Things To Do in Central HillThe Jewish Pioneers Memorial Museum
Where? Raleigh Street, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.
When? Best during daylight hours.
How? Call Not Available
How much? Price on request
The Jewish Pioneer’s Museum in Port Elizabeth was created to remember the Jewish community with memorabilia, ceremonial implements and historical photography. The building that the museum is housed in was designed by Orlando Middleton and built by the Kohler Brothers. The building is recognizable for its Art Nouveau features, turrets and keyhole windows, reminiscent of the period before the First World War.
Members of the Jewish community took an active role in the restoration of the building, and the preservation of their religion and culture during the 1900’s. The building was originally a synagogue, which was consecrated by the Chief Rabbi in December 1912. Its ornamental Art Nouveau architecture demanded hand-crafted detailing and light metal construction – all requiring great skill. The community fought to preserve the beautiful old place of worship and as a result, the Art Nouveau style is echoed within the building, with details such as door handles, light fittings and columns.
After a period of neglect, the old synagogue was eventually put to good use and transformed into The Jewish Pioneer Museum. As the oldest surviving synagogue in the Eastern Cape, it is not only a place to remember the Jewish Community, with history displayed on its walls, but it is also a beautifully preserved piece of architecture.