Golden Book Jewish National Fund Certificate Celebrating South African Jew's Bar Mitzvah

Golden Book Jewish National Fund Certificate Celebrating South African Jew's Bar Mitzvah


A bilingual certificate recording the inscription of a name in the Golden Book of the Jewish National Fund. Family and friends of a South African Jew named Harry Salber donated to the Jewish National Fund on his behalf on the occasion of his bar mitzvah. The certificate depicts a triptych of agricultural laborers at center, framed by a foliate border and topped by a Star of David, Lion of Judah, and other iconography at top. Two oblong cartouches appear at bottom, both signed in English and in Hebrew respectively. A few pencil inscriptions found verso. Some folds and chipped edges, and trimmed at top, else in very good to near fine condition. 19.5" x 17".


The partly printed and partly handwritten document reads: "Harry / son of Mr. & Mrs. C. Salber, / Capetown, / inscribed by relatives and friends on the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah, / 24th March 1929." Genealogical records suggest that the recipient of the certificate, Harry Salber, was the oldest son of Chayim "Charles" Salber (ca. 1882-1946) of Capetown, South Africa. Harry was born on March 17, 1916, which means his March 24, 1929 bar mitzvah was celebrated just a week after his 13th birthday. Harry Salber died in Ma'ayan Baruch, Israel at age 82 in 1998.


The Jewish National Fund was established in 1901 to acquire lands in then British Palestine for its conversion into a consolidated Jewish homeland. Still in operation today, the non-profit organization is a significant Israeli landowner. The JNF not only acquires land but plants trees, drains swamps, and constructs dams, reservoirs, and parks. Grassroots fundraising efforts, such as stamp drives and blue box collection, were just two of the ways Jews have historically contributed to the JNF.


Another way was through sponsorship of the Seven Honor Books. Dr. Theodore Herzl had started the tradition of inscribing the names of Jews (and others who had advanced the Zionist cause) in one of seven books: the Golden Book, Children's Book, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Book, Marriage Book, Book of Plantings, Book of Special Gifts, and Aliyah Book. Jews celebrating special occasions often donated to the JNF and had their names inscribed in the books. Today, there are 24 volumes of the Golden Book alone, with each volume containing approximately 5,000-10,000 names. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah book was initiated in 1936, some seven years after Harry Salber had been initiated.


The Seven Honor Books represent an outstanding historical and genealogical resource. Many Jews whose names were entered therein were later killed during the Holocaust. The books underscore that, even though Jews live throughout the diaspora, their spiritual homeland is centered in one place: Israel.



Item: 65190

Price: $750.00
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