Sir Harry Graumann Lodge

Consecrated on 15 November 1911

The Sir Harry Graumann Lodge Benoni was formed in 1911, only the Dr Herzl Lodge can claim a longer history. The formation of the Lodge in Benoni was inspired and provisionally established by four very ardent workers.  They were Wor Brethren Louis Faiga, Hymie Potash, Maurice Ostrofsky and Willie Sheinbaum.

Unfortunately the Lodge records were burnt during the 1929 strike.

During the Second World War, some 15 members of the Lodge volunteered for active service, one of them,  Bro Dr Isaac Shein, making the supreme sacrifice.

Wor Brethren Louis Faiga, Jack Ritz and Lester Abrams (later, the only Grand President to serve two terms), have served as Grand Presidents, Wor Bro Hymie Ostrofsky served as Deputy Grand President for four years and Wor Brethren Louis Faiga, Hymie Ostrofsky, Sheppy Ostrofsky and John Blumenau served as Principal of the Senate.

On Sunday 26 March, 1961, the Lodge celebrated its Golden Jubilee. It was a very proud day for the Benoni Brethren. Wor Bro Hymie Ostrofsky had served as the Secretary of the Lodge for 35 years. 300 Brethren from 22 Lodges were present. Twenty eight Past Presidents were present, including Wor Bro A Saretzky, a founder member of the Lodge.

In 1970 Wor Bro Jack Ritz was elected as Grand President of the Order which coincided with the Diamond Jubilee of the Sir Harry Graumann Lodge.

A Banquet was also held to mark 45 years of service as Secretary by Wor Bro Hymie Ostrofsky.  The family traditions of the Ostrofskys was carried on by Wor Brethren Colin and Lester Abrams, Wor Bro Hymie and Sheppy Ostrofsky and Wor Bro Cecil Goldman . Five hundred Brethren and their wives were present and 28 Lodges from all four provinces were represented.  No less than twenty four Past Presidents were present at the banquet.

Also present at the banquet was Mrs Eva Faiga the wife of the co-founder of the Order, Wor Bro Louis Faiga, and specially honoured was Wor Bro Hymie Ostrofsky, who served as President of the Lodge during the Jubilee year.

On 21 February, 1971 the Lodge celebrated its Diamond Jubilee Installation at the Benoni Town Hall.  A Gala Banquet was held and the Town Hall was bursting at the seams. Numerous dignitaries attended and at the function Honorary Life Membership was bestowed on the then Grand President, Wor Bro Jack Ritz. Bro Alec Potash was the Mayor of Benoni at the time and a Certificate of Merit was presented to him.  It is believed that something rather unique took place that night. Three Presidents of the Lodge who served respectively as President during the Silver Anniversary (Wor Bro Sam Legator), the Golden Anniversary (Wor Bro Hymie Ostrofsky) and the Diamond Anniversary (Wor Bro Arnold Connack) were present.

The members of the Lodge were shocked to learn of the tragic events that took place in the Middle East on Yom Kippur 1973. An emergency campaign was immediately launched in Benoni and Brethren responded generously.

A celebrity concert was organised by the combined Jewish organisations of Benoni and was held on 9 December, 1973, to raise funds for this campaign. Among the artists who performed and gave their services gratuitously were Ge Korsten and Albie Louw.  The guests of honour at that Gala evening included the Consul General of Israel and his wife, the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Benoni, the Mayor and Mayoress of Sandton, the Mayor and Mayoress of Boksburg, the Chief Magistrate of Benoni and his wife, the Commissioner of the S A Railways Police and his wife, and Arnie Taylor, the then world bantamweight boxing champion. The members of the Lodge contributed to raising the lion's share of the funds for this project and a donation in excess of R 12 000,00 was made to the campaign.

In 1979, to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Hebrew Order of David the Sir Harry Graumann Lodge and the East Rand Lodges organised a cocktail party to welcome Wor Bro Felix Landau, the Guest of Honour, from Israel. Many civic dignitaries were present as well.


Brethren ran projects for the Lodge as regularly as possible, which included the annual golf day, matzo appeal, Yarmulke, bow-tie and t-shirt  projects, participated in Regional sports events, Organizing several of them and many other outings.  The Lodge is known among Brethren of other Lodges for its Chevra old boys club and annually held its President's evening party.

Wor Brethren and Brethren who served the Lodge with distinction as President for the period were: Raymond Shapiro, Ralph Rimer, Dave Folb, Stephen Kangisser, Solly Baskin, Rodney Narotzky, Herbert Bartkunsky, Jonti Wolpert, Dave Folb and Ralph Rimer.  Bro Sam Grolman was recognized for serving the city of Benoni as Mayor and later holding the office of Benoni Town Councillor.  Bro Stephen Kossef was named Jewish Businessman of the year in his position as MD of Investec Bank.  Brethren regularly served on the committee of the United Hebrew Institute. and other community organizations.  Several members were elected to office on the Transvaal Regional Lodge and Grand Executive.

Worthy Brethren John Blumenau and Cyril Levin were awarded the Order of Merit and several Brethren were given veteran membership.

