Jewish Letchworth: A Microcosm of the Jewish Communal Experience Paperback

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Here, Letchworth-born Yanky Fachler explores a short-lived (1939- 1971) provincial Jewish congregation that boasted a communal infrastructure typical of much larger communities. Based during the war years around an estate built by Abba Bornstein, most of the community returned to London after the Second World War. The centre of gravity shifted to what former Talmud Torah headmaster Harry Leitner describes as the ' two pyramid houses on Sollershott East - the Sassoon/Feuchtwanger and Fachler homes.' Letchworth was home to the world-famous private Judaica library assembled by David Sassoon. His son, Rabbi Solomon Sassoon, made sure that Jewish children from across the religious spectrum attended the Talmud Torah educational programme after regular school hours. Several rabbinical luminaries were associated with Letchworth, including the communal rabbi, Asher Feuchtwanger, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler, and Rabbi Eliyahu Lapian. Fachler describes a unique community where the orthodox coexisted harmoniously with the non-orthodox, Ashkenazi Jews lived side-by-side with Baghdadi Jews, and wealthy families rubbed shoulders with working class families.