The life of Olga Kirsch explored in new book
On 13 September a fascinated crowd gathered to hear Dr Egonne Roth speak about her new book Olga Kirsch: A Life in Poetry, a biography about the Afrikaans-Jewish poet Olga Kirsch.
Roth explained how the parallels between her own life and Kirsch’s led her to research and write the story of this complex and creative woman. Through her own anecdotes and reading of selected poems, the author illuminated the depth of Olga Kirsch’s life experience.
The book vividly explores Kirsch’s role as an Afrikaans Jewish voice but also examines her as an example of a cross-cultural, multi-lingual immigrant poet. Dr Roth pointed out that Olga Kirsch grew up with three languages, stressing the importance of this in “our present time in South Africa, as there is such a need for understanding across cultures.”
This highly readable book also includes some of Kirsch’s English and Hebrew poetry. The book aims to ensure Kirsch is not forgotten and shows why her work will still resonate with readers in South Africa and internationally.
An English version of the book will be available at the museum shop from October.
A grand morning for Grandparents and Grade 2s
On Friday 14 September the SAJM filled up with excited explorers of all ages.
Thirty Grade 2 pupils from Herzlia Constantia invited their grandparents to help them discover the museum’s treasures through Dani Dreidel’s Museum Explorer Activity Book. Together the grandparents, teachers and children had great fun doing scavenger hunts, crosswords, word games and dress up activities to find out about Jewish life in a 19-century shtetl as well as more recently in South Africa.
Books completed, the 55-strong group gathered in the shtetl to participate in an interactive story told by well-known author and storyteller Nicole Levin. Children were mesmerised and loved being involved in the story and seeing the props in action! The group moved to the Old Synagogue where a Shabbat table was waiting. The children said the brachot over candles, challah and wine. The thoroughly enjoyable morning ended with beautiful singing from the children, and a delicious snack of challah, hummus and grape juice for everyone.