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Records of the Cambridge University Jewish Society, and predecessor and associated bodies, 1896 - 2011

Reference Code: GBR/0265/UA/SOC.104

Scope and Contents

No material is extant for the Cambridge University Zionist Society.


  • Creation: 1896 - 2011


Conditions Governing Access

Access to the 1983 deposit is restricted to the C.U.J.S. president and senior treasurer under the transfer terms. Applications for access should be directed to the society. The 2004, 2008 and 2009 deposits are unrestricted. Some items are closed to scholars for 80 years from the date of creation, under data protection legislation.

Biographical / Historical

The Cambridge University Jewish Society was founded on 9 June 1937 as an amalgamation of the Cambridge Hebrew Congregation, Schechter Society, Cambridge University Zionist Society and the Cambridge branch of the Anglo-Jewish Association. The Cambridge Hebrew Congregation had been founded in 1888 to ''hold services in public according to Jewish ritual''. Full membership was available to university members; honorary membership to those with M.A. status; and local Jewish residents were welcome to attend services. From 1896 the congregation had premises in St Mary's Passage. The Schechter Society had been created by 1912 as subordinate organisation of the Cambridge Hebrew Congregation. It held ''meetings at which matters of Jewish interest [were] discussed.'' In the early twentieth century the Anglo-Jewish Association was working worldwide for the limitation of Anti-Semitism, and for the promotion of education both religious and secular. The date of the formation of the Cambridge branch is unknown but in 1905 it was re-formed. It arranged a speaker programme, fundraising schemes and social events. The creation of the C.U.J.S. was linked to the opening of the Thompsons Lane synagogue which the society operates in conjunction with a Cambridge residents committee. At its foundation the society stated its purpose as ''assist[ing] and encourag[ing] Jewish members of the University, and Girton, Newnham and Homerton Colleges to take part in all aspects of Jewish communal life''. In addition to providing worship opportunities the society arranges speaker and study programmes; organises social and cultural events; and runs a kosher café (at various dates known as the canteen or restaurant). Additional members were drawn from Jewish boarders at the Perse School Cambridge and, during the Second World War, students from evacuated London colleges. Past members of note include the sixth president of Israel, Chaim Herzog, and jurist David Daube. Further information about the society's activities is on its website:


4 linear metre(s) (4 metres) : paper

Language of Materials




File SOC.104.9 was created by the cataloguing archivist by combining a file from Ms.Add.8395 with an overlapping set of term cards acquired in accession 2008/050.

Former / Other Reference

Ms.Add.8393-5, SOC.XXX.1-3

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The majority of the records were transferred to the University Archives from the Manuscripts Department on 15 August 2008. They had been deposited by Cambridge University Jewish Society with the Manuscripts Department on 12 October 1983 and had been given the classmarks Ms.Add.8393-5. Items SOC.104.1.10, 2.13 and 10 were transferred to the University Archives on 9 June 2004 by officers of the Society. Part of SOC.104.9 was transferred anonymously to the University Archives on 15 July 2008. SOC.104.1.11, 2.14, 10 (addnl) and 25 were transferred by Gemma Steinhart, Murray Edwards College, on 17 March 2009. SOC.104.1.12, 2.15 and 10 (addnl) were transferred by Abigail Bergman, Gonville and Caius College, on 29 April 2011.

Related Materials

Further printed records are in the Rare Books Department. See items in Cambridge Papers J 4815; Freshers' guide, 1978 (classmark: Cam.b.21.63.1); the 1970s-80s magazines ''J. Soc. news.'', ''Manna'' and ''Newsletter'' (various Cam classmarks); and an order of service sheet for a memorial to Herbert Martin James Loewe, 1940 (Cam.c.940.7 ); and William Frankel and Harvey Miller (eds), ''Gown & Tallith: in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Cambridge University Jewish Society (London : Harvey Miller, c1989.) (classmark: Cam.c.989.9).

Related Materials

See also the 1947 menu card from the society's tenth anniversary luncheon amongst the papers of Richard Ferdinand Kahn held at King's College Archive Centre, Cambridge (reference: GBR/0272/RFK/21/2); correspondence of 1950 between Charles Goethe Kuper (Fitzwilliam College) of the C.U.J.S. and the Statistical Committee of the Trades Advisory Council is amongst Labour Party Archives held at the People's History Museum, Manchester (reference: GBR/0394/LP/GS/JEWS/6-7); and correspondence with the Board of Deputies of British Jews from 1928-65 is amongst that organisation's papers held at London Metropolitan Archives (reference: GBR/0074/ACC/3121).


The online catalogue was begun in September 2006 and was extended in September 2008, September 2009 and June 2011.

Date information

DateText: 1896-1985, 1991, 2003-4, 2007-11.


Cambridge University Jewish Society; Cambridge Hebrew Congregation; Schechter Society; Cambridge branch of the Anglo-Jewish Association; Cambridge branch of the Women's International Zionist Organisation

Finding aid date

2004-12-20 11:51:51+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom