A Jewish presence in Southern Africa can be traced as far back as Fernao Martins, a ‘converso’ (a Portuguese Jew who was forced to convert to Christianity) who was selected by Vasco da Gama to be his translator on his first voyage via southern Africa to India in 1497. Since then, Jewish immigrants and their descendants have left their mark on South Africa in many ways. There have been doctors and lawyers and rabbis and parliamentarians, hawkers and diamond-diggers, industrialists and Randlords, renegade Boer War commandos and Nobel prize-winners, social workers, artists and activists. All these are part of the rich complexity of Jewish life at the southern tip of Africa. 'Legends and Legacies' is the most comprehensive account of the South African Jewish community ever attempted on screen. Conceived and produced by Mark Wade and written and presented by Alan Swerdlow, this series is a careful consideration of how the community came to be, and found a home at the foot of Africa.
By Mark Wade and Alan Swerdlow
South Africa, 2020
Documentary, Jewish History, Jewish Culture