Printer, painter, philanthropist

A son remembers his father.

By JOE CHARLAFF
May 16, 2018 10:56
A ceremony for unveiling the plaque for Ephraim Charlaff in 2002: (from left) Yonatan Yagodovsky, di

A ceremony for unveiling the plaque for Ephraim Charlaff in 2002: (from left) Yonatan Yagodovsky, director of the Jerusalem station at the time, Tobey Yanai Charlap and her husband, Joe Charlaff, and Rina Amikam, head of MDA public relations. (photo credit: MAGEN DAVID ADOM)

FROM SIMPLE beginnings in Cape Town, South Africa, Ephraim Charlaff became one of the most prominent figures in the annals of South African Jewry.

Born in Slonim, Belarus, in 1908, Ephraim came to South Africa in 1921, at the age of fourteen, with his parents to escape the pogroms in Eastern Europe. His father, David, a lithographic artist, leaving a country torn by strife, and his own business in ruins, established a small printing company in the same year, with a single machine, in the back streets of Cape Town, printing labels for the wine industry. Ephraim helped in the business by delivering goods to clients while his stepmother operated the machine, and David went out canvassing for work.

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