Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life

Coalition members Rob and Maureen Sladen: “Our South African Jewish Heritage”

May 23, 2021, 10:00 am - 11:30 am

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Rob and Maureen Sladen were born within a year of each other at opposite ends of the Cape Province of South Africa.  Their cultural and religious upbringing was disparate, yet they later discovered some remarkably common threads in their South African ancestry.  Their paths cam together in Cape Town when they were in their 20’s, they agree it was beshert.

In 1973, Rob left isolationist, apartheid South Africa and emigrated to Canada.  After a long courtship by mail, Maureen traveled to join him and they married in San Francisco in 1976. Although they have now lived in the US for the past 44 years, this talk is about the experiences of their families over many earlier years, and how it is woven into the fabric that is the history of  colonial South Africa. More precisely, the story of Jewish immigrants in the country and the role of Jewish South Africans in the fight against apartheid until the freeing of Nelson Mandela in 1990.

We thank the Sladens for sharing their remarkable experiences and history with us, and encourage you to join us for what is sure to be a fascinating program!

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