Fonds BC1306 - Ben Yosef Papers

Reference code

ZA UCT BC1306

Title

Ben Yosef Papers

Date(s)

  • undated (Creation)

Level of description

Fonds

Extent and medium

4 boxes

Name of creator

Biographical history

Prof. Dr Israel Ben Yosef occupied the Isidore and Theresa Cohen Chair of Hebrew at the University of Cape Town between 1985 and 1989. Born Israel Aharon Orenstein in Tiberius in Palestine in 1938, Israel changed his name to Ben Yosef to cut off all ties with the diaspora. He studied Hebrew literature and Jewish philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where he obtained his B.A. and M.A degrees. He also served as a soldier in the 1956 and 1967 Israel-Arab Wars, and was decorated for bravery. He taught Hebrew literature in various High Schools and Teachers’ academies in Israel. In 1970 he left Israel for South Africa, where he served as Director for Student Matters at the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the South African Zionist Federation in Johannesburg. In 1974 he received his D. Lit et Phil from UNISA, where from 1977 to1984 he lectured in the Semitics Department. At the same time he also served as a temporary rabbi at the Temple Hillel in Hillbrow and in the Liberal Congregation in Springs. In 1984 he was awarded a Harvard Fellowship for Religious Studies. In 1986 he was appointed Professor in the Hebrew Department at the University of Cape Town where he taught until 1989. In 1990 he was appointed Rabbi of the Jewish Liberal Congregation, Or Chadash, in Zurich in Switzerland, and in 1991 he received his rabbinical ordination from the Leo Baeck College in London. He died on 4 February 1995 in Zurich. Dr Ben Yosef published six books of poetry in Hebrew, three books of Hebrew poetry in English and Afrikaans translation, and an essay on Martin Buber and adult education. His articles and sermons from his five year stint at the Liberal Congregation, Or Chadash, in Zurich, were collected and published after his death in two collections entitled, Lebendiges Judentum, by Erhard Roy Wiehn, in Germany in 1995. His papers contain articles and clippings on South African rabbis, particularly those who served the Progressive Hebrew Congregations. It also contains articles and brochures relating to South African Jewry and apartheid.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Scope and content

His papers contain articles and clippings on South African rabbis, particularly those who served the Progressive Hebrew Congregations. It also contains articles and brochures relating to South African Jewry and Apartheid

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Conditions governing access

No restrictions apply

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

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Status

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Dates of creation revision deletion

2013

Language(s)

  • English

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