Use the scroll bar on the right, to view comments of other Guests.


Date: 24 Sep 2002
Dear Barry, I visit this site at least once a week. I am finding it very interesting.
Regards to your brothers. Alan Stein. 

Date: 24 Sep 2002
Dear Barry Carry on the good work--I think its great. I regularly visit to get any updates.
Hilton Sandler 

Date: 27 Sep 2002
Barry The site is fantastic. It brings back good memories as well as information we can share with our children. Keep up the good work.
Hymie Jechilevsky (

Date: 02 Oct 2002
Hi Barry. What a great site! It is wonderful to see photos of our community. Thank you for your time and interest in putting this together. It is too bad that we are scatterred all over the world and that more of us could not attend the reunion which you arranged. I know that those who did attend thoroughly enjoyed it. Hopefully next time..
Shana Harris (Bernitz) Toronto, Canada

Date: 13 Oct 2002
hi barry i am grateful for all your hard work in putting this together. I have spent time with my children and mother going through the photos. We found two of my late father, Harry Swersky, that we never knew existed.
Thanks again Brian Swersky, Melbourne, Australia

Date: 17 Oct 2002
 Barry ,really u have done a great job on this venture!
Mazeltov Martin and Anne Davis

Date: 18 Oct 2002
Dear Barry, Am enjoying your updates!To fill you in -in the photo taken with Moshe Sharett nos. 24 & 25 are my parents z"l-Rev. David & Freda Garb.
Regards Shana

Date: 30 Oct 2002
Dear Barry,I wish to compliment you for what you have produced so far.Very professional.I go into the web site every week without fail.Just to refresh your memory my Mother is Gladys Shlugman who lives in Israel. Keep up the good work.
Kindest regards, Aubrey Shlugman

Date: 31 Oct 2002
I think that the witbank website is particularly good and interesting for anyone with any witbank connections to be in touch
michael kallenbach (ex witbank high school) email:

Date: 31 Oct 2002
Hi Barry, I was immensely moved to see the picture of the Shul I had spent most of my childhood in. So Many memories of wonderful times that were spent there with my siblings, family and all friends. We had a wonderful childhood within the community and small town we were priveleged to grow up in. Thanks for all the effort you are undergoing to keep these links to our past. When you move continents, raise your own families and move on, the past fades somewhat and its really wonderful to remember the times gone by.
Michelle Saling (Brouze) Melbourne

Date: 08 Nov 2002
Still have a lump in my throat - those were amazing times and seem so distant now, Thank you Barry for creating this - it is an incredible act of kindness that will take people back to a time when our world was truly so different. I will try to dig thru my "stuff"and see if I have anything to contribute.
Alles van die Beste.

Date: 09 Nov 2002
Dear Barry, In the Witbank reunion photographs , in No 4, Simone Shein appears and not Anne Kramer.
Regards, Alan Stein.

Date: 10 Nov 2002
Barry, a great surprise to see this site. Charles Bernitz told me about it. My e-mail is "">
Regards, John Sandler

Date: 10 Nov 2002
What fun to view the photos of the reunion! So many familiar faces. Sorry to not have been able to join you all! I have wonderful memories of yomtavim such as succot and simchat torah - the hora and so on........ So sad to know that the old shul is no longer there.
Well done Barry. A good website. HERMOINE STERNBERG (NEE SCHAFFER)

Date: 17 Nov 2002
Interesting work, both as a historical record and as a source of Genealogical info to Jewish life in SA. No doubt +/-85% of the original Witbank Jewish "settlers" were of Litvak origin. Your web pages and research are a "Work of fond memories and personal pride with a "emotional" link to your past". A splendid effort, for which you should be commended.
Regards, Herbert EPSTEIN [Melbourne AUSTRALIA] <>

Date:20 Nov 2002
Hi Barry Mann: Thought I might see some old friends I knew in Witbank. Kudos to you.!!!! Your efforts should be lauded by all who visit your site.
Continued good success Riva

Date: 05 Dec 2002

I was delighted to receive this web-site address. I have spent ages looking at the photos, and in my minds eye catching up with many friends and their lives right now. Well done Barry, and thanks. Denise Gold (Gavronsky) Toronto, Canada

Date: 16 Dec 2002

Dear Barry, Wonderful to read this amazing web site. Keep up the good work. I have a stack of old photos of Cricket, Swimming and tennis teams and old Class Photos (1936/37) and Prefects photos which I will e-mail to you. Jock Blumberg.

