top of page

Cape Town community, then to now

The Cape Town congregation, founded in December 1943, has enjoyed rare stability. It is proportionally larger relative to the local Jewish community, and shows the most encouraging growth.
 Click on any spot in a picture below to see it enlarged.


The original Temple Israel in Greenpoint was an enormous building which stretched right down Portswood Road to what is today a busy intersection close to the stadium


The unfenced Temple Israel in Greenpoint was open to the street. Dressed in formal attire, Rabbi Sherman stands before his empire, his wife Bertha behind him

Sherman family in the fifties.jpg

Rabbi David and Bertha Sherman in the mid- fifties with their four daughters, from left Jessica, Rina, SaraLee and Gail


An architect’s side view of the long and narrow temple in Wynberg. In reality the plot is so narrow that no-one would see this view

Wynberg foundation stone-Henny Elyan.jpg

The driving force behind the Wynberg congregation was Henny Elyan


Some 800 warmly wrapped pensioners crowd into the Greenpoint hall on Simchat Torah in the late sixties, despite miserable weather


Phina Hoberman with a matching Torah mantle and Ark curtain which she embroidered and donated to Temple Israel, in memory of her father and husband


The formal interior of the old Greenpoint sanctuary, with dark wood-panelled walls, a choir room above the ark and dignitaries seated on a raised platform, as seen during a visit by Archbishop Desmond Tutu during the nineties

temple israel ct1.jpg

The much smaller and lighter new interior. The rabbis and the choristers, playing guitars rather than an organ, sit in the centre of the congregation


Harold Sandak-Lewin with Rabbi Richard Newman at his ordination at the Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam, which Sandak-Lewin helped initiate


The towering, Conservative-trained Rabbi David Hoffman, who followed Rabbi Sherman in the nineties, was the first to modernise rituals in Cape Town

Greg Alexander ex movie3.JPG

The arrival of Rabbi Greg Alexander in 2006 was the beginning of a major renewal of ritual practices, and a growth in membership

toah stretched out3.jpg

Expounding on the hand-written Hebrew text on Simchat Torah in 2019, as a Torah is unwound, snaking through the congregation

Havdalah at SAUPJ conference.jpg

On Saturday evening at the end of the Shabbat in 2014, a little girl holds the Havdalah candle. Kneeling and holding a spice box is Rabbi Greg Alexander, at left Rabbi Sa’ar Shaked of Johannesburg

bottom of page