Kimberley, South Africa


Klein, Jennifer (now Lipsitz),

Klein, Jennifer (now Lipsitz)

Jennifer, born 1953, is the eldest child, and only daughter of Harry and Lila Klein of Kimberley where she says she had a happy, fulfilling and special early life. She has three brothers all born in Kimberley, Louis Klein 1955, Malvin Klein 1958 and Bentley Klein 1961. All the Klein siblings now live in Melbourne Australia! 

After growing up and matriculating from Kimberley Girls High School Jenny left for Cape Town to study nursery school teaching at Barkly House Teachers Training College. Three years later she married Roy Lipsitz, in the Kimberley Shul on 15 December 1974. (See the wedding gallery Volume 2 for 1974). Roy is an accountant who was born and grew up in Cape Town. Jenny’s father, Harry Klein, sadly died three years before the wedding and she was ‘given away’ by her Mother, Lila Klein, and her oldest brother Louis.

Kopple Lipsitz, Edna Lipsitz of Cape Town (parents of the groom) Jennifer (Klein) Lipsitz, Roy Lipsitz, Lila Klein (brides mother), Louis Klein (brides brother) at Jenny and Roy’s wedding in the Memorial Road synagogue Kimberley on 15 December 1974.  

Father Harry had been born in 1914 to Jacob and Bessie Klein of Kimberley. With his brothers, Philip and Mike he started the wholesale firm, Klein Bros. They were General Dealers, and also dealt with furniture and appliances at their well-known and respected firm in new Main Street. Harry married Lila Arenson born 31/12/1924 daughter of Louis and Bertha Arenson of Bloemfontein. She came to Kimberley in 1952 when she married Harry, and like her contemporaries, she mainly looked after her home, husband and children and contributed greatly to Jewish life in Kimberley.

The Klein brothers and their families all played a significant part in the Jewish Community taking leading roles on the synagogue committees and women’s groups like the Union of Jewish Women and Zionist League. Harry died on 20/6/1971 aged only 56 and is buried in Kimberley. Lila died in Melbourne Australia 26/11/2001 at 77.

Jenny writes: ‘We lived and worked in Cape Town for 2 years after we got married. I worked at Claremont Hebrew Nursery School and then we went travelling round Israel, Europe and the States for 6 months. On returning I worked at Camps Bay Hebrew Nursery School for 18 months and then in 1979 our first son was born. We named him Hayden after my late father Harry Klein who had sadly died 8 years earlier.

‘When Hayden was 2 years old we returned to live in Kimberley and Roy went to work at Klein Bros. Our second son, Marc, was born in Kimberley in Dec 1981.  We lived a very fulfilling life in Kimberley. I started the first multi-racial Nursery School at CBC.  (My aunt Miriam, Mike Klein’s wife had already started the Hebrew Nursery school, which is still active today in the small hall of the Memorial Road Synagogue – though there is not a Jewish child in sight.) During our 9-year stay in Kimberley, Roy my husband served as treasurer of the Kimberley Shul. He also served as a member on the Chevra Kadisha. 

‘In 1991 when I was 38 – we finally left Kimberley and South Africa when we emigrated to Melbourne, Australia. We felt that this would provide more fruitful Jewish opportunities for our children’s futures. I started working at a religious School and worked there for 8 years. I then worked at Bialik a Zionist School for 2 years and then moved to Mount Scopus the largest Jewish Day school in the Southern Hemisphere. I am still teaching there since 2002.  We are well settled here. This is a picture of my family at Pesach 2018.

Front row. Marc Lipsitz, Jenny Lipsitz with Jasmine youngest daughter of Hayden and Rebecca. Danielle Lipsitz. Wife of Marc Lipsitz with her daughters Andy and Sienna. Rebecca Lipsitz wife of Hayden Lipsitz with daughter Karni and son Riley. 

Back row. Hayden Lipsitz and Roy Lipsitz 

‘Roy my husband is a financial controller for a women's shoe company.  Our eldest son Hayden is married to a Melbourne girl, Rebecca Lasky and they have 3 children. A boy Riley, 9 years old, a daughter Karni, 7 years old and Jasmine their second daughter who is 4.  He is self-employed and the family live in Melbourne.  Marc our younger son is an industrial designer. He lives in Sydney, he is married to a Sydney girl Danielle Roth and they have a 4-year-old daughter, Andy and a 2 year old daughter Sienna.

‘And that is our family! ‘

Jenny Lipsitz, Melbourne Australia, April 2018

Note from Editor:

It seems wonderful when we consider how widely flung across the world the families that grew up in Kimberley have landed up – that the descendants of Harry and Lila Klein are almost to a man, all together in the closest place in the world to resemble Cape Town and the rich Jewish life of South Africa – Melbourne, Australia.  A blessing indeed and a beautiful family.

Geraldine Auerbach