Sam started his illustrious career in Cape Town. He was the youngest graduate in the Law Faculty to obtain his LLB degree, at the age of 20. He asked his mentor, the renowned Advocate Joseph Herbstein, to make his application for admission to the Cape Town Bar.

In his memoirs he writes  about his first encounter with the Civil Service in South Africa and his being dumbfounded by his future employer confirming his appointment and ending the letter with the then standard - "I have the honor to be, your obedient servant".

Prior to coming on aliyahin 1949 Sam served the Zionist communities in Cape Town and Johannesburg and went on many official missions outside South Africa.

He was appointed the first Secretary General in the newly established office of the South African Zionist Federation, [Israel], better known as "Telfed", and held the post from 1949 to 1962. In this capacity he formulated and implemented the initial objective of the office, namely to assist and guide the hundreds of South African volunteers who served in "Machal" in the immediate pre-State days and  thereafter.

He became the civil servant of our community, giving to this post a new depth, dimension.     vision, energy and dedication that helped establish Telfed as the premier western aliyah  organization in Israel.

The office was the very first of its kind and Sam had to create the organization and machinery to deal with these "Machalniks" and to provide for all their needs. In addition, he provided for them as new and potential immigrants, which vastly expanded the original concept of the office. He did all this and more with a warmth, empathy and efficiency that endeared him to thousands of families.He touched and enriched their lives.

When he left Telfed Sam went into the tourist industry, translated the court proceedings of the Eichman Trial into English, but always remained active in Telfed, chairing important committees in Telfed and serving as a trustee in many funds. It was no wonder that he was honored by being elected as one of the first Life Honorary Members of Telfed's Board of Governors.

Sam was a truly outstanding person. Amongst his many talents - he was an accomplished pianist, orator, writer, a wonderful family man and always sought after to give wise counsel. He was loved and respected by all who had the good fortune to know him.

The inscription on his stone reads: "You were an aristocrat. Your dedication to your family and to Zionism, your vision and integrity will continue to inspire us".

The community expresses condolences to his wife, Harriet, his children, Miriam and Dovvie, and their families.

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Hertzel Katz

Hertzel Katz was born in South Africa 77 years ago where experiencing anti Semitism first hand led to his interest in Zionism, he came on Alyah in 1969 with his wife Lola and 2 young children. Q...
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