Afrikaner-Jews or Boer-Jode as they are sometimes known, are an off-shoot of
Afrikanerdom and Judaism. At the beginning of the 19th century, when greater freedom of religious practice was introduced in South Africa, small numbers of Ashkenazic Jews arrived from Britain and Germany. They established the first Ashkenazi Hebrew congregation in 1841. Between the end of the 19th century and 1930, large numbers of Jews began to arrive from Lithuaniaand Latvia. Their culture and contribution changed the character of the South African community.
According to the South African Jewish Museum, "Many of the later immigrants arrived with no resources other than their wits and experience. Most could not speak English when they arrived. Often they would learn Afrikaans before English. Their households were often multi-lingual, with parents speaking
Yiddishand Afrikaans, and the children learning English at school."
Yiddish impact on Afrikaans
Yiddishwords have entered the Afrikaans language as Yiddish-speaking South African Jews assimilated into the community, and the languages cross-pollinated each other. Gradually over time the influence of Yiddish dwindled as Jews emigrated. The University of Cape TownJewish Studies library has a comprehensive collection of South African Yiddish books. Its collection of Yiddish periodicals is, however, not as comprehensive.
Olga Kirschwas a noted Afrikaansauthor and poet.
M. Rommtranslated and published the Siddur(Hebrew prayer book) into Afrikaans, which was widely distributed.
South African Jews
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