List of Jews from Sub-Saharan Africa

List of Jews from Sub-Saharan Africa

There are a number of Black African groups that practice Judaism, the most prominent of which are the Beta Israel of Ethiopia. However, the vast majority of Jews in Sub-Saharan Africa live in South Africa, and are of Ashkenazi (largely Lithuanian) origin. Small post-colonial communities exist elsewhere. Here is a list of some prominent Sub-Saharan African Jews, arranged by country of origin.


* Yaphet Kotto, actor (Cameroonian father)

DR Congo

* Olivier Strelli, fashion designer


* Ephraim Isaac, Phd Princeton Scholar
* Adisu Massala, politician
* Esti Mamo, Ethiopian-Israeli model
* Meskie Shibru-Sivan, actress and singer


* Albie Sachs, ANC activist (lived in Mozambique during exile from South Africa)
* Ruth First, ANC activist (lived in Mozambique during exile from South Africa)

outh Africa

Politicians and activists

* Hilda Bernstein, anti-apartheid activist
* Lionel Bernstein, anti-apartheid activist
* Harry Bloom, anti-apartheid activist
* Arthur Chaskalson, chief justice
* Abba Eban, Israeli diplomat (South African-born)
* Richard Goldstone, judge and international war crimes prosecutor
* Joel Joffe, human rights activist
* Ronnie Kasrils, current South African Intelligence Minister
* Tony Leon, previous opposition leader
* Joe Slovo, ANC activist and leader of the South African Communist Party
* Harry Schwarz, anti-apartheid politician, lawyer and diplomat
* Helen Suzman, anti-apartheid MP
* Harold Hanson, QC and strong supporter of civil liberties
* Robin Philip Cranko, Lawyer, Anti Aphartheid activist
* Helen Zille, Mayor of Cape Town, Leader of the Opposition Party

:Other Jewish ANC activists included Ruth First, Albie Sachs and five of the six whites arrested in the Rivonia Trial: Denis Goldberg, Lionel Bernstein, Arthur Goldreich, James Kantor, Harold Wolpe and Gaby Shapiro.


* Abraham Manie Adelstein, UK Chief Medical Statistician [Oxford Dictionary of National Biography]
* Selig Percy Amoils, Inventor & Surgeon [ [ American Jewish Year Book, 1983, p.271] Accessed 16 Nov 2006]
* Moses Blackman, crystallographer
* Sydney Brenner, biologist, Nobel Prize (2002)
* Sydney Cohen, pathologist (Jewish Year Book, 2005, p214, 230)
* Meyer Fortes, anthropologist
* Max Gluckman, anthropologist
* Aaron Klug, chemist, Nobel Prize (1982)
* Ludwig Lachmann, economist [Hayek's Challenge: An Intellectual Biography of F. A. Hayek - Pg 145]
* Arnold Lazarus, psychologist
* Roland Levinsky ["Driving force of city university's growth": Western Daily Press 19 July 2006: "the family is Jewish".] , biologist
* Stanley Mandelstam, physicist (Jewish Year Book 2005 p214)
* Shula Marks, historian (Jewish Year Book 2005 p215)
* Frank Nabarro, physicist (Jewish Year Book 2005 p214)
* Seymour Papert, Artificial Intelligence pioneer
* Peter Sarnak, mathematician
* Isaac Schapera, anthropologist (Jewish Year Book 2005 p215)
* Anthony Segal, biochemist (Jewish Year Book 2005 p214)
* Phillip V. Tobias, palaeoanthropologist
* Joseph Wolpe, psychotherapist
* Lewis Wolpert, developmental biologist
* Basil Yamey, economist (Jewish Year Book 2005 p215,315)
* Solly Zuckerman, UK zoologist

Cultural figures

* Lionel Abrahams, poet
* Dani Behr, tv presenter
* Harry Bloom, writer & anti-apartheid activist (father (non-biological) of Orlando Bloom)
* Lisa Chait, radio presenter
* Johnny Clegg, World Beat musician
* John Cranko, choreographer
* David Goldblatt, photographer
* Nadine Gordimer, writer, Nobel Prize (1991)
* Laurence Harvey, actor
* Ronald Harwood, playwright
* Manu Herbstein, writer
* Dan Jacobson, writer
* Sid James, comic actor
* Danny K, pop singer
* Lennie Lee, artist
* Laurence Lerner, poet
* Manfred Mann (Manfred Lubowitz), R&B keyboardist
* Sarah Millin, writer
* Trevor Rabin, guitarist & film composer
* Jonathan Shapiro (Zapiro), political cartoonist
* Anthony Sher, stage actor
* Janet Suzman, stage actress
* Rachel Zadok, novelist

Business and professional figures

* Raymond Ackerman, supermarket tycoon
* Barney Barnato, diamond magnate [Oxford Dictionary of National Biography]
* Alfred Beit, diamond magnate
* Donald Gordon, founder of insurance company Liberty Life, shopping centre owner & philanthropist
* Sydney Jacobson, newspaper editor [Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: "the only son and elder child of Samuel and Anna Jacobson, a Jewish couple"]
* Solomon Joel, financier [Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: "a devout Jew"]
* Sol Kerzner, hotel & casino owner
* Sammy Marks, early entrepreneur from Pretoria
* Ernest & Harry Oppenheimer, diamond tycoons & philanthropists (Harry converted to Christianity)
* Percy Yutar, South African attorney-general. [cite news |url= |title=Percy Yutar |publisher=The Scotsman]

ports figures

* Ali & Adam Bacher, cricketers
* Okey Geffin, rugby player
* Ilana Kloss, tennis player
* Peter Lindenberg, powerboat racer ("uconfirmed")
* Syd Nomis, rugby player
* Sarah Poewe, swimmer
* Philip Rabinowitz (runner), 100-year-old sprinter
* Wilf Rosenberg, rugby player
* Jody Scheckter, Formula 1 driver
* Joel Stransky, rugby player
* Shaun Tomson, surfer


* Denise Scott Brown, architect
* Stanley Fischer, IMF economist


* Norman Geras [] , professor of Government
* Anthony Gubbay, former chief justice
* Alexander Pines, chemist
* Roy Welensky, prime minister of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland

ee also

*List of Jews
*List of South Africans
*Jews and Judaism in the African diaspora


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