Willowmore (Eastern Cape)

 

The town of Willowmore, in the Eastern Cape, was laid out on the farm “The Willows” in 1862. It is situated on the national road and railway between Mossel Bay and Johannesburg. Willowmore is a farming community, noted for its wool and mohair.

The Willowmore Hebrew Congregation dates back to around 1904. The foundation stone of the synagogue was laid in 1906.

The deed of transfer of the ‘erf’ (lot) for the cemetery was dated 1900. The first tombstone was that of Woolf Matz in 1903.

The synagogue was donated to the town council in 1976 and was sold to a garage in 1980.

The height of the Jewish population was reached in 1904 with 152 Jews living in the town. The numbers dwindled to 57 in 1936 and 30 in 1951. There were two Jews living in Willowmore in 1980 and four in 1991.