Jamestown (Eastern Cape)

Jamestown is situated in the Eastern Cape and was founded in 1874. It is the terminus of a branch railway line from Molteno, which reached the town in 1930.

The town was founded when James Wahenaar divided a portion of his farm into residential stands for sale to the public. It is a fertile sheep (wool), cattle and wheat farming area.

Little information is available regarding the occupations of the Jews in Jamestown. In the 1930s there were hoteliers, a wool buyer, a doctor and a general dealer.

In August 1935 Morris Alexander visited Jamestown and addressed the community to allay fears and promote goodwill between Jewish and gentile communities. Dordrecht is a neighbouring town with a large Jewish community and facilities that were used by the Jewish community of Jamestown.

As there was no Jewish cemetery or synagogue, Jewish residents of Jamestown were buried in Dordrecht and there were some families who belonged to the Dordrecht Hebrew Congregation.

There were six Jewish people in Jamestown in 1943; three in 1947; and seven between 1953 and 1965. By 1967 there were no Jews left.