Kimberley, South Africa


Rauff, Arnold


Arnold Rauff


28 April 1938

Date left Kimberley

Died in Kimberley August 2017

Scholastic achievements, degrees qualifications and where they are from

CBC matric 1955.
See eulogy below for details


Mills and feeds

Marital status


Place and date of wedding


Name of partner

Ex partner Joan MacLoed (no children)

Place partner born



Jade Daly-Rauff

How many children Names, year they were born where they live and what they do


Father: Name; year of Birth; where born; when he came to Kimberley; his occupation; when he died; at what age; and where buried

Marcus Rauff ran a general dealership in Taung then moved to kly in 1947 and established Mills and Feeds

Mother: Name; year of Birth; where born; when she came to Kimberley; her occupation; when he died; at what age; and where buried

Sylvia Rauff


Barney Horwitz wrote:
Arnold Rauff was everyone’s refuge and strength – a pillar to lean on in good times and bad; both within the Jewish community and in the general community at large. Within our tiny Jewish community in Kimberley we are all in a state of shock and emotional upheaval. His loss puts us in a state of crisis.

Arnold was born the only child of Marcus and Sylvia Rauff on the 28th April 1938. Initially the family lived at Taung where they ran a General Dealership and in 1947 they moved to Kimberley where Arnold spent the rest of his life. At that time Kimberley was home to some 500 Jewish souls, today we number only 25.

He attended Christian Brothers College where he matriculated in 1955. At school, he was selected for the Central Command Shooting Team and declared best senior shot of 1954, participated in boxing and played rugby for the under 18 B League

winning team in 1955. He was also one of a team of eight Cadets who won the Command Shield (Central Command) for drill prowess. In his testimonial the principal, his mentor, Bro Macmanus said of him: “Pleasant disposition, friendly and certainly loyal. Good entertainer. His impersonations are first class fun.” Words which remained true all his life.

Many people were born into the Kimberley Jewish Community before 1950 who went on to find fame all over the world. In this regard one thinks of Harry Oppenheimer and Dan Jacobson who some would say was one of the greatest English novelists of the 20th Century. A few have stayed here who became legends in their own right and Arnold was one of the few.

Time can be cruel and few remember today that at one time, Arnold was a Director of Standard Bank and ran a milling business which spanned three countries. Many will remember that from 1964 to 1973 he was the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Kimberley Regiment. Some will remember that he captained the Griqualand West Water Polo Side, that he was a very accomplished Squash Player, Body Builder, Weight Lifter and Karate and Judo Practitioner.

Many more will remember that in the 1990’s following a near fatal accident in a defective Chevy Blazer SUV he took on the mighty General Motors and that his claim was only defeated when the giant corporation filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection in 2009.

But Arnold Rauff was quintessentially a community man. He was a Member of the Hebrew Order of David, Louis Isaacson Lodge, a Freemason, a past Chairman of the Kimberley Regiment Association, a past Chairman and Trustee of the Kimberley Jewish Community and the serving Chairman of our Chevra Kadisha – Burial and Benevolent Societies.

Nothing was too much trouble for him. Without being asked he took it upon himself to maintain our cemeteries and buildings and was instrumental in keeping our community alive. He touched all our lives. There was not a bereavement where Arni was not on hand to take ownership of the family’s pain and arrange a dignified and flawless funeral and their re-integration into community life through the period of mourning.

Over the last twenty years he stood out as an outstanding mentor to the youth of our community in their formative years and it is a tribute to him that a number of them have travelled far to be here today to pay their last respects to him. He had the respect of the young men who served us as Spiritual Leaders for about 10 years from the year 2000 on and the deep affection of the young people who come to lead our services under Nachi Ash and Yosef Shisler over the High Holy Days in September each year.

He had an amazing relationship with our Country Communities Rabbi, Reb Moshe Silberhaft and it is fitting that he should lead the service today. In his passing, we have seen more than a hundred tributes to him form ex congregants from as far afield as the US, Australia, the UK and Canada on our Kimberley Shul Facebook

Page. He also found time to be a “Superstar Dad” as his daughter Jade described him in her tribute to him in the local newspaper.

When the late Goldie Mehl died in 2009, the spiritual heart was cut out of our community, when Jules Katz passed in 2010 the social conscience was torn out – with the death of Arnold Rauff, the spirit is gone. Always there with a humorous comment, always there with a helping hand, always there with a leadership position to follow.

We are without words to express our loss. We will have to dig deep to have the courage and steadfastness loyally to continue to hold our little Jewish Community together without you, Arnold. Our deepest sympathy to your family - to Jade, Jackie, Joan, David, Howard and Richard and your families and the Odes family in Canada. As he was with us, so we are with you.

Finally, Arnold was one of a fading generation- the South African Country Jew- at home both in the Jewish community and the general community at large and equally respected by Jew and non-Jew alike.

Barney Horwitz

Ida Horwitz wrote on 2 August
Everyone has their own memories with Arni, but speaking as a child of the Kimberley Shul, I know that he did a great many things for all of us. He was a pillar of our community, strong in his identity and he ensured that the environment that we grew up in was one where we're all family.

Arnold personally gave me a lot of guidance on my personal journey since I was a little girl, and the impact he had on those around him was immeasurable. Jade Daly- Rauff and the rest of the Rauff family, I wish you long life.

Geraldine Auerbach MBE wrote: on 3 August:
I was very sad to read Ida’s announcement of the passing of Arnold Rauff. This has, as one would expect, set off an avalanche of messages, from far and wide, of sympathy for the family – and appreciation of the man.
For Ex-pats, Arni was always the first port of call, the one who would welcome visitors and open the doors of the synagogue and the gates of the cemetery.
As Ida says ‘Arnold Rauff was a giant within our community.’ Arni held the post of Chairman of the Chevra Kadisha. He himself told me in 2013 when I started writing the expats Newsletter ‘I am one of the “Awesome Foursome” left to look after Jewish life in Kimberley. Along with Barney Horwitz the Community Chairman, David Allen, the President and Trevor Datnow (who lives 28 miles out of town) we manage to keep the properties in shape, and arrange annually (with the help of the Board of Deputies) for young chaps to come down once a year to run our Rosh Hashanah /Yom Kippur Services’. If only’ he said. ‘we had a few more hands here.’
In Newsletter no 1 (on the ‘news’ page of the website) Arni describes how much those amazing four men also do for Kimberley itself on the boards of so many business and cultural institutions. They also look after the other remaining community souls who are well into their 80s.
We can just imagine how sorely missed he will be. I add my condolences to the family - and to the community.

Barney Horwitz wrote on 4 August: Dear all
Firstly, my thanks to my daughter Ida for posting her wonderful tribute to Arni Rauff and the funeral arrangements. I must honestly say that I was just too devastated to communicate with you all and consumed with picking up with the chevra which Arni manged so flawlessly for near on 30 years and sorting out what he used to do – the funeral! I was ably assisted by David Allen who has been a rock these last few days. I will post my tribute to him at the funeral up on Sunday evening. Thank you all who have commented so far. Arni was an exceptional person and leader. Funeral at 3.30 p.m. Sunday 6th August 2017 at the Jewish Section, West End Cemetery, Kimberley . Prayers in the Shul at 5.45pm. Because of the large. For those of you in the Kimberley Community Diaspora, please take five minutes at this time and just think of us and late Arnold. For local Chevra Members, I will contact you today regarding the Tahara. Barney Horwitz