Jewish Digital Archive Project presented in Toronto

September 2011 | Fall 2011

The Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies & Research Centre at UCT has recently embarked on a major visual history project which will bring together fresh ways of remembering and shaping our understanding of the heritage and social history of South African Jewry.

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Incorporating both film and photographs, these collections narrate stories, not just of family journeys from other countries, but of individuals within those families, tracing their journey in South Africa over time. Such a project encapsulates the history of South African Jewry for future global generations.

The acquisitions will be preserved in the UCT Manuscript and Archives at a high resolution and archived according to international standards. Facilities will be made available for viewing, for research and for education. This information will include material from the small rural communities as well as the major city centres.

Romi Kaplan presented the project to alumni and friends in Toronto on Sunday 11 September 2011. She made a call on all present to send information to her. This information would be digitized and all originals returned to participants. All participants and contributors of archival information would be allowed access to the archived material in the future. The few examples Romi presented showed the inter-connectedness of many Jewish families in South Africa. And many a chuckle was heard in the audience as pictures of summers on Muizenberg beach were screened.

The Kaplan Centre is also seeking to raise funds for this initiative, to maintain the collection and also construct and maintain a website. Should you wish more information, or want to make a financial or an archival contribution to the collection, please contact Romi Kaplan directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). (All donations made in Canada are tax deductible under CRA tax regulations. For more information contact Di Stafford directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).)

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