Kimberley, South Africa


This website, launched in June 2014, celebrates and documents the Jews of Kimberley from its pioneers who arrived by ox-wagon to seek their fortune on a bare patch of velt in the 1860s and 70s, through the families who lived and worked in the city over the decades to those still there today. It will tell the story of the Griqualand Hebrew Congregation, its Jewish buildings and its cemeteries.

The site is hosted by the Jewish Genealogical Society. It is managed by Eli Rabinowitz (a South African now living in Perth, Australia) and is inspired by Geraldine Auerbach MBE (who grew up in Kimberley and now lives in London UK.)

We are delighted to have as Patrons of the website the office-bearers of the present Griqualand West Hebrew Congregation:

Adrian (Barney) Horwitz, Chairman

David Allen, President

Arnold Rauff, Trustee and Chairman of the Chrevra Kadisha (sadly died, August 2017)

Barney says: You are doing something wonderful - making the Jewish history of Kimberley increasingly accessible. 

Please join us on this journey – and if you or your family have Kimberley connections then we look forward to hearing from you and receiving your stories, memories, photographs and family biographies. Only by doing so, will the story of Jewish life in Kimberley be revealed and available for the benefit of current and future generations – wherever they may be. We have made a start in June 2014 and created the possibility – now please will you help to fill in the details by telling us about your family.

Time is of the essence as the number of those that can "tell the story" and the remaining community dwindles.  So please contact Eli and Geraldine to send material and for any queries, and to sign up for the Kimberley Ex-Pats Newsletter. 

Click here to see where Kimberley is


Read Anthony Trollope’s riveting near contemporary account of the almost accidental discovery of diamonds and early years on the diamond fields

More about Kimberley

About De Beers