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BOARD OF DEPUTIES OF BRITISH JEWS


The hierarchical structure of this catalogue is shown below. See the entire contents of the catalogue

Reference ACC/3121
Covering dates 1830-2001
Held by London Metropolitan Archives
Extent 325 linear feet
Conditions of access ACCESS BY WRITTEN PERMISSION ONLY
Archival history The archives of the Board of Deputies were first sorted and catalogued by a professional archivist in the 1970s under the auspices of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. A catalogue was produced in 1976 which included the records up to 1966. The records were retained in the custody of the Board at Woburn House until 1992 when they were transferred to the Greater London Record Office (now London Metropolitan Archives).
Further deposits of archives were made over following years to the GLRO. This catalogue is a complete list of all these deposits. The order and classification of the 1976 RCHM list has been retained with later deposits of archives integrated into its structure. A note has been made of the previous reference to each item in the catalogue in square brackets at the end of the description. A copy of the RCHM list which includes a very detailed historical introduction, is available as ACC/3121/EO5/32. This catalogue also includes records from the Trades Advisory Council which were not included in the 1976 RCHM catalogue as they had already been deposited in the Public Record Office. They were transferred from there to the Greater London Record Office at the wish of the Board of Deputies in 1995.
A certain amount of weeding of the archives was been done by the staff at the Board and the RCHM in the 1970s. Very little material has been weeded at the LMA and that consists almost entirely of duplicate printed material and very trivial ephemera.
Some selected records containing very personal information have been closed for periods of thirty, fifty or one hundred years in consultation with the staff at the Board. This is a final list.
Creators London Committee of Deputies of British Jews, 1760-; Board of Deputies of British Jews, 1760-
Arrangement Board Minutes
ACC/3121/A Minute Books 1830 - 1982
Presidents and Secretaries
ACC/3121/B/01 Moses Montefiore and Sampson Samuel 1844 - 1860
ACC/3121/B/02 Charles Emanuel 1836 - 1976
ACC/3121/B/03 Letterbooks 1890 - 1927
ACC/3121/B/04 Correspondence 1900 - 1944
ACC/3121/B/05 Neville Laski, Adolph Brotman and Selig Brodetsky 1911 - 1957
ACC/3121/B/06 Barnett Janner 1947 - 1963
ACC/3121/B/07 Lionel Kopelowitz 1989 - 1991
Committees and Departments
ACC/3121/C/01 Ad-hoc and Sub-Committees 1844 - 1976
ACC/3121/C/02 Aliens Committee 1900 - 1982
ACC/3121/C/03 Charities Registration Committee 1929 - 1975
ACC/3121/C/04 Community Libel Standing Committee 1939 - 1964
ACC/3121/C/05 Constitution and Bye-laws Revision Committees 1904 - 1919
ACC/3121/C/06 Defence Committee 1965 - 1972
ACC/3121/C/07 Disused Cemeteries Committee 1806 - 1998
ACC/3121/C/08 Education and Youth Committee 1906 - 1995
ACC/3121/C/09 Evacuation and related Committees 1932 - 1945
ACC/3121/C/10 Executive Committee 1939 - 1986
ACC/3121/C/11A Foreign Affairs Committee: minutes 1878 - 1976
ACC/3121/C/11 Foreign Affairs Committee: files 1867 - 2000
ACC/3121/C/12 Foreign Appeals Committee 1926 - 1942
ACC/3121/C/13 Law, Parliamentary and General Purposes Committee 1859 - 1993 with the Trades Advisory Council
ACC/3121/C/14A Erets Israel Committee: Minutes 1929 - 1992
ACC/3121/C/14 Erets Israel Committee: Papers 1915 - 1963
ACC/3121/C/15 Public Relations Committee 1918 - 1996
ACC/3121/C/16 Shechita Committee 1889 - 1997
ACC/3121/C/17 Central Jewish Lecture Committee 1959 - 1994
ACC/3121/C/18 Community Research Unit 1921 - 1994
ACC/3121/C/19 Jewish Youth Organisations Secretaries Committee 1956 - 1970
ACC/3121/C/20 Provincial Liaison Committee 1974 - 1991
ACC/3121/C/21 Radio and Television Committee 1965 - 1979
ACC/3121/C/22 United Nations Association Jewish Affiliates Co-ordinating Committee 1975 - 1983
ACC/3121/C/23 Yad Vashem Committee 1977 - 1994
Congregations
ACC/3121/D/01 London Congregations 1905 - 1966
ACC/3121/D/02 Provincial Congregations 1844 - 1966
ACC/3121/D/03 Overseas Congregations 1931 - 1963
General Correspondence
ACC/3121/E/01 Correspondence 1905 - 1966
ACC/3121/E/02 Clerk/Administrative Secretary 1923 - 1966
ACC/3121/E/03 Correspondence 1870 - 1965
ACC/3121/E/04 Correspondence 1922 - 1991
ACC/3121/E/05 Correspondence 1949 - 1993
ACC/3121/E/06 Central Council for Jewish Social Service 1986 - 1994
Finance
ACC/3121/F Finance Committee and papers 1892 - 1992
Publications
ACC/3121/G/01 Annual Reports and general 1876 - 2001
ACC/3121/G/02 Joint Foreign Committee 1893 - 1933
ACC/3121/G/03 Shechita 1904 - 1967
ACC/3121/G/04 Trade Advisory Council 1940 - 1990
ACC/3121/G/05 Central Jewish Lecture Committee 1949 - 1954
ACC/3121/G/06 Miscellaneous 1895 - 1998
ACC/3121/G/07 Community Research Unit 1967 - 1998
Related information The Board of Deputies is the legal place of deposit for duplicate Marriage Registers from synagogues. These records are retained by the Board and have not been deposited in the London Metropolitan Archives. For further information please consult ACC/3121/E/05/32 (the RCHM list which has a list of these)


Administrative history:
The London Committee of Deputies of British Jews, which is now known as the Board of Deputies of British Jews, was established in 1760 when seven Deputies were appointed by the elders of the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation to form a standing committee to pay homage to George III on his accession to the throne. Deputies had been appointed before this date, for example in 1738 when the question of admitting Jews to the freedom of the City of London was under consideration. 1760 however is generally accepted as the date of the Board's foundation. Minute Books date from then and it was also the date the Ashkenazi Community appointed their own "Secret Committee for Public Affairs". It was agreed at the end of 1760 that the two committees should continue to hold joint meetings from time to time. The small Anglo-Jewish community resided largely in London at this date.
The Secret Committee of the Ashkenazim and the 'Deputados' met intermittently until well into the 1800s. From 1817 the two appear to have achieved greater unity and met thereafter as one body.
In the 1830s the role and reputation of the Board began to blossom with the election of Moses Montefiore as President of the Board in 1835 and with official recognition from Parliament. Parliament had no sitting Jewish members until the second half of the century, but the Marriage Act 1866 named the President of the Board of Deputies as the authority for certifying the Marriage Secretaries of Synagogues. In 1836 Montefiore was instrumental in drawing up the first constitution and establishing the name Deputies of British Jews. The Constitution has never been a static declaration, it has been changed to meet the needs of the Community. The 1836 preamble stated that it was of essential advantage to the Jews of Britain that in all matters attaching to their political welfare, they should be represented by one body.
Moses Montefiore was to have profound influence over the development of the Board as he was to have over Jewry throughout the world. Under his Presidency the Board came to be recognised as the representative body of British Jewry and its name became known overseas - this interest is in fact laid down in the original constitution. In 1840 Montefiore went to plead for persecuted Jews in Damascus; the Board has been actively concerned with the interests and rights of co-religionists abroad ever since. Montefiore was President from 1835 until 1874 with intermittent breaks usually when he was overseas. He was an active international figure; he visited the Holy Land several times (part of Jerusalem is named after him) and interceded many times on behalf of Jews with foreign leaders. He received co-operation from the Foreign Office and the personal approbation of Queen Victoria who knighted him.
By the end of the century, when the Anglo-Jewish community had achieved emancipation on the level of fellow non-Jewish citizens, thousands of Jews from Eastern Europe came to the country to escape Tsarist oppression. The Aliens Committee was formed in 1905 (the year the first Aliens Restrictions Act was passed) to ensure that these immigrants, or Aliens, received considerate treatment and to provide help with naturalisation problems. Britain remained a place of refuge well into the twentieth century, particularly with the growth of fascism in Europe in the 1930s and the accompanying rise of anti-Semitism. The years 1933-1945 threatened the very survival of Anglo-Jewry. In 1936 the Jewish Defence Committee was created and launched an Outdoor Campaign to challenge the open air meetings conducted by the British Union of Fascists. Anti-Fascist leaflets and literature were circulated and protest meetings supported by Christian Churches and other non-Jews were organised. The Committee also set about projecting a more positive image of Jewry. Co-operation with other faiths continues, most significantly perhaps in the close liaison with the Council for Christians and Jews.
Following the discovery of the Nazi genocide of six million European Jews at the end of the Second World War the Board of Deputies set about the work of reconstruction in Britain and throughout the world. In 1950 it convened the first Conference of Jewish Communities in the British Commonwealth when representatives from communities in the Commonwealth met to discuss matters of mutual interest. At the first meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco the Board was represented. Dr. D. Mowshowitch prepared surveys of the conditions of European Jewry as the Board helped these communities to rebuild and the Foreign Affairs Committee had an active role in the negotiations for Jewish reparations. The Board is a member of the Co-ordinating Board of Jewish Organisations and the World Jewish Congress. It has helped in the rehabilitation of Holocaust survivors and works to secure compensation and restitution for them. In 1983 a Holocaust Memorial was set up in Hyde Park in London at the instigation of the Board of Deputies
Education is a keen interest of the Board. In 1853 grants were made to Jewish Day Schools after the Board had negotiated the matter with the government. Public examinations set for Jewish Sabbaths and High Holy Days presented Jewish candidates with severe problems. The Education Committee of the Board worked hard to have all examinations set at more convenient times or to have alternative examination dates arranged for Jewish candidates. The Board of Deputies works with local and private education authorities to combat racism, anti-Zionism and religious discrimination in schools and colleges. Before the migrations of North African Jews in 1948 the Board had a very active part in the administration of schools in the region.
The Board of Deputies has always fought anti-Semitism in whatever guise and degree it manifests itself. Much of this work is very routine and it can be on a communal or individual level. The Board is proud to describe itself as "...the focus and muscle of its [the Jewish Community's] defence...". Agitation against Shechita (the Jewish ritual method of slaughtering animals for food) continues to be fought. Educating and informing non-Jews about Judaism, Israel and the Anglo-Jewish community continues to the present day and is an important aspect of the work of the Board.
Anti-Semitism in the former Soviet Union, was attacked during the Cold War period. The plight of Soviet Jews, the refusal of the Soviet authorities to allow freedom of worship and the right to emigrate to Israel, was drawn to public attention by vociferous campaigning. The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Board worked to present a co-ordinated response to the situation and established the National Council for Soviet Jewry (later the Council for Jews in the Former Soviet Union) to administer the campaign in 1975. The archives of the National Campaign for Soviet Jewry are catalogued at the London Metropolitan Archives as ACC/3087.
The creation of the State of Israel in 1948 provided the Board with a new focus. Palestine and the proposed establishment of a Jewish homeland had long been a preoccupation with Anglo-Jewry; the Balfour Declaration of 1917 had been addressed to the Vice-President of the Board, Lord Rothschild. A Palestine Committee of the Board of Deputies existed from 1923 until 1948 when it became the Erets Israel Committee. The Committee now acts as a bridge between the Anglo-Jewish community and Israel and seeks to promote a sense of identity with Israel among the Anglo-Jewish. Anti-Zionism in Britain is monitored and countered at all levels. The Board also has close links with the Israeli Embassy.
In 1940 the Trades Advisory Council was established to combat anti-Semitism in trade (one of its more persistent manifestations); to encourage good relations between Jewish and non-Jewish traders; to licence Jewish shop-keepers to work on Sundays and to give advice during a period of food rationing and close government observation. The Council was able to issue certificates to Jewish traders who wished to work on Sundays (before restrictions on Sunday trading were eased in the 1990s) and give support to Jewish employees asked to work on Jewish High Holy Days and Sabbaths. It is able to arbitrate in business disputes. Like the Board of Deputies the Council keeps a watch on overseas matters; in the 1970s it drew attention to the Arab Trade Boycott. The Trades Advisory Council began life as a sub-committee of the Defence Committee but is now a practically independent body affiliated to the Board.
The Board of Deputies has been served throughout its history by individuals not only active in community affairs but in other spheres of public life. Moses Montefiore stands as the single most prominent figure, but other notables include Sir Philip Magnus, Judge Neville Laski, Professor Selig Brodetsky, Lucien Wolf, Lord Janner and more recently Michael Fidler, Lord Fisher and Greville Janner. Jo Wagerman was elected as first female President of the Board in 2001. Officers of the Board have always represented Jewish interests at the highest level.
The history of the Board of Deputies has not always been a peaceful one either in its relations with the world at large or within the Anglo-Jewish community. There have been controversies about its structures and procedures; over representation from the Orthodox and Liberal sides of the community. The ongoing problems Israel has with her Arab neighbours have presented difficulties for a loyal Jewish Diaspora. There have been clashes with other communal groups over policy and of course full and frank dialogue with non-Jewish individuals and organisations. Lively debate on virtually every subject has been a constant feature.
What began as a small body focused on the capital is now an institution of international standing. At its core remain the founding principals; the Board of Deputies retains the privilege of personal approach to the Sovereign on state occasions; it continues an active interest in the lives of fellow Jews abroad; it seeks to protect, to promote and to represent Anglo-Jewry.
PRESIDENTS OF THE BOARD OF DEPUTIES OF BRITISH JEWS
1760 Benjamin Mendes Da Costa
1766 Joseph Salvador
1778 Joseph Salvador
1789 Moses Isaac Levy
1801 Naphtaly Bazevy
1802-1812 No record
1812 Raphael Brandon
1817-1829 Moses Lindo
1829-1835 Moses Mocatta
1835-1838 Moses Montefiore
1838 (Oct. - Nov.) David Salmons
1838-1840 I.Q. Henriques
1840 (May -Jul.) Moses Montefiore
1840-1841 Hananel De Castro
1841-1846 Moses Montefiore
1846 (Mar - Aug.) David Salomons
1846-1855 Moses Montefiore
1855 (Apr. - Dec.) Isaac Foligno
1855-1857 Moses Montefiore
1855 (Feb. - Sep) Isaac Foligno
1857-1862 Moses Montefiore
1862-1868 Joseph Meyer Montefiore
1868 (Jun. - Nov.) Moses Montefiore
1868-1871 Joseph Meyer Montefiore
1871-1874 Moses Montefiore
1874-1880 Joseph Meyer Montefiore
1880-1895 Arthur Cohen
1895-1903 Joseph Sebag Montefiore
1903-1917 David Lindo Alexander
1917-1922 Stuart Samuel
1922-1925 Henry Henriques
1925-1926 Lord Rothschild
1926-1933 Osmond d'Avigdor-Goldsmid
1933-1939 Neville Laski
1940-1949 Selig Brodetsky
1949-1955 A. Cohen
1955-1964 Barnett Janner
1964-1967 Soloman Teff
1967-1973 Michael Fidler
1973-1979 Lord Fisher
1979-1985 Greville Janner
1985-1991 Lionel Kopelowitz
1991-1994 Israel Finestein
1994- 2000 Eldred Tabachnik
2000 Jo Wagerman


Contents:
The archive of the Board of Deputies covers virtually every facet of Jewish life in Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries - assimiliation, education, political emancipation, Shechita, anti-Semitism. The archive is particularly interesting on the conditions of Jewry outside the UK - there is a lot of information for example on the rise of fascism in mainland Europe in the 1930s and the Holocaust.
