Kimberley, South Africa


Jewish Weddings In Kimberley


The very first Jewish wedding took place even before there was a synagogue in Kimberley. David Harris was married to Rosa Gabriel of Pomerania (Prussia) in November 1873. (The first wood and iron structure was only built in 1875). David and his cousin Barney Barnato, both from London, had trekked to Kimberley on foot and started digging and dealing in diamonds in 1871. Both did extremely well! You can read about them on the ‘Pioneers’ page.

David had met Rosa on board ship on a return journey from England in 1872 and they married the following year. They chose to continue to live in Kimberley (when many wealthy contemporaries built palaces on Park Lane in London). David’s love of the country, of his Jewish heritage, and in particular of Kimberley and its people, was shared by his wife Rosa who became as widely known in the town as her husband, beloved for her ‘charming courteous personality, entirely free from affectation’ and her tireless efforts for charitable causes with ‘her ever active desire to be of some assistance to the poor and the distressed’. 

The first wedding in the ‘new’ Memorial Road Synagogue (built on land donated by the De Beers Company) was on 11 January 1903 when Aaron Rauff married Selina Satisofsky. (Aaron was probably related to the Rauffs who are still living in Kimberley in 2016!)

Here below is our Picture Gallery of weddings that have taken place in Kimberley shul. They are listed in date order from the oldest at the top to the most recent at the bottom. See who you can spot in the retinue – and dig up your picture and send it to us. (And please fill in the contact form on the site for the ‘families’ page)

Kimberley Jewish Wedding Picture Gallery

1914: Levinsohn / Gluckman

Levinsohn to David Gluckman - 1914 Picture courtesy of their daughter Monica Harris (nee Gluckman) of Australia. Posted April 2016

Retinue: On the left Amalia Kahn (had a boarding house in Muizenberg in Holland Road bequeathed all the furniture to her mother who then went to Muizenberg and ran a kosher boarding house. Monica was born grew up in Kimberley and left at age 10 for Muizenberg. Click Monica (Harris nee Gluckman) see and hear her talk about who is in this picture

Monica writes: What was so special was that my mother Rose had both her parents AND her grandparents present at her wedding as well as her mother’s 2 sisters and their husbands. They had all emigrated to South Africa from Latvia, via America. They came from a town called Tukums in the Courland area. Her father had also brought out his sister from Latvia. The bride’s siblings, Lilly, Louis and Harold Levinsohn lived in Kimberley – the boys becoming pharmacists in Kimberley and Beaconsfield.


1925:  Frank / Melunsky

Ray Frank of Kimberley to Sam Melunsky of Kimberley 1925 Picture courtesy of their son Bernard Melunsky of London. Posted April 2016


1935:  Bergman / Kretzmar

Beryl Bergman of Kimberley to Noel Kretzmar of Kimberley (previously Malmesbury) February 17, 1935: Picture courtesy of their daughter Geraldine Auerbach of London. Posted April 2016

Retinue: Standing at the back from the left are Noel’s youngest sister Ashne, his youngest brother Julius,

Beryl’s youngest sister Eileen, Noel and Beryl, Noel’s brother Arnold and Beryl’s sister Hannah.

Seated are Nappy Frank (Noel’s sister Freda’s husband) with the bride’s mother Amalie Bergman, then Freda Frank seated next to the bride’s father Jacob Bergman.

Geraldine writes: This wedding took place on 17 February 1935, when my father who had been a doctor in Kimberley for ten years married his beautiful bride Beryl Bergman (who was only 14 years old when she first met him soon after his arrival!). She was the second of four daughters of Jacob and Amalie Bergman of Kimberley. Freda and Nappy Frank ‘gave Noel away’ as both his parents, Tuvior and Taube Kretzmar, had already sadly passed away. The bouquets, were rather large in those days, and the ladies’ hats certainly worn at a very rakish angle. No sign of any Top Hats, but a very elegant picture indeed nevertheless.


1939: Bergman / Frank

Hannah Bergman of Kimberley to Jack Frank of Kimberley, 10 December 1939.

Picture courtesy of their daughters Alma Steinberg of Johannesburg and Brenda Danilowitz of Connecticut.  Posted April 2016   

Alma writes: This was already after the declaration of war and Jack was signing up so it was a smallish wedding with the reception at the bridal home in Milner Street. 


1946 Bergman / Sandler 

Eileen Bergman of Kimberley to Archie Sandler of Vryheid probably 1946 Picture of bride and groom courtesy of their son Jonty Sandler of Johannesburg.  Posted April 2016  


1947 Horwitz / Joseph

Pamela Horwitz of Kimberley to Philip Joseph of Johannesburg 28 September 1947 Picture of bride and groom courtesy of their son Jonathan Joseph of London.  Posted 2013  


Picture of flower girl courtesy of Gillian Karstaedt. Posted April 2016

Retinue: Walking in through the synagogue gates are flower girl Gillian Karstaedt and the bride.

