HERBER HOUSE: “A HOSTEL FOR JEWISH CHILDREN” (Part 1)


Stuart Buxbaum holds an honours degree in Sociology from Wits University (1970) and an honours degree in Judaica from UNISA (1984). After working in the social research unit of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies in the early 1970s, he farmed for many years in Mpumalanga. He and his sister Beatrice were residents of Herber House.


“The ten fateful years between 1939 and 1948 changed the Jewish people and the course of Jewish history (M E Katz)”[i]

It was during this disruptive, destructive and chaotic decade for European Jewry that, in a historical contradiction, there was a flowering of creative and brave leadership in the South African Jewish community. To quote Katz again, “The instrument that emerged to meet the educational needs of Jewish group life in the open society of the post war western world was the Jewish day school”.[ii]

This piece looks at the establishment, running and final closure of a Jewish hostel for schoolchildren in Johannesburg, formed in that historic decade. The essential source for the article are the accumulated minutes of the hostel’s executive committee, originally formed as a subcommittee of the SA Board of Jewish Education (SABJE), later becoming part of the Institutions Committee of the Board. This hostel enabled Jewish schoolchildren from the South African country communities, from farms and villages, from medium-sized towns and isolated trading stations to attend higher grade schools in the city, receive a more structured Jewish education and eventually, with the establishment of the day schools, to be the beneficiaries of an educational ethos which would otherwise have been unavailable to them.

R Misheiker outlines three well-defined periods in the history of the SABJE:

1) The first, from 1928-1937, was a period characterized by the gradual building up of experience in the education field and also one of considerable ideological differences.

2) The second, from 1938-1949, was an era of bold planning and execution which led to the establishment of the King David Schools in 1948.

3) The third, dating from 1949 until the writing of his article in 1973, Misheiker characterized as one of implementation, growth and consolidation.[iii]

Misheiker’s second period dovetails neatly with that outlined by Katz. It would prove indeed to be a decade of “bold planning and education”.


Establishment of the hostel
The earliest minutes found of the hostel sub-committee’s meetings are dated 26 January 1943. The foundational charter for the hostel was being articulated while negotiations for the purchase of a suitable property and residence for this purpose were being finalized. On 17 July 1943 the deed of sale for the property and the building housed upon it at 6, South Street, Yeoville, was signed by Mrs Raphaely, the seller, and by the purchaser, a representative of the SABJE.

The building that would become the new hostel was known as “Eastington Castle”. It was bordered by Charlton Terrace and Harrow Road and, according to information obtained from the Heritage Foundation in Johannesburg, was sold at a price of £8000. Eastington Castle was built on a rocky outcrop and gorge, the “Koppie” (Kopje) of the Yeoville ridge, in 1896.[iv] In his book Pioneer architects of Johannesburg,[v] Michael Walker records that the architect was the prolific Mr McCowat, a designer of homes for the increasing number of entrepreneurs in bustling pre-Anglo-Boer War Johannesburg. Eastington Castle, described as a ‘mansion’, was built for John Dowel Ellis and his wife Doris.

Ellis, a mechanical engineer born in Hertfordshire, England, had arrived in the Transvaal at the time of the discovery of the gold reef in Johannesburg in 1886. In relatively short succession, he would become a member of the Johannesburg Town Council and then mayor of the city in 1910, 1911 and 1912.[vi] The castle would become the mayoral residence.

There is extant a fine picture of Eastington Castle showing landaus in the foreground. The mayor was presiding over a municipality beginning its transformation into modernity. According to the transport census of 17 August 1909, a plethora of conveyances was available to the city dweller: horse buses, cabs, market trolleys, rickshaws, motor cars, motor cycles, traps and carriages, and motor taxis.[vii]

What did this future hostel look like? Prominent in the early views of the Yeoville ridge, Michael Walker describes it well: “Constructed of koppie stone on the site, the interior was full of nooks and crannies. Little light filtered through the stained glass windows in the hall. A visiting Scot remarked “Aye! The place is only fit for bats, bugs and bonfires.”[viii] Methinks most future hostel dwellers would agree with that sentiment over the coming years!


