This book is subtitled, “The story of a professional man’s career told in certificates, testimonials, congratulatory messages, letters and addresses, reports and presentations, &c. relating to Sir Hermann Gollancz, Emeritus Minister of the United Synagogue, London, Emeritus Professor of Hebrew in the University of London, University College.” It was printed for private circulation for his children and grandchildren, family and friends and “to the world at large”.
Sir Hermann explains that he has compiled these documents and letters in place of an autobiography. Some might think that the book represents an inflated “ego-trip”, but it is a record of a lifetime of many achievements. Only a selection has been scanned here. There are also some interesting illustrations of the interiors of the Hambro and Bayswater Synagogues.
Hermann Gollancz was the first Rabbi to be knighted by the King. He gave his first sermon, at the age of 19, at the old Hambro’ Synagogue in Fenchurch Street in 1872, where his father, Rabbi Samuel Marcus Gollancz was Minister from 1854 to 1899. He studied at Jews and University Colleges and was the first Jew to take the Doctor of Literature at London University. In 1897 he received his Rabbinic Diploma – Hatarath Horaah – from Rabbi Saul Horowitz of Tiesmienitz, at a time when the British Chief Rabbinate discouraged “Ministers” from becoming “Rabbis” – only the Chief Rabbi was supposed to be a real Rabbi.
The table of contents is quite amazing – it is a list of certificates and congratulations:
Here is a selection from the book:
Here is a letter from Rabbi Isaiah Raffalovich of Liverpool, whom I have written about previously, here.:
Here is one from Rabbi J. K. Boldbloom of the Redmans Road Talmud Torah, which I have written about previously here.: