Jews had arrived in Laingsburg from shortly before the turn of the last century. The semi-arid Karoo area was good for farming with sheep and goats and wool production. The Jewish arrivals set up general dealer stores and farmed in the surrounding areas. Here are some people we know about.
Adamstein, David: Born in 1870 in Shevsna, Lithuania. Became a farmer in Laingsburg. With his brother Jacob, he established a general dealer’s store in the 1890s. In 1897, he was recognised for his organisational skills and appointed onto the newly-formed Laingsburg Village Management Board and then onto its local council when it became a municipality in 1904. He and brother Jacob were founders of the Laingsburg congregation in 1900, when there were 25 members. They equipped the synagogue, built in 1903, with a gate and railing. David married Jane, who was born in 1880, also in Shevsna, Lithuania. She looked after her family. David died in 1944 at age 74 and is buried in Laingsburg. His wife Jane died in Laingsburg in 1924, aged only 44, and is also buried there.
Adamstein, Jacob: See brother David Adamstein above.
Adamstein Rachel: Daughter of David and Jane Adamstein, was born in Laingsburg in 1902. She met and married Simon Ginsberg in Laingsburg. After working with him there, afterwards spending several years with him running the hotel in Border (now called Jan Kempdorp), they settled in Kimberley in 1950. Rachel later followed her children to Muizenberg. She died in Muizenberg in 1991 aged 89 and is buried in Muizenberg. See also Ginsberg family.
Buch, Max and Phillip: Arrived in the early 1900s.
Cohen, Morris: Living there in 1899.
Ginsberg, Simon: Born in Tukums, Latvia, in 1895. Opened a general dealer's store in Laingsburg with his brother and mother and began farming in the area. He met there and married Rachel Adamstein, daughter of David and Jane (see Rachel Adamstein above and Ginsberg family).
Groll, Abraham: A tailor, living there in 1899; supplied the synagogue with a memorial tablet and later became the chairman of the congregation.
Guik, Mr: Supplied the synagogue with siddurim and bibles.
Helman, Louis: Arrived in the early 1900s.
Jacobs, AM Rev: The first minister, appointed in 1908.
Rosenberg H: Was the proprietor of the Grand Hotel, Laingsburg, in 1935.
Solomon, H: Donated money for a water tank to supply the mikveh.
Zacks, Israel: Supplied the new synagogue with fencing material.