The original Eastington Castle, early 20th Century

The original Eastington Castle, early 20th Century

Early Jewish Educational Institutions in Johannesburg
Jewish educational institutions in Johannesburg started hesitantly and conterminously with the organic growth of the city and its fledgling communal structure. Noteworthy were the chedorim and Talmud Torahs, the latter usually attached to a synagogue. According to Margot Rubin,[ix] many institutions necessary for communal life were in place by the time of Union. Her map of Johannesburg synagogues and schools in the years 1903-1910 show a number of ‘Jewish schools’ and chedorim. Larger institutions were the Hebrew High School[x] and the Jewish Government School.[xi] In a later map referring to the years 1920-1929, more educational institutions are enumerated, viz. the L.M. Lifschitz Cheder, Ferreirastown Talmud Torah, Union College (secular and Jewish), Hillel College and, intriguingly, “a Jewish Hostel for Boys”.[xii]

Especially in the rural areas and backwaters of the Union, the situation was dire. According to Katz, the country chedorim were “practised by the unqualified, lacking any semblance of an organized curriculum or an orderly environment, devoid of any system of authority or guidance, shunted to the end of the school day.”[xiii] Would a generation of mainly Litvak-born parents, ambitious for their children’s general and Jewish education, especially as Barmitzvah age approached, be satisfied with the status quo? To the big city (many of) the children would have to go!

Pictures from a brochure promoting the Herber House hostel, clearly showing the turret, pillars and stone walls.

Pictures from a brochure promoting the Herber House hostel, clearly showing the turret, pillars and stone walls.

From Eastington Castle to The Herber House.
Named in honour of the SABJE chairman at that time, Harry Herber, the hostel’s appellation was officially preceded by the definite article. (Henceforth the hostel will be referred to as Herber House.) As the deed of sale was running its course under the watchful eye of Philip Porter, an attorney who would later become President of the Board of Deputies and who was quite aware of the need for transparency, “it was unanimously agreed that the matter be treated with the greatest of care since the Board was using public money” (7/1943).

Simultaneously with the purchase of the castle on the hill, the appurtenances for the hostel were being assembled. Steel cabinets, presumably the same narrow lockers that the current author and his cohort of hostel dwellers would use with so much disdain well into the 1960s, were being sourced. These were obtained at £4 to £10 each, and an extra five shillings for the lock. Boarders’ fees were set at £15 per term. Applications for admission told the story of parental agony at taking the step of sending their children to boarding school. Places were being sought for children aged between six and twelve years. Already, requests for financial assistance were being received from parents. These were very straitened times for rural Jewry in particular. Many had recently arrived as immigrants from Europe. It was almost postwar South Africa, and ten thousand Jewish soldiers who had seen active service in North Africa and Italy would need to regain a foothold in society, socially and economically. Things were not easy in the platteland during the 1940s.

Such requests for assistance were meticulously mentioned and discussed on merit and are a constant refrain in the minutes over the years. Some fees were reduced to £10, others even to £8 10s. A matron, a Miss Rutstein from Bulawayo, was appointed. By year end 1943, it was decided that a Chanukath Habaith ceremony be held for the opening of the hostel, and that the SABJE open a special hostel account with £250 introduced for current expenditure.


SABJE President Harry Herber, after whom Herber House was named, imposed upon a detail of the ‘Castle’, the hostel’s main building.

SABJE President Harry Herber, after whom Herber House was named, imposed upon a detail of the ‘Castle’, the hostel’s main building.

Establishing a hostel is not child’s play
It had been hoped that the hostel would open at the beginning of the 1944 school year, but it was decided to delay this until the second term in April. Existing facilities for Jewish education were considered and found wanting. The hostel needed to be augmented with a formal Hebrew education program of its own, to be advertised as such in the Jewish press (18/12/1943). Fees would then be increased to £21 per term. To this end, important appointments were made: Mr M Dison was to be the housemaster and would give Hebrew tuition. He would also “supervise the natives and see to their passes” (ibid). Mr Himmelstein, a liturgist, was appointed to present himself twice a week to train the children in choir singing. Additional Hebrew instruction was paramount. Philip Saltzman, who later became housemaster, was to supervise the cheder.

These classes were scheduled for 3-5.30pm, at the fag-end of the day. Mr Solomon of the Jewish Government School would offer ‘coaching’ for hostel boarders at five shillings an hour.

By November 1944, Solomon could report that together with two assistant teachers, coaching of boarders in subjects such as Hebrew, music, and ‘coaching’ was proceeding apace. This model institution, so envisioned by the committee and the board, would cater for the cultural upliftment of the young small-towners. A library was to be created, and to this end Rabbi Zlotnick promised to acquire and donate one hundred books. To recognize the importance of the Chief Rabbi’s office, the United Hebrew Congregation was requested to present the hostel with a portrait of the late Chief Rabbi, Dr J. L. Landau. The hostel was seen as a “creatio ex nihil”, indeed a stately, model institution. Would the dream be fulfilled?

Education programs aside, rules of conduct for boarders had to be established. These would be formalized, adapted and extended in future years. Over time, however, they would be accorded scant respect by parents and boarders alike! Still, that was not foreseen in those heady, early days of the enterprise. The committee had already, in June 1943, sought guidance from the previously established Jewish Hostel in Cape Town (“Upon a suggestion by Mr Spitz, it was decided to write to the Cape Town Jewish Board of Education asking them for detailed information regarding the running of their hostel”). Some rather harsh rules were decided upon. It was suggested that “parents could only visit their children fortnightly on Sunday afternoons between 3-5 pm”. To lighten this regulation, however, the restrictions would not apply to country parents, who could by arrangement with the matron, visit without restriction.

Naming and Opening the Hostel is hard work
The formal decision to name the hostel “The Herber House” was taken at the 26 April 1944 meeting. That done, a fairly lavish, grand ceremonial opening was planned. In celebration, there were to be two functions. On 28 May there was to be a public viewing of the hostel, and on Sunday, 18 June (a few days after the Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy), a dinner for approximately 300 people was envisaged, with speeches, a buffet and a musical program. However, there were second thoughts. It was decided instead that a one-day event would suffice. A catering firm would provide tea (at 2s 6p a head) and erect a marquee, a visitors’ list would eventually be bound into a souvenir book and a souvenir program would be printed.

Not done yet! An elaborate procedure to open the hostel was to be followed: keys were to be handed one to another which would eventually be passed on to Mr Herber who would ceremoniously unlock the hostel’s large, heavy front door. Led by Cantor Backon and Chazen Alter, the Great Synagogue (Wolmarans Street) Choir would then burst into song with Hamelech, Ma Tovuh and Mizmor Shir. Mrs Landau was the guest of honour and Mr Herber, Rabbi Kossowsky and Rabbi Zlotnick would address the opening. The late historian of South African Jewry, Gus Saron, described the construct of the community as being one of Litvak wine poured into an Anglo glass. How appropriate a description on this occasion!

Back to business
Applications for enrolment and financial assistance requested by parents would become a feature of very many committee meetings. In August 1944, an application for financial assistance for hostel fees was made by a mother on behalf of her 15-year-old son. The application was supported by the Jewish Immigrants Help Society. In February 1945, the Ladies Benevolent Society would assist with the payment of fees for two applicants. There was discussion too about what the appropriate age of admission to the hostel should be. Isaac Goss felt that all ages of children from country communities should be catered for. This was an “open arms to all”, generous and meritorious approach, but it remained problematic. In hostel parlance, these very young children were referred to as the ‘pics’. They were often anxious, tearful and needy – as were we all really, at times.

