Rabbi Pinchas Zekry

Rabbi Pinchas Zekry: Great Synagogue of the Durban United Hebrew Congregation, Durban South Africa

Feb 8, 2006

Rabbi Pinchas Zekry is the Senior Rabbi of the Great Synagogue of the Durban United Hebrew Congregation in South Africa. He has served his community of 720 families for over twenty years. Previously, Rabbi Zekry held rabbinical positions in Wellington, New Zealand and Kiryat Bialik, Israel.

Rabbi Zekry, who has been a member of the Rabbinical Council of America for fifteen years, is a regional vice chairman of the Rabbinical Association of South Africa. Additionally, he is the founder and vice chairman of Masada Workshop (for sheltered employment). He also works closely with the Durban Jewish Social Services as well as other organizations concerned with running the local Jewish community.

Rabbi Zekry was born in Casablanca, Morocco. He studied at Yeshiva Neveh Shalom and made aliyah in 1969. After completing his studies at Yeshivat Hadarom and Moreshet Ya’akov he entered the Israeli army through the Hesder program.

Rabbi Zekry completed a Masters degree at Natal University and Bar Ilan University and went on to receive a PhD in Philosophy and Religious Studies from UNISA. His thesis work entitled “Conversion to Judaism in South Africa” resulted in his being appointed as the Chairman of the Rabbinical Conversion Committee by the Chief Rabbi of South Africa. In that capacity Rabbi Zekry formed the Conversion Tuition Centre.

When reflecting on his rabbinic career, Rabbi Zekry emphasizes that his primary goal has always been to make the synagogue the focal point of Jewish life in his community absorbing all aspects of Jewish communal life in the city.

Rabbi Zekry and his wife Dina are blessed with two children, Netanel and Ronen.