The mayor of Cape Town, Hyman Lieberman, opens the Great Synagogue in the Gardens, Cape Town


Great Synagogue

Wednesday, 13 September 1905

Cape Town has a substantial Jewish community, the majority of who are descendents of Lithuanian immigrants. By 1863, the Jewish congregation in Cape Town had grown to such an extent that a new building was needed. The original synagogue, or shul, was built in what is now the Jewish Museum complex.

In 1905, the congregation had increased to the extent that a still larger building was needed, and so the Great Synagogue or Gardens Schul was built alongside the Old Schul, and opened by Cape Town's first Jewish mayor, Hyman Lieberman.

Today, the Gardens Schul is the oldest active congregation in South Africa, and is designed in an 'Egyptian revival style'.

• Wallis, F. (2000) Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau
•  Weiner, R. (unknown) 'The Virtual Jewish History Tour: South Africa' from Jewish Virtual Library [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 September 2010]

Last updated : 12-Sep-2013

This article was produced for South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011