Despite the cavernous size of the castle-turned-hostel, it proved almost immediately to be inadequate; such was the demand from rural Jewry for access to better education, particularly coupled with a significant Hebraic component. The discussions would centre on the need for greater dormitory space, and there were some unrealistic suggestions. For example, it was suggested at the above August 1944 meeting that an additional wing to house a minimum of sixty children should be built. There was a brief discussion about the possibility of purchasing a double story property in South Street. Priced at £6000, the idea was rejected. Soon after, however, in early 1945 (11/02/1945), it was reported that the previously discussed building had been purchased. This would alleviate the overcrowding for the time being. A warning was issued in this respect by a member of the committee, Mr Cowan. “If the children were uncomfortable, the reputation of the hostel would suffer,” he said. A perceptive comment indeed.

Discussions in November 1944 centered on a topic which would arise with monotonous regularity for more than a decade: the building of a swimming pool. It was left to Dr Percy Yutar to pursue this matter. Dr Yutar was also tasked with another matter: “As the matron experienced difficulty in obtaining suitable native labour for the garden, Dr Yutar undertook to secure convict labour for this purpose” (12/11/1944).

A new matron and a superintendent, a Mr and Mrs Beresinsky, were appointed in March 1945. Mr Saltzman would continue as housemaster. There is little doubt that this would be a recipe for conflict. Saltzman was dogged in marking out his territory.

Details of the catastrophe in Europe filtered through. Tersely, it was “resolved that a day of mourning be observed at The Herber House”. In the following month, the venerable Dr Harry Abt was elected to serve on the committee.

Finances: Good intentions don’t pay the bills
By the middle of 1945, and soon after the acquisition of an additional dormitory facility, the problem of overcrowding again became a concern. The third term of that year would see about 105 boarders being housed. Again there was talk about the need for, but restriction on, expansion. Costs had to be kept under control as overheads inevitably would rise. The swimming pool, a project which never eventuated, was again being touted, this time emphatically (10/06/45): “The swimming bath must be completed before the new season commences” (!).

Staff salaries and payments were under scrutiny and discussion. The program of ‘coaching’, presumably to soften the rough edges of country and rural children raised the question of whether the Board or the parents were liable for these costs. There were some staff changes and additions. Mrs S Stein was now the Hebrew teacher, Mrs Sive taught music and Mr Himmelstein still gave singing lessons. Requests were being made by the staff for salary adjustments. In time- honoured tradition a subcommittee was formed to look into this. At the same time, however, the chairman suggested a salary increase for Mr Saltzman “owing to his excellent work at the hostel”.

At the 12 August 1945 meeting, SABJE treasurer Mr Coll tabled the income, expenditure and balance sheet for the previous five months to end June 1945. “The running of the hostel cost the board £1650 in this period. This was extraordinarily high considering that this amount had to be advanced by the Board in addition to all the hostel fees received”. In total, fees paid by the parents for their hostel children during those five months amounted to £2742 10s.

But that was not the only intrusion of a harsh administrative reality. A letter from the board’s accountant introduced a cautionary note, indeed a rebuke. Discussing the revenue and expense account, he said, “I have to report that I was unable to carry out a complete audit”. And not only that! “I must bring to your notice that the records kept at the hostel are very unsatisfactory and I must insist that a proper system of petty cash and stock records be installed.” Indeed, the devil is in the small details!

Was the hostel then a viable financial proposition? From a balance statement two months later, (14/10), it was running at a loss of £100 per month. This was not viewed as a serious problem and Mr Froman, referring to the monthly deficit, felt that by the following year there would be no shortfall at all. To assuage concern it was pointed out that the Cape Town Hostel was also under some strain and that with only 27 boarders, it was being run at a loss of £50 per month.

The many requests for financial assistance by parents can be seen as a barometer of the struggling material condition of many in the Jewish community. Even more troubling, however, was the request by some parents to allow their children to remain in the hostel over the school holidays. Their reason: “The number of parents who have no homes find it difficult to accommodate their children for the holidays and were persistent in their demands to keep the children at the hostel” (14/10/1945).

