Copies from the collection of Rabbi Yoel Julius Jakobovits recently arrived at Ganzach Kiddush Hashem

Rabbi Dr. Julius Jakobovits was born in 1886 in Lackenbach. He studied in the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Würzburg, and also studied at the Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin, where he received rabbinic ordination.

Between the years 1917-1928 he served as the rabbi of a small community in Baden. In 1928, the family moved to Berlin, where Rabbi Dr. Jakobovits served as a rabbi in the Orthodox synagogue and as a rabbinical judge. The collection contains many items discussing halachic matters concerning the place, discussions regarding the decree on the slaughter and releasing agunot (women whose husband’s whereabouts are unknown or whose husbands will not divorce them).

After WWI, shechita (Jewish religious slaughter) began to be banned in Germany. With the rise of Nazism, the law became comprehensive and spread all over Germany. The authorities forbade slaughtering without stunning the animal first, something that is strictly prohibited by halacha (Jewish law).

The rabbis of Germany got involved in clarifying the halachic issue and whether there is a way to permit stunning so that Jews do not have to stop eating meat. Rabbi Dr. Julius Jakobovits also got involved in the matter, and his collection is full of correspondence with reputed professors to discern the essence of stunning.

A response letter from Professor Dr. Hans Rosenberg about the effects of electrification on the bodies of animals, June 27th, 1933

In 1935, Rabbi Jakobovits sent his son, Immanuel, later the chief rabbi of Britain and a member of the House of Lords, to study at a yeshiva in London. His many letters and postcards that he sent to his parents occupy a significant part of the collection.

On Kristallnacht, when the synagogue was severely damaged, Rabbi Jakobovits took his belongings and immigrated with the rest of his family to London. He also continued his extensive religious activities in Britain, and served as a member of the rabbinical court of the United Synagogue in London.

In addition to this, it appears from the letters in the collection that he was also involved in taking care of the kosher food in places where Jewish children were sent as part of the evacuation of citizens from London during the war years.

Rabbi Dr. Jules Jakobovits passed away on Shvat 17, 5707 (Feb. 7th, 1947) in London

Ganzach Kiddush Hashem is grateful to Debbie Shapiro for her generous donation of this material that enriches our archive and will greatly assist in the study of Jewish communities and the Holocaust, as well as in passing on the legacy of the memory of the Holocaust.