Page created: 21 August 2005
Latest revision or update: 20 December 2011
Definitions and Explanations of Terms used
in connection with Congregation Data
REGISTRATION OF MARRIAGES
There are different laws relating to marriages in synagogues in:
1. England and Wales;
2. Scotland (to check);
3. Northern Ireland (to check);
4. Jersey (to check).
5. Isle of Man (to check).
England and Wales
The Registrar General of the Office of National Statistics publishes an 'Official List' each year. This includes all synagogues that are
"Certified to the Registrar General pursuant to Section 67 (A-D) of the Marriage Acts 1949, as amended".
The certification is undertaken by:
A - Board of Deputies of British Jews for all synagogues that are not affiliated to the Reform or Progressive Movements.
B - West London Synagogue of British Jews for synagogues that are within the Reform Movement (or members of Reform
Judaism - formerly the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain), ONE OR OTHER.
C - Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St John's Wood, London, for Liberal and Progressive Synagogues
The 1949 Act states that Jewish marriages can only take place with both spouses being Jewish. Since 1837, when registration began, Jewish marriages can to take place in any location under the auspices of a certified synagogue. The overall conduct and certification of marriages is the responsibility of the Marriage Secretaries that have been notified and hence approved by the Registrar General. Prior to the Wedding ceremony, Notice of Marriage is given and made public at the Local Register Office.
These are given by the Registrar General for England and Wales when a place of worship
is registered. This is not compulsory. There have been some number changes for
SYNAGOGUE GROUPS & AFFILIATIONS
The Groups are:
Masorti Synagogues - Congregations "committed to Halachah in the light of modern scholarship"
- http://www.masorti.org.uk -
Listing of Masorti Synagogues
Federation of Synagogues - Orthodox
congregations - http://www.federationofsynagogues.com.
Created, in 1887, initially as a
grouping of minor synagogues or "chevrot", and at first known as the
Federation of Minor Synagogues.
Federation Synagogues may be
either constituent synagogues or affiliated synagogues.
Listing of Federation
Liberal Judaism (formerly
Liberal and Progressive Synagogue) - Liberal congregations
Congregations within the Liberal
Judaism may be either constituent synagogues or associated
See Listing of Synagogues in the
Liberal Judaism Movement
Reform Judaism (formerly the
Reform Synagogues of Great Britain) - Reform
congregations - http://www.reformjudaism.org.uk
Congregations within the Reform
Synagogue network may be either constituent synagogues or
See Listing of Synagogues in the
Reform Judaism Movement
Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation -
Listing of Sephardi
Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (UOHC
or Adath) - Orthodox and
Listing of UOHC Synagogues
United Synagogue - Orthodox congregations -
Synagogue within the United
Synagogue network currently may generally be described either as member
synagogues (previously called constituent synagogues) or
affiliated synagogues. Previous categories included district
synagogues (a half-way stage between affiliated and constituent, all of
which became member synagogues in about 1976) and
associated synagogues (a scheme that existed between 1902 and 1948).
(Currently, the Western Marble Arch Synagogue has a special status described
as an associate synagogue.)
In addition, in light of
needs during the World War II, due primarily to the evacuation of many of
the inhabitants of London to outlying regions, the United Synagogue
established 22 new congregations, known as Membership Groups,
primarily in the home counties and southern England. A number of these
progressed to become full members of the United Synagogue.
Listing of United Synagogue
Many synagogues are not affiliated to any group. In these cases, details
might only be provided in relation to their practices and beliefs
e.g. Orthodox, Reform.
Listing of Independent
Ashkenazi - Originally used to describe the Jews of Medieval Germany
and Northern France (on the strength of a Talmudic passage, the word "Askenaz"
is identified with Germany) or their descendants. Now generally used to describe
the Jews of Eastern European origin and their ritual.
The order and type of service ("nusach") may differ slightly at
Ashkenazi synagogues. The one used by the vast majority of Ashkenazi synagogues
in the UK is known as Nusach Ashkenaz. Another, Nusach
Ari (or Ha'Ari) is used by a number of old or Chassidic
congregations. It was compiled by Rabbi Isaac Luria in the sixteenth century.
A third, Nusach Sefard, which is close to Nusach Ari, is the
Ashkenazi nusach most widespread in Israel, and is used by a number of
synagogues established in the UK by Israelis, as well as by several old
Sephardi - Used originally to describe the Jews of Spanish and
Portuguese origin ("Spharad" is the Hebrew word for Spain) or their descendants.
Now loosely used also to include all Jews of oriental origin and their ritual,
other than the Yemenites.
Temani (Yemenite) - Jews from the Yemen (including Aden). Although
often included as Sephardi, their ritual differs considerably from that of the
GLOSSARY Of OTHER TERMS
chevra - a small congregation, frequently established by Jews of
Eastern European origin. (plural - chevrot)
minyan - the quorum of at least ten Jewish men or boys (of at least 13
years of age) required for communal Jewish prayer. The term is also sometimes
used to describe a small congregation that meets regularly for prayer. (plural -
shul - the Yiddish word for synagogue.
yeshivah - an academy of advanced Jewish religious study. (plural -
Explanation of the Jewish