It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Rabbi Nachman Meir Bernhard OBM on Wednesday night, a pillar and legacy of the South African Jewish community. He was 80 years old.
Rabbi Bernhard moved to South Africa in 1965 at the persuasion of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, only to touch the lives of hundreds and thousands of Jews as he lead the community and helped lay the foundations of Jewish life in Johannesburg. He acted as the Rabbi and mentor of Oxford Synagogue for 35 years, one of the most prestigious Shuls in Johannesburg, graced with world famous chazanim and Rabbi Bernhard’s world famous sermons.
Rabbi Bernhard not only stood up for Jewish rights, but he was extremely influential in the tides of apartheid and standing up for the value of life in all respects. He was a giant of a man, a true mentsch by its definition, and had a very close relationship with the Rebbe.
Rabbi Bernhard is survived by his wife Joan, and his children, Lisi Milner (South Africa), Tovi Rubenstein (Israel), Dini Singer (South Africa), Nami Friedman (Pittsburgh), Kivi Bernhard (Atlanta, GA), Laia Uzvolk (South Africa) along with his many grandchildren dispersed around the globe.
The Levaya will be taking place tomorrow, Thursday, at West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg at 3:30pm.
Boruch Dayan Hoemes