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‎18 Kislev 5784 | ‎01/12/2023

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Jews in South Africa, with Gavin Morris

Jews in South Africa, with Gavin Morris

ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question:  About how many Jews are there in South Africa, and where do most of them live?

Gavin Morris was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, which at the time had a small but very vibrant Jewish community, and where he was very active in the Habonim youth movement. After finishing school, he spent a year in Israel with Habonim before enrolling at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and subsequently graduating with a BA degree in History and Jewish Civilization.

He then worked as a producer in the film and advertising industry until returning to UCT to complete his MBA in 2007. After a brief period working in marketing, Gavin came full circle, returning to his early interests and personal roots. In 2012 he took over the directorship of the South African Jewish Museum, where he has overseen the development and implementation of the SAJM Cultural Diversity Programme.

He recently spoke with us about the South African Jewish community and the Jewish Museum.  In this program Gavin tells us about the history of the community and its situation today.  One of its current problems is the protection and upkeep of Jewish cemeteries in towns that no longer have a Jewish population.  One cemetery, in the town of Oudtshoorn, was recently vandalized.  If you would like to help support the repair and maintenance of these cemeteries, go here.