The Republic of South Africa, located at the southern tip of the African continent, has coasts on both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The first Europeans to settle in the territory were the Dutch at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652. The British took the territory from the Dutch from 1795 until 1803 and then annexed it in 1806 as Cape Colony. In the 1830's many of the Dutch settlers (known as the Boers) moved inland and later established their own republics, including the South African Republic (later known as Transvaal) in 1852 and Orange Free State in 1848. Meanwhile British colonization continued along the coast and in 1843, the British Colony of Natal was established. In the Second Boer War (1899-1901), both Transvaal and Orange Free State were annexed by the UK. In 1910, the UK consolidated all four territories (Cape Colony, Natal, Transvaal and Orange Free State) into the Union of South Africa, which was granted dominion status. In 1931, the Union (with power exclusively in the hands of the white minority) was granted effective full independence, with the British monarch as head of state, in common with all other British dominions. In 1961, the country, still white-ruled, adopted a republican constitution as the Republic of South Africa and left the British Commonwealth. In 1994, the country held its first multi-racial elections under a new constitution. From 1915 to 1990, South Africa administered South West Africa (now Namibia), initially under a League of Nations mandate.
SOUTH AFRICA - THE JEWISH COMMUNITY
Jewish South Africa [August 2009]
Virtual Jewish History Tour of South Africa [August 2009]
Jews in South Africa began with the general European settlement in the 19th century. Jews were among the directors of the Dutch East India Company that administered the colony at Cape of Good Hope for 150 years. Jewish cartographers in Portugal seiled with Bartolomeu Dias and Vasco da Gama in 1488 and 1497. Portugal's baptised Jews were still free until the Portuguese Inquisition in 1536. In 1652, the Dutch (and their religious tolerance) began the first permanent European settlement of South Africa under Jan van Riebeeck as a representative of the Dutch East India Company. Few Jews arrived at Cape Town before the 1820s. The first congregation in South Africa, the Gardens Shul, was founded in Cape Town in November 1841. History. see History. Litvak-South Africans. [August 2009]Jewish Family History Society of Cape Town: Paul Cheifitz, President
P. O. Box 51985, Waterfront, 8002, SOUTH AFRICA
Telephone: 21-4344825, 21-4230223
Jews settled in many South African and smaller African countries between 1880 and 1930. Some of these communities have dwindled in numbers or even vanished. Information for most of these places is sparse. An African Jewish Congress has been established. The spiritual leader travels extensively to visit remaining Jews and to photograph cemeteries (over 14,000 tombstones recorded to date), old synagogues and look after areas of Jewish importance. Most of the data for South African cities, unless otherwise indicated, was compiled by the Spiritual Leader to the South African Jewish Communities. The abbreviations used are as follows:
Mormon Family History Library Materials for South Africa: Note: Consult the FHL catalog to find the precise film numbers for a particular year and location. The date of death needs to be known fairly accurately in order to be able to find a particular certificate. Searching before and after the date of death needs to be performed in the records, since some certificates have been filmed out of order.