IN THE BEGINNING ...................
From the 1930's there was a sprinkling of Jewish families in the Sutton and district area, many of whom were unaware of the existence of the others.
In the 1940's most of the husbands were away in the Forces, but the wives somehow managed to find each other.
One of the wives was Mrs.Lena Epstein who had a gown shop in Sutton High Street (one of many Jewish-owned shops in the High Street) who was the driving force in getting the wives together. It is said that she went through the local telephone directory and picked out all Jewish-sounding names and contacted them.
Gradually families got together, - they played cards together, the wives met for coffee mornings, they held Shabbat services in one of their homes and then in a disused (or perhaps it was still used) Scouts' Hut.
Fay Perloff was one of these ladies, and in 1945 she and her husband Ben had just bought Wellesley Lodge, an old dilapidated property which stood in the area now known as Effingham Close.
When they were in the process of moving with their four children, Lena visited and exclaimed "This would make a wonderful Shul - it is just what we need !"
The end result was that Fay, Ben and their four children moved into the cottage which stood at the back of the property and the ground floor was renovated and turned into a shul.
Lena and her ladies moved in and cleaned the place up.
A small dedicated band worked tirelessly, - some of the founders were Dr. & Mrs. Fishman, Ben and Lililan Frickers, Doctor Shaw, Simon Davies, Jack Beaver, Victor Landau' "Perly" Perl, together with their wives.
Fay's father, Mr. Bernstein, took the Shabbat services and also started teaching children in improvised classrooms. Within weeks there were 30 children on the roll and Mr.Benjamiin, a retired school master from Morden became the second teacher.
Rev.Shmulovitz became our first Minister. He and his wife lived in a flat above the shul. Hardly a week went by without another family moving into the area and contacting the small community.
Dr.Shaw was our first Warden and Lena Epstein the first Chairlady of the Ladies Guild.
In October 1946 our shul was consecrated by the Chief Rabbiue, then Rabbi Doctor Israel Brodie and Rev.Shmulovitz was inducted.
We became the SUTTON AND DISTRICT HEBREW CONGREGATION.