Golders Green Synagogue

London N.W.11.





The Establishment of Golders Green Synagogue by Lynne Fertleman



As the Community grew, Rev Livingstone sought to establish a kosher butcher in the neighbourhood to enable the populace to observe the Jewish dietary laws more easily. Negotiations went on for four years between the Golders Green Community and the London Board for Affairs of Shechita.(58)  The Committee had first approached them in December 1917.  The Jewish Chronicle had helped in the publicity in the community’s requirements for a kosher butcher.  In December 1917 there were approximately 200-250 families in the district.(59)  A butcher, E Barnett & Co Ltd of Aldgate, was approached in January 1919(60) to open a branch in Golders Green.  However, Barnetts were not convinced that there were enough clientele to warrant opening a shop in Golders Green and having made enquiries in respect of possible premises, they discovered that the rents were very high.  Therefore, they needed more figures as to the numbers of customers to see if they should consider the matter further.(61)

Rev Livingstone did receive a number of other offers from butchers who were prepared to open a shop in the area provided suitable arrangements could be made.  One of these was a Mr Jacob Gitlin. He was granted a Licence in May 1919.(62) but was unable to find a shop to suit his purposes.  He found that the costs were high although he had seen two possible premises, they had leases of 14 and 16 years but their premiums were £500 and £600, which was too expensive.(63)

In order to combat the problem of the costs involved for the establishment of a kosher butcher, it was suggested by some of the butchers that it would help matters if they could be granted a licence to sell hindquarter meat as well.(64) However, due to a difficulty in finding someone prepared to open a kosher butcher in the area, it was requested that space be set aside in a non-Jewish butcher to sell kosher meat, under the supervision of a licensed Shomer.   The Chief Rabbi approved this requested as an “emergency, temporary measure” in March 1920.(65)  However, the London Board for Affairs of Shechita would not grant permission for this to go ahead as it was against their principles.(66)

The local Jewish community were upset that they were having difficulty in obtaining kosher meat.  E Barnett & Co were prepared to deliver to the area if there was enough demand.(67)  However, there were still problems because they were unable to deliver in time for the meat to be properly koshered and cooked for the mid-day meal.(68)  There were very few people who had refrigerators, so it was impossible to keep the meat fit for the following day.

Finally, on 23rd January 1922 a long established butcher, J Nathan Limited, opened a kosher butcher at 22 North End Road.


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

(58) Ritual slaughter of kosher animals according to orthodox Jewish Law.

(59) Letter dated 28.12.1917 from Rev Livingstone and Mr Drage to the JC. ‘Box 1-3 Correspondence 1916-23’ folder ‘Correspondence 1917-23 - Butcher’.

(60) Letter dated 24.1.1919 from Rev Livingstone to E Barnett & Co. ‘Butcher’.

(61) Letter dated 30.3.1919 from E Barnett & Co to Rev Livingstone. ‘Butcher’.

(62) Letter dated 4.5.1919 from Rev Livingstone to Mr Goodman of the Shechita Board. ‘Butcher’.

(63) Letter dated 27.5.1919 from Mr Gitlin to (unknown) ‘Butcher’.

(64) In the UK it is now not possible to buy kosher meat from the hindquarter of the animal due to the fact that there are not enough qualified people to porge the meat. However, prior to the 1940’s there were some kosher butchers who were qualified in this skill.

(65) Letter dated 5.3.1920 from Chief Rabbi to Rev Livingstone.

(66) Letter dated 31.5.1921 from Board of Shechita to Rev Livingstone.  ‘Butcher’.

(67) Letter from E.Barnett & Co to Rev Livingstone dated 2.9.1920  ‘Butcher’.

(68) Letter in the Jewish Chronicle 22.7.1921 from “a Golders Green Jewish Housewife”.

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