Bringing home some good report card cards
On 10 June 1945 the chairman presented a glowing report. And with good cause. Establishing the hostel was a significant achievement by a determined and ambitious board of education, at a difficult time for South African Jewry. Describing Herber House as a source of pride for the community, and especially praising “the Hebrew school … a highlight in the achievement at Herber House. Thanks to the superlative pedagogic qualities of Mr Berezinsky, the cheder is an outstanding success”. In the same report, however, it was announced that Mr and Mrs Berezinsky, after a short but productive tenure, had resigned.

Feeling confident, Mr Saltzman provided a somewhat effusive report concerning the spirit at the hostel and the well-being of its boarders. “It was evident,” he said that “there was in the house a happy and homely spirit.” There were 68 boarders, comprising 41 boys and 27 girls and ranging in age from 6-12 years of age. (It had earlier been reported that in the third term, there were 105 boarders). They dwelt in three close locations in South Street, 37 in the old Eastington Castle. The sporting life was not neglected either. Three houses were established: Maccabi, Hillel and Trumpeldor. These names would echo through the Jewish educational institutions over the coming years.

Three little stories tell the tale
David A came from Lobatse in Botswana. As a five-year-old he was sent to the convent across the border in Mafeking. One fine day he was in discussion with his uncle. “What do you want to be when you are big, David?’ his uncle asked. “A Catholic,” David answered, without hesitation. ·

Joe D came from Vryburg, in North-West Province. He came to Herber House in the late 40s, as a twelve-year-old. In a recent conversation with him, the author asked what he thought about his days in the hostel. He replied: “I thought I was in heaven when I arrived! To be among so many Jews! Look, I had been at boarding school in Kimberley, among all the gentiles. That wasn’t much fun” (Expletives deleted).

Desmond L, from Bethal, as a 5 or 6-year-old attended the convent in Ermelo. He has described his confusion at this strange environment, compounded by the unsympathetic staff. Two years later he would be at Herber House. His career path would see him as a partner in a large accounting firm in Toronto, Canada.

These three accounts in retrospect lend credence to the thoughts expressed at the report-back meeting of 6 June 1945. Thanks had been expressed especially to Mrs Lubner and Mr Misheiker, who had felt that there was a need for “a home for children who would otherwise be forced to go to non-Jewish hostels, and would be lost to us before even having a chance to think for themselves”.

Teach the children well….
Finding suitable staff to run the hostel would prove to be an Achilles heel of the enterprise. Looking at a set of requirements for the position of a boarding house matron, recently advertised, is instructive. “The post requires someone who likes and understands young children …a parent figure who is generous with their time and responsive to the needs of the pupils…They should (be) a good listener, flexible in outlook, reliable, warm and friendly in disposition, with sufficient sensitivity to show tact and diplomacy…a sense of humour and an even temper…” These qualities were, and would be generally absent, except possibly only in two later appointments.

In July 1945, a prospective matron whose name would become synonymous with early Herber House myth and fact was interviewed for the position. She was Mrs Dubin. Her duties, she was informed, would be defined by (predictably) a sub-committee. Her salary would be £25 per month, inclusive of a cost of living allowance and board and lodging for her daughter. Hardly possessed of “an even temper”, she would prove to be a doughty, strict and feared matron for more than a decade.


HH Boarders and staff, circa. late 1940s

HH Boarders and staff, circa. late 1940s

Palestine could provide the answer
In the pre-Jewish day school era, part of the raison d'être of Herber House was to inculcate a specifically Jewish consciousness and knowledge of basic texts, of Hebrew and of Jewish history. How better to do this than by invoking the spirit of Zionism in its pre-State ideology? This was Rabbi Zlotnick’s motivation. To this end, and soon after the appointment of Mrs Dubin, he argued strongly for the importation from the then Palestine of a highly qualified man to take charge of the hostel (12/8/1945).

