Jews in South Africa Establish First School for Native Children; Lauded by Mayor
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Jews in South Africa Establish First School for Native Children; Lauded by Mayor

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The Jewish community of Alexandria, a native township adjoining Johannesburg, was lauded here by the mayor of this city for establishing a school for native children. “This is the first time in South African history that a Jewish congregation has established such a school,” he said at ceremonies marking the opening of the school.

The school is sponsored by the Jewish Reform Congregation and has been named in honor of the Congregation’s rabbi, “The M.C. Weiler School for Africans.” The opening ceremony was attended by a number of distinguished guests, including the Inspector of Native Education of Transvaal, the head of the Johannesburg Native Affairs Department, and representatives of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and otter communal organizations.

The mayor said that in the course of his duties he had been “deeply impressed with the care which the Jewish people took of their own orphans, aged and sick, and the generous support” which Jews also give to non-Jewish charities. He was most happy to find the sisterhood of the Reform Congregation including “in its praiseworthy welfare activities this work to bring education to underprivileged native children.”

Rabbi M.C. Weiler, spiritual leader of the congregation, traced the history of the sisterhood’s school undertaking for native children, which started in 1945 with 36 children, and has now grown to “the extent where it has become necessary to erect the present new premises, which will cater to 200 children.” The school had been recognized by the Government Education Department.

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