Last month, Jewish community stalwarts Dr Bernie and Rhebe Tatz of Bulawayo each received recognition for their respective contributions over many years, made respectively in the medical and in the arts field, to the greater Zimbabwean community. Dr Tatz was given a special award by the Zimbabwe Medical Association “for outstanding service and lifetime contribution to the Health delivery system, Medical Fraternity and Community of Matabeleland and Zimbabwe in general”. The award was presented at an annual dinner / dance of the Medical Association.

In another ceremony, the Bulawayo Art Gallery named one of its galleries “The Rhebe Tatz Gallery”, with Mr Eric Bloch paying tribute to her for all her work as Chairman of the Friends of the gallery.

Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft, Spiritual Leader to the African Jewish Congress, said that the work of the Tatz’s epitomized more than a century of Jewish contributions to Zimbabwe, and that the awards made to them underlined how this was appreciated within the country as a whole.

“What this public recognition of what Bernie and Rhebe has shown is that despite all the turmoil that Zimbabwe is going through, Zimbabwean institutions and the man on the street continue to be aware of and appreciate what Jews have done and continue to do for their country” he said.

Bernie and Rhebe Tatz have also both been prominently involved in Jewish communal affairs in Zimbabwe. Bernie was a leading light within the Central African Jewish Board of Deputies for over forty years and was a founding vice-chairman of the African Jewish Congress. Rhebe has likewise been involved in Jewish and Zionist activities, and is currently President of the Zimbabwe Women’s Zionist Council.