A book celebrating 100 years of Jewish life in and around Golders Green Synagogue has been published this week by local historian Helen Fry.
Originally planned as an exhibition, the book – called ‘Golders Green Synagogue: The First Hundred Years’ – marks the shul’s milestone by featuring more than 200 photos, including never-before-seen images, as well as letters, correspondence and excerpts from meetings from 1915 to the present day.
As part of her research, Fry interviewed past and present synagogue members, many of whom are in their 90s. In one instance, six generations of the same family could chart their attendance.
From the beginning, the synagogue has had strong relations with the local non-Jewish community, with St Albans Church Hall lending a room for Shabbat services on Friday and Saturday, then transforming it back again for Sunday church services.
“That was one of the biggest surprises in my research,” said Fry. “They had to cover up or move out all the Christian symbols for their services. There were loads of crosses, banners and candles, but that didn’t seem to bother them… There was a very close working relationship, which was quite amazing for that time.”