often their only opportunity to get out and socialize. Based in Reform Jewish values, these programs provide … Because the main sanctuary, used in the old days, is now far too big for a group this size, the congregants gather in a side room down the corridor. We've got more newsletters we think you'll find interesting. This adaptation of Katie Osrin’s roast chicken, a family favorite, includes potatoes, apples, and ginger. The congregation does not have a choir these days, either. “There must never be any vestige of differentiation between a rich man and a poor man,” he said. By adding a comment, I agree to this site’s Terms of use. Picnic for children of the Reform Congregation, held near Johannesburg in 1939. They are the last remaining white residents of Hillbrow, once a center of Jewish life in Joburg. I love her glamor and her sass.”. The impact of retirement reform in South Africa By Opinion Nov 20, 2020 Share this article: Share Tweet Share Share Share Email Share Changes to retirement benefits for provident fund … Indexes English-language articles, book reviews, and feature stories in more than 160 journals such as Jewish Affairs. to join the conversation. Progressive Judaism has always been relatively smaller in South Africa compared to its American counterpart. Kurtstag, for our long standing friendship as well as their encouragement and ongoing support for this … Michael Jerome at Temple Israel synagogue in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. Subscribe today. Worshippers, including Reeva Forman, right, at Temple Israel synagogue in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, during a Shabbat service in May 2019. Forman herself grew up in an Orthodox home and did not embrace Reform Judaism until much later in life. “I did try out other places,” she says, “but I ended up choosing this one because of Reeva. Many varieties of apples are cultivated in South Africa, and the use of ginger is directly related to the … One of three Reform congregations in Johannesburg (which is South Africa’s largest Jewish center), Temple Israel holds services every Friday night and Saturday morning, as well as on all the Jewish … “For me, it’s especially important to take care of the people who come because they have nowhere else to go.”. On his return, he discovered the provisional committee formed before his trip was inactive and so he formed a new committee, which included Oscar Caplan, Dr Louis Freed and Sigmund Haas, among others. Reform Judaism was born at the time of the French Revolution, a time when European Jews were recognized for the first time as citizens of the countries in which they lived. Position of the Reform Movement Both the URJ and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) have taken stands against human rights abuses and war atrocities in Africa. He has been doing it for years, and according to Forman will continue doing it “as long as there is one Jew who wants to come through that door.”, The congregation no longer has a rabbi, but it does have a lay leader who regularly conducts Shabbat morning services. She is still involved in the firm, which was once a well-known brand in South Africa. Also in attendance this morning are about half a dozen black converts, some of them originally from Nigeria. But Reeva Forman wouldn’t even consider it. “For me, this was especially meaningful,” says Forman, who ran the project, “because once again we were doing something to promote education in the black community.”. Inside the BDS heartland | Haaretz Special project | SUBSCRIBE NOW■ Jews are leaving South Africa once again — but don’t blame BDS ■ On the road with Africa’s only traveling rabbi ■ These South African Jews hate the occupation as much as they hate BDS ■ From Auschwitz to Rwanda: Drawing new lessons from the Holocaust in South Africa■ This South African synagogue caters to Jews of all colors ■ The Jews working to leave their mark on Rainbow Nation■ How do you keep Shabbat if you’re running after elephants? Ruth Leveson at Temple Israel synagogue in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. Since you don’t ask a single and never-married woman like Forman to disclose her age, let’s just say that most of her high-school classmates are probably well into retirement by now. “That’s because to me, the perfect place for a house of worship is where there are poor members of a particular religion and others who need help and support.”. secretary of the local branch of the Jewish Religious Union is Mr J. Idelson. 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She was South Africa’s top model by her late teens and, despite the many years that have passed, still hasn’t lost the ability to turn heads with her stunning outfits and long wavy tresses. Ground Breakers - A History of Progressive Judaism in South Africa Ground Breakers – A History of Progressive Judaism in South Africa will be launched on 13 December, coinciding with the twentieth anniversary of its opening, the South Africa… Newspaper cuttings and other material sourced from Temple Israel’s archives. Please fill out your personal information and select which newsletters you would like to receive from us. Her voice might not be what it was, and she may no longer have any singers to lead, but she is here every single Saturday morning and