Jewish settlement dates back to the turn of the century and, in some respects, parallels that of South Africa. Jews began to leave the country in large numbers during the civil strife that gripped Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) in the 1970s. Today more than two-thirds of the community's members are 65 or older. Most of the young people have left for South Africa, Israel, or elsewhere. The communities in the midlands no longer exist.
The Zimbabwe Jewish Board of Deputies is the leading communal organization. There are two synagogues in Harare (Ashkenazi and Sephardi) and another in Bulawayo (Ashkenazi Orthodox). The Central African Zionist Organization is the Zionist umbrella body and was established in 1898 in Bulawayo. Communal centers exist in both Harare and Bulawayo. Despite the small number of youth, several Zionist youth organizations are active. The two Jewish schools, Carmel in Bulawayo and Sharon in Harare, have a large enrollment of African and Indian pupils. Bulawayo has a home for the elderly and various benevolent and welfare committees. The Central African Zionist Organization publishes a bulletin.
Israel and Zimbabwe established relations in 1993. Aliya: Since 1948, 714 Jews from Zimbabwe and the former Rhodesia have emigrated to Israel.
Zimbabwe Jewish Board of Deputies
PO Box 342, Harare
Tel. 263 4 723 647
Three Anchor House 54 Jason Moyo Ave, Harare
Tel. 263 4 756 808, Fax. 263 4 756 801 7
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