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Founding of the Durban congregation

The Durban congregation began when Rabbi Moses Weiler addressed a small meeting in November 1947 in the lounge of Mervyn Gild, who would become the driving force behind the congregation. Six months later, Weiler returned to address a much larger inaugural meeting at the Durban Jewish Club, at which Gild was elected president of what would become Temple David.

Services on major festivals were initially conducted by Jerry Idelson, Benny Stalson or the newly arrived Reverend Isaac Richards, all on loan from Johannesburg. In December 1949 the congregation bought a one and a half acre plot in Ridge Road, and in August 1950, the first rabbi, Meyer Miller, arrived from New York, just in time for the laying of the foundation stone. He stayed 20 years. His successor was Richards, who went on to be the longest-serving minister in the Reform movement.

Many of the photographs in this gallery are from the personal albums of Paddy Meskin, former Hebrew teacher at Temple David, frequent head of the Sisterhood and its honorary Life President. The pictures were selected and scanned by Walter Gammage.

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