Papers of Jewish friendly societies and cultural organisations

Scope and Content

ACHEI AMETH: printed rules, 1914-15, annual reports and balance sheets, 1926-7, 1930; correspondence and financial papers, 1931-48, and report of proceedings for the annual conference, 15 May 1932.

Isaac Seligman Lodge 95 of the ORDER OF ACHEI BRITH AMD SHIELD OF ABRAHAM: papers of H.Morris, secretary of the Lodge, including invitations, information sheets, bank statements, correspondence, return sheets and financial papers, 1932-40.

ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH FRIENDLY SOCIETIES: annual reports, 1925-6; banquet menu, 1930.


PAPERS OF I.D.DUQUE, relating to the Order Achei Ameth, 1931 49, and City of London Benevolent Society for Assisting Widows of the Jewish Faith, with a subscription book, 1928 9.


Administrative / Biographical History

Jewish friendly societies had a number of principal objectives: to grant relief and maintenance to members during sickness or other infirmity, and medical aid during sickness; to grant an allowance to members during confined mourning; to contribute to funeral and tombstone expenses; to provide death endowment; to relieve members when in distress generally; and to grant convalescent home treatment. The societies were registered under the Friendly Societies Act of 1896 and most sought approval under the National Insurance Act of 1911 for aspects of their provision. In addition, each order had its own particular affiliations and social activities.

The Order Achei Ameth was founded in 1897. It had affiliations with the Association of Jewish Friendly Societies, the Jewish Friendly Societies' Convalescent Home and the English Zionist Federation. It was the first Jewish order with an adolescent lodge.

The first branch of the Order Achei Brith was founded in 1888. In 1911, with the introduction of the National Health Insurance Act, which it was feared would undermine voluntary thrift movements, the Order Shield of Abraham amalgamated with the Order Achei Brith. It also had a section for younger members, the Achei Brith Juvenile Endowment Friendly Society, which was organised in district groups, for debates, sports and games, and entertainments.

The Association of Jewish Friendly Societies was founded in 1915. Its aim was to promote unity of action in the Jewish friendly society movement. Many orders and societies were affiliated to the Association.

The Bernhard Baron St George's Jewish Settlement was founded in 1914 by the West London and Liberal Jewish Synagogues to provide for the spiritual, cultural and recreational needs of the Jewish inhabitants of St George-in-the-East.

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Compiled by Gwennyth Anderson

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