Date: 19 Dec 2002

Barry,it is really terrific,informative & quite nostalgic what you are doing.I enjoy going into your web site on a regular basis.Perhaps it would be nice to see some more pictures that you may have of ex Witbankers.Keep up all the good work you have done & are doing.Fondest regards, Sandra Schwartz (Katz). E-mail

Date: 19 Dec 2002

Dear Barry, We, Maureen Sasinsky (Friedman) and Hilary Blumenau (Gavronsky) are delighted at this web site. We work together (isn't that something) and are thrilled to go down memory lane (the Shul in particular) makes us cry because it brings back so many memories!! Thanks for such a great job and we will also try and submit anything that could be useful. Its a matter of time. Have a happy holiday. Love Maureen ( and Hilary ( or

Date: 31 Dec 2002
Thank you for the latest set of photographs - it is so neat to have those to share with my family and friends here in the US. Keep up the great work !!! Tony Shill -

Date:  03 Jan 2003
Thank you for taking time to do this web site. I have ex perienced such enjoyment looking at all the old pictures. My e-mail address is My maiden name was Milwidsky

Date:  05 Feb 2003
Hello Barry, Remember me? - Mervyn van Rooyen. We went through kindergarten and primary school together. Lorna Bannatyne is putting together a history of Robert Curruthers (English Medium School) and I'm giving her a hand. She gave me your e-mail address. What an incredible surprise and pleasure to see all the wonderful photos you've put together!! I've just taken a wonderful trip down memory lane! When I was in primary school we used to wait for the Landau school bus in front of the old Synagogue. I knew that building very well (from the outside). Absolutely wonderful!
Regards, Mervyn (

Date:  11 Feb 2003
High High, The Witbank High Listen to those takkies fly But to beat Witbank High Is something you should not try We are Kudus the winning Team We are kudus the winning team We win all our races at very great paces We are kudus the winning team!!

Date: 27 Mar 2003
Dear Barry, Good talking to you prior to viewing your web site. Took me back to seeing boyfriends and girlfriends whom I knew in the early fifties! The work you have done with such competence have blown me off the face of the earth. Good luck with all your future endeavours. Louise Levi Goldwyn (ex Zwartruggens, Tvl)

Date: 31 Mar 2003
Barry & team, Well done on a great site. On behalf of my parents, Jock & Avis Blumberg, the info that they got was very interesting indeed. Keep up the good work. Paul Blumberg (

Date: 13 Apr 2003
To all ex Witbankers, In South Africa and around the world Chag Sameach . Have a wonderful Pesach. Regards, Alan Stein

Date:  09 May 2003
Hi Barry, Last contacted you Nov . Received Burkes Peerage World Book and found an I. Toubkin in Witbank. If you know this person or have an email address for I Toubkin would appreciate hearing from you possibility we might be related. Pleased to read so many folks appreciate your efforts. Bless you and continued good success. Riva

Date:  20 Jun 2003
Hi, I am so happy to find this site. I am presently writing a novel which is fiction but is set in Witbank. I was thinking about finding old witbank's pictures for splaterings in the book but had no idea where to go - and it was a midnight thought that was just as fragile as dreams are. Now this may be possible. When my book is done I would like to contact you again for permission to use the pics. Kind regards Sonya Merle Erkens June 20th 200

Date:  20 Jun 2003
There was a gift shop in witbank - co owned by "Chips" I believe she has gone to the USA. If anyone can give me her address I would be so glad. She hired me for a short while whenI was 18 and made a profound impact on my life. I would love to write to her and tell her. If you can help, it would be great. I cannot remember the name of the shop - perhaps "something special" ??
Thank you Sonya Erkens

