15 February 2009

South Africa: Online newsletter, other resources

Did your Jewish ancestors land in South Africa? The South African Special Interest Group (SASIG) offers an online newsletter with articles sure to assist you in finding information.

The December 2008 issue is the latest online, but the earliest one is from 1999, so enjoy nearly a decade of informative articles and resources.

This issue's articles include:

Insights into South African Genealogical and Historical Holdings
Rose Lerer Cohen writes about holdings in the Central Zionist Archives, details genealogical databases and offers document images.

Databases of South African Jewish Births, Marriages and Deaths
Louis Zetler references the South African Rootsbank Jewish Database, Johannesburg Chevra Kadisha and Netcare Hospital, mentions the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) and his own databases of vital records, which he began keeping ni October 2001.

It's Not All Black and White: The South African Jewish Story
Roslyn Sugarman, John Saunders Curatorial Chair at the Jewish Museum in Sydney, Australia, writes on the collection of memories (artifacts, Judaica, oral history, etc.) of South Africa exhibit that opened in December 2008.

Book Review: The Jews in South Africa: An Illustrated Story
Saul Issrof reviews the first comprehensive history of South African Jews in more than 50 years. The authors are Professors Richard Mendelsohn and Milton Shain

The Ochberg Orphans
David Sandler edited, in 2006, 100 Years of Arc Memories, about the Arcadia Jewish Orphanages (in Johannesburg), where David lived from 1956-1969. For the past century, it has cared for more than 3,000 children. He is now compiling several new books (More Arc Memories, early 2009; and The Ochberg Orphans). The Ochberg Orphans were a group of 167 children brought to Cape Town in early 1921; 78 were taken to Johannesburg on their arrival and placed in the South African Jewish Orphange.

South African Small Country Communities Project, Vol. 1
Volume 1 of Jewish Life in South African Country Communities hs been reprinted, covering Northern Transvaal (Limpopo Province) and the Great Escarpment (Mmpumalanga). There is a list of communities covered in the article, and an order form to obtain a copy.

Revisiting Muizenberg
An exhibit - "Memories of Muizenberg" - is being planned for December 2009, and material is being sought for the project, including photographs and information on families, shops, schools, etc.

Additionally, there's a list of books for sale and an index of surnames appearing in this issue.

Other resources at the SASIG homepage include the JewishGen South African files , a more detailed explanation of the South African Jewish Rootsbank project to document some 15,000 core families who arrived in Southern Africa 1850-1950.

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