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Milton Shain

Milton Shain teaches modern Jewish history and is director of the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research at the University of Cape Town. He has written and edited several books on South African Jewish history and the history of antisemitism. These include Jewry and Cape Society: The Origins and Activities of the Jewish Board of Deputies for the Cape Colony (1983), The Roots of Antisemitism in South Africa (1994) and Antisemitism (1998). He co-edited Jewries at the Frontier: Accommodation, Identity and Conflict (1999) with Sander L. Gilman, Israel: Culture Religion and Society, 1948–1998 (2000) with Stuart A. Cohen, and Memories, Realities and Dreams: Aspects of the South African Jewish Experience (2002) with Richard Mendelsohn. In addition he has published numerous scholarly articles, chapters in books and encyclopedia entries.

Articles by this author

Helen Suzman

Helen Suzman was a powerful force in the anti-apartheid movement of South Africa. As one of the few left-leaning members of an oppressive government, she not only used her influence to rally against the apartheid system but also concerned herself personally with those the system affected.

Irma Stern

For Irma Stern, one of South Africa’s most outstanding artists, Africa was her “Paradise,” the intellectual and emotional mainspring of her artistic creativity. She occupies a unique place in the history of modern South African art and her works are to be found in many galleries and public collections in South Africa and abroad.

Phyllis Spira

As a sixteen-year-old ballet dancer at the Royal Ballet School in London, Phyllis Spira was hailed as a future Alicia Markova. On the brink of a successful career abroad, however, she elected to return to her home in South Africa where for many years she came to occupy center stage as South Africa’s prima ballerina.

Bertha Solomon

Bertha Solomon was one of the first women’s rights activists in South Africa. At first as a practicing advocate of the Supreme Court and then during her long career in parliament, she was indefatigable in her fight for women to be treated as equals in the eyes of the law.

Sarah Gertrude Millin

With a career of over thirty years, Sarah Gertrude Millin was one of South Africa’s most prolific literary figures of the twentieth century. The racism and conservative political attitudes that pervade her work, however, have lowered her status in South African literary history.

Gill Marcus

Gill Marcus, who never married, was born in Johannesburg in 1949. Her grandparents were from Lithuania but her parents, Molly and Nathan, were born in South Africa. Both her parents were members of the South African Communist Party and from an early age Gill was made aware of the iniquities of apartheid; the Marcus home, open to people across the color line, was very different from that of the average white South African household.

Ellen Phyllis Hellmann

Dr. Ellen Hellmann has devoted her life to South Africa and all its peoples. Her services to Africans are recognized and appreciated in South Africa and internationally; her devotion to public duty is amazing. She is an outstanding authority on race relations and is in the forefront in the battle for African advancement.

Nadine Gordimer

In 1991 Nadine Gordimer became the first South African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Nadine Gordimer’s work provides a very sensitive and acute analysis of South African society. By depicting the impact of apartheid on the lives of her character, she presents a sweeping canvas of a society where all have been affected by institutionalized racial discrimination and oppression.

Ruth First

Ruth First was a prolific writer and her penetrating investigative journalism exposed many of the harsh conditions under which the majority of South Africans lived. As various restrictions prevented her from continuing her work as a journalist Ruth First became more and more involved with the underground movement that was changing its tactics from protest to sabotage.

Ray Alexander (Simons)

Ray Alexander has devoted her life to the struggle for human rights and equality in South Africa. Embedded in a Marxist tradition rooted in her Latvian origins, she sought justice for workers and liberty for the oppressed.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Milton Shain." (Viewed on July 6, 2020) <>.


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