Sachar Family

The Sachar family evolved from several related branches who settled in Kupiskis and nearby Vabalninkas, Lithuania. Many of the family left Lithuania prior to World War II and went to South Africa and the United States. The branches that went to the United States settled first in New York, then New Jersey and St. Louis. The family had four generations of distinguished rabbis and scholars and the best-known are Dr. Abram Sachar, founding President of Brandeis University, and his son Howard Sachar, the historian.

What follows are photos from the South African branch of the family who distinguished themselves in business and philanthropic pursuits. The older generation were all born in Kupiskis and the photos of their home and backyard well as well as their friends can be found below.

The next three photos below were donated by the late Hilda Sachar Geffin and her sister Ida Sachar Schaverin, of Cape Town, SA. whose parents were David Sachar and Chaya Zieper.  The first two photos represent a group of friends that the Sachar sisters either were related to, grew up with or went to school with.  Where the married names of the girls are known, they have been put in parentheses.  A number of these girls did not survive the Holocaust.

The third photo is of the Sachar home which was located on Kupergas gatve (or street) in 1926.  It was a wooden frame structure as most were in the shtetl.  In many cases, the roofs were made of tin or, in some cases, the older ones were made of thatch.  The home had an outdoor well and garden.

Back row, left to right - 1, Hindke Goldin (Shatt); 2,  Nechamke Friedman (Finkel); 3, Lucy Musikant; 5, Ester Kiepffe; 6, Dina Bedil (Givon)

Front row, left to right - 7, Shimichke Smidt; 8, Henke Milner; 9,  Shotske Sachar (Hilda Geffin),; 10, Frume Bedil (Herring); 11, Miriam Sachar (Fendel)

Back row, left to right - 1, Lucy Musikant; 2, Nechamke Friedman (Finkel); 3, Henke Milner; 4, Frume Bedil (Herring)

Middle row, left to right - 5, Miriam Sachar (Fendel); 6, Shotske Sachar (Hilda Geffin); 7, Ester Keipffe; 8, unknown

Front row, left to right - 9, Dina Bedil (Givon); 10,  Hindke Goldin (Shatt); 11,  Shimichke Smidt

This is the Sachar home, which was located on Kupergas gatve (or street) in 1926.  It was a wooden frame structure, like most in Kupiskis, with roofs made of tin or, in some cases, the older ones were made of thatch, a great fire hazard.  The home had an outdoor well and garden.  According to Velve Sachar, he bought the house, which was located near Dvora Gurevic's brick house in a  small lane next to Karesh the Fisherman, from Leib Brozin.  Another Sachar property was at 45 Gediminas gatve, which was a main thoroughfare in Kupiskis.


The family of Yitzhak Sachar and his wife Roche Sachar was a large and diverse one.  The family later left Kupiskis and settled quite comfortably in Cape Town , SA. 

   Yitzhak Sachar in Kupiskis

The family of Yitzhak Sachar was composed of his sons, David and Velva Sachar, who not only shared a large commodious home in Kupiskis, but married sisters Chaya Zieper and Rochel-Beile Zieper.  Yitzhak also had the following children:  Eta-Hinda Sachar who married Chaim Barron and Movsha-Kussel Sachar who married  Itka-Tila.

Yitzhak Sacharís children and grandchildren flourished and they are shown below in several shots taken both in Kupiskis and Cape Town , SA.  

David Sachar and his wife Chaya Zieper, taken in Cape Town

Sisters, Ida Sachar Schaverein and Hilda Sachar Geffin, daughters of David and Chaya Sachar, taken in Kupiskis


Some of the grandchildren of Yitzhak Sachar taken in 1927 in Kupiskis

L to r:   Israel Barron, son of Eta-Hinda Sachar Barron; Ida Sachar (Schaverein), daughter of David Sachar; Vittel-Rokhlia Sachar (Berman), daughter of Movsha-Kussel Sachar; Hilda Sachar (Geffin), daughter of David Sachar; Miriam Sachar (Fendel), daughter of Velva Sachar; and Issy Sachar, son of Velva Sachar

Some of the grandchildren of Yitzhak Sachar taken after they had migrated to Cape Town, SA.

L to r:  Israel Barron, son of Eta-Hinda Sachar Barron; Max Sachar, son of David Sachar; Ida Sachar Schaverein, daughter of David Sachar; Manual Sachar, son of Velva Sachar; Herschel Berman and Vittel-Rokhlia Sachar Berman, daughter of Movsha-Kussel Sachar; Ida Sachar Geffin, daughter of David Sachar; Barney Barron, son of Eta-Hinda Sachar Barron; and Manuel Sachar, son of Eliyahu Sachar

Sachar family at a wedding in Cape Town , SA.

L to r, Standing:  Rosa Geffin Kolevsohn, (daughter of Hilda Sachar Geffin); Bennie Geffin, (son of Hilda Sachar Geffin);

L to r, Sitting:  Ida Sachar Schaverein (daughter of David Sachar); Hymie Schaverein (husband of Ida Sachar Schaverein); Julius Sachar (son of David Sachar); Sheila Goldin Sachar (wife of Julius Sachar); Helene Schaverein Tooch (daughter of Ida Sachar Schaverein); Rhona Schaverein Benson (daughter of Ida Sachar Schaverein); Unknown (behind Manual Sachar); and Manuel Sachar (son of Velva Sachar).

