Norman Isaacson Beadle
Farewell, dear Normie
Rabbi Pini and Rebbetzin Chani Hecht form the assistant Rabbinic team at the Marais Road Shul. Rabbi Pini was born in Madison, Wisconsin, USA and raised in Sandton.
He spent a number of years in Yeshivot overseas, including Israel, London and the USA and received his Rabbinical ordination in Johannesburg. Rebbetzin Chani grew up in Antwerp, Belgium and completed her teacher training at the Beth Chana Seminary in Safed.
After their marriage, they moved to Johannesburg where Rabbi Hecht took up the position of the Youth Rabbi at Chabad, Sandton. In 2005 they joined Chabad, Cape Town where Rabbi Hecht was the programme director and head of education. Subsequently both have held a number of leadership roles in the community. Both teach in our two Jewish day schools, Herzlia and Phyllis Jowell.
The Hecht family joined the Marais Road Shul in 2013. Rabbi Hecht has introduced Yeshiva nights and Chani co-ordinates our very successful children’s programme. They are blessed with five wonderful children, who delight in assisting them in their roles at the Shul.
Rabbi Pini Hecht
Cantor Ivor Joffe was born in Cape Town and educated at Herzlia. He first served as Cantor and Choirmaster at the Schoonder Street Shul.
He then moved to Melbourne, Australia where he served as the Cantor at the North Eastern Jewish War Memorial Centre, Mizrachi Shul and Leibler Yavneh College . An accomplished solo artist and musical director/arranger, he has performed at many Simchas, concerts and communal events in South Africa, Australia, and also at Jewish Music Festivals in Israel, England and the USA.
Cantor Ivor feels privileged to have served as Cantor to the Green & Sea Point Hebrew Congregation for 14 years B”H and is often requested to represent our community at ceremonies and events. He is also the co-ordinator of the Jewish Music Programme for the United Herzlia Schools. This programme includes enhancing Tefillah through music. Cantor Ivor has become one of the sought after Bar Mitzvah teachers in Cape Town. He also trains and directs vocal ensembles and choirs as well as coaching students for various performances.
Cantor Ivor Joffe
Cantor Emeritus Phillip Badash was born in Poland, the son of the Chief Cantor of Czestochowa.
Just before the war, his father accepted the position as Chazan at the Jeppe Synagogue in Johannesburg. At the age of eighteen, Cantor Badash was already conducting services for the High Festivals. His full cantorial career began at Kensington Hebrew Congregation in Johannesburg.
In 1962 Cantor Badash, his wife and family left South Africa for Israel where he took up the position as Chazan of the Yeshurun Synagogue, Tel-Aviv. Three years later Cantor Badash returned to South Africa as Chazan of our Shul where he remained for 25 years. On his retirement he was honoured with the title of Cantor Emeritus.
Shammes in Memorium
Norman Isaacson Beadle – Farewell, dear Normie
Norman Issacson was born in Cape Town on 16 September 1921. In his day, Normie was an amateur wrestler, a bodybuilder and the first physical training teacher at Herzlia School.
Normie was a phenomenon who served the Green & Sea Point Hebrew Congregation for over 47 years, yet remained a man without an enemy.
His prodigious memory for names is without equal, his ability to fraternize with all strata of society; his devotion to duty, impish sense of humour – as well as his sermonic interjections – endeared him to all and sundry. There must be very few individuals of Normie’s age who were in full time employment while commanding respect from all sectors of the community, including the Rabbis who would often seek advice on procedural aspects of the liturgy and service.
Normie was truly unique. A husband who nursed his wife through illness and lost two children – one in Thailand’s tsunami of 2004. Through it all, Normie maintained his faith and good cheer and concern for all G-d’s people and creatures. For decades each morning, he would enter the Marais Road Shul before 6:00 and chant King David’s Psalms, together with Neville Scher. While never focusing on his own pain, he demonstrated remarkable sensitivity to anyone else’s misfortune and it wasn’t unusual to see tears springing from his eyes when faced with someone else’s challenge.
In 2012, over the course of Normie’s 90th year, our Shul committed to writing a Torah in his honour, completing it before his 91st birthday. Over 1000 people crowded the streets for a welcoming parade and service in the Shul – thus fulfilling the promise reserved for the greats, “olamcha tireh bechayecha”- one seldom experiences such appreciation in one’s lifetime.
Sadly, on the 20 September 2013 Normie passed away. That Sunday the multitudes once again filled the Marais Road Shul for Normie – but this time to bid farewell. In a service, seldom if ever witnessed in Cape Town, Nochum ben Moshe Isaacson’s coffin was brought into the Shul – the home he so passionately loved and served. We – young and old, famous and ordinary, Rabbis and laypeople – said goodbye to an icon of our time; a true giant.
Yehi zichro baruch, may his righteous memory serve as a blessing to all who invoke it.