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MS 248 Papers of the Federation of Synagogues

Federation of Synagogues

In 1887, sixteen small synagogues in the east of London, largely composed of recent migrants from Eastern Europe and Russia, combined to form the Federation. The migrants wished to recreate the societies (chevrot) and support to which they were accustomed in the Jewish culture they had left behind in the Pale of Settlement. In England they had met a community (particularly in the United Synagogue) that was assimilated and frequently hostile to their needs and observances. Technically, the community into which they came, the whole of Britain and its empire, had only one rabbi and into the early 1870s, the Beth Din, the rabbinical court, had only one permanent judge (dayan); the synagogue was a place for formal worship rather than the focus of the community. This presented a marked contrast to the arrangements that prevailed in Eastern Europe. In establishing these societies, the migrants frequently associated with those that had come from the same areas or even towns

The Federation was established effectively to maintain these new communities within Orthodoxy in Britain and to resolve the question of burial costs in relation to the United Synagogue. At the same time the Federation's purpose was to give this part of the community a voice in communal affairs, to seek representation at the Board of Shechita, the Board of Deputies and the Board of Guardians. Constitutionally it had a board of delegates, with a president (the president of the United Synagogue), an elected member from each Federated Synagogue, with a further elected member for each 50 adult males in each Federated Synagogue. (G.Alderman The Federation of Synagogues 1887-1987 (London, 1987)).

About the collection

Correspondence between the Federation of Synagogues and constituent synagogues, financial statements, annual reports, lists of members of synagogues and papers relating to the Federation of Synagogues Burial Society, with files for the following synagogues: Agudath Achim, Old Castle Street, 1907-68 (11 files); Beth Hasepher and Soho Synagogue (later West End Great Synagogue), 1928-49 (10 files); Bethnal Green Great Synagogue, 1940-80 (17 files); Black Lion Yard (Kahal Chasydim) Synagogue, 1904-67 (5 files); Bloomsbury Synagogue (later West London and Bloomsbury Hebrew Congregation), 1940-7, 1950-5 (4 files); Bow Synagogue, 1904-28 (1 file); Buross Street Synagogue, 1941-4 (1 file); Cambridge Road Synagogue, 1937-43 (2 files); Canning Town Synagogue, 1940-54 (6 files); Cannon Street Road Synagogue, 1931-63 (12 files); Chevrah Torah Synagogue, 1900-60 (7 files); Clapton Synagogue (Shaare Shomayim), 1923-80 (34 files); Commercial Road Great Synagogue, 1941-69 (11 files); Commercial Road Talmud Torah, 1905-71 (10 files); Croydon Hebrew Congregation, 1916, 1934-73 (19 files); Dalston Federation Synagogue and Talmud Torah, 1947-73 (9 files); Dunk Street Beth Hamedrash, 1940-62 (7 files); Austrian Dzikower Synagogue, 1941-68 (5 files); East London Central Synagogue, 1974-82 (4 files); Fenton Street Synagogue, 1935-64 (7 files); Fieldgate Street Great Synagogue, 1970-5 (1 file); Finchley Central Synagogue, 1966-79 (2 files); Forest Gate Synagogue, 1937-40 (1 file); Fulham and Kensington Synagogue, 1934-61 (8 files); Golders Green Synagogue, 1942-55 (3 files); Great Garden Street Synagogue, 1905-75 (19 files); Lovers of Peace Synagogue held at Garden Green Street Talmud Torah, 1935-53 (6 files); Greenford and District Hebrew Congregation, 1950-69 (5 files); Hendon Federation Synagogue, 1955-69 (2 files); Ilford Federation Synagogue, 1977-8 (1 file); Congregation of Jacob, 1934-71 (7 files); Jubilee Street Zionist Great Synagogue, 1917-80 (16 files); Keser Torah Synagogue, 1949-52 (2 files); King Edward Street Synagogue, 1947-69 (5 files); Letchworth Hebrew Congregation, 1947-76 (4 files); Leyton and Walthamstow New Synagogue (later Queen's Road New Federation Synagogue), 1937-62 (10 files); Leytonstone and Wanstead Synagogue, 1935-69 (12 files); Limehouse Synagogue, 1949-56 (1 file); Loughton Hebrew Synagogue, 1952-78 (5 files); Maida Vale Beth Hamedrash Emet V'Shalom, 1945-71 (13 files); Mile End and Bow Synagogue, 1932-55 (9 files); Mile End New Town Synagogue, 1905-73 (9 files); Montague Road Beth Hamedrash, 1908-69 (14 files); Gladstone Park and Neasden Synagogue (later Neasden Ahavath Shalom Synagogue), 1931-75 (22 files); Nelson Street Sphardish Synagogue, 1936-62 (10 files); New Road Synagogue, 1931-68 (10 files); North East London Beth Hamedrash (later Yavneh Synagogue), 1929-84 (25 files); North West London (Golders Green) Synagogue, 1932-58 (10 files); Notting Hill Synagogue, 1926-69 (13 files); Ohel Shem Synagogue, 1946-65 (14 files); Old Montague Street (Chevra Shass) Synagogue, 1907-54 (9 files); Philpot Street Great Synagogue, 1906-62 (9 files); Philpot Street Sephardish Synagogue, 1904-55 (8 files); Princelet Street Synagogue, 1905-69 (8 files); Rouel Road Synagogue, 1932-55 (7 files); Sandringham Road Synagogue, 1940-4, 1947 (2 files); Shadwell and St George's Synagogue, 1941-7, 1950-5 (4 files); Shepherd's Bush Synagogue, 1930-63 (14 files); Shomrei Hadath (Finchley Road Beth Hamedrash), 1946-65; Sinai Synagogue, 1958-73 (4 files); Sons of Britchan Synagogue, 1941-53 (4 files); Spitalfields Great Synagogue, 1905-33, 1939-55 (7 files); Spital Square Poltava Synagogue, 1941-54 (5 files); Springfield Synagogue, 1936-70; Stamford Hill Beth Hamedrash, 1932-61 (14 files); Stepney Orthodox Mile End and Bow Federation Synagogue, 1970-81 (2 files); Tottenham Hebrew Congregation, 1938-76 (12 files); Waltham Forest Hebrew Congregation, 1970-80 (1 file); Wellington Road Synagogue (later Rutzon Tov Synagogue and later West Hackney Synagogue), 1902-27, 1935-78 (22 files); West End Great Synagogue, 1955-79 (2 files); West London Hebrew Congregation, 1944-9 (3 files); New Wimbledon and Putney District Synagogue, 1955-61 (3 files); Woolwich and District Synagogue, 1970-80 (2 files); Yeshurun Synagogue (formerly Edgware Beth Hamedrash), 1946-84 (34 files)

Burial society papers, 1982-5 (4 files)

Correspondence and papers, Kashrus Board, 1982-6

Files relating to building work, 1957-84; elections to the General Council, 1967-78

A 50 year closure normally applies to files in this collection. Further papers for the Federation of Synagogues can be found in collection ACC 2893 held at the London Metropolitan Archives. They contain the central documentation for the Federation, along with complementary sequences of correspondence files and papers for the following synagogues: Bethnal Green Synagogue; Dunk Street Beth Hamedrash; Fieldgate Great Synagogue; Finchley Central Synagogue; King Edward Street Synagogue; Sons of Britchan Synagogue; Spital Square Poltava Synagogue; Stepney Orthodox Synagogue; Tottenham Hebrew Congregation; Yeshurun Synagogue.

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230 boxes

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