Preface

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The last volume of Transactions was issued to members of the Society shortly after the conclusion of the Second World War and roughly covered the period of that war. During the six years that have since passed the Society has been endeavouring to make good the ravages it suffered during that war and to recover the position it occupied previous to the year 1939. The regular meetings of the Society, which never altogether ceased, although they were less frequent and some? what peripatetic, have been resumed and have for some years been held regularly in London at monthly intervals from the beginning of the winter until midsummer. The Gustave Tuck Theatre in University College (the regular meeting room of the Society) which was destroyed in an air raid in 1940 has not yet been restored, but accommodation has generously been placed at the disposal of the Society by the
Authorities of theW estern Synagogue (also a victim of theW ar) and later by those of University College, London, and by the West London Synagogue. Office accom? modation was also placed at the disposal of the Society by the Western Synagogue and subsequently by the West London Synagogue. Wkh the Society's library and the related Mocatta Library there was greater difficulty. The contents of these libraries were almost entirely destroyed in the air raid in which the Gustave Tuck Theatre and Gallery were demolished together with a large part of University College Library. Steps were at once taken to replace, as far as was possible, the books that were destroyed and with the help of generous friends this end has to
some extent been achieved. It has, however, hitherto been impossible to find accommodation in which the books could be made available to readers and for this the Society must apparently await the rebuilding of University College Library in which, as previously, accommodation will be provided for the Society's books. The plans for this rebuilding have been approved and, if expectations are realized, the new library will be available in the not very distant future. In the meanwhile there ? constituted library has been catalogued. A handsome book-plate has at the same time
been designed by Mr. Frederick W. Spurgin as a gift to the Society. The contents of the Museum fortunately escaped destruction. But it was found impossible to make these beautiful and interesting exhibits accessible to visitors, except that early in 1951 they were lent to the Glasgow Jewish Arts Festival for exhibition in that city. On their return to London they had, however, to be placed again in storage, but they were included in the Anglo-Jewish Exhibition which was held in connection with the Festival of Britain in July of that year.

In the course of the period covered by this preface the Society suffered several serious losses. Two of its vice-presidents and former presidents, the Very Rev. Dr. J. H. Hertz, C.H., Chief Rabbi, and Elkan N. Adler, and a former honorary secretary and member of the Council,

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