JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen synagogue marriages in England #general

Judith Romney Wegner

Subject: Civil marriages
From: David Kravitz <>
In the UK there were financial advantages to being single until sometime
shortly after WW1. The reverse is now true. Many orthodox Jews thus chose
to marry only in a synagogue. Married in the eyes of God, but not married
in a civil sense was of no interest.
This strikes me as a very strange assertion and I am wondering on what it
is based! It may have been true in countries like Poland, but certainly
not in England, where people were and are very concerned about matters of
civil law. But Jews didn't marry in registry offices because this was not
necessary for the marriage to be valid in English law! A synagogue marriage
sufficed for this purpose.

Most Anglo-Jews -- including my ancestors whose marriages are registered
in the civil records even way back in the early 19th century -- were
married ONLY in synagogue but the marriages were still recognized as valid
in English civil law and registered accordingly. (I'm not sure exactly
when that Act of Parliament was passed, but I have a 1838 civil certificate
issued following the Jewish marriage ceremony of my gg grandparents, who
certainly weren't also married in a registry office.) Nor, of course, was
I myself in 1956! So please disclose the basis of your

Also, I wonder how large a percentage Jews before WW 1 were wealthy
enough for tax laws to be a consideration! At that point most were still
children of first generation Polish or Russian immigrants, and as poor as
church mice (or should I say synagogue mice?) !

Judith Romney Wegner

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