Records of the Anglo Israel Friendship Society, York

Scope and Content

Minutes of committee meetings and annual general meetings, 1977-2007; account book, 1975-2007; annual accounts 1982-2007; list of members, 1989; lists of subscribers 1988-2007; correspondence, 1976-2008; newsletters, 1976-2007; papers relating to annual essay writing competition, 1976-1981; papers relating to the York Anglo Israel Educational Trust, 1980-2008; papers relating to the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the state of Israel, 1988; papers relating to the commemoration of the massacre of the Jews at Clifford’s Tower including minutes of the Commemoration Group Committee, 1989-1990, correspondence, programmes, photographs and a CD labelled ‘Clifford’s Tower commemoration ceremonies,’ 1989-1990; papers relating to the Society’s trip to Israel, 1992; album of news cuttings, 1970s-c.1983; copy of speech ‘For Anglo-Christian Understanding’ given by Lord Weidenfeld at a farewell dinner for Dr Stuart Blanch, Archbishop of York, 1983; notes on Society lectures, 1993-1999; scrapbook, n.d.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Anglo Israel Friendship Society, York, was founded c.1975. Its aims were to promote knowledge and understanding of Israel and encourage dialogue between Christians and Jews. At its foundation it had the support and patronage of the then Archbishop of York, Dr Stuart Blanch. Later patrons also included the Roman Catholic Bishop of Leeds.

Funded in part by an annual membership fee set at £1 in 1977 and £8 in 1997, the Society held a regular programme of events which it advertised in a newsletter to its members, as well as a magazine published six times a year between 1979 and 1981. Events included lectures and educational visits, discussions and debates concerning contemporary political issues, and dinners and social evenings that showcased Israeli culture. The Society also arranged for speakers to visit organisations in the York, examples include the Mothers’ Union and the York Young Conservatives Association.

A key feature of the Society’s programme was an annual competition offering a local resident between the ages of 17 and 26 the opportunity to travel to Israel for a working holiday. Initially this was an essay writing competition but later it was expanded to include young musicians. A travel fund was in place as early as 1976 and winners were able to spend up to a month travelling through the country, spending time in a kibbutz and on a ‘home’ visit with an Israeli family. In 1981 the York Anglo Israel Educational Trust was set up by the Society to administer this annual competition and in 1984 the prize was renamed the Benny Brent Scholarship in honour of the Society’s founding secretary who had recently died.

In 1985 a dinner was held to mark the Society’s tenth anniversary, attended by Rabbi Hugo Gryn. In 1988 the Anglo-Israel Friendship Societies of York, Leeds, Sheffield and Hull jointly hosted Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, Yehuda Avner, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the foundation of Israel, and in 1990 the Society took part in the commemoration of the massacre of York Jews at Clifford’s Tower. The Society also organised a group trip to Israel for its members in 1992.

By 2008 membership of the Society had declined significantly and the decision was taken to disband the group and dissolve the associated York Anglo Israel Educational Trust. The Society’s remaining funds were donated to charities that shared its aims to nurture educational links between York and Israel and members were requested to submit any records they held that related to the Society to be gifted to the Borthwick Institute.

Conditions Governing Access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws. 24 hours' notice is required to access photographic material.

Acquisition Information

The archive was gifted to the Borthwick Institute in 1999 by a former Chairman of the Society. A further addition was made to the archive by the Society in 2008.

Note

The Anglo Israel Friendship Society, York, was founded c.1975. Its aims were to promote knowledge and understanding of Israel and encourage dialogue between Christians and Jews. At its foundation it had the support and patronage of the then Archbishop of York, Dr Stuart Blanch. Later patrons also included the Roman Catholic Bishop of Leeds.

Funded in part by an annual membership fee set at £1 in 1977 and £8 in 1997, the Society held a regular programme of events which it advertised in a newsletter to its members, as well as a magazine published six times a year between 1979 and 1981. Events included lectures and educational visits, discussions and debates concerning contemporary political issues, and dinners and social evenings that showcased Israeli culture. The Society also arranged for speakers to visit organisations in the York, examples include the Mothers’ Union and the York Young Conservatives Association.

A key feature of the Society’s programme was an annual competition offering a local resident between the ages of 17 and 26 the opportunity to travel to Israel for a working holiday. Initially this was an essay writing competition but later it was expanded to include young musicians. A travel fund was in place as early as 1976 and winners were able to spend up to a month travelling through the country, spending time in a kibbutz and on a ‘home’ visit with an Israeli family. In 1981 the York Anglo Israel Educational Trust was set up by the Society to administer this annual competition and in 1984 the prize was renamed the Benny Brent Scholarship in honour of the Society’s founding secretary who had recently died.

In 1985 a dinner was held to mark the Society’s tenth anniversary, attended by Rabbi Hugo Gryn. In 1988 the Anglo-Israel Friendship Societies of York, Leeds, Sheffield and Hull jointly hosted Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, Yehuda Avner, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the foundation of Israel, and in 1990 the Society took part in the commemoration of the massacre of York Jews at Clifford’s Tower. The Society also organised a group trip to Israel for its members in 1992.

By 2008 membership of the Society had declined significantly and the decision was taken to disband the group and dissolve the associated York Anglo Israel Educational Trust. The Society’s remaining funds were donated to charities that shared its aims to nurture educational links between York and Israel and members were requested to submit any records they held that related to the Society to be gifted to the Borthwick Institute.

Other Finding Aids

A partial typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute. This includes all material received in 1999. Later material has not yet been catalogued, please contact the Borthwick Institute for further information.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

1 compact disc. Access to audiovisual material may be restricted due to technical requirements, please contact the Borthwick Institute for more information.

Archivist's Note

Created by S. A. Shearn, 22.04.15. Updated 25.04.16. to include 2008 accession more fully.

Conditions Governing Use

A reprographics service is available to researchers. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Accruals

Further accruals are not expected.

Additional Information

Published

GB 193