This book is the story and history of the London Board for Shechita (Slaughtering of Kosher Meat). It is, in itself, a surprisingly interesting history book. However, the ephemera that have been preserved by being slipped into my copy provide the story of the occasion.
One of the first steps taken when the Jewish Community in London was organized in 1663 after the Re-settlement, was to provide for the supply of Kasher meat, an essential for observance of traditional orthodox Judaism. The earliest version of the Ascamot (rules) of the London Sephardi Community provided for shechita.
In 1732 there was a failed attempt to get co-operation between the Sephardim and Ashkenazim in matters of shechita, and another failed attempt in 1792, due to financial difficulties. Finally, in 1804 the three principal City of London Ashkenazi Synagogues, the Great, the Hambro and the New were invited by the Sephardi authorities to join in a conference to set up a joint organization for the control and administration of Shechita in London. In addition to the original members (with the Great, Hambro and New combined into the United Synagogue) 1900 the Federation of Synagogues and the Western Synagogue were admitted as Parent Bodies of the Board.
The event that was organized and brings the book and the ephemera together was the celebration in 1954 of the 150th anniversary of the Board. Let us start with the tickets:
At 4.00pm on May 4th 1954, there was a service at the New Synagogue, Egerton Road, Stamford Hill.
This was followed by the Dinner. Back in 1954 there were many toasts and responses:
Here is the menu – and yes, you noticed – the London Board of Shechita served a fish dinner for its celebration!
Finally, here is the table of contents of the book itself, which covers the history with meaty episodes and anecdotes.