Page created: 5 August 2007
Latest revision or update: 5 May 2014
Chevra Mikra (or
Mikrah Synagogue (Mikrah
is an alternative Hebrew name for the Hebrew Bible or Tenach).
The name of the congregation was frequently incorrectly referred to (in
the press, in Jewish Year Books and in the records of the Federation of
Synagogues) as Chevra Mikva or Mikvah Synagogue.
Also known as Fashion Court Chevra or Fashion Street Synagogue (although this name generally refers to
Chevra Bikkur Cholim, Fashion Street Synagogue at 16 Fashion Street, New Court).
There was also a later Fashion Street
Plotzker Synagogue, in 1870 (V. D. Lipman in his "Social History of the Jews in England
1850-1950", p. 74, refers in 1870 to "Widegate Street, Hebra
Mikrah - Plotzker Synagogue", whereas on p. 120, he appears later to
distinguish between "Plotzker" and "Chevra Mikra" .)
New Court, Fashion Street,
London E1 (by 1876).
Widegate Street, London E1 (in 1870)
(Both the above
addresses are mentioned in V. D. Lipman's "Social History of
the Jews in England 1850-1950" and it is assumed that they refer to
the same congregation.)
Fashion Street (some 600 feet long), in London's East End, runs east
from Commercial Street to Brick Lane, parallel with Fournier Street (300
feet to the north). (Flower & Dean Street used to run parallel 200 feet
to the south but this no longer exists.)
New Court was a courtyard within the block on the south side of Fashion
Street, north of Flower & Dean Street.
Widegate Street (some 350
feet long) runs east from Bishopsgate to Sandys Row and is
situated at the northern end of Middlesex Street.
Probably in 1858 (see
below) and certainly by 1870.
A foundation meeting had been held on 16 October 1887 to form the
Federation of Synagogues,
and neither the name Mikrah Chevra nor Plotzker Synagogue appear in the list
provided by Geoffrey
Alderman in his history of "The Federation of Synagogues 1887-1987"
of the 16 synagogues that attended that meeting, although there
was a congregation named as the Fashion Court Chevra, founded in
1858, which is presumed be a reference to this congregation.
"Mikrah, Fashion Street", is among
the 21 or 22 synagogues listed by V. D. Lipman in his "Social History of the Jews in England
1850-1950" (pp.120-121) as the founding members of the
Federation on 6 November 1887. However, according to the
Federation's record of its second meeting of 6 January 1888 (as cited by
Daniel Appleby in his "Service and Scandal: the life and times of an immigrant Jewish Clergyman",
p. 86) