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The University of Southampton
Special Collections

MS 316 Archives of Leo Baeck College, London

Leo Baeck College

The Leo Baeck College for the study of Judaism, London, was founded in 1956. Due to the loss of European centres of learning in the Holocaust and to enable the progressive Anglo-Jewish community to regenerate its religious leadership, there was a wish to establish an institution of higher Jewish learning at which the traditions of European Jewish learning could be continued. This was encouraged by Rabbi Dr Leo Baeck who lived in London at the time.  Following his death in 1956, the newly established College was named after him. 

The beginnings of the College were built upon the Leo Baeck Scholarship Fund. This fund was established through the foresight of Rabbi Harold Reinhart, Chairman of the Ministers' Training Board of the Association of Reform Synagogues of Great Britain (later the RSGB), which at that time supervised the College. He was succeeded in 1957 by Rabbi Dr Werner Van der Zyl. 

The Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues (ULPS) operated its own system of ministerial training. In 1965, the Union became a co-sponsor with the RSGB, and the work of Rabbi Dr John D.Rayner, Rabbi Dr David Goldstein, Dr J.Teicher of Cambridge and others was incorporated into the College.

About the collection 

The archives contain extensive series of administrative papers and the educational work of the college, together with smaller series of papers relating to publications and publicity and to the administration of the library. The administrative papers for the College include committee lists, 1981-8; a ten year plan, 1992; administration group papers, 1980-95; constitution, the articles of association and lists of members 1958-95; company registration papers, 1969-88; minutes and correspondence of Leo Baeck Company Limited, 1956, 1965-89. There are papers for a series of boards and committees: academic committee and board, 1966-95; admissions board, 1982-92; appeal committee, 1969-86; Board of Studies, 1966-95; education committee, 1980-86. Amongst the papers for publications are the minutes and correspondence of the publication committee, 1975-81, files for the Leo Baeck College Diary, 1983-95; newsletters, 1966-96; publicity files include correspondence and press releases as well as newspaper cuttings, and photographs, 1963-97.

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158 boxes



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