South African Jewish Museum



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Built according to the same proportions as King Solomon's temple, the beautiful Old Synagogue (South Africa's first) was built in 1863, and serves as the entrance to the rest of the Jewish Museum, which was founded by Mendel Kaplan in 2000. It traces the history of South African Jewry from the first Lithuanian settlers who arrived in the 1800s to the present day. Large amounts of information are made very accessible through interactive displays, films and installations. On the top floor are exquisite Judaic artefacts such as a solid silver replica of the Kimberley Synagogue; you can also discover interesting titbits about the diamond rush and ostrich feather boom and learn more about the South African Jewish community's active involvement during the struggle. A serpentine staircase takes visitors to a re-created Lithuanian shtetl (small town). Also worth a look is the room housing Isaac Kaplan's impressive collection of delicate Japanese Netsuke figurines.

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South African Jewish Museum details

88 Hatfield Street

Area Cape Town

Telephone 21 465 1546

South African Jewish Museum website

Open 10am-5pm Mon-Thur, Sun; 10am-2pm Fri.

Admission R50; R15-R35 reductions.

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