The Port Elizabeth congregation
The Port Elizabeth congregation came together in 1950, appointed a rabbi in 1951 and had built its own temple by 1953. For a fuller history of the early years see the founding of a Port Elizabeth congregation.
Rabbi Moses Weiler lays the foundation stone of Temple Israel in Port Elizabeth, 8 February 1953. Alongside him in the light suit is Bobby Braak, later to become the spiritual leader of the congregation. The first minister to the congregation, Reverend Isaac Richards, is on the left. With his back to the camera, near the centre, is the first president, Sigi Hallis.
Street view of Port Elizabeth’s Temple Israel on Upper Dickens Street, designed by George Adler, who would later become president, and opened by the mayor, Councillor CF McArthur, in September 1953.
Interior of Temple Israel. The community raised the money and completed building in less than three years. On a typical Friday night in its heyday, it would seat forty to fifty people.
Plaque with the names of office bearers and honorary life members up to 2009. Len Clemens, given honorary life membership in 2002, was president three times, covering 10 years.
Veteran community leaders Arnold and Ruth Bergman (he of the Brotherhood, she of the Sisterhood) with a certificate presented to Arnold in recognition of his long editorship of the Rosh Hashana annual magazines
Framed photo commemorating Dave Berg, founding member and president during 1972-1973
Rev Bobby Braak, who became the congregation’s spiritual leader, at the centre of a gathering during the mid 1970s of Port Elizabeth’s welfare leaders, with mayor JW Kleynhans to his right, and congregation president Hymie Israelstam to his left
Bertha Sherman, president of the national body, the SA Union of Temple Sisterhoods, pays a visit to the Port Elizabeth Sisterhood in 1968. From left, Isa Rothenberg (secretary), Sandra Cochin (vice chair), Heather Kaplan (chair), Rebbetzin Bertha Sherman and Joan Kahn (vice chair).
Yvonne Frank, Sisterhood chair, right, at a party for a group of pensioners in 1976. The women are showing off embroidery which they must have produced themselves
Models at a fund-raising fashion event in Port Elizabeth in the mid-sixties show off elaborate fur coats and hats from the House of Kosseff … a scene unlikely to be repeated today
The crowd shelter from a howling wind to watch the laying of the foundation stone in February 1953