AUCTION 61 | Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Graphic Art and Ceremonial Objects

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Lot 401

Est: $4,000 - $6,000
In 1862 Maurice Levy was the first Jew to settle in Middlesbrough, in the north of England. Along with his Russian-born son-in-law Isaac Alston, he founded the the Middlesbrough Hebrew Congregation, the only synagogue ever established in this Yorkshire port city. It was officially opened in 1874 by Chief Rabbi Dr. Nathan M Adler in a service presided over by Isaac Alston, the first President of the community. Alston was also the first Jewish member of the Middlesbrough Town Council and was to take a leading part in the affairs of the Middlesbrough Jewish community until he emigrated to Melbourne, Australia. There too he achieved communal and civic success, as his obituary notes: “The death of Mr. Isaac Alston…removes from Australian Jewry one of its most highly honored members… He closely identified himself with local Jewish and civic movements. Deeply versed in Hebrew and Talmudic learning, intensely patriotic, and always broad in his humanitarianism, the late Mr. Alston, who was a truly pious Jew, won the respect and esteem of all who knew him. He was formerly president of the East Melbourne Hebrew Congregation. On several occasions he occupied a seat on the Jewish Ecclesiastical Board of Victoria a rare distinction to be conferred on a layman.” (The Barrier Miner, Broken Hill, New South Wales, 30th May 1916, p. 2). The Middlesbrough Hebrew Congregation closed its doors in 1998. See Donald Wiseman, Kehilat Middlesbrough: Past, Present and Future (2007).