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The Jews' College, London

The Jews' College was founded in 1855 in Finsbury Square as a rabbinical seminary in London, comprising a day school for Jewish boys and a training college for Jewish ministers, readers, and teachers. It was founded with the support of the Chief Rabbi Nathan Adler and of Sir Moses Montefiore, who had conceived the idea for such a venture as early as 1841. The college quickly established itself as a place where high quality rabbinical training was available and its alumni and staff often became prominent in Anglo-Jewry. Members of the Rothschild family, including Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild were prominently associated with the Jews' College.

In 1881, the College moved to larger premises in Tavistock Square, close to University College, where it was envisaged that Jews’ College students would be able to combine their religious studies and university studies to degree level. As early as 1904, the University of London granted an Honours degree in Hebrew and Aramaic, all of the candidates being from Jews’ College. In 1932, with the building of Woburn House, a centre for Anglo-Jewry, still in Tavistock Square, the Jews' College moved again.

During the Second World war, despite the bombing of London, the College kept its doors open. Apart from the rabbinical studies and degree course, Chazzanut courses and teacher training programmes were now offered. In 1954, the College moved, yet again, to larger premises in Montagu Place. This building was sold in the early 1980s, and The College operated from temporary premises at Finchley Synagogue for a number of years, under the leadership of Rabbi Dr Nahum Rabinovitch. Under the auspices of Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks and with the financial backing of Stanley Kalms, chairman of Dixons, the College relocated in 1984 to its current building, now known as Schaller House, in Hendon, North-West London, close to the hub of London’s Jewish community. The London School of Jewish Studies (as the former Jews' College is today known) continues to provide adult educational courses and training to the wider Jewish community. 

The Jews' College, London, secondary sources, 1906

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The Jews' College Jubilee Volume, Rev. Isadore Harris, (London: Luzac & Co, 1906). This volume is a history of the College together with essays by teachers and former students of the College. Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild presided at the Jubilee Festival Dinner (celebrating 50 years of the College), held at the Trocadero Restaurant, London, on 13 June 1906.

The Jews' College, London, secondary sources, 1931

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Proceedings of joint celebration of the 75th anniversary of Jews' College, London, including an address by Lionel de Rothschild, 23 March 1931.