SA Organisations

Herber House remembered, 50 years on

  • SAJR - Call back the past
The first Jewish boarding facility in SA was opened in the Forties by the SA Jewish Board of Education and named after Harry Herber, the founder of Greatermans. Herber House‘s hostel was an imposing castle-like structure on the Kopje in South Street, Yeoville – opposite the now- iconic Ponte building. The hostel provided boarding for Jewish school pupils from SA country districts and other African nations during the 1940's, 50's and 60's before being closed. At a recent reunion – see picture of attendees – R1,600 was collected for Hatzolah.
by STUART BUXBAUM | Jun 24, 2015

A Herbert House reunion breakfast was held in a Johannesburg restaurant on Tuesday, June 16, where some of the previous boarders and their spouses and partners, who were once resident at Herber House Hostel, came together to reminisce. Herbert House was closed more than 50 years ago.

Herber House FULLThis hostel was the first boarding facility of the SA Jewish Board of Education and was named after Harry Herber, founder of Greatermans Stores and one time president of the Board of Education.

RIGHT: Thumbnail of picture below story
The main building of the hostel, an imposing castle-like structure in South Street, Yeoville, was located just off the old Harrow Road (now Joe Slovo), and across the way of that now iconic Johannesburg landmark, the Ponte building.

The hostel provided boarding for Jewish learners from the country districts of South Africa and indeed from beyond its borders, in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s.

Towards the mid-sixties, the number of boarders declined and the hostel became unsustainable. It closed its doors at the end of 1964. A hostel on the grounds of King David High School, Linksfield, Sachs House – also long since closed as a hostel - opened its doors in 1966.

Today, the previous boarders of Herber House are spread across the globe, but a sizable number are still resident in Johannesburg.

To mark the occasion, a donation of R1,600 was made by those attending the breakfast, to Hatzolah.

Herber House Full1BACK ROW STANDING: Brian Perelman, Stuart Buxbaum, Paul Solomon, Jeff Dermick, Michael Katz, and Leon Klugman.

MIDDLE ROW STANDING: Joel Levin, Sidney Mograbi, Maurice Buisansky, Harold Mograbi, and Irwin Bartkunsky.

SITTING: Charlotte Brinkman, David Alperin, Allan Cohen, Laura Alperin, and Philip Bartkunsky.

NOT IN PICTURE: Barry Fisman and Max Miller.

Many thanks to Stuart Buxbaum for this lovely Call-back-the-past item. C'mon, users, there must be a mountain of similar material out there - SHARE yours with the community - send to [email protected]

1 Comment

  1. 1 Clifford Bestall 11 Sep
    I am very keen to get photos of Harry Herber and his son Norman Herber for a film I'm making on Raymond Ackerman. Could you help point me in the right direction please.

    Kind regards,



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