Document Type Master's Dissertation Author Rubin, Margot W email@example.com URN etd-09212005-092700 Document Title The Jewish Community of Johannesburg, 1886-1939 : landscapes of reality and imagination Degree MA (Geography) Department Geography, Geo-Informatics and Meteorology Supervisor
Advisor Name Title Prof K S O Beavon Keywords
- Jewish community
Date 2004-12-14 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe Jewish community of Johannesburg has changed a great deal during the period 1886-1939. The majority of Jews arrived as peasants from the Pale of Settlement in Eastern Europe, where they faced degrading and difficult conditions. South Africa offered a safe haven free from religious persecution and full of the promise of economic prosperity. The greater part of Jewish immigrants settled in Johannesburg and created Jewish enclaves and districts on the cityscape, adding another dimension to the urban fabric. The Jewish community was not a homogenous entity and there were a number of points of disjunction around nationality, religious practice, political beliefs, and economic disparities. These differences were made physically manifest on the cityscape as different groups settled in different parts of the city. The places where the Jews settled, their spatial dimensions, characters, and life-spans are mapped for the entire period in order to provide a picture of the Jewish community during their first fifty years in Johannesburg. The Jewish schools, businesses, organizations, and synagogues have all been mapped and discussed. These Jewish areas have been likened to the shtetls of the Pale of Settlement from which the Jews came because of a variety of superficial similarities. The idea is contentious and is debated throughout the dissertation and arguments are presented against a number of commonly accepted ideas about South African Jewry and the nature of the shtetl. The work generally analyses the relationship between the reproduction of Jewish culture, tradition, and religion and the spaces that need to exist in order to facilitate this process. The recursive relationship that occurs forms the underlying framework which allows the geography of the Jewish community of Johannesburg to be mapped, examined, and understood. The dissertation is also an attempt to redress the paucity of geographical work that exists on ethnic communities within South African cities and pulls together a great deal of historical, demographic, and sociological work into one text that spans the first fifty years of Johannesburg‘s Jewish community.
© 2004 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.
Please cite as follows:
Rubin, MW 2004, The Jewish Community of Johannesburg, 1886-1939: landscapes of reality and imagination, MA (Geography), University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-09212005-092700/ >
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