Kimberley, South Africa


Solsky (nee Buirski), Beverly


Beverly Solsky

Maiden Name


year born


Email address

Siblings: Names and year of birth and where they are now.

Lynette Rosenbaum (nee Buirski) Born 23 June 1947

Resides Cape Town

3 words that exemplify for you, what it was like growing up in Kimberley 

Close Jewish Community

Date left Kimberley


Age when left


Reason for leaving and where went

Relocation to Cape Town

Scholastic achievements, degrees qualifications and where they are from

Year 12

Where live now

Sydney, Australia



Marital status


Name of partner

Frank Solsky

Place partner born

Wolseley in the Cape

What partner did/does


Place and date of wedding

Cape Town – Marais Road Shul – 12 January 1969


How many children

David Solsky – Born Cape Town – 10 January 1970 Resides North Bondi in Sydney, CEO of Envizi which is a business in energy and sustainability

Names; year they were born; where they live; and what they do

Gavin Solsky – Born Cape Town 10 November 1972Lives Bellevue Hill, Sydney – Investor in businesses


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

Sydney Buirski - Born Cape Town 2 Sept 1908. Died 31 July 1993 buried at Pinelands No. 2 – Commercial Traveller

Lived in Kimberley from 1953 – 1960 – Commercial traveller worked for Klein Brothers.

Mother: Name; year of Birth; where born; when she came to Kimberley;

Sally Buirski (Nee Fabricius) born Caledon 3 Dec 1912. Died 8  Nov  1998 in Cape Town buried at Pinelands No. 2. She did not work in Kimberley


Maternal grandparents

Unknown passed away before I was born.

Paternal grandparents Names; years of birth; where they came from; (and if they lived in Kimberley – what years); What they did; where and when they died; at what age; and where buried 

Grandfather Benjamin Buirski born Cape Town

13 June 1878 died 17 Sept 1938 buried at Woltemade Cemetery. Occupation: Grain Trader, Nephew by marriage of Sir David Harris.

Sophia Buirski (Nee Speelman) we called her Daisy

Born 22 April 1883 Died 16  April  1962

Born London came to South Africa to see her Uncle Sir David Harris and met my grandfather and married at the Wolmarans Synagogue on 2 July 1902

My family story


Sent: 28 December 2017 - 1 January 2018

Dear Geraldine and Leon

It was with nostalgia that I read the latest Newsletter 13, which was forwarded on to me by Shelley Catzel (nee Jawno). I am not sure if you remember my sister and I who grew up in Kimberley until our teenage years when we went to Cape Town. My sister Lynette (nee Buirski, now Rosenbaum and living in Cape Town) and my folks lived in Memorial Road near the Jacobson’s. I remember Leon as if it was yesterday.

My family had a long history with Kimberley even before we went to live there, my great grandmother had a brother Sir David Harris who was a pioneer of the Kimberley diamond industry together with his cousin Barney Barnato. He was also a member of Parliament from 1897. (You can read more about Sir David Harris on the Pioneers Pages of the website There have also been books written about him after he was knighted and because of his Parliamentary history. My sister has a book on his memoirs in which Jan Smuts wrote the Foreword.

Dear Geraldine, 1 January 2018

I have filled in the details of our family, above, but if I may indulge, I thought I would give you a little background to my life which could have taken a very different trajectory had it not been for our time in Kimberley. My father married an Afrikaans woman from Caledon. The Buirski family were very assimilated, however, when I was about 10 my mother decided to convert she always said we had to have a strong identity and to quote “you cannot be nor fish nor fowl” words that I have never forgotten.

Rabbi Werner was her teacher and because there was no Beth Din in Kimberley we had to go to Cape Town where my mom appeared in front of the Beth Din and had to write an exam. Lynette and I went to Cheder and to this day with only a few years of Cheder I can follow the service on Shabbat and Yomtovim as can my sister.

About a year later we went back to Cape Town and she was converted culminating in my sister and I also going into the Mikvah at the Long Street Baths and the late Rabbi Israel Abrahams the Chief Rabbi of South Africa at the time was present. Some months later my parents were married in the Kimberley Shul and the Women’s Zionist League of which my mom was a member catered.

From a personal point of view our time in Kimberley changed my life forever, my mom converting Orthodox and not Reform has had a lasting impact on my life and the life of my children. I spent 10 years of my working life as the Assistant to the Headmaster of Herzlia School in Cape Town where my boys attended school. I worked with Jonathan Mirvis who was head of the Jewish Studies Department and the brother Ephraim Mirvis the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom. Jonathan was gob-smacked when I related the story of my mom’s conversion as to this day I know that I was born with a Jewish soul and destined to live a Jewish life steeped in the traditions of our ancestors.

I could not imagine how my life would have been without the opportunity afforded to my mom to convert Orthodox. Here in Sydney where three of my grandchildren attend school you have to prove that your parents were married Orthodox, there is also a Reform School. Both my boys married Jewish girls and were married in Orthodox Synagogues – I had to provide my conversion certificate as proof that they were Jewish.  As you well know the assimilation rates around the world are at record highs, I can only hope that my grandchildren “stay in the fold” but who knows the eldest is nearly 16 and the youngest 10 so there is “more water to flow under the bridge” before marriage is on the cards!

In a nutshell that’s why I feel such a strong affiliation with Kimberley as it was a defining time in my life which shaped who I am and the path of my Religion took me. In addition, my maternal great grandmother coming to see her brother David Harris and the stories I was told about him as a child and the Kimberley connection also resonate with me to this day.

It’s so nice being in touch and filling in the gaps, I do remember the name Kretzmar and we were friends with Cheryl and Delia Brown, Pearly Goldenbaum and Shelley & Pam Hotz haven’t seen any of them since leaving Kimberley.  We used to go to Habonim every Sunday we learned the song

I cannot stop going into the website and I have just found the Habonim Page and the photos below the article on Habonim - I have found who I think are my sister and I. In the back row with all the boys in the centre are 2 girls – I think that is Lynette on the left and me next to her behind Sharon Werner’s sister Malka.

I found a great photograph of a whole group of children in Kimberley which Shelley (Jawno) sent me and together we have tried to identify who the people were, and I typed up the names. There may be some errors, but we think it is pretty accurate bearing in mind it was so long ago.  I am hoping that others like Leon can fill in the gaps, and that we publish the picture on this amazing website soon.

When we moved to Cape Town, we were close to Vicky Capon and her family and in fact my sister sees Vicky regularly in Cape Town. Our eldest son was in her kindergarten when he was 4! Lynette also meets Pat Smolensky regularly whose parents were Marge & Sid – he was a bookie. Pat lives in Cape Town and is married to David Juter. We have lived in Sydney for the past 31 years. We emigrated with 2 sons and they live close to us with our 5 grandchildren, we feel truly blessed.

There are many ex-Kimberley people in Sydney, I bump into Jack Klein and Robin Apter regularly. Shelley (Jawno) and I reconnected many years ago when she came to Sydney, we met at Sharon Seidel’s house where we were both invited for dinner.

Webby Cohen and wife Doreen we saw regularly in Sydney as Doreen’s brother Roy Halle was a close friend of ours, they both passed away. We see Mike Sperber regularly as his granddaughter is best friends with my granddaughter and his grandsons play soccer with my grandsons – a small world indeed!

Thanks for all that you are doing as we are all spread around the world and getting older we reminisce on days gone by and this is a great way of communicating and keeping abreast of what is happening.

Beverly Solsky (nee Buirski)

16/197 Birrell Street

Waverley NSW 2024

Tel: 0402 002 390

Beverly Email:

Email: Lynette Rosenbaum: