Papers of the United Jewish Friendly Society

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Papers and correspondence about the dissolution of the society; certificate of incorporation, pamphlets on the rules for friendly societies, a reference book of the UJFS, a copy of the rules, a guide to the friendly societies act and industrial assurance acts, and reports from the national conference of friendly societies, 1967-8. Minute books for the UJFS Grand Lodge, 1954-70; minutes of the directors' meetings, 1963-80, minutes of the executive committee, 1969-79; minutes of the honorary officers meeting, 1963-80; minutes of the convalescent home committee, 1969-79, minutes and papers of the Grand Lodge meeting, 1970-9, and an attendance book for council and committee meetings, 1970-80. Annual reports and balance sheets for the UJFS, 1941-7, 1961-75, 1977-8. Financial material including an investment register, account book, 1969-80, salaries ledger, 1972-9, ledgers, 1922-5, 1971-3, expenditure book, 1973, weekly contributions sheets, 1975-8, a volume of individuals' accounts, 1937-44, the Grand Lodge receipt book, weekly collecting lists, 1976-9, and papers about grants, 1970-9. Correspondence, 1966-82. Members' death register, 1912-80, and members' wives death register, 1913-80. Visitors books from the Seligman Convalescent Home, Shoyswell Manor, and a book of donations, gifts and life governors from the Seligman Convalescent Home, Etchingham and Eastbourne. Copies of The new leader, the journal of the UJFS, 1952-7, and copies of the UJFS newsletter, 1958 and 1960.

Administrative / Biographical History

The United Jewish Friendly Society was formed on 1 January 1949 from an amalgamation of two Jewish friendly societies, the Order Achei Brith and the Order Achei Ameth. The Order Achei Brith grew from the formation in 1888 of a friendly society to provide insurance against complete loss of income and as a means of social life among a group of Jewish refugees who had fled to Britain to escape religious persecutions in Central and Eastern Europe. The first branch was called the King Solomon Lodge and contributions were paid ensuring payment in cases of sickness, death and mourning. In 1894 a second branch was formed, the King David Lodge, and from this the Order Achei Brith emerged. A second association, the Order Achei Ameth, was founded in 1897: by 1903 it had expanded to 12 lodges, a membership of 1,070 and in the same year it founded its first ladies' lodge. Later developments included mixed lodges and Achei Brith founded a Juveniles Section in 1929. In 1924, the Order Achei Brith was presented by Mr and Mrs Isaac Seligman with Shoyswell Manor, Etchingham Sussex, for use as a convalescent home; it was requisitioned by the government and used as an old people's home during the war, returning to its former use in 1946. In 1950, on the closure of the Convalescent Home of the Association of Jewish Friendly Societies, members of other societies were offered places at Shoyswell. The home was transferred to Eastbourne in 1956, where it continued to be known as the Seligman Convalescent Home. The United Jewish Friendly Society was dissolved on 31 December 1979.

Conditions Governing Access

The Special Collections Division is available for anyone to use, regardless of whether you are attached to an academic institution. Access to the Archives and Manuscripts and Rare Books reading room, however, is by prior appointment to access the manuscript material. See our website for more details.

Related Material

MS 193 contains further material relating to Achei Ameth.

Personal Names

Geographical Names