takes her job darned seriously. Twenty years later, in 2014, Forman was able to claim another important victory in her campaign to preserve Temple Israel when it was officially named a Johannesburg heritage site — the only synagogue in the city to earn such status. The early patterns of Jewish South African … The foundation stone of Temple Israel was laid by the then Mayor of Johannesburg, Councillor Maurice Freeman, on 22 September 1935, and the official opening of the shul took place on 23 August 1936. The largest city in South Africa was established in 1886 and it's one of the 'greenest' cities in the world = it has been estimated that there are six million trees in the city. Abraham was a professor of Jewish music at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, and while he was here, he gave talks on Jewish music as well as the nature, principles and procedures of Progressive Judaism. © Haaretz Daily Newspaper Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Reform Judaism, a religious movement that has modified or abandoned many traditional Jewish beliefs, laws, and practices in an effort to adapt Judaism to the changed social, political, and … The emergence from the European ghettohad an enormous impact on the practice of Judaism, leading some Jews to abandon long-observed religious practices in an effort to assimilate more easily into the broader culture. … He urged his brother, Jerry, to establish a group to initiate Progressive Judaism in Johannesburg, which he did. Marion Bubly, the 69-year-old who fills this position, likes to refer to herself as a “rookie rabbi.”, “My parents were married in this shul and I was named in this shul,” she says. “Good Shabbos, darling,” Forman greets each and every one of them, making sure to offer her cheek for a kiss. It’s like a family affair.”. “The site covers three quarters of an acre, and is situated in Empire Road, corner of Hillside Road, just a few minutes from Clarendon Circle [and] Twist Street tram terminus.”. Find citations to articles on the Jewish community in Kenya, South Africa, etc. Once South Africa’s top model, Reeva Forman now leads a model Reform synagogue in the hardscrabble Hillbrow neighborhood — and she has no plans to abandon her community. Your comment was successfully submitted and will be published in Many of those awaiting her welcome — she refers to them affectionately as “my motley crew” — are poor and feeble. Ammi, Winter 1981/82, published by the World Union for Progressive Judaism, with a special focus on South Africa and the first 50 years. Reform Judaism (also known as Liberal Judaism or Progressive Judaism) is a major Jewish denomination that emphasizes the evolving nature of the faith, the superiority of its ethical aspects to … But a Temple Israel Hebrew School was established and children’s services were instituted. WRJ is proud to count women's groups from around the world among its ranks. A teeny thing with a big powerful voice, Angela knows every single word of the prayer service by heart and jumps up eagerly when she is summoned to help cover the Torah scroll after the weekly portion reading. Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: HoneyPress by SpiceThemes, Leaders of the Progressive Jewish Community, Women of Progressive Judaism – South Africa, Arzenu, the progressive wing of world Zionism, About the World Union for Progressive Judaism. Reeva Forman at Temple Israel in Johannesburg: "The perfect place for a house of worship is where there are poor members of a particular religion and others who need help and support.". JOHANNESBURG — Financially speaking, it made no sense to maintain a synagogue in a neighborhood virtually depleted of Jews and notorious for its high crime and poverty rates. But she won, and that was the important thing. Rabbi Weiler’s insight and vision were clear from the beginning. Marion Bubly and Angela Moses at Temple Israel synagogue in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. Orthodoxy has always been the country’s largest Jewish movement, even if many who identify as Orthodox are not necessarily observant, with Reform Judaism trailing far behind. The history of the Jews in South Africa mainly began under the British Empire, following a general pattern of increased European settlement in the 19th century. Can the 'Menachem Begin Project' Drive Netanyahu Crazy Like the Lincoln Project Did to Trump? After South Africa held its first democratic election 25 years ago, former Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris — known for his close ties to President Nelson Mandela — helped found Afrika Tikkun, an organization that promotes social outreach and assistance to black communities. But there is a choir leader: That role is filled by Ruth Leveson, a frail, elderly woman. The email address you have provided is already registered. Visit the SA Department of Health's website (COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal) for COVID-19 updates. A general meeting of members of the Jewish Religious Union will be held at the Jewish Guild on Tuesday, October20, at 8 p.m. Stay informed! She’s able to pull in some revenues by renting out a section of the building that once housed a heder to a nursery school and one of the halls to a church. In December 2020 the South African Jewish Museum will