Date:  22 Jun 2003
Thank you for compiling this wonderful site. My name is Philip Becker son of the late Mike Becker, grandson of the Late Philip Becker who is buried in the Witbank cemetry and nephew of Max, Alec, Ruby and Sarah. I would love to hear from anyone who knew my Dad and his family. I live in Toronto my email address is

Date:  23 Jun 2003
Dear Barry, I am the niece of the late Max and Alec Becker and lived in Witbank till the age of 10, and after moving to Jhb. my parents, Billy and Ruby Joss and my brother Phillip still kept up contact with Witbank while our family remained there. It has been a real treat for me to be able to go back in time and thank you for all the effort you have put into getting this Site together. My email address is Wishing you continued success, Berenice Silberg

Date:  19 Jul 2003
It's absolutely wonderful, a trip down a very pleasant memory lane. Wonderful to see the photograph which includes my uncles Ruby Markuschowitz and Sam Friedman Thanks for this treat Bernard Markuschowitz (Marks) living in Israel Son of Joachim and Lena Markuschowitz.

Date:  28 Jul 2003
I like this web site. Pity you don't have more info on recent members of the Jewish community. I left Witbank in 1976 and enjoyed a wonderful childhood there. Our cheder lessons were inspiring and I am still amazed at the sense of Jewishness we grew up with.
Me email address is Robyn Sher (nee Kopelowitz)

Date: 30 Oct 2003

I am the daughter of David Schraibman, he is number 31 in the picture taken of the children - July 1930. I am absolutely thrilled to have stumbled upon your website and will certainly spend more time browsing. I can now show my children a enlarged photograph of their grandfather. The same photograph is displayed in a museum in Israel. An exhibition of Jews of South African was held in Sandton, Johannesburg during the early 1980's. My late father (David Schraibman) visited the exhibition when is he saw this photograph . I have in my possession a photo of him pointing to himself in the photo. I am scanning the photo to you. I will inform other family members who lived in Witbank of your site and I am sure that they will be excited to make contact with you. I am related to the following people who lived in Witbank David Schraibman (my father - deceased 1992) Sylvia Schraibman who married Alec Kurlansky ( deceased 1983) Sister of David Schraibman Leah Schraibman ( sister of David Schraibman) married to Benny Brasg (living in Johannesburg . Currently visiting Sylvia Schraibman's daughter Maureen Levin who lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Claire Schraibman(sister of David Schraibman) married Hymie Lemmer Claire currently living in Melbourne Sybil Shein (cousin to the Schraibmans married Kenny Sischy, Sybil lives in Johannesburg Isaac Schech cousin to all the above mentioned people. Hymie Schwab was a family friend of the above now deceased Ray Amaler - now Wolder is lives in Johannesburg. She is a Provincial City Counciller. She is very good friends with Leah Schraibman. Rita Amaler now deceased was a sister to Ray Amaler. I will pass your info onto the older members of the family who I am sure will make contact with you. If you would like any other info that I may be able to help you with please contact me. If you visit SA again I would be delighted if you would contact me. I live in Johannesburg. My email address is With best wishes for the future success of your web.
Merle Rifkind (nee Schraibman)

Date: 29 Jan 2004

Hello Barry, Happy New Year to you and yours. Visit your site as often as I can. Still looking for a long lost cousin from Witbank . Name of I Toubkin, if any of your viewers have info would appreciate hearing from them. Continued good success. riva29@earthlink .net

Date: 08 Feb 2004

Dear Barry, It was great seeing the new photos of ex Witbankers taken in London and Israel .Had I seen some of them now, I would not have recognised them.  I look forward to seeing the other new additions to your web site.      Regards, Alan Stein.(

Date: 07 Jun 2004

Hi my name is Robert McAlindon, I attended this school in 1975 - 1977 ish, before we emigrated to the uk, if anybody knows me from the era, can you please e mail me at, I am longing to return to s.a. but family commitments are holding me back at present, look forward to hearing from you soon ps Great site

