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zambia exteriorExterior View (2005), 11” x 15” Watercolor, Jay A. Waronker


Former Livingstone Hebrew Congregation (Community Dates to 1910) Hall
(Building Dates to 1928)

Now the American Church of Christ
off Libala Road
Livingstone, Zambia (formerly Northern Rhodesia) 47




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Located near the border with Zimbabwe and the world famous Victoria Falls, Livingstone was for decades home to a flourishing enclave of Jews.   In fact, the Livingstone Jewish community, dating to 1910, was the first to be organized in Zambia, which was then known as Rhodesia.   Soon thereafter, a plot of land near the center of town was acquired for the building of a synagogue, but the land sat empty for some years before the congregation finally initiated the project.  The formal ceremony for the laying of the synagogue’s foundation stone did not happen until 1928.  The synagogue complex, which eventually came to include freestanding buildings used as a sanctuary, rabbi’s house, and a social hall and school captured in this watercolor rendering, was completed within a few months.   It was officially opened by the Chief Secretary of Rhodesia, the Honorable H. A. Northcote, and consecrated by the Reverends M. I. Cohen and A. Weinberg of the Bulawayo Zimbabwe Jewish community on September 11, 1928.  

The American Church of Christ, founded in 1987 in Livingstone, bought the former synagogue and its campus of buildings soon after it was organized.   Since then, this black African church has used this building, changed little over the years when this rendering was painted, for their social and educational needs.   A computer school was being operated here at the time.   In more recent years, the small stucco-finished structure has been repainted. 


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