Kimberley, South Africa


Moross Family

Moross Family, including Rev Joseph Zvi Moross

Compiled by Geraldine Auerbach MBE from information by Shirley Olfsanger

Posted October 2019

Shirley Olsfanger from Israel writes: Congratulations on your Kimberley Jewish Community website! I am so happy to give you information about my family, the Moross family of Kimberley.

My grandfather Rev Joseph Zvi Moross ben Nachum Yitzhak was born in Panevezys Lithuania in 1863 and arrived in Kimberley in 1908, having spent a year in Cardiff, prior to that. Barney Horwitz, chairman of the Kimberley Congregation, confirms that he was a Minister of the Kimberley Hebrew Congregation, a Hebrew Teacher and also a Shochet, in the period somewhere between 1920s and 1940s, though he can’t say exactly when. 

Shirley says: He was affectionately known as ‘the chicken man’ as he went to slaughter chickens at the people's homes. He died in Kimberley in 1948 were he is buried.

His wife (my grandmother) Sheva (nee Segel) bat Zachariah, originally from Wobolniki, now Vabalninkas Lithuania, followed him from Panevezys with their elder son Wolf Moross in 1904. Wolf Moross was later to become the Kimberley stationmaster and is buried in Durban. Sheva died in 1941 and is buried in Kimberley. Their second son Louis born 1907 died in infancy of croup and is buried in Kimberley.

In this picture we see Sheva in the centre with two daughters Minnie Moross and Nina (rt)

Nina Goldie Moross, their eldest daughter born 1909 in Kimberley was a well-known teacher in Kimberley who taught generations of primary schoolchildren and was affectionately known as (Mrs) Chips. She died in 1995 and is buried in Kimberley. Another daughter Ethel born 1913, died in 1938 while a BA student at Rhodes University and is buried in Kimberley. 

Two other daughters Eva (1911-1985) and Minnie (1915-2003) were stenographers at the Kimberley Hospital and Railways respectively. Eva is buried in Kimberley.  The family lived at no 2 Percy Street – which apparently had been the former home of Sir David Harris. Here is a picture of the house and a lovely watercolour of the street. I suppose the palm tree is the clue to the house no 2.

Minnie Moross, my mother, married my father Jack Zelik Germon in the Kimberley

Synagogue on 21 November 1943 when my father was stationed at 21 Airfield, Alexandersfontein, just outside Kimberley.

Their twins (my brother and I - Lawrence Germon and Shirley Olfsanger - nee Germon)) were born at the Kimberley Hospital in 1944. My parents Jack and Minnie, after making Aliyah, died in Israel and are buried in Kochav Yair where I live. 

Shirley also told Geraldine (when she asked about the relationship) that her grandfather and Mandy Moross’s grandfather were cousins. From the article that Geraldine found, see the link below, you can see the contribution Mandy Moross and his family from Johannesburg have made to the Weitzman Institute in Israel. Shirley says: Mandy, Edna and also Mandy’s parents Hymie and Ada have contributed and donated generously ... They are truly great people....

from information supplied by Shirley Olsfanger, Israel