Together Rabbi Blaubaum and Rev. Danglow as two esteemed Ministers of St Kilda Hebrew Congregation covered an amazing 86 years on the pulpit!
Reverend Jacob Danglow was appointed as Chief Minister in 1904. Five years later he married May Baruch, the granddaughter of the Shule’s founding President, Moritz Michaelis. During World War I, 113 men from the Congregation enlisted and of these nineteen died. Reverend Danglow served as the Jewish Chaplain for the Australian Imperial Forces on the Western Front for several months before the end of the war. On Chanukah, 12th December 1920, the Congregation’s Roll of Honour was unveiled by Sir John Monash, the distinguished Corps Commander of the Australian Imperial Forces during its victories in August 1918 when the Allies broke through the Hindenburg Line. Three years later Rev. Danglow published a history of the Congregation to celebrate its Golden Jubilee.
Rev. Danglow is fondly remembered for his profound influence on young people. Sir Zelman Cowen recalled his admiration for the man and the leadership he displayed within the congregation and the wider community. Sir Cowen remembered that Rev. Danglow kept a pile of books specially for children beside the pulpit.
Rev. Danglow served as senior Jewish Chaplain to the Australian Army in World War II and visited New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. He represented the Anglo-Jew, wearing a clerical collar and being known as John rather than Jacob. Instead of attempting to maintain a strict Orthodox community in Australia, he promoted the middle path, urging newly arrived refugees, survivors of the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust, to assimilate as soon as possible. He opposed the struggle for national independence of Jews in Palestine, favouring instead a Jewish homeland in Palestine under the British mandate. This, and his apparent lack of sympathy for Jewish refugees, combined with the increase in secular leadership of the Jewish community after World War II diminished his influence in his later life.
On the 1st July 1957 Rabbi Danglow retired after 51 years of service to the Congregation. He had been accorded the title ‘Rabbi’ on 5th June 1934 on his 25th wedding anniversary.
Rev. Danglow was responsible for many initiatives throughout his life, including his introduction of the first Bat Mitzvah ceremony at St Kilda Shule in 1935; his campaign to have women admitted as voting members; and founding the Melbourne Jewish Advisory Board in a joint committee with Melbourne, East Melbourne and St Kilda Congregations as an organisation to deal with Jewish matters of the community. He was awarded an OBE in June 1950 adding to the honours that the Jewish community already acknowledged.
The 3rd St Kilda Scout Group
The 3rd St Kilda Scout Group was founded in April 1924. The first meetings were held in the schoolrooms of the St Kilda Synagogue. In 1955, on the occasion of Rabbi Danglow’s Golden Jubilee of service, the Group added to its title “Danglow’s Own” and became 3rd St Kilda “Danglow’s Own” Scout Group. In a “foreward” to the publication “50 Years of Achievement”, a history of the Group published in 1974, the Judge Trevor Rapke mentioned the contribution which 3rd St Kilda scouting had made to the stability and progress of the Victorian Jewish Community as well as to many avenues of dedicated public service in Australia generally.
The 4th St Kilda Girl Guides
The 4th St Kilda Girl Guide Company was the brainchild of Rabbi Danglow. Following success of the 3rd St Kilda Scout Company, Rabbi Danglow felt that the girls should have equal opportunity and he initiated the first meeting. This was held at St Kilda Synagogue on December 8th 1930, under the leadership of Shirley Goldman & Rosa Rosen (Smith).
Sir Zelman Cowen recalled his admiration for Rabbi Danglow and the leadership he displayed within St Kilda Hebrew Congregation and the wider community. And how he kept a pile of books specially for children beside the pulpit.