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South African Chief Rabbi Protests Against Ignoring of the Jewish Community

November 3, 1926
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(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

Ignoring the Jewish community of Johannesburg at the unveiling of the cenotaph in memory of the South African soldiers who fell in the world war caused wide protest among Jewish leaders here.

Of all the communities in Johannesburg, the Jewish community was the only one not invited to participate in the ceremonies. The protest against this was expressed by Chief Rabbi Judah Leo Landau, in a sermon he delivered in the synagogue and in interviews he granted to press representatives. In his sermon and interviews Rabbi Landau protested against “the humiliation and insult to South African Jews.”

“It is an injustice to the Jews who have fought and died for Great Britain,” he said. “It is a greater grief to me because I am personally responsible, perhaps, for the death of many Jews whom I sent to battlefield urging them to do their duty as citizens,” Rabbi Landau declared.

The unveiling ceremony had a purely Christian character, the hymns sung referring only to the Christian soldiers.

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