open an exhibition on the history and role of Progressive (or Reform) Jews in South Africa. If you would like to be notified when your comment is published, Currently on the table are various proposals for using the stately premises for other types of social action projects and outreach work. For more than 75 years, the Union for Reform Judaism has provided young people with immersive Jewish experiences that transform and enrich lives. Reform Judaism in SA The first ‘hint’ of Progressive (Liberal) Judaism in South Africa came when But if they do happen to show up on a Friday evening, they can count on finding 89-year-old Hillbrow resident Bill Hoffman leading the service. Demographics Census Information The Census 2001 provided the most recent national statistics for religious denominations. “If there is one Jew who needs us, this door will be open,” she says. “Eager to participate and demonstrate to their neighb… Jerry Idelson, famed as a musician, initiated the Reform Movement in SA at a meeting in 1930. Women of Progressive Judaism – South Africa (WPJ-SA) (formerly SA Union of Temple Sisterhoods (SAUTS)) “Sisterhood means service” was the motto adopted by the women who became known as the Sisterhood … The backdrop to the movement’s emergence was the Emancipation, the process begun in late 18th century to grant European Jews equal rights and eliminate the legal barriers that had impeded their social and economic progress for centuries. When it was inaugurated in August 1936, Temple Israel’s first rabbi was Moses Cyrus Weiler, who was born in Latvia and ordained in the United States. As the Reform Jewish hub of social justice, legislative activity, and broad-based campaign work, the RAC mobilizes a robust, powerful Reform Jewish constituency made up of strong, networked … This insight followed through to all Rabbi Weiler’s pioneering activities and the committee’s visionary ideals, and as a result, Temple Israel flourished and the Progressive movement grew exponentially. The Result Was Deadly, Why Syria Isn’t Firing Its S-300 Missiles at Israeli Jets, Israel Seems to Intensify Its Attacks Against Iran in Syria, Satellite Images Show Syrian Research Center Reportedly Targeted in Israeli Strike, How Israel Built a Nuclear Program Right Under the Americans’ Noses. “It didn’t make sense,” she recalls. That school, which still bears his name, is also a South African heritage site. An important communication will be read from the headquarters of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. In view of the importance of the decisions to be taken at this meeting, a full attendance of those interested is anticipated. A psychology graduate of the city’s University of the Witwatersrand, Forman founded her own cosmetics company, Reeva, back in 1980. Congregation treasurer Jacob Hurwitz is another of the Saturday morning regulars. In 1979, the URJ passed an anti-apartheid resolution which commended those who led the non-violent struggle against apartheid in South Africa… Shabbat Shalom from Johannesburg. Why I, a Moroccan Journalist, Endured Death Threats to Interview Bibi in Israel, Decades Before Normalization, Farewell to Haaretz and All Its Readers – but Especially American Jews, Joe Biden Will Enjoy One Advantage No President Ever Had on Israel-Palestine. In addition to her position at Temple Israel, she also sits on the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and is honorary vice president of the South African Zionist Federation. please fill in your email address in the form below. “One of the things we’re looking at is what we might do here to help refugees,” says Forman. A Scion of Zionist Aristocracy Wants to Quit the Jewish People. Tragically, two of his sons were killed fighting in Israel’s wars. The number of black people who have converted to Judaism in South Africa since the end of apartheid, or who are in the process of doing so, is estimated at several hundred. Johannesburg, Jewish Reform Synagogue 1933 (Temple Israel), Cape Town, Greenpoint, 1944 (Temple Israel), Johannesburg, North Eastern District Jewish Reform Synagogue 1945 (Temple Shalom), Durban, Progressive Hebrew Congregation 1948 (Temple David), Johannesburg, North Western Districts Jewish Reform Synagogue 1953 (Temple Emanuel), Bulawayo, 1956 (amalgamated with the Orthodox, 1977), 1965 Beth-El Johannesburg, (amalgamated with Emanuel, 1979), 1977 Youth Movement Maginim established nationally. His son was recently bar mitzvahed here. For a list of Haaretz newsletters, click here. Haaretz.com, the online edition of Haaretz Newspaper in Israel, and analysis from Israel and the Middle East. On a recent Shabbat, about a dozen or so worshippers were in attendance at Temple Israel for the weekly morning service. Jerry later joined his brother on a trip through Europe, where he visited Progressive synagogues and met a number of prominent Progressive Jewish leaders and Rabbis on the Continent and in England, including the Honourable Lily Montagu, who was president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. Reform Judaism also stresses equality between the sexes. A survey by Statistics South Africa found that only 341,186 of the 1.8 million 18- and 19-year-old first time voters—19 percent—registered to vote.In the 20-29 age bracket, one in two citizens … And so she resolved