Jewish Archives in South Africa

Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Cape Town

The Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Cape Town holds the largest collections of historical material relating to the history of Jews in South Africa, including personal papers, community and organizational records, as well as photographs. 180 physical collections in all, it forms part of the holdings of UCT Libraries, Special Collections.

In the 1980s the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies undertook a large oral history project of Jews of Lithuanian origin who settled in South Africa in the early twentieth century. In all, 483 elderly members of the Jewish communities of Cape Town and Johannesburg were interviewed. Each interview was recorded and transcribed.

The Kaplan Centre and the South Africa Jewish Museum have created the Jewish Digital Archive Project (JDAP) to digitize archives, which will be available at

South African Jewish Museum

The South African Jewish Museum is digitizing its collections together with the Kaplan Centre. It began as the Jewish Digital Archive Project (JDAP) in 2011. Their holdings focus on first generation immigrants to South Africa, as well as communal organizations. They also partnering with the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) to gather materials and oral histories on Jewish involvement in South African politics.

Pretoria Jewish Archive

Started 2018 by archivist Juan-Paul Burke, the Pretoria Jewish Archive holds material from the Pretoria Hebrew Congregation campus and sorted and organised into collections. The materials will be available on in the future.