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


Harare Hebrew (Ashkenazi) Congregation (Founded in 1895)
Harry Margolis Hall (Completed in 1977)
Milton Park
Harare (Formerly Salisbury), Zimbabwe (Formerly Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia) 91




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Harry Margolis Hall, a freestanding Modern-style structure also built in the mid-1970s as part of the original synagogue campus, for decades actively served as a social and activities hall with its large multi-use space, support areas, and kitchen planned for a variety of synagogue religious and social events.  The hall was named after Harry Margolis, a member of the congregation who generously helped pay for its construction.  Its most prominent features are the triple front stairs covered by a tiled cantilevered canopy and its front façade containing large expanses of glass.
At the time this watercolor was completed, the much-dwindled membership making up Harare Hebrew Congregation, although they still regularly conducted Shabbat and holiday prayer services in the sanctuary (alternating them with those held at the nearby Sephardi Hebrew Congregation), struggled to maintain the synagogue.  While the Sharon Jewish school remained opened and is still operational then and to this day, many of the students were non-Jews.   In recent years, Harry Margolis Hall was rarely required for synagogue and Jewish activities, so it was routinely rented out for a variety of functions to generate much-needed income.  At the time of this watercolor painting, the building was being used temporarily as a venue for national testing.  A few years ago, as a way of raising even more money so that the synagogue and school could continue to operate, Harry Margolis Hall was in fact sold.   Reflecting this change, some Miss Heritage Pageants and a range of other secular activities have been held in the once-Jewish building.


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