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The Goldene Medina Celebrating 175 Years of Jewish Life in South Africa

On the evening of 15 September 2016, the South African Jewish Museum opened a new exhibition to mark the anniversary of 175 years of Jewish life in South Africa. The Goldene Medina (The Golden Land) reflects the religious, social and political history of the Jews of South Africa, from 1841 to 2016.

Comprising a curated collection of anecdotes, images, artefacts and films it creates a tapestry of the communal experiences that, over the course of 175 years, has forged a new, shared identity – the South African Jew.

While the South African Jewish Museum’s permanent exhibits do an excellent job of presenting the history of the South African Jewish community – its origins, experiences, notables and achievements – this new exhibition offers unique insight into the day-to-day lives of generations of ordinary South African Jews.

Though grounded in the particularity of Jewish experience, the exhibition’s national historical context is likely to trigger memory and elicit nostalgia in all South Africans. At each turn the visitor is presented with stories of South African life through the generations.

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