South African Jewish Museum in Kaapstad Middestad, Kaapstad, Wes-Kaap
A Fitting Tribute
The South African Jewish Museum can be found standing proud along the “Museum Mile” in Gardens in central Cape Town. It is situated in Hatfield Street close to Bertam House, Iziko South African Museum and the Company’s Garden, with its entrance in the Old Synagogue which was the first Synagogue to be built in South Africa back in 1863.
A drawbridge joins the old Synagogue to the new Museum, symbolizing the ship gangway down which Jewish immigrants walked upon landing in South Africa. Also in the compound and currently in use is the Great Synagogue built in 1905 in neo-Egyptian style.
The Museum is a marvel of modern architecture and its contents mirror this fusion of the old world with the new. Nelson Mandela officially opened the Museum in 2000 and your ticket also covers the fascinating 25-minute documentary, Nelson Mandela: A Righteous Man, screened in the building across the courtyard from the museum’s exit.
It not only covers cultural and religious communities from this part of the world, but also contains exhibits that illustrate the history of Jews, Jewish life and Judaism in general through interactive displays, audio-visual technology and rare artefacts. The Museum takes visitors on a journey from the first arrival of Jewish immigrants and the Cape Town in the early 1800’s to the explosion of Eastern European immigrants fleeing persecution and hardships and seeking a better life for their families.
As an added attraction, the museum is home to one of the world’s finest collections of Netsuke, Japanese miniature art carved from Ivory and wood. The Cape Town Holocaust Centre is also situated on site and is a must see when exploring this part of our countries history and culture.
Things to see and do
- Guided Tours, by arrangement
- Jewish History Exhibits
- Rare Judaica Artefacts
- Great Synagogue
- The Gitlin Library
- Israel Abrahams Hall
- Cape Town Holocaust Centre
- Hidden Treasures of Japanese Art Exhibit
- Nelson Mandela Documentary Screening
- School Tours & Museum Events
- Museum Gift Shop
- Café Riteve
Visitors require a Photo ID to enter the Museum
Prices are subject to change, please confirm directly with the Museum
Closed on Saturdays and Jewish Holidays
Stop 8 on the Hop On/Hop Off City Sight Seeing Bus
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