Reuben Goodman

Reuben Goodman

Reuben Goodman contributed his letters from his mother that he had been keeping for many years. He had never had the opportunity to translate them. His mother Leah was born in 1914 in Poland. However, her Visa was denied several times; refused on the grounds that she was a prohibited immigrant. She married Aaron Louis Goodman on the 16th of March, 1937. When Leah and her husband eventually made their way back to South Africa, they pleaded for Leah’s brothers to join them. The exchange was written in Yiddish and, thanks to Veronica Belling (Jewish Studies librarian at the Kaplan Centre), we were able to translate them. The letters were written in 1939 between Leah and her brothers. Aside from a familial exchange, the letters are prescient and at times anticipate war. They also refer to Cape Town as a romanticized landscape which her brothers longed to return to.

 

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