Jerusalem Day in Cape Town
Menu JTA Search

Jerusalem Day in Cape Town

Download PDF for this date

Cape Town, cultural capital of South Africa, produced perhaps the most imaginative Jerusalem Day in the country. The Western Province Zionist Council rented the entire Baxter Theater complex in Cape Town, virtually creating a “little Jerusalem” in the heart of the city, in the shadow of Table Mountain.

Twenty-seven Cape Jewish organizations set up exhibits in a part of the theater which was arranged as a Jerusalem shouk (market), replete with Israeli food and entertainment. In another part of the complex, a celebrity concert under the auspices of Joseph Harmelin, Ambassador of Israel, brought the participation of the cream of the country’s artists. The vibrance of the music of Israel offset by the nostalgia of de Falla died with Yiddish refrains and even a touch of Chopin.

After religious services, the public was greeted by the B’nai B’rith, ORT, the B’noth Zion, the Temple Israel Sisterhood and the Milnerton Hebrew School. A special highlight was the telephone hookup between Cape Town Mayor Louis Kreiner and Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek. Kreiner complimented Kollek on his great work in making Jerusalem a free city for the practice of all faiths, while Kollek congratulated Kreiner on maintaining the Jewish and Biblical links between his city and Israel’s capital.

There was a further treat when the former Israeli Ambassador to South Africa, Yitzhak Unna, came on the telephone line from Jerusalem. He exchanged greetings with Kreiner in Afrikaans. Unna was assigned by Israel’s Foreign Ministry as advisor to Kollek.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund