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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/2893
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1887-2007
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 24.97 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Federation of Synagogues


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Federation of Synagogues was established in 1887, consisting then of 16 small synagogues in the East End of London. By 1991 it had 14 constituent and 20 affiliated congregations, all in the the Greater London area.

The objects of the Federation include the provision of services of orthodox rabbis, ministers and dayanim; the provision of a burial society; assistance to synagogues to build, reconstruct and decorate places of worship; the maintenance of kashrut; the support of charitable and philanthropic works; the furtherance of the progress of Eretz Yisrael. There are also associated organisations: the office of Rav Rashi; the London Kashrus Board; the London Talmud Torah Council; and the Federation Burial Society. The cemeteries of the Federation Burial Society are at Montague Road, Angel Road, Edmonton and at Upminster Road North, Rainham.

The Federation is considered by E.N. Adler to be next in importance to the United Synagogue in the history of Anglo-Jewry. It was founded by the first Lord Swaythling (Sir Samuel Montagu) as a counterpoise to the United Synagogue under the presidency of Lord Rothschild. The members tended to be Jews based in the East End, not the West End or City of London where Jews generally attended the United Synagogue. Chaim Bermant has described the Federation as the poor man's United Synagogue. East European refugees were used to smaller synagogues which played a daily part in the social life of its members being an advice centre and a meeting place. Also, the Burial Society fees were lower: members of the Federation had been refused admission to members of the United Synagogue Burial Society, so in 1890 the Federation Burial Society was started.

In 1991 most of the Jewish population had moved to the north, or further east of London. The Federation's offices moved to Hendon.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Federation of Synagogues, 1887 - 1988. The records include a comprehensive set of minutes of the Federation; a less comprehensive but nonetheless interesting collection of minute books from the individual congregations; and minutes of other institutions connected with the Federation. There are also financial accounts, reports, property files (including synagogue plans), notice books and correspondence files which give a fuller picture of life of the Federation; and records of the East London Mikvah Committee; Federation Burial Society and London Talmud Torah Council.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The archive has been arranged into 22 series as follows:
ACC/2893-01: Board and committee minutes;
ACC/2893-02: Committee agendas;
ACC/2893-03: Reports;
ACC/2893-04: Accounts;
ACC/2893-05: Letter books;
ACC/2893-06: Correspondence arranged by name of institution;
ACC/2893-07: Correspondence general;
ACC/2893-08: Burial Society;
ACC/2893-09: Synagogue plans;
ACC/2893-10: Minutes of individual synagogues;
ACC/2893-11: East London Mikvah Committee;
ACC/2893-12: Printed material;
ACC/2893-13: Individual synagogues: legal and financial;
ACC/2893-14: Bank Books;
ACC/2893-15: Property at Edmonton;
ACC/2893-16: Federation Burial Society;
ACC/2893-17: General correspondence;
ACC/2893-18: London Talmud Torah Council;
ACC/2893-19: Deeds;
ACC/2893/20: The Light magazine;
ACC/2893/21: Subject files; >br/>ACC/2893/22: later Board and Committee minutes.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information may be subject to access restrictions.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in multiple accessions between 1991 and 2007.

Allied Materials

Related material:

See reference ACC/2712 for papers of the United Synagogue.

Publication note:

For further information please consult the LMA Information Leaflet: "Records of the Anglo-Jewish Community at London Metropolitan Archives"; available to download here: (URL correct Feb 2010).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Description prepared in March 2010. Updated November 2017.

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