Alan Feigenbaum celebrates his second bar mitzvah in Bulawayo - 10 November 2012

Alan and Ruth Feigenbaum

On Shabbat Chaya Sarah (10 November) the now dwindling and aging Jewish community of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, had something to celebrate when its Honorary Life President Alan Feigenbaum celebrated his Second Bar Mitzvah.

Two Israelis residing in Bulawayo helped with the Torah reading and 89 year-old Harry Shmeizer led the prayers. In his address to the 'Bar Mitzvah' Hylton Solomon, President of the Bulawayo Hebrew Congregation, told him that he was not being presented with a siddur or a present of a pen or cuff links. Rather, his gift was the mere fact that he had been able to celebrate this personal milestone in the Bulawayo community, whose resilience and future he had never ceased to believe in.

There remain 65 individuals Jews in Bulawayo, a community that at its height numbered over 2000.

The service was followed by a brocha catered by Alanís wife, Ruth. The Feigenbaumís run a fully kosher home, and Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft, Spiritual Leader to the African Jewish Congress, resides there during his regular visits to the community.

Ruth Feigenbaum is renowned for her charitable work in the wider society, particularly through the organisation she founded and co-chairs, SGOFOTI (Support Group of Families of Terminally Ill).