The archive has been arranged into the following sub-fonds:
ACC/3121/A Board minutes
ACC/3121/B Presidents and Secretaries
ACC/3121/C Committees
ACC/3121/D Congregations
ACC/3121/E General Correspondence
ACC/3121/F Finance
ACC/3121/G Publications
A certain amount of weeding of the archives was been done by the staff at the Board and the RCHM in the 1970s. Very little material has been weeded at the LMA and that consists almost entirely of duplicate printed material and very trivial ephemera
ABBREVIATIONS AND GLOSSARY
ADL Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith
Agudas Agudas Israel World Organisation
AJA Anglo-Jewish Association
AJC American Jewish Congress
AJCttee American Jewish Committee
AJEX Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women
Alliance Alliance Israélite Universelle
Allianz Israelitische Allianz zu Wien
Ashkenzai A Jew who originates from Central or Eastern Europe
Beth Din Jewish ecclesiatical court
Beth Hamedrash Centre for religious study and prayer
BIPAC Britain/Israel Public Affairs Centre
CBF Central British Fund for World Jewish Relief (formerly Central British Fund for Jewish Relief and Rehabilitation)
CBJO Coordinating Body of Jewish Organisations
CCJ Council of Christians and Jews
CDJ Comité des Delegations Juives aupres de la Conferénce de la Paix
CFC Conjoint Foreign Committee
CJCPE Central Jewish Committee for the Problems of Evacuation
CJLC Central Jewish Lecture Committee
CJG Committee for Jews in Germany
Claims Conference Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany
COJO World Conference of Jewish Organisations
CPO Comité des Peuples Opprimés
CPPM Conference of Private Organisations for the Protection of Migrants
CRIF Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France
CCS Centre for Contemporary Studies
DAIA Delegacion de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas
Dayan Judge
ECOSOC Economic and Social Council of the United Nations
EJA European Jewish Congress
Erets Israel Land of Israel
FAC Foreign Affairs Committee
Federation Federation of Synagogues
Get Jewish divorce
GJAC German Jewish Aid Committee
GRET Group Relations Educational Trust
Haham Senior Rabbi of the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation
HIAS Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
HICEM Hilfskomitee für Jüdische Flüchtlinge
HRC Human Rights Commission of the United Nations
ICA Jewish Colonisation Association
IJA Institute of Jewish Affairs
IPU Inter Parliamentary Union
IUJF Inter-University Jewish Federation of Great Britain and Ireland
JAI Jewish Agency for Israel (since 1948)
JAP Jewish Agency for Palestine (before 1948)
JBG Jewish Board of Guardians (later Jewish Welfare Board)
JCA Jewish Colonisation Association
JCIO Jewish Central Information Office
JCR Joint Committee on Reparation
JCRA Jewish Committee for Relief Abroad
JEC Chief Rabbi's Joint Emergency Committee for Jewish Religious Education
JFC Joint Foreign Committee
JHS Jewish Historical Society of England
JIA Joint Israel Appeal
JNF Jewish National Fund
Joint American Joint Distribution Committee
JPA Joint Palestine Appeal
JRC Jewish Refugee Committee (previously German Jewish Aid Committee)
JRCm Jewish Cultural Reconstruction Commission
JRSO Jewish Restitution Successor Organisation
JTA Jewish Telegraph Association
JTC Jewish Trust Corporation
JWA Jewish Womens Aid
Ketubah Marriage Contract
Kosher Ritually fit
L&P Legal and Parliamentary Committee
LP&GP Law, Parliamentary and General Purposes Committee
LAC London Administrative Committee of the Trades Advisory Council
LOC London Organising Council for Jewish Religious Education
Mohel Circumciser
NAG National Administrative Council of the Trades Advisory Council
NCSJ National Council for Soviet Jewry (later National Council for Jews in the Former Soviet Union)
NEC National Executive Committee of the Trades Advisory Council
NGO Non-Governmental Organisations having consultative status at the United Nations
NIC Non-Jewish Co-operation
NUJR National Union for Jewish Rights
Numerus Clausus Quota system, used extensively in Central and Eastern Europe in the first half of the twentieth century to limit the number of Jews generally in institutions for higher education
ORT Organisation for Rehabilitation and Training
OSE Organisatio Sanitaria Ebraica
Pesach Passover
PLC Provincial Liaison Committee of the Defence Committee
PLO Palestine Liberation Organisation
Poale Zion Labour Zionist Movement
RSGB Reform Synagogues of Great Britain
SABoD South African Jewish Board of Deputies
SCESWUN Standing Conference on the Economic and Social Work of the United Nations
Sephardi A Jew who originates from Spain or Portugal
Shochet Slaughterer of animals for food according to the Jewish law
SCJY Standing Conference of Jewish Youth
Shechita Jewish method of slaughtering animals for food
TAC Trades Advisory Council
Torah The Five Books of Moses
UAPJ United Appeal for Polish Jews
UIA Union of International Associations
UER Unimea Evreilor Romani (Rumanian communal body)
UJS Union of Jewish Students
ULPS Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues
UNRRA United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration
URJA Union of Rumanian Jews in America
US United Synagogue
WIZO Women's International Zionist Organisation
WJC World Jewish Congress
WOJAC World Organisation of Jews from Arab Countries
WUPJ World Union for Progressive Judaism
WZO World Zionist Organisation
Yad Vashem Lasting Memorial
Yeshiva Talmudical College
Yivo Yivo Institute for Jewish Research
Yom Kippur Day of Atonement
ZF Zionist Federation




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