Leon Feldberg

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Leon Feldberg was born in Shurvilishok, Lithuania, on 15th October, 1910. He was the son of Rabbi Chaim Meyer Feldberg and Sarah Miriam Feldberg. His father, who was a descendant of the Vilna Gaon, became Rav of Krok. Leon Feldberg was educated at the Yeshivoth (religious schools) of Ponivez and Slabodka. He received his “Schmichas” (Rabbinical Diploma) from the Rabbis of Yanove and Krok. He worked as a journalist on the "Yidishe Shtime" (Jewish Voice) founded in 1919 in Kovno, "Das Yiddishe Leben” (The Jewish Life), the daily “Frimorgen" (Free Morning), and the daily "Dos Folk," (The People) which was published in Riga from 1920 until 1927. He came to South Africa 1929 and after first serving as a Rabbi and Hebrew teacher, went into business in Johannesburg where, in 1936 he established the Southern African Jewish Times, of which he was the Editor, and the South African Jewry. He was also the Chairman of Caxton Ltd, Eagle Press, Commercial Printing Co, Fieldhill Publishing Co. (Pty.) Ltd. and other companies. His offices were at Eagle House, 19, Rockey Street, Doornfontein, Johannesburg. In 1933 Feldberg, who enjoyed reading and travelling, married Sarah Kretzmer and together they had one daughter and one son, the Springbok swimming champion, Meyer Feldberg.

Contribution to South African Theatre

1939: When Ossip Runitch (1889-1947) and his wife, ballerina Nina Pavlishcheva were asked to establish a professional Yiddish theatre company, Leon Feldberg was on the board of the Jewish Art Theatre. The performances were held at the South African Zionist Federation headquarters.


South African Jewry, 1965. Edited by Leon Feldberg.

"Jewish Art Theatre Society formed in Johannesburg," The Zionist Record, (Johannesburg), 4 August 1939, p 21.

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