Jansenville (Eastern Cape)

Jansenville, established in 1855, is a small town in the Cape Province, south of Graaff-Reinet.

The town has its origins as an outgrowth of the Uitenhage Dutch Reformed Parish.

The earliest Jewish resident was recorded in 1867. The community was never large enough to build a shul and after lying empty for over a century, land allocated for this purpose was donated to the town library.

There was never a formal congregation but Jews gathered together in the town for Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).

Most Jews were traders, shopkeepers and farmers in the district.Maurice Zimmerman, the springbok rugby player, was born in Jansenville.

The Jewish population was at its maximum around 1904 when there were 70 Jews, but this number dwindled to 48 in 1936. The last two Jewish residents left in 1983.