Meet the Jewish Community of


Welcome to the website of the

Jewish Community of Roodepoort

At the beginning of the 20th century the fast-growing mining area of Roodepoort, about 20 km west of Johannesburg, attracted several Jewish families newly arrived from Lithuania.

They were first involved in commerce within the town itself and also had shops near the mines providing essentials for the black mine workers from the surrounding countries, contracted to work on the mines. By 1905 there were enough Jews in the town to build a synagogue. As the town grew the contribution and size of the Jewish community increased. The synagogue became the centre of flourishing Jewish life, with religious services, classes (cheder) for the children and meetings of youth and adult groups.

I, Geoff (Geoffrey) Boner, having spent the first 18 years of my life in Roodepoort, have taken on the special task of memorialising the Jewish Community of Roodepoort and securing it on the Community History On-Line (CHOL) website. Much of the information on the families in Roodepoort was collected by Brian Josselowitz from 2019. Sadly, Brian passed away suddenly in 2021. I am working with Brian’s sister Jenny, to whom he entrusted his material. As Jenny says: 'It would be such a waste to let all his hours, days, weeks and months of hard work go to waste'.

We are grateful too to George Rosowsky, who is the last Jewish resident in Roodepoort, and Maurice Blumsohn, a relative, who also grew up in Roodepoort. Thanks too to David Saks, the editor of Jewish Affairs, who has also provided information.

Anyone having information on Jewish life in Roodepoort, please submit it to me at

Please join the CHOL interactive email list where you can post information and ask questions of like-minded people. To join, send an email to Leave the subject line BLANK and in the message say: SUBSCRIBE CHOL followed by your First name and your Last name only (please delete any automatic signatures).

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Website of the Roodepoort Jewish Community
Hosted by CHOL – Community History On-Line

Compiled by Geoffrey Boner, Israel
from material collected by Brian Josselowitz in Cape Town and others
Edited and formatted by Geraldine Auerbach MBE, London, UK
Uploaded by Bramie Lenhoff, Delaware, USA
January 2024