Kimberley, South Africa

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When were they born

Where do they live and what do they do

I would be happy to be connected to the K Ex-Pat group


I would like to help in some way


I enclose a picture of myself in Kimberley


I enclose a current picture of myself


And who is still there holding the fort?

Celebrating the 110th anniversary of Kimberley in such style (you have presumably seen the video) was amazing. It was the brainchild of Rabbi Silberhaft and created as the Convention setting for the African Jewish Congress. Jews descended on Kimberley from all quarters. The Kimberley community embraced the idea with enthusiasm.  It was more than they could ever have dreamt about – and sadly, they say, more than they could easily contemplate again. 

Arnold Rauff, Chairman of the Chevra Kadisha, one of the four stalwarts running the community says they are often referred to as the “awesome foursome” – but assures us there is a limit to how much they can take on. He went on to explain his daily activities and those of his three colleagues, in their business, professional and family lives. Most of the 4 also contribute majorly to Kimberley civic life – in addition to running the community and its services, cemeteries and looking after its beautiful buildings. Let us take a minute to consider what they do.

Barney Horwitz, the Chairman, Arnold explains, ‘is a one-man law practice that sees him working (at office) at least a 12-hour day and then some nights as well! Every Saturday and virtually every Sunday!!! In addition, Barney is Chairman of the Board of Governors of CBC school, an executive member of the Commercial Distributors Trade Industry, a sitting part time “Judge / type Magistrate” for the  Small Claims Court, held at night plus others I am not fully appraised of!!’

David Allen, he tells us, still has his time cut out at his Quantity Surveyors office and that is also linked to being property manager for the Bishops Lodge building and office complex as well as a director in two hotel groups here in town. Diamond Lodge and Bishops Lodge! David is also a consultant to his profession of Quantity Surveyors, an exec member of the committee of the McGregor Museum, as well as the Historical Society – and Film Society;   

Trevor Datnow, he reminds us, lives 28kms out of town on his Farm Marrick and has a 24/7 farming interest – as well as running safaris and shoots making the Northern Cape an important area for tourism. 

Arnold himself runs two major businesses: Kimberley Roller Mills and S A Brick & Paving. He too is locked in to 12-14 hours a day. Also time on Saturdays and Sundays!!

‘And yet,’ he says, ‘between the three of us in town, we manage to keep the properties in shape and arrange annually (with the help of the Board of Deputies who gave us names) for

young chaps to come down once a year to run our Rosh Hashanah / Yom Kippur services. This costs!! Annually about R30,000 – yet another concern that they have to deal with.

Other remaining community souls are now in their mid to late 80s: Shirley Katz, Betty Cohen (late Leon Cohen’s widow) and Phyllis Sacks (late Aubrey Sacks’s widow) as well as Shirley Allen and Moeksie Katz.

Arnold says, ‘If only we had just a few more hands here. Imagine if you were able to be here for Shabbos tonight and find just 3-4 of us in our beautiful Shul, going into prayer for Shabbat, how about that for demoralizing circumstances!! A reality of the times’.

He says that they used to have a newsletter many years back called “DON’T BE FARRIEBLED” – that sadly petered out as they dwindled!!  And they can’t manage to do even an email version now.

So I hope that this little initiative of KEPS (or maybe you have a better name) will keep us mindful of these awesome men and women, and connected with those keeping the community alive – and we hope it will give them some comfort to know that we – who used to be part of the community – think about them from time to time.  

I really hope to hear from you


To contact Arnold R Rauff   +2782 775 6860  +2753 842 0868

To contact Geraldine reply to this email or contact