Profile of Rabbi Moses Weiler, whose charisma and drive built a viable Reform movement in South Africa despite strong opposition. The text and pictures below were from a speech delivered to Limmud Johannesburg in August 2019.
Jews by Choice
The Mavericks book included several interviews with ‘Jews by Choice’. Here are two more of interest which did not make it into print for space reasons. In both cases, people who arrived as outsiders, soon became insiders – and community leaders
Reform’s accidental founder
Professor AZ Idelsohn, founder of the Progressive movement in South Africa, was the world’s foremost authority on Jewish liturgical music. He was obsessive, cantankerous, a bad husband and father … and yet adored by many for his ground-breaking ideas. Among other achievements, he was the composer of Hava Nagila.
Some life stories of the German Jews
They stuck together. They preferred their own music and food. They spoke German only to each other. They told their children nothing about their suffering.
The founding of a Port Elizabeth congregation
Groups of émigré German Jews were key to the establishment of a Reform congregation in Port Elizabeth, with the first rabbi arriving in March 1951.
Herman Kallenbach, architect of Temple Israel
The man who planned and built Temple Israel in Hillbrow in 1936, Herman Kallenbach is today more famous for his companionship with Mahatma Ghandi than for any of his architectural work.