Remembrance Day

THE Remembrance Day service at the war memorial outside Luton Town Hall in November 1952 was the first to be held there since 1945.

Members from church organisations were present and the Luton News reported that Rabbi Ritvo represented the Jewish community and took part in the service for the first time, reading a special memorial prayer.

The photo on the left shows Jewish ex-servicemen outside the synagogue in Bury Park Road, preparing to parade to the town centre. The synagogue was once a cinema and is now an Islamic centre, pictured above.

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It was a cold and bright day 59 years ago and representatives of all local ex-service organisations attended the Remembrance Day service. They marched along Waller Street, Cheapside and George Street to the memorial.

Also included were Sea Cadets, Army Cadets and the boys of the Air Training Corps.

The wreath-laying party was headed by Major General Sir Harold Wernher of Luton Hoo.

The first organised Luton Jewish community, called the Luton Hebrew Congregation, was formed in 1923 and services and religious classes were held above a factory in John Street.

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A house in Moor Path was later converted into a synagogue to hold 90 people, but when the town’s Jewish population swelled to more than 2,000 during the Second World War, the Bury Park Road building was purchased in 1949.

These premises were sold in November 2001 and after a long search, a new community centre and synagogue was bought in January 2009.

It was formally re-dedicated by the Chief Rabbi in June 2010 and became known as the Luton United Synagogue in May of this year.