Golders Green Synagogue

London N.W.11.





The Establishment of Golders Green Synagogue by Lynne Fertleman


It was also necessary to get the Hendon Urban District Council’s permission to build the temporary synagogue.   However, there came a further delay when it was discovered that under the Cultivation of Lands Orders 1916-17, the local Council was going to take over the land temporarily for allotments until at least September 1920.(39) This meant that they could not start building till after this date.  As a result of this problem, Mr Drage began looking again for alternative sites.  They considered a plot in Ravenscroft Avenue(40) and another plot at the corner of Helenslea Avenue.(41)  However, the Helenslea Avenue site was smaller than the site at Dunstan Road.


In order to finance the costs of the new building at Dunstan Road, Rev Livingstone secured a loan for £3,500 from the London and South Western Bank in Golders Green at a rate of 1.5% above the bank rate.(42)  The total costs for the land and building costs were approximately £4,500 and the Synagogue Committee had reckoned that they would be able to raise £1,000.(43)


The first General Meeting of the Golders Green Synagogue was held in November 1918. Mr Drage discussed the ongoing negotiations with the United Synagogue towards affiliation.(44)  He also reported that he hoped that now “the war was over, that the Jews of Golders Green would soon have a synagogue of their own, commensurate with the growing needs of the district”.


At this meeting, Rev Livingstone gave a report on the synagogue’s activities from its early beginnings.  He spoke of the work of the Religion Classes, Ladies Committee and the local Literary and Social Circle.  Respect was paid to the deaths of three major supporters, namely: Mr J Victor, Rev J Chapman and Mr H Brown.  Rev Livingstone also said that the Jewish community should take heed from the Christian community, which had appealed for £5M from the Church of England Fund for reconstruction work.  He said that Anglo-Jewry should do something to help its own community and in the meantime, contribute to the Building Fund.  At the close of the meeting, £207 had been collected.


At the meeting, a resolution was passed to enable the Synagogue to be registered for marriages; Rev Livingstone was appointed Marriage Secretary.  This enabled Jewish marriages to take place without the civil ceremony occurring at a registry office first.  The first wedding at Golders Green Synagogue took place between Sydney Aronson and Laura Rose Samson on 17th February 1918, although in this case, the civil ceremony had taken place the previous year.(45) 


References (which also appear if you hold the cursor over the number of the note in the text):

(39) Letter dated 29.5 1918 from Lewis Solomons & Son to Rev Livingstone . ‘Building 6-7’.

(40) Letter dated 3.12.1918 from Drage to Lewis Solomons & Son. ‘Building 6-7’.

(41) Letter dated 4.12.1918from Lewis Solomons & Son to Mr Drage. ‘Building 6-7’.

(42) Letter dated 26.1.1918 from the Bank to Rev Livingstone. ‘Correspondence 1916-23 A-E’.

(43) Letter dated 23.1.1918 from Rev Livingstone to the Bank. ‘Correspondence 1916-23 A-E’.

(44) Jewish Chronicle -29 November 1918.

(45) Kesubah Book No 1. Feb 17 1918 – Jan 9 1938 (in the Golders Green Synagogue Archive Room).

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