Bicycles, pickles, and matzos

I recently discovered a South African newspaper online. The Zionist Record is available as part of the University of Florida Digital Collection. Since there are not many South African newspapers online, I took the opportunity to browse the pages, looking for any of Ari’s ancestors.

In 1958 the paper was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the South African Zionist Federation, and Ari’s 3x great-grandfather, cycle merchant L.K. Hurwitz, took out an advertisement in a special supplement.

(According to Google Translate this says “Drive on a Raleigh pedal bike”.)

Another side of the family was also represented in 1948:

The Rand Steam Matzo Factory and Cohen’s Bakery were founded by Wolf (Wulf) Cohen, great-grandfather of Ari’s great-great-uncle Manley. The 1945 book The Jew in South Africa: A record of what individual Jews are doing in various spheres of the country’s life, edited by Rabbi Maurice Konvisser and Dora Sowden, lists him as:

“COHEN, Wolf. One of the early pioneers on the Rand and one of the leading figures in the ranks of traditional Judaism in the country. Founder of the Rand Steam Matzo Factory Ltd., and of Cohen’s Bakery. Born in 1848 in Pumpiani [Pumpenai], Lithuania, came to South Africa in 1895 when he immediately concentrated on the manufacture of Matzoth. Imported Matzoth were retailed in Johannesburg at that time at the almost prohibited figure of 2/6 per lb., and the Rand Steam Matzo Factory attained within a very short time an annual production, which at that time was sufficient for the needs of the whole of Transvaal Jewry.

During the Boer War, when the British were advancing in the Free State, and great difficulties were experienced in carrying on the industry, Mr. Cohen was granted a special permit by the Boer Government which enabled him to travel to Bloemfontein for the purpose of obtaining supplies of Kosher flour. While this flour was being ground in Bloemfontein the British Army was approaching the city and the noise of battle could be distinctly heard in the mill. When the occupation of Johannesburg was becoming imminent, the Boer troops attempted to commandeer Mr. Cohen’s supply of flour, but the plan was frustrated by Dr. (now Mr. Justice) F.E.T. Krause, who at that time was commandant of the town.

In 1903 the factory was transferred to Ophirton where it is still situated today.

Mr. Cohen died at the ripe old age of 90 years on the 1st May, 1938, and left in his will considerable sums of money for all Jewish institutions in Johannesburg, and for a number of Talmud Torahs in Eastern Europe. His estate which is not to be wound up for 50 years makes ample provision for his grand, great-grand children, should any of them desire to study Rabbinics in any of the Yeshivas of Europe and Palestine.”

Part of Wolf Cohen’s will


SA Jewish Chronicle, 8 March 1946


The South African Sunday Times is also available online, but only for some dates in 1945 (on Findmypast and newspaperarchive.com).

Ari’s great-great-grandfather Louis Feinstein co-owned a pickle factory before he became a stockbroker, and there were a couple of advertisements in the Sunday Times:

30 Sept 1945


19 August 1945


I will continue to search for South African newspapers online, but this is a nice reminder of what can be found in the papers!

#Cohen #Feinstein #ZionistRecord #Newspapers #SouthAfrica #Matzos #Bicycles #Zyp #Hurwitz

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I started my blog when my grandson Ari was born in Feb 2017. His birth gave me an opportunity to focus on part of what has become an unmanageably large family tree, looking again at all the records I

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