South African Jewry can well be proud of the Jewish Maritime League in Cape Town. The only organization of its kind in the Diasporah. It has contributed greatly to the maritime progress of Israel and to development sailing in Cape Town.
It came into being in 1938 and until recently it operated from the Jewish Maritime League Centre in Cape Town.
Organised on non-partisan lines the membership of the League is open to all. In 1966 the League established the Jewish Maritme League Fund to co-ordinate the operation of bursaries provided by private individuals. These bursaries operate in perpetuity as the capital is invested and only the interest is used. The purpose of the bursaries is to enable deserving Israeli and South African youths to pursue a nautical career in Israel.
Since its establishment the Fund has assisted many lads through its bursaries.
Through its subscriptions and donations received , the League has been able to provide sorely needed equipment to the Nautical Schools in Israel.
It is interesting to note that the first vessel to initiate the newly established State of Israel’s fleet was the trawler, “Drom Afrika” which was sent by the League to the Yishuv in 1947. Recently in Cape Town the Jewish Maritime League has made a big contribution by providing 4 yachts for development sail-training.