Sir Harry Graumann Lodge was known for its large delegations at all installations and other Lodge affairs, and sister Lodges have never been shy to reciprocate.

80th Anniversary

In 1991 the Lodge celebrated its 80th anniversary and attracted many dignitaries and Lodge visitors to a superb and glittering affair.  A journal was published to commemorate this milestone.

Mayors of Benoni

The Lodge had four Brethren who have served as Mayors of Benoni, namely Wor Bro Morris Nestadt, Alec Potash, Aubrey Ritz and Bro Sam Grolman.  Bro Nicolai Kirschner served as chairman of the S A Zionist Federation.

It was a proud honour for the Lodge when one of its members,. Bro Sam Grolman was recognized for serving the City of Benoni as Mayor and later holding the office of Benoni Town Councillor. 

Read more about the Sir Harry Graumann Lodge


Benoni is a town in Ekurhuleni municipality, Gauteng, South Africa.

Naming of the Lodge

downloadThe Lodge is named in honour of Sir Harry Graumann (1868–1938), South African mining magnate, industrialist, and financier. Born in England, Graumann went to South Africa at the age of 16 and engaged in mining in the Transvaal. 

Sir Harry Graumann is buried in the Braamfontein Cemetery in Johannesburg,

Wor Bro Joe CronsonBro Joe KabatznikWor Bro Gershon SteinBro Larry BliedenWor Bro Michael Krasner028039033037Sir Harry GraumannSir Harry Graumann Lodge Past PresidentsSir Harry Graumann Lodge Past PresidentsSir Harry Graumann Lodge 1971Sir Harry Graumann Lodge 1948Wor Bro John BlumenauWor Bro David FolbStephen KangisserBro Justin Baskin - Negev Installation 2008
Tel:+27 (082) 5184388
Email:[email protected]
Postal Address:

P O Box 46063 Orange Grove Johannesburg Gauteng 2116


Wor Bro Louis Faiga


Wor Bro Allen Selesnick
Bro Allen Selesnick


Wor Bro Mendel Meyer
Wor Bro Abe Jacobson
Wor Bro Berel Abrahamson
Wor Bro Stephen Howard Kangisser
wor Bro Rodney Narotsky
Wor Bro David Folb
Bro Malcolm Roland Chesno
Wor Bro Eric Phillip Horwitz
Wor Bro Errol Clive Civin
Bro Joseph Kabatznik
Bro Harvey Berlin
Wor Bro Gershon Stein
Wor Bro Michael Leon Krasner
Bro Larry Hillel Blieden
Bro Isaac Goodman
Wor Bro Isaac Reubin Shein
Wor Bro Chas Bertram Shapiro, Dr
Wor Bro Abramsohn, Ber
Wor Bro Robert Katz
Wor Bro Abraham Shneier
Wor Bro Alfred Jack Levy
Wor Bro Sam Legator
Wor Bro Sheppy Cecil Ostrofsky
Wor Bro Benjamin William Sakalovsky
Wor Bro Samuel Bayever
Wor Bro Cecil Maxwell Sacks
Wor Bro Morris Ossin
Wor Bro Myer Smith
Wor Bro Jack Kaplan
Wor Bro Aron Jacobson
Wor Bro Chaim Hoppenstein
Wor Bro Max Sher
Wor Bro Claude Broomberg
Bro Harry Smaller
Wor Bro David Schneider
Wor Bro Phillip William Sheinbaum
Wor Bro Hyman Percy Tobiansky
Bro Max Shapiro
Wor Bro Issy Kazilsky
Wor Bro Abraham Jacob Saretzky
Wor Bro Harry Chafkin
Wor Bro Hyman Potash
Wor Bro Shapiro, Lionel
Wor Bro Maurice Ostrofsky
Wor Bro Israel Freedman, Rabbi
Bro Arthur Mervis
Wor Bro John Blumenau
Bro Solly Hurwitz
Wor Bro Hyman Lapinsky
Bro Max S Ginsburg
Wor Bro Cecil Goldman
Wor Bro Hyman Ostrofsky
Wor Bro Jack Ritz
Wor Bro Joseph Isaac Tobiansky
Wor Bro Colin Ivor Abrams
Wor Bro Lutz Marburg
Wor Bro Lester Abrams
Wor Bro Aubrey Ritz, Aubrey
Wor Bro Max Leibowitz
Wor Bro Joseph Arnold Connack
Wor Bro Neil Maurice Melnick
Wor Bro Alexander Tolkin
Wor Bro Michael Mannie Singer
Wor Bro Cyril Levin
Wor Bro Abraham Aaron Berman
Wor Bro Martin R Toker
Bro Appleson, David
Bro Norman Wolf
Bro Nathan Ash
Bro Raymond Shapiro
Wor Bro Ralph Rimer
Wor Bro Max Toker
Bro Ludwig Frankel
Wor Bro David Shapiro
Wor Bro Morris Nestadt
Wor Bro Morris Friedland
Wor Bro Solly Baskin
Wor Bro Justin Reuben Baskin