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Synagogue
Johannesburg, Gauteng

Robert Lockhart McCOWAT: Architect

Date:1888-1889
Type:Synagogue
Status:Demolished
Street:121 President Street

(FRIBA nom papers 1898)

Van der Waal 1987:30 notes that the corner stone is dated Nov 1888.

The first Jewish religious service in Johannesburg is said to have been held in a store owned by a Mr. Weinstein, which was on the corner of Market and Harrison Streets. The first service for high holidays in 1887 was held in the original Rand Club in Commissioner Street officiated by Rabbi Joel Rabinowitz.

The first synagogue in Transvaal was the President Street Synagogue erected in 1888/9. It was one of the first brick buildings in Johannesburg and designed by Read (Reid) & McCowat and built by Mr. Rowe. The foundation stone was laid by E. Mendelssohn on 24 September 1889 but was apparently dated November 1888. At the time of completion there were approximately 100 Jews in Johannesburg. The synagogue faced south on President street and was between Kruis & Von Brandis Streets. The building was sold in March 1926.

SOURCE: Lost churches of early Johannesburg
(Submitted by Morné van Rooyen, November 2017.)

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.


Writings about this entry

van der Waal, Gerhard-Mark. 1987. From Mining Camp to Metropolis - The buildings of Johannesburg 1886-1940. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council. pg 30 ill, 32