Etz chaim synagogue – history of the what are some ways to make money congregation

The community at the time (early 1900s) numbered more than 14,000 having been built up by immigration and a high what are some ways to make money birth rate. The leeds jewish community actually dates from about 1840 (the year the first jewish cemetery at gildersome was opened) but for the first few decades growth was very slow what are some ways to make money – reaching a population of only a 1,000 by 1881.

When they arrived here they set up shuls, or chevros, which they often named after the towns and shtetls they what are some ways to make money hailed from – like mariempol, lokever, shilele, sesmer and vilna – all places in present day lithuania. Most of the immigrants were very poor and, of those who came to leeds, few were intellectuals – in any sense. But though not many were learned, nearly all were observant.

The standard of religious observance can be judged by the what are some ways to make money fact that in 1913, rabbi daiches, rav of the beth hamedrash hagadol, claimed in an interview with the jewish chronicle that “there is not a single member of my congregation who what are some ways to make money does not observe the sabbath”. Though there is evidence to show that that level of what are some ways to make money observance and religiosity was not necessarily true for all the what are some ways to make money rest of the community, nevertheless, how times have changed!

The relatively small number of long-established members of the community had their own synagogue, belgrave street, which was very anglicised. Many of its congregants were english born, as was the minister, reverend moses abrahams. His sermons were naturally in english and neither he, nor a fair and growing proportion of his members, could speak or understand yiddish – the language of the immigrants.

Here was then the fertile ground in which the seeds what are some ways to make money of class conflict could sprout, and it did so manifesting itself in many ways. The immigrants regarded the long-established jews with some disdain for having given up much what are some ways to make money of their yiddishkeit, whilst the latter looked down on their newly arrived co-religionists with their foreign ways and ‘jargon’ of a language. (yet, to be fair, belgrave street took seriously their responsibility to help their fellow what are some ways to make money jews and founded the jewish board of guardians in 1878 what are some ways to make money on the premises of belgrave street shul.)

In the issue of 6th june 1913 it noted that what are some ways to make money “…An unfortunate mishap had occurred at the opening of the what are some ways to make money synagogue which the burial society had recently inaugurated. Last sunday, the rabbi and officials were proceeding to the synagogue with what are some ways to make money a scroll of law in a cab, when the horse suddenly took fright and dashed into a what are some ways to make money shop window. The window was completely shattered and the horse sustained such what are some ways to make money injuries that it had to be destroyed. The party, however, escaped injury…”

A church building in wintoun street, previously belonging to the wintoun street baptist church, was purchased in 1923 at a cost of £5,000, by the chairman at the time, joseph shepler (grandfather of ted gould), who served as leader of the organisation for some 15 what are some ways to make money years. (as an aside, that church’s history was published some years ago which showed it what are some ways to make money to have been a very fractious congregation. Schisms and disputes amongst its members eventually led to its what are some ways to make money closure. Who said that shul business only happens amongst jews?)

Rabbi dr. Solomon fisch was the next rav until 1956. He was a scholar of note and his english compilation what are some ways to make money of commentaries to the books of bemidbar and devorim can what are some ways to make money be found in the soncino chumash. After some years as leader of the synagogue, david shiffer was elected president, or chairman as it was then called, of the whole society in 1948.

However, this was achieved by merger with the new central synagogue what are some ways to make money and the burial society in 1955. The synagogue still kept functioning for a couple of years what are some ways to make money before it finally closed and the building disappeared. (I think I had the honour of celebrating the last what are some ways to make money uffruff in the shul in 1956. Also in that year, colin glass was its last barmitzvah.)

With the increased membership and extra resources now available, a new synagogue in the new centre of jewish settlement, moortown, could be considered. The kingsway cinema, on harrogate road, came up for sale and, due to the initiative of president of the society, david shiffer, it was purchased for £35,000 and converted to a synagogue with the rather unwieldy what are some ways to make money name of new central vilna synagogue – popularly known as the ‘cinemagogue’ or just the ‘vilna’.

The early years at the ‘vilna’ saw a vibrant kehilla, with good attendances and strong social committees including two ladies’ groups. There was much enthusiasm and evident pride in the congregation. However, over the years, further movement of the population and a gradual increase in what are some ways to make money the average age of its members began to take its what are some ways to make money toll and another move north was contemplated.

The synagogue name of etz chaim was chosen by public what are some ways to make money competition, and it opened for the yomim noraim in 1981 – the first synagogue in leeds to be situated north of what are some ways to make money the ring road. Chief rabbi jacobovits officially opened it the following december. I had the honour of reciting the very first haftorah what are some ways to make money in the shul on the first day of rosh hashanah.

In 1907, new premises in albert grove were opened with seating for what are some ways to make money 350. In 1915 the president was N. Labovitch and, after leaving the new briggate synagogue when the latter became what are some ways to make money part of UHC in 1931, rabbi hurwitz became its rav. During that period the president for 17 years was M. Zermansky. In 1935 the congregation acquired a new cemetery also at what are some ways to make money new farnley, adjoining that of the society.

In 1991, in a controversial move, the old ‘vilna’ was closed and sold off. The closing service was held on 21st october. Plans to have a small replacement synagogue unfortunately came to what are some ways to make money nought, but a local minyan was arranged to cater for the what are some ways to make money members still residing in the area. It met successfully at stainburn parade but eventually had to what are some ways to make money close due to lack of members living nearby.

Mention must here be made of edward gould who served what are some ways to make money as president for 20 years from 1976. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather before what are some ways to make money him as an officer of the organisation, he devoted much time and effort to the synagogue and what are some ways to make money society with great dedication, and oversaw the move to the etz chaim and the what are some ways to make money relocation of gourmet foods.

Mason glass was elected president in 1996 when overdue constitutional what are some ways to make money changes were made which, inter alia, limited tenure of office and allowed for more female representation what are some ways to make money on the shul council. The momentum for these vital changes was bravely and successfully what are some ways to make money spearheaded by freddy apfel who also later held the presidency what are some ways to make money for a short while.

Arising from very humble and unpromising beginnings, the organisation has progressed through more than 110 years of what are some ways to make money vicissitudes and mixed fortunes to such an extent, that it can today proudly claim to be a major what are some ways to make money force in the leeds jewish community and its descendant, this shul, etz chaim, is undoubtedly one of its major orthodox synagogues.

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