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Cape Town born Richard Shavei-Tzion is an autodidact in all his fields of creative activity. At age 18 he was invited to conduct the Pine Street Shul Choir in Johannesburg. Since then he has directed choral ensembles in both South Africa and Israel. For the past 20 years he has directed the Ramatayim Men’s Choir, Jerusalem which has grown from an ad hoc group of 4 friends into an internationally renowned ensemble consisting of 40 singers. He has conducted High Holidays services for the past 35 years in South Africa, Israel, the U.S.A. and Canada and is often invited to lead communal events, singing and playing guitar. He also composes and arranges Jewish music, mainly for the RMC. 

His poetry has been published widely over decades. In 2015 the Municipal Art Gallery of Jerusalem displayed his photographic works in a solo exhibition which received popular and critical praise.  He is the author of the "Prayer for the Preservation of the Environment" which has been read in synagogues of all denominations and other venues around the world and he writes articles of social and cultural interest.

An accountant by profession, Richard manages a property development and management company. He and his wife Cheryl nee Gantovnik who was born in Durban, have three daughters and sons-in-law and seven grandchildren. Their recently released family CD "Round Table," has been received warmly.

Fanny/Feigel and Charles Morris/Yechiel Moshe Saevitzon

The author’s grandparents: Lily/Leah and Sidney/Shachne Velve/Ze’ev Sloan (Shlomovsky)

I must admit that I was not giving my full attention to the ...
Midnight on Yom Hazikaron in the cemetery on the Mount of Olives

The resting place of Gracia (Yaffa) Harush in the cemetery on the Mount of Olives

Story and photos by Richard Shavei-Tzion Walking through the...
Richard Shavei-Tzion stands between his grandparents' and his wife's grandparents' graves facing each other amongst tens of thousands in the Pinelands Cemetery, Cape Town

Unmarked children’s graves at Braamfontein Cemetery, Johannesburg

Richard Shavei-Tzion at the grave of his great-grandfather at Braamfontein Cemetery, Johannesburg

My family's experience reflects the migratory patterns of So...
A companion through life ... the writer’s aged compendium of prayers


Those were days of awe. The shul in Cape Town, South Africa ...