This provoked considerable discussion and somewhat heated debate. Mr Froman offered a counterview, saying that “only a South African could take charge of South African children.” Mr Cowan too wished to record his disagreement with the idea. But Rabbi Zlotnick was not easily moved from his position by the dissenting arguments. On the contrary, since it seems that the idea of the Board was to bring out from Palestine two girl madrichot. The Rabbi stated that “he wished to turn the hostel into a piece of Palestine” (12/8/1945). He envisaged the creation of a different type of young Jew, a type of Halutz, modern and confident. The minutes show no further progress of this idea. Nevertheless, in the new year of 1946 Rabbi Zlotnick, ever keen to strengthen the association with Palestine, was in discussions with the head of the Palestine Council Physical Culture Department, to introduce a program of physical fitness at the hostel (12/5).

There is brief reference to the end of World War II and its consequences for family life. A certain number of boarders could well have been there as a result of the disruption of the family unit caused by fathers being in the Union Defence Forces. It is recorded that a certain Mrs Rodkin “would be taking out her children from the hostel owing to her husband’s return from active duty” (12/9/1945).

Torah, Trade Tools and Training
Until almost the mid-1960s, the synagogue formed a pivotal role in the boarders’ daily lives. All three daily services were attended by the boys, while girls attended on Friday nights and Saturday mornings. By the end of 1945 the synagogue, originally the stable of the then mayor’s estate, had been enlarged to accommodate over 100 people. Much of the services were said aloud by Mr Saltzman, helping the boarders become familiar, via repetition, with all the daily prayers. “The Friday night service was tuneful and chanted word for word from beginning to end based on the traditional nusach hatefillah”.

There was no shortage of ideas from committee members, who tried to ensure that boarders were provided with an all-encompassing skills training program. It was suggested that the basement of the South Street annex be converted into a workroom for the boys. Work benches and tools would be provided as well as woodwork training. These early years leave one almost breathless with all the ideas, projects and programs suggested. Many of these would over the years slowly fade off the radar, and the lives of the boarders would chug along in their own informally created friendship groups and self-made forms of entertainment.

In an effort to showcase the hostel to schools that many of the boarders attended in the pre Jewish day school era, it was resolved that the principals of both Jeppe and Athlone High Schools, with their wives, be invited to a Friday evening dinner at the hostel. Scheduled to take place early in1946, it was then postponed to a later date. It is uncertain whether the dinner took place, but the intent was clear, and commendable.

Would the Beth Din approve?
The hostel was an encapsulated Jewish environment. To what extent should halacha prevail? The question arose in connection with Sabbath observance. Would the hostel boarders be allowed to go to the public swimming pools (presumably the Yeoville or Ellis Park baths) on a Saturday, if payment had been made on a prior date? Dr Harry Abt remained conservative on the issue, yet sought some leniency. He felt that the Beth Din would not allow the boarders the luxury of such an excursion, suggesting rather that the children “be allowed to play and conduct their games in the hostel grounds on Saturdays although it was not with the strictest compliance of the religious requirements” (14/10/1945) Dr Abt also suggested that the children regularly write to their parents. The Beth Din would certainly have agreed with that request.


The Herber House judo team at a Zionist Federation function at the old Zion Hall. The author is standing, far-right.

The Herber House judo team at a Zionist Federation function at the old Zion Hall. The author is standing, far-right.

In July 1951 (10/9/1951), a resident of Rooiberg in the then Northern Transvaal made application to the hostel for his three children, two boys and a girl aged between nine and thirteen years. As his wife was a gentile, it was resolved to approach the Beth Din for a ruling as to whether they could be admitted. It is not clear from the minutes what the Beth Din’s ruling was. Much later, in April 1956, a boarder requested permission to attend school sports on a Saturday at Athlone Boys High, a considerable distance away. He undertook to recite his prayers before walking to the school (imagine that!) and to carry no money with him. Mr Saltzman, predictably, opposed the request as he feared it would open a floodgate of requests. Mr Froman stressed that many of the children came from a “non-Jewish” (i.e. a non-observant) background. He did not want them to feel that being Jewish was a ‘restriction’, resulting in their growing up with “a dislike of everything Jewish”. Saltzman referred to the much earlier decision reached by Dr Abt that all forms of sport were permitted within the grounds of the hostel on Saturdays. Rabbi Lapin undertook to refer the matter to the Beth Din (17/4/1956).

And then again, in 1960, a signal honour befell Joel L, a Herber House lad of about fifteen from Bethal who was a particularly gifted and physically strong rugby player. Playing for King David High in the bruising Administrator’s Cup League, his talent and prowess were spotted, and he was chosen to represent Southern Transvaal Schools in a curtain raiser to a South Africa/New Zealand match at the hallowed Ellis Park ground. The Board refused to make an allowance for him to trot onto the field on a Saturday. Mr Sandler, the headmaster of the High School at that time, sensed that he needed to intervene. The honour bestowed on the lad and the grandness of the occasion required a Talmudic side-step. Whereas the official program named the schools that each of the other players represented, Joel was entered as an independent player. Truly a Solomonic decision!

Look out in the next issue of Jewish Affairs for the second part of Stuart Buxbaum’s history of Herber House.

[1] Katz, M E, The History of Jewish Education in South Africa 1841-1980, Thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education, University of Cape Town, 1980 p396

[2] Ibid, p 397

[3] Misheiker, R, ‘Jewish Education in Johannesburg. A brief and historical survey’, Jewish Affairs, October 1976

[4] The price of the property progressively declined. Sold in 1913 by Ellis for £6780, Mrs Raphaely paid £4000 for it in 1934 (Johannesburg Heritage Foundation, Heritage Data Base)

[5] Walker, M, The Pioneer Architects of Johannesburg and their Buildings (1886-1899) with postcard illustrations. Kalk Bay Historical Association, 2013

[6] Smith, A H, Johannesburg Street Names, Juta & Co. Ltd, 1971, p140

[7] Neame, L E, City Built on Gold, Central News Agency Ltd, SA,1960, p176

[8] Barry, M, Law, N, Magnates and Mansions-Johannesburg 1886-1914, Lowry, Johannesburg, 1985.

[9] Rubin, M, The Jewish Community of Johannesburg, 1886-1939: Landscapes of Reality and Imagination , MA thesis, University of Pretoria, 2004, p81

[10] Ibid.

[11] Kaplan M, and Robertson, M (eds), Founders and Followers: Johannesburg Jewry 1887-1915, Vlaeberg, 1991, pp 231-284

[12] Rubin, op. cit, p120 (appendix xv)

[13] Katz, op. cit, p164

[14] “in appreciation of the services rendered to the Board by Mr Harry Herber, the Board’s President at the time, the hostel was named “Herber House”, Misheiker, op.cit, p23

[15] Feldberg, L (ed), South African Jewry, 1965, Fieldhill, Johannesburg, p 279. Born in Posvil, Lithuania, in 1887, Herber came to South Africa in 1902. In 1926 he founded Greatermans, the future retail giant.

[16] Dates of minutes of meetings are indicated in brackets where applicable.

[17] Throughout the Herber House committee minutes and those of the subsequent Institutions committee of the SABJE, the housemaster is referred to as Mister Saltzman. Rabbi Philip Heilbrunn in his memoir uses the title Rabbi. At the hostel, Saltzman was referred to in everyday encounters as the former. He was in fact, Rabbi. I have followed the appellation as per the sources applicable, in this article.

[18] References to Mister Isaac Goss refer to the period prior to his ordination. In 1957, at the establishment of the fledgling Linksfield-Senderwood Congregation, it is recorded that “Dr Shippel obtained an introduction to Mr Goss (before he obtained smicha)”, in ‘History of Linksfield-Senderwood Hebrew Congregation’, https://www.linkshul.co.za

[19] “Boarding and day house Matron. Job Description.” ACT/AJO/DTP 2016. https//www. Cliftoncollege.com/… (last visited 23/06/2019)

[20] Heilbrunn, P, ‘Herber House : A Memoir with Pictures’, unpublished , p7

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