Gillian writes: I remember my mother bringing me to Kimberley on a train but not much else. I was privileged to be present at the couple’s 50th, 60th and 65th wedding anniversary parties in London where they lived.


1947: Gershowitz / Hammerschlag

Joan Gershowitz of Kimberley to Dennis Hammerschlag of Springs 14 November 1947

Picture courtesy of their son Jeff of London. Posted 2015  


1949: Kroll / Sussman

Natalie (nee Kroll) and Cecil Sussman were married in the Memorial Road Shul on 12 March 1949.

Cecil and Natalie write in spring 2017: ‘We are living in Sea Point, having just celebrated our 68th wedding anniversary. We left Kimberley in 1973, as all our children were students at U C T. Now, in common with most South Africans, our children & grandchildren are scattered all over the world. We have nine great-grandchildren. We are extremely fortunate to be living in the same block as our daughter Laura and her husband Michael.    



1952 Cvi / Maresky 

Rina Cvi of Kimberley to Shimon Judah Maresky 22 June 1952 Picture courtesy of bride’s sister Anna (Cvi) who says possibly Rabbi Rev? Abrahamson officiated.


1956: Toube / Gillis

Daphne Rose Toube, daughter of Violet and Abe Toube of Kimberley married Harry Gillis of Oudtshoorn on 29 July 1956. Rabbi Bloch officiated. Pictures courtesy of the Bride and scans from their son Glenn Gillis – posted September 2017

On the steps of the shul: The people in the photo: On the left, cousins Rosemary Epstein and Theodore Klewansky
On the right cousin Barbara Horn, Jackie and Sadie Sussman (friends of Toubes)

The person standing next to Barbara on the right, partly concealed is brides brother, Trevor. 

At the reception Left to Right: Violet Toube, mother of the bride. Harry Gillis, Daphne Toube/Gillis, Abe Toube, father of the bride, Lily Gillis, mother of the groom. Rabbi and Mrs Bloch.

Daphne writes:  Harry and I have just celebrated our 60th Wedding Anniversary. It is so interesting to read all the stories and look at the pictures.  You and others are doing a wonderful job of collecting this material and posting it here. See Daphne’s family page

1956: Cohen / Cohen


Fay Cohen to Nathan Cohen both of Kimberley, 22nd July 1956  

Picture courtesy of brides’ sister Sarah (Goodman) Cohen. Posted January 2017

Retinue: Back row: Lennie (Webby) Cohen (brides brother), Norman Jawno and Leon Maresky (pole-holders)

Front Row: Nathan (Natie) Cohen’s brother Leon Cohen, and parents Sam Cohen, Fanny Cohen, Hannah (Honeybee) Feinberg, Nathan and Fay, (the groom and bride), Sarah Cohen Goodman, (bride’s sister) and bride’s parents Solomon Cohen, Thelma Cohen.



1958: Kroll / Clingman


Estella Kroll of Kimberley to Norman Clingman of Johannesburg  2 March 1958

Picture courtesy of bride Estella Clingman (nee Kroll) of Sydney Australia posted 2013

Retinue: Back Row from left: Phil Gershater (poleholder, grooms friend from Johannesburg) Natalie Sussman (my older sister – Kimberley then Cape Town) Charles Clingman (Norman’s father Yeoville Johannesburg)

Middle row: Bernice Stoller (brides friend Kimberley then London) Moses and Esther Kroll (bride’s uncle and aunt from Cape Town), Norman Clingman (groom Johannesburg) Stella Kroll (bride, Kimberley) Joey Kroll (bride’s mother Kimberley), Vivien Clingman groom’s mother (Yeoville, Johannesburg), Maureen Kroll my younger sister (Kimberley then Chicago), Marcia Frank bride’s cousin (Kimberley then London)

Front, Sandra Sussman (bride’s niece Kimberley then Johannesburg)


1958: Isaacs / Allen    

Shirley Isaacs of Kimberley to David Allen of Kimberley 1 August 1958

Picture courtesy of groom, David Allen of Kimberley. Posted April 2016  

Retinue: Left to right: Hyman Cohen Shirley's maternal grandpa, Fanny Isaacs bride’s mom, Issy Isaacs brides dad, Rosalie Brown maid of honour, Tony Isaacs, Annette Isaacs, pole holders: Ivor Haberfeld, Elly Shles, Leslie Isaacs, and bridesmaid Dianne Sussman. Right of the bride Shirley and groom David are the groom’s parents Ray and Mark Allen    


