In 1933 the total membership of all the Jewish Friendly Societies and organizations that made up this umbrella body was an amazing 85,569, which demonstrates the importance of the Friendly Society movement in the Anglo-Jewish community at the time. Those who want to understand the history and development of these societies should look at Jewish Historical Studies (the annual publication of the Jewish Historical Society of England), Volume 33. This annual report below needs no explanation.
The gravestone of my great-grandmother’s brother, Solomon Geetleman, who died in 1925, is inscribed at the bottom: “ACHAI TOV – LONDON HEBREW TONTINE O. S. D. GT. BRITAIN LODGE 34.” O S D stands for Order Shield of David. The grant of a tombstone benefit from a Friendly Society used to have a requirement that the number and name of the Lodge or Society of which the deceased was a member should be inscribed on the stone. This was a little controversial, and can be read about in the report.