They began to migrate to the large cities, seeking a living and for some, a more secular life. A few decades later, the great migration would begin, to America, England and ‘Africa’, in search of der goldeneh medina.
The story of Jewish immigration to South Africa begins in the 1820s, with the arrival of Jews from England and Germany. By the late 1800s their numbers totaled 4000.
But it was in the 1880s that the large migration of Jews from Lithuania and Latvia transformed the face and culture of the South African Jewish community.