Dr Max Nordau Lodge

Consecrated 15 February 1920

In October, 1919, Rev M Maisel called a meeting for the purpose of forming an HOD Lodge in Brakpan, which was addressed by Wor Bro M Ostrofsky of Benoni (father of Wor Bro Hymie Ostrofsky) and also Wor Bro H P Levius of Boksburg, both of whom were Grand Executive Members. Those  present agreed to the formation of a Lodge and a provisional committee was formed.
The Consecration took place on 15 February, 1920 at the Masonic Hall Brakpan.When the Eastern Transvaal Co-ordination Committee was formed to co-ordinate the activities of the Eastern Transvaal Lodges, Wor Bro George Metzger was elected chairman. The Dr Max Nordau Lodge played a noteworthy part in the activities of these Lodges and hosted a number of functions in Brakpan. The annual Purim Dance was a most popular feature.
Wor Bro Solly Wassermann served as Secretary of this Lodge for 25 years with devotion and proficiency.
Wor Bro Folly Melnick served on Grand Executive and was elected Grand President in 1965/66.  Wor Bro George Metzger played an active role in the Senate and served as Principal of the Senate in 1976/77.
Because of its close association with the community the Lodge provided the backbone for all communal affairs in the town.  So much so that most of the serving members of all institutions were drawn from the Lodge.  The Dr Max Nordau Lodge was always active in the Brakpan Jewish Community, maintaining the Shul and are proud that most of the United Hebrew Institutions Council are made up of Lodge members.  The Chevra Kadisha in Brakpan, as in most other towns, relies heavily on the Lodge to serve on its committee.
In 1970 the Lodge celebrated its Golden Jubilee with a banquet and Wor Bro Folly Melnick was given the honour to serve as President.Wor Bro Isaac Connack was honoured in his 90th year by the Brakpan Town Council by having a street named after him, because of his outstanding services to Brakpan.  He was also a founder member of the United Hebrew Institutions of Brakpan.  In 1980 the HOD Temple was named after him, and is known as the Isaac Connack Temple.  Honorary membership of the Lodge was also conferred upon him.This Lodge and its small band of dedicated Brethren continued to serve the community and the ideals of the Hebrew Order of David.  The regular meetings were made even more special by having interesting table Lodge speakers and visitors from Grand Lodge and others.  This helped to bolster the good spirit that existed.
Fundraising continued to play an important role in Lodge affairs and donations were made to Operation Hunger, Witpoort, and the troops on the border at Grootfontein.
The Lodge attended most installations countrywide and was also represented in Israel at the consecration of Lodge Ir David in Jerusalem.  During the same visit Wor Bro John Blumenau participated as Acting Principal of the Senate in a Third Degree ceremony for Lodge Moledet.
During 1988 the lodge became the cultural arm of the Brakpan Jewish community. Many interesting talks on various topics were arranged by the Lodge and the rest of the congregation attended.  Regular Bingo evenings were also held.  The main project for this year was the hosting of residents of the Selwyn Segal Hostel to a luncheon and entertainment.
The Jewish residents of Witpoort were not forgotten - the Lodge and community continued to assist in the finances and purchase of extra items that made the lives of patients more pleasant.  Wor Bro Harry Sher in particular played a key role in transporting patients to and from Shul as the occasion arose - a true mitzvah in every sense of the word.  When Natal was ravaged by floods the Lodge again rallied to render assistance.
1988 - 1990  This period saw the 70th anniversary of this Lodge and sadly, the number of Brethren reduced to 25, but this small band of brethren continue their valiant work.

The Lodge closed and handed back its Charter in 2000


Brakpan is a gold and uranium mining town in the Gauteng province of South Africa. The name Brakpan was first used by the British in the 1880s because of a non-perennial lake that would annually dry to become a "brackish pan". Read more.....

Naming of the Lodge

Dr Max NordauThe Lodge was name in honour of Dr Max Simon Nordau (born Simon Maximilian Südfeld; July 29, 1849 – January 23, 1923), was a Zionist leader, physician, author, and social critic.

He was a co-founder of the World Zionist Organization together with Theodor Herzl, and president or vice president of several Zionist congresses.

As a social critic, he wrote The Conventional Lies of Our Civilisation (1883), Degeneration (1892), and Paradoxes (1896). Although not his most popular or successful work whilst alive, Degeneration is the book most often remembered and cited today. Read more

Dr Max NordauDr Max Nordau
Tel:+27 (011) 640 3017
Email:[email protected]
Postal Address:

P O Box 46063 Orange Grove Johannesburg 2119




Bro C Coleman
Bro W Huftel
Bro H Hoffman
Bro A P Berman
Wor Bro I Connack
Wor Bro B Miller
Wor Bro J Silverman
Bro M Hyman
Wor Bro William Horwitz
Bro M Adno
Wor Bro A D Cohen
Wor Bro Moses Altshuler, Rev
Bro J Josephson
Bro Max Waisbrod
Wor Bro A Schochet
Wor Bro Cyril Mann
Wor Bro D V Walt
Bro S Lederman
Wor Bro Solomon Zev
Wor Bro Harold Callis
Wor Bro Daniel Buskin
Wor Bro Phillip Harry Tosefsky
Bro S Lieb
Wor Bro George Metzger
Wor Bro Joe Welcher
Wor Bro Louis Bailey
Wor Bro R F (Folly) Melnick
Wor Bro I Lazarus
Bro Irvin Broder, Rabbi
Wor Bro Peter Bailey
Wor Bro Jack Appelbaum
Wor Bro Michael Benjamin Rabinowitz
Bro David Rael Winnet
Bro Sam Benard
Wor Bro John Blumenau
Wor Bro Ian Samuel Charif
Bro Neil Klempman
Wor Bro Robert Talekinsky
Bro M Maisel, Rev
Wor Bro Max Appelbaum