The well behind the Sachar house, 1926

Sachar Home, located on the main thoroughfare in Kupiskis at 45 Gediminas gatve 

Click on the photo to see a larger version

The wedding photo that follows is that of Manual ben Eliyahu Sachar and Fanny bat Jacob Kolnik taken in 1943 in Cape Province, South Africa.

(photo donated by Elliot Sachar)

Left to right are: David Sachar, Barney Baron (behind David), Chaia Zieper Sachar, Issy Sachar, Vittle Sachar Berman, Hershel Berman (behind Vittle), Freda Kolnik Sholk (Fanny's sister), Sheindel Schulman Kolnik (Fanny's mother), Manual ("Big Manual") Sachar (behind Sheindel), Manual ("Small Manual", groom) Sachar, Fanny Kolnik Sachar (bride), Moss Kolnik (Fanny's brother) (behind Fanny), Jacob Kolnik (Fanny's father), Tauba Kolnik Woolf (Fanny's sister), Max ben David Sachar, Julius ben David Sachar, Tefka Kolnik (Fanny's brother).

Elliott Sachar, son of the bride and groom, recalls the close family ties the Sachar family had and the wonderful Sunday afternoon teas that the family attended in the apartment of Hershel and Vittle Berman in Woodstock.

He also remembered that the Sachars and their relatives were an enterprising bunch as can be seen by their commercial ventures: Barney Sachar ran a retail clothing store in downtown Cape Town; Manual (Small Manual) Sachar ran a chain of clothing stores in Cape Town; Vittle Sachar married Hershel Berman (orginally Pergament) and ran a dry goods store in Woodstock; Issy Sachar ran a clothing store in Claremont; Julius Sachar became a doctor, then farmer and lives in Australia; and Max and Manual (Big Manual) Sachar were in business together and founded the well-known Grand Bazaars Stores.

The Kolniks were also active in the commercial sphere as Freda Kolnik married Bill Sholk and lived in Pretoria; Moss Kolnik was an Engineer and lived in Durban and the Moss Kolnik Highway is named for him; Tauba Kolnik married Bernard Woolf and lived in Rhodesia, now Muizenberg; and Tefka Kolnik was an Optician and Pharmacist and now lives in Israel.

This photograph was taken at the Sachar family picnic reunion, a large-scale affair that was attended by eighty-eight family members in December, 1979. The picnic was held at Dr. Julius Sachar's farm "Tierhoogte" in Philadelphia, in the Western Cape of South Africa. 

Click on the photo to see a larger version with the names of the people included.

(Photo and identifications: Elliot Sachar, the son of Manual (Small) Sachar and Fanny Kolnik, and Jackie Sachar, the son of Manual (Big) Sachar and Phyllis Bergman).

This is a photograph of the Zieper family whose daughters Chaya and
Rochel-Beile married into the Sachar family and later went to South Africa.
L to r:  Unknown Zieper, Sara Zieper, Raize "Bobba" Zieper, Chaya Zieper Sachar, Yudel "Zeide" Zieper, Hirsh Sachar, and his mother Rochel-Beile Zieper Sachar. This was taken about 1900.


Photograph of Hirsh Sachar, his wife and child Marek, taken in Kupiskis


The following are two photos of Iankel-Vulf Sachar, who was known as Velve Sachar to his contemporaries.  He was the son of Itsek Sachar and was married to Rocha-Beila Zieper. (The photo on the left is dated 1956.)

An excerpt follows which is taken from a biography found in his papers that gives an idea of the type of man he was:

All his life he endeavored to be of service to his people.  At the outbreak of the War, when the refugees passed through his home town, he organized help for them.  After the War, he was one of the representatives sent to negotiate the return of the refugees to their homelands, with the Russian Government and the Lithuanian Consul in Russian.  He also established soup kitchens and relief stations.  During the period of peace between the two Wars, he was a leading member of his Community in social, educational, benevolent and religious affairs.  He travelled extensively, visiting South Africa at the beginning of the century, Palestine (1910) and many European countries, returning to settle in South Africa just before the last War.

Mr. Sachar is still mentally alert, taking a keen interest in all Jewish and world affairs and takes an active part in business and charitable work.  He reads profusely and keeps up an extensive correspondence.

Much of what we know of the activities of the Kupishok Benevolent Society in Cape Town, South Africa, and the individuals who remained in Kupishok or left for South Africa, America, Israel and South America, is due to his extensive correspondence, society records and his autobiography which were mainly written in Yiddish.

The wedding of Manual Sachar, son of Velve Sachar and Rocha-Beila Zieper, to Phyllis Bergman, the daughter of Samuel Bergman and Dora Gochin, of Port Elizabeth, SA, is shown in the following photograph.  Attendees at the wedding are left to right:  Issy Sachar, Joe Bergman (brother of the bride), Sheila Perl, Cynthia Sussman Shapiro, Velve Sachar (father of the groom), Dora Gochin Bergman and Sam Bergman (parents of the bride), Manual Sachar and Phyllis Bergman (groom and bride), Miriam Sachar Fendel and husband Louis Fendel, Cecille Bergman King (sister of the bride), Oppie Oppenheim, Sylvia Perl Sieff.

Donated in memory of the Sachar and Zieper families by Phyllis Bergman Sachar, wife of Manual Sachar, and her children Jackie, Kenneth and Rachel Sachar

Manual Sachar is buried in Israel, but his family put up a tombstone in Cape Town's Pineland 2 Cemetery as a memorial.  The tombstone states that Manny, Menachem ben Yacov Zev Sachar, was born in Kupiskis. 

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