1962 Capon / Weinberg

Victoria Capon of Kimberley to Geoffrey Weinberg of Kimberley, 4 March 1962, Kimberley synagogue

Photo courtesy of the bride Victoria Capon Weinberg, posted October 2017

The people in the picture: Behind Geoff, Keith Weinberg – Best Man. Behind him a cousin, I think his name was Arnold Bayer, who lived out of Kimberley – Taung?  Behind my right shoulder is Val Levisohn (nee Steyn). She is smiling and chatting to my sister in law Winnie Weinberg, Keith’s wife. The little girl who was busy straightening my veil, is Linda Jacobson, daughter of Solly and Julie. Now a grown woman with children and grandchildren. The flower girl in the photo is Linda Capon, my cousin.

Read my story here


1963: Cohen / Goodman 

Sarah Cohen of Kimberley to Jack Goodman b. Bethlehem from Potchefstroom 10 November 1963 Photo courtesy of the bride Sarah Goodman, posted April 2016

Retinue: From left to right: Issy and Beatty Kotzen (Jack's sister and brother-in-law), my brother Lennie (Webby) Cohen, my mom Thelma Cohen in front of him, then Groom Jack and Bride Sarah, Bertha Goodman (Jack's mother), Nathan and Fay Cohen, (my sister and brother-in-law) Arnold Goodman (Jack's father).

In Front: Sam and Sandy (Fay and Natie’s son and daughter, Sam now a senior advocate in Johannesburg) and Avril (Jack's niece). (Picture taken in the lobby of the Savoy Hotel.)

Sarah writes: Jack and I got married in Kimberley on 10 November 1963.  All my life I had been looking forward to getting married in our beautiful shul but, hard to believe, the shul was being renovated when we got married and so we had to have our ceremony in the ‘minor hall’ next to the shul which was performed by Rabbi Oscar Werner.  We only invited family to the wedding but, true to the warmth and compassion of the Kimberley Jewish community, many people came to the shul to see us getting married.  Fay and Nathan gave us a small reception luncheon at the Savoy Hotel.  We made Aliyah in September 1973 three weeks before the Yom Kippur War with our 3 children aged 7, 5 and 2. We have now had 52 years of wonderful married life and boast 9 grandchildren.


1963: Cvi / Teper 

1963 December 29: Anna Cvi of Kimberley to Wilfred Teper of Cape Town Pictures courtesy of the bride and groom. Posted April 2016

At the Shul Entrance:   Front Row main participants L to R: Rita Burton (Nee Teper), David Burton, Wilfred Teper, Anna Teper (Nee Cvi), flower-girl Oriane Burton, Isak Cvi, Hinda Cvi

Wilfred Teper, Anna Cvi

Shul Lobby: L to R:  Rina Maresky (Bride’s sister, nee Cvi) and brides parents Isak Cvi, Anna Cvi, Hinda Cvi (Nee Rosenthal)

Anna writes: Rabbi Oscar Werner of Kimberley was on vacation in Muizenberg, so, a locum Reverend Kimmel from Johannesburg, was sent to perform the religious ceremony. The legal marriage was performed by a magistrate two days prior, December 27, 1963 at the Magistrates Court in Kimberley. 


1964: Datnow / Hendler 

??: Jennifer Datnow of Kimberley to Herbert Hendler of Kimberley probably 1964 Picture courtesy of the bride, Jennifer of Cape Town posted April 2016

Retinue: Left to right: Herbert’s dad Nate Hendler and next to him his mom Hilda Hendler (nee Bergman) Denise Datnow my sister. Owen Hendler Herbert’s brother – unfortunately mostly hidden. Tony Datnow my cousin (son of Mike Datnow), my mom and dad Betsy and Levine Datnow.

The three flower girls are L to R: Benice Datnow my cousin (daughter of Mike and Marie Datnow) my sister Beverley Datnow (Both of Kimberley) and Herbert’s sister Lola’s daughter Karilyn Waks (of Carletonville).

Jennifer writes: These are the names and places at the time......their dresses were not well liked putting it mildly.  The Rabbi came over from Bloemfontein as our Rabbi was away......   


1966: Frank / Steinberg

Alma Frank, daughter of Hannah and Jack, to Arnold Steinberg of Johannesburg in the Kimberley shul on 18 December 1966, officiated by Rabbi O M Werner.

After living in Johannesburg for 50 years, Alma writes in Spring 2017, ‘Sadly Arnold died last year aged 80, just short of our 50th. I am now making my way to live in New Zealand near my son Mark and his family.  


The last wedding in the Kimberley shul took place in 1988 - 115 years after the first one in 1873.  (We don’t yet have any details but hope to have some someday.)