You are currently viewing [Update] Oudtshoorn Jewish Cemetery badly vandalised, families sought

[Update] Oudtshoorn Jewish Cemetery badly vandalised, families sought

The Chevra Kadisha in Oudtshoorn this week discovered the Oudtshoorn Jewish Cemetary to have been vandalised, with a number of gravestones damaged in the process. Family members of those buried in this cemetery are urged to come forward. The Chevra Kadisha is looking for assistance in repairing gravestones.

A spokesperson for the Oudtshoorn Chevra Kadisha, Bernard Herman said this is the first bad incident they’ve really experienced at this cemetary.

“We intend to restore all the affected headstones at this stage, 30+ gravestones have been damaged. We intend on laying them flat, as has been the policy in the last couple of years, but this will be the next project once repairs have been done.

“This will incur major costs. Maintaining the cemetery over the years has been a costly affair with no particular assistance from any party.

“Our recent expenses were incurred working around the southern boundary wall, removing old trees which were damaging graves and recreating the many children’s’ ground mounds, which date back to the flu epidemic.

“We also surrounded the entire boundary wall with hundreds of meters of barbed wire at great expense some time ago, and every inch has been removed and stolen since.

“We are fighting a losing battle in our small and shrinking Jewish community.”

Bernard said people globally are connected to the Oudtshoorn Jewish Cemetery, which must be considered one of the oldest in South Africa.

On 20 August, Bernard was able to make a list available of names on gravestones found face-up. Some were damaged and toppled face-down, and those names are not yet available. Below the list:

  1. Spain Sam 15-11-1963
  2. David Zelick 25-07-1962
  3. Solomon Green. 11-07-1962
  4. Victor Ashman 25-03-1962
  5. Esther Finkelstein 3-05-1968
  6. Max Lewiston 9-10-1961
  7. Louis Finkelstein 21-06-1960
  8. Dora Cohen 19-06-1960
  9. Barnet Rick 9-05-1960
  10. Morris Lipschitz No date
  11. Jacob Cohen. 6-05-1959
  12. Abraham Segall 16-09-1959
  13. Katz Benjamin 19-06-1965
  14. Rabie Joseph 9-11-1972
  15. Rabie Bessie 18-07-1964
  16. Bliss Ethel 20-08-1972
  17. Elly Bliss 20-06-1964
  18. Melmed Fanny Hannah 21-03-1963
  19. Pasvolsky 10-08-1968
  20. Braude Vichne 26-1967
  21. Kaplan Isaac 21-05-1967
  22. Hill Louis 29-01-1982
  23. Boerbaitz Leah 26-12-1965
  24. Jack Pick 16-12-1965
  25. Malke Rubik 8-08-1946
  26. Lewin Rebecca 24-08-1965
  27. Segall Milly 5-04-1996
  28. Segall Herbert
  29. Geffen Israel 29-11-1977
  30. Levenberg Ethel Leah Katz

To get involved or find out more information, contact Bernard Herman on 078 053 6002 or 083 298 4326, or via email to . You can also get in touch with the Cape SAJBD office via email to, as the board continues to work to support our Country Communities.

Monetary donations of any amount are welcomed and can be paid to the Chevra Kadisha account at First National Bank, Account Number 53233 651 893, Branch Code 21 04 14. SWIFT number is FIRNZAJJ.


Released by Mathilde Myburgh
Cape SAJBD Communications Specialist


Mathilde Myburgh

As a Communications Specialist, Mathilde brings seven years of experience in print and digital media, research and communication to the team, bridging the gaps between relevant content, community reach and growth, and public relations.

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