to fight the move, lobbying members of the local Reform community ahead of a planned referendum. Twenty-five years ago, not long after she had taken over as chairwoman of Temple Israel in Hillbrow, the former top model-turned-prominent businesswoman learned that the Reform movement was planning to put the building on the market. One of its first projects was opening a nursery school on the Temple Israel premises. Remember, you can always go back … In June 1931, the South African Jewish Religious Union for Liberal Judaism was established with Jerry as honorary secretary, and a wide media campaign was launched. Will Israel Let Him? “During the next three years, progress was slight and it seemed that for once, the Rabbi had been too optimistic – the Temple stood more like a Temple of Hope than a Temple of Achievement. South Africa did not experience a significant wave of Jewish migration from Germany, where Reform Judaism and the Haskalah … The Census 2011 form did not include any questions about religion due to low priority. Most arrive alone because they have no family. Send me email alerts for new articles by Judy Maltz, Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? It is noteworthy that an important clause in the constitution states that the aim of the Jewish Religious Union is to stimulate and inspire an intensive interest in Judaism and to overcome religious apathy and indifference and to establish a branch of the Progressive Jewish Movement (Liberal Judaism) in South Africa. At the end of that year, a site was purchased to build a synagogue. Jews are leaving South Africa once again — but don’t blame BDS, On the road with Africa’s only traveling rabbi, These South African Jews hate the occupation as much as they hate BDS. Sign in As always, he’s here with his partner Serona Reitzik, who lived in Hillbrow until seven years ago. (Much to her delight, she will also be asked to recite the kiddush after the service is over and be in charge of handing out pieces of challah and cake to congregation members. Progressive Judaism in South Africa has played a major role in the development of the overall Jewish community in the country. Some of them can barely walk. Subscribe to the newsletters to get the latest news and updates. Harris and the Rosh Beth Din, Rabbi M.A. Progressive Jews have led the South African Jewish … Its communal Passover seder, which typically draws more than 50 participants, is the highlight of the year for many of the congregants. The children themselves conducted the Sabbath morning service almost in its entirety, and the first such service was attended by 20 children.” (UPJC Jubilee Retrospective, 1983). Jacob Hurwitz and Serona Reitzik at Temple Israel synagogue in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. “Many people don’t think twice about walking around here during the day, but are scared to be out at night,” explains Forman. Take a deep dive into 'the BDS heartland', with Haaretz's special project on South Africa's Jewish community:■ Jews are leaving South Africa once again — but don’t blame BDS ■ On the road with Africa’s only traveling rabbi ■ These South African Jews hate the occupation as much as they hate BDS ■ From Auschwitz to Rwanda: Drawing new lessons from the Holocaust in South Africa■ This South African synagogue caters to Jews of all colors ■ The Jews working to leave their mark on Rainbow Nation■ How do you keep Shabbat if you’re running after elephants? Women of Reform Judaism 633 Third Avenue New York, NY 10017-6778 WRJ Footer Contact Contact Us 212.650.4050 info@wrj.org WRJ Footer Social Follow Us E-Newsletter Sign up for … The 2016 Community Survey, and intercensal survey carried out by Statistics South Africa… Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ), through its YES (Youth, Education, & Special Projects) Fund, has awarded $268,000 in grants to 13 programs that will strengthen Jewish life and provide the … One of three Reform congregations in Johannesburg (which is South Africa’s largest Jewish center), Temple Israel holds services every Friday night and Saturday morning, as well as on all the Jewish holidays. In 1932, through Abraham Idelsohn and Lily Montagu, he started negotiating with Moses Cyrus Weiler, then a student at Hebrew Union College under the tutelage of Abraham, who was his professor. During his travels, he was impressed by the Progressive services and inspired by Lily Montagu, who later sent him the Liberal Sabbath prayer books to use for services. Michael Jerome, who converted more than 20 years ago after migrating from Nigeria, also serves as the custodian of the synagogue and sleeps on the premises. In South Africa today there are some 18.6 million classified as "blacks," 2.5 million classified as "colored" (i.e., children of biracial marriage), and 750,000 Asians. She vows that, as long as she is around, this shul will never be shuttered. The purpose of the meeting is to confirm the constitution which has been carefully prepared by the committee. The first ‘hint’ of Progressive (Liberal) Judaism in South Africa came when Professor Abraham Zvi Idelsohn visited his family in Johannesburg in September 1929 for his parents’ Golden Wedding anniversary. (There is no active Conservative movement in South Africa.) 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