Date: 09 Jun 2004

Dear Barry, this must be a lot of work, shekeach, well done, posterity will thank you for it. The response of all the Witbankers is great, seeing names like Shill, Milwidsky, Stein, Bernitz,Michael Kallenbach, my Mom will be thrilled to contact him, he was at the Hostel & used to come for Shabbos. this is great stuff regards Richard Malkin or

Date: 09 Jun 2004

Hi Barry, Just want to tell you again what a great job you have done. Kol Hakavod. If any old Witbankers see this message, from any place in the world, I would love to hear from them. Have been living in Israel for the past 32 years but still have close family in South Africa and visit there about once every 2 years. Thanks again for all your efforts. Linda Sackstein (nee Sherman) granddaughter of Abe and Gussie Wortreich. e-mail :

Date: 11 Jun 2004
Barry, It's a wonderful thing you have done here, I can't begin to tell you of the nachas my folks have gotten from seeing all the photos of the old friends, mishpochah and associates. I mainly wanted to thank you for what you have done, I know that you have connected the dots for many people and helped people come together which is a wonderful thing so THANK YOU several times over from all the Shills in the USA.  I hope things are good for you, please give my best to Jeffrey and the rest of your family and to any Witbankers who might recall me, fondly or not so fondly! Leslie Shill

Date:  27 Jun 2004
I found the presentation on the Witbank Jewish community very interesting and useful,particularly since I am trying to track down my Lithuanian forbearers. I found plenty of Dembo surnames but I don't know if I can tie it them to Abraham Dembo who immigrated to the U.S. in 1904. Abraham Dembo was my father who who was born in Kovno (Kaunus) in 1884. e-mail =

Date: 23 Jul 2004
Hi Barry,I attended your presentation "Zeimelis to Witbank" which you gave at the Jewish Genealogical Society Johannes- burg's monthly meeting,on 11th July;it was so interesting to see the response by the ex-Witbankers to your pictures and family information,and it's good to be able to follow it up on your terrific website. I hope you get the information and missing names for which you are looking,to fill in the gaps;I have passed on your website address to family in Melbourne,particularly so that they can see the photos in which Arthur Sack and his wife- to- be Rebecca Friedman appear,as the are relations to my wife's family. Also,viewing the photos,I found my own cousins (3rd/4th),Rev. Zive and his sons Max and Harry,now living in Toronto,whom I didn't know came from Witbank ! Thanks for a lesson in how to go about researching family and community histories,and organising a wonderful and compre- hensive website. My father,Reuven (Robert) Sieff,worked for George Isserow,in a concession store,I think,in Ogies,and I remember visiting him, probably for a weekend,when I was about 4 or 5 years old; we stayed at the hotel with a long stoep,and the geese used to chase me - very frightening ! I will look through old family photos,to see if any are relevant to your Witbank opus.
Best regards,Dave Sieff.

Date: 08 Dec 2004
To all Witbankers, Avis Blumberg (nee Broomberg) who was married to Jock Blumberg, son of David & Annie Blumberg, passed away tragically in October 2004. She will be missed by all who loved her and will be remembered for her loving kindness and her passion for Witbank and what it stood for. Her last trip to Witbank was in December 2003, when we took them to visist the old houses and of course the Blumberg graves. M.H.D.S.R.I.P ; Baruch Hashem.
Paul Blumberg (younger son) :


01.28.2005    Joan Gremont
Barry, I enjoyed meeting you tonight and thanks again for working so hard on the Witbank website. Reading it brings back wonderful memories of the many visits to my grandparents, Meyer and Gertie Katz.

03.13.2005  Alice
Great page!
I have found interesting things on it!

03.17.2005  Allan Walkden-Davis
Hi Barry, What a delightful surprise to see faces and names from my youth in Witbank during the 1940's and 1950's. 'Though not a member of the Jewish community I had a number of Jewish friends: Robert Ross,Charles Bernitz, Julian Sandlder and Ruby Schalkov(sp?)and others. I left Witbank in 1956 but have been back on short visits since.I remember your family too!
Kindest regards, Allan

04.01.2005  Ron Lager
What a trip down memory-lane: we lived in Witbank between 1967 & 1970 (barmitzvah in 1967); I attended Witbank High like all other Jewish kids at the time...Howard, Valerie, Markham, Leslie, etc. etc. etc.

