The Golden Key
I’ve chosen the theme ‘keys’ for my project.
My Great-Great-Great Grandfather, Isaac Woolf Baranov, received a golden key in recognition of a Synagogue that he built in Vryheid, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa in 1904. He left Lithuania due to anti-Semitism and made a home in Vryheid.
His wife, Hannah, brought with her a Torah Scroll and Judaica items required to set up a Shul.Shul services were conducted out of their home for 17 years. When they had enough funds they built a permanent Shul that ran for 83 years.
My Great-Great-Great Grandfather created jobs and a Jewish lifestyle, improved the amenities in Vryheid and provided for the community. This encouraged many Jews to leave Europe and settle in Vryheid, South Africa.
There are many articles written about my family and their dedication and sacrifice in helping establish a Jewish community in South Africa.
The Shul is displayed in a painting at the back of my project with a light shining on the path. The gold key is displayed on a keyhole in front of the Shul opening the way forward for Jews. I copied the original gate that was at the entrance to the Shul.
My Grandfather, Ken Baranov, now safeguards the gold key of our family and hopes it will remind future generations the need to unlock and continue our Jewish practices.
A small piece of shaped metal with incisions cut to fit the wards of a particular lock, which is inserted into a lock and turned to open or close it.