Afrikaner-Jews or Boere-Jode as they are sometimes known, are an off-shoot of Afrikanerdom and Judaism. At the beginning of the 19th century, when greater freedom of religious practice was introduced in South Africa, small numbers of Ashkenazi Jews arrived from Britain and Germany. They established the first Ashkenazi Hebrew congregation in 1841. Between the end of the 19th century and 1930, large numbers of Jews began to arrive from Lithuania and Latvia. Their culture and contribution changed the character of the South African community.
According to the South African Jewish Museum, "Many of the later immigrants arrived with no resources other than their wits and experience. Most could not speak English when they arrived. Often they would learn Afrikaans before English. Their households were often multi-lingual, with parents speaking Yiddish and Afrikaans, and the children learning English at school."
Many Yiddish words have entered the Afrikaans language as Yiddish-speaking South African Jews assimilated into the community, and the languages cross-pollinated each other. Gradually over time the influence of Yiddish dwindled as Jews emigrated. The University of Cape Town Jewish Studies library has a comprehensive collection of South African Yiddish books. Its collection of Yiddish periodicals is, however, not as comprehensive.