04.02.2005 Selwyn & Rebecca Lager
We lived in Witbank 1964 to 1970 #14 Gladila street ext 10 Rabbi Engel taught my son his Barmitzvah. We knew the engel family well. Rabbi was a marvellous person I wonder If you remember us Barry. We were great freinds of the Beckers

04.04.2005  Uri Zalk
Hi Barry, I stumbled across your page while googling for another Zalk and found a JM Zalk about 1920 and no further details. By a strange conicidence, my wife is at Witbank today for her work.
Regards, Uri

05.16.2005  Ron Lager
hello everyone,

I'm just wondering how big the present Witbank Jewish Community is... can someone tell me...
Ron Lager.

05.27.2005  Stephen Kramer
Hi Barry,
I just found this website by mistake,but have a great lump in my throat looking at the pictures and seeing the names again!As well as seeing all my cousins(I think you're a cousin as well?) How is Jeff,and all the Mann family?How do we stay in contact?We live in Melbourne,and it would be great to contact more old Witbankers Best Regards Stephen Kramer (Father Michael,mother Sylvia,uncle Arnold)

06.20.2005  Ann Ezelius
Greetings from Sweden.. Finding this site sure took me back! I used to go to the Witbank Convent from 1958 to 1962. My very good friend was Ruth Blum and I often stayed at the Carlton Hotel because her Dad was the Manager..or something. I knew Charles Bernitz and his sisters.
Thanks for putting out the pics..
Cheers..Ann Ezelius.. 

08.15.2005  Shayna Cowley (Stein)
WOW!!! what a find, soo many wonderful memories, I certainly hope that those of you who remember or know me will write, I love hearing from old friends. I live in Cape Town where I run an Horse Riding School and Stables. I have a son on 32 and a daughter of 29, and AM still married to a fantastic gye. My family on both sides are all from Witbank and I do stil have a few pals there with whom I do comm. These were the Most fantastic days ever. I also have tons of family I have lost contact with or have never even met... The Bernitz family on Moms side and the Blumbergs on Dads. Achie Stein was the son of Shayna, who was sister to David, George, Charlie and Chalka Blumberg.
Thanx Barry, I do remember you. Love Shayna e-mail :

10.31.2005  Dov Wright (Previously Peter Wri
Dear David I was truly surprised to see such a comprehensive website of The Witbank Jewish community. Yoshekoach. I converted 5 years ago after marrying Tammy Danilewitz. We have 3 childen 1 grand daughter. We live in Johannesburg and would love to correspond with anyone who knew me.
I matriculated WHS 1981.

12.18.2005  Archie
One word - WOW!!!!! I immigrated to Israel from Pretoria in 1971.Looking through the pictures on your site was very nostalgic.
Here in Israel, we say "Kol Ha Kavod" A compliment translated to "Well Done"

12.19.2005  Paul
Super color scheme, I like it! Awesome content. I enjoyed me visit.

12.19.2005  Johann de Bruin
I am Carel Johann de Bruin. Born 23.05.1971.
I lived in Witbank from 1974 till 1989. My parents were there till 2000. I attended Laerskool Kragbron and HoŽrskool Patriot. My dad, Carel, was a member of the town coucil with J Shill, and my great-grand-father bought a farm, Klippan, from J Shill's father.

12.31.2005  Geoff Beder
Hi Barry, I am a cousin of Len Pitum. We spent many happy school holidays in Witbank and in 1961 to 1964 I was in business with my sister and brother-in-law (Leon & Hinda Becker-L.Becker Whls Store-Mabena Store-origonally owned by Hymie Pitum-Len Pitum's father) It is great having a website like this to be able to see where everybody has spread out into the wide world. My wife ,Diane,and I now live in Milnerton Cape Town where my son Saul lives .We have a daughter and her family in Sydney Australia who we visit regularly.
Keep up the good work, Geoff Beder


^Top of Page
below for
Home Page

Copyright © 2004 by Barry Mann. All rights reserved.