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Museum of St Albans appeals to Jewish community for new project
A St Albans history group is keen to hear from people in the Jewish community as part of a project to define a chronology of Jewish involvement in the life of the city.
A request by the Museum of St Albans to the St Albans Masorti and United Synagogues will see a presentation at Verulamium Museum on December 5 as part a series of public lectures on aspects of the city’s past.
Now that the members have begun to embark on the project, they are convinced that it will take them a lot longer than just a few weeks to do justice to their subject.
Group facilitator Jackie Gess of St Albans Masorti Synagogue, said: "We have already come across some little known evidence of a thriving Jewish community in the city as far back as the late 19th century."
As part of the project, group members joined by residents who belong to other Hertfordshire synagogues, have begun consulting local archives, census returns and newspaper libraries.
They have also been pooling personal memories, particularly from Jewish residents who were born in St Albans, often to families who fled from wartime London to set up home and businesses in a city which was close to the capital, but relatively safe from German bombs.
The members say it was principally this group of people who set up St Albans’ first formal congregation, meeting initially in a private home in Clarence Road, and in 1951 opening the first permanent synagogue in Oswald Road.
The group hope to illustrate this and how other Jewish families who originated, often centuries ago, from the furthest frontiers of Europe, and came to settle in St Albans. They now hope to unearth more photographs and data and are appealing to former residents of the city who may able to shed more light on the topic.
Residents with more information should email email@example.com or contact 01727 860642.
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