The Jewish Year Book 5657, Joseph Jacobs, 1896, London

5t JYB1896_0001I have a whole shelf of Jewish Year Books – they are still being issued each year today – but this one is the grand-daddy of them all, the Jewish Year Book for the first year, published in 1896.  This was a revolutionary book, full of facts and contact information for the “Queen’s Jewry”, the Victorian Jewish community in the United Kingdom (which then included all of Ireland).

I could not scan it all, and so I have focused on the Synagogues and communities.  in 1896 there were 49 synagogues in London, 59 in the rest of England, five in Scotland and ten each in Ireland and Wales – a total of 133.  Most of the entries in the book give the names of the Rabbi or Minister and the officers of the congregation, such as President, Wardens, etc.  The nascent Federation of Synagogues, founded in 1887,  only supplied the names of Presidents – not their Rabbis.  These, then are the Synagogues of the UK, 1896:

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