Page created: 1 February 2006
Letchworth and Hitchin Jewish Communities
Letchworth Garden City
Letchworth, officially called Letchworth Garden City, is a town in Hertfordshire in southeast England. It was founded as a new town in 1903, and is known as the world's first Garden City. Letchworth was an urban district until 1974, when it was merged with adjoining areas to form the North Hertfordshire District, a local government district within the county of Hertfordshire. The population of the town is approximately 33,000.
Town of Hitchin
The historic town of Hitchin, situated immediately to the west of Letchworth, was also an urban district until its incorporation into the local government district of North Hertfordshire in 1974. The population of Hitchin is approximately 30,000.
The Jewish Communities
The Letchworth Jewish Community was founded in 1939. It was almost unique among those communities formed during World War II by Jewish families relocating from London to escape the German air raids, in that the community was almost exclusively orthodox. The Letchworth Jewish community had the infrastructure that normally accompanied much larger communities, such as a kosher butcher, mikva, Talmud Torah, etc. The community began to decline following the end of the War, but continued to exist until 1971.
Adjoining Hitchin also had a war time congregation and, today, there is a yeshiva in the the close-by village of Great Offley.
Listed below are congregations that existed in Letchworth and Hitchin.
Hitchin also had a medieval Jewish community:
A Brief History of the Letchworth Hebrew Congregation by Eli Fachler
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