Visit the South African Jewish Museum
South Africa is a country of diversity, especially when it comes to its residents. It is a colorful mix of race and religion that is rarely experienced anywhere else in the world. And with every group comes a story, a proud heritage that deserves to be remembered. The South African Jewish Museum opened its doors in the year 2000, with the legendary Nelson Mandela doing the honors.
The museum is located on what is known as Museum Mile in Cape Town, and the building that is home to the museum is a masterpiece of modern architecture. This part of Cape Town is utterly spectacular, with visitors being able to stroll around the majestic oak trees, walkways, historical buildings, statues and fountains that decorate this location with style and a cultural atmosphere. The South African Jewish Museum consists of various divisions. The oldest synagogue in South Africa, which was built in 1863, is adjacent to the museum, and the Great Synagogue which was constructed in 1905 is just as spectacular. The Albow Centre is home to the Gitlin Library, the Israel Abrahams Hall, Café Riteve, the South African Jewish Museum Shop and the Cape Town Holocaust Centre.
The South African Jewish Museum was created to exhibit the history of the Jewish community in South Africa, detailing the last one hundred and fifty years. Within the walls of the Old Synagogue, visitors will find a magnificent collection of Jewish art and other illustrations. The museum has effectively used three major themes to document the exhibits: Memory, the origins of the South African Jewish Community; Reality, the integration of the community into South Africa; and Dreams, the future of Judaism in the country. Other exhibits include a breathtaking spiral staircase, floating glass, multimedia displays, an exclusive Nelson Mandela documentary, presentations, video footage and photographs.
Walking through this amazing museum, will take visitors on a journey through the challenges that were overcome by the Jewish community, including immigration, religious pluralism, anti-Semitism and racism. It is also host to many fascinating exhibitions by guest artists. It is a cultural gem that is the heart of the Jewish religion and the window into the history of a vital part of both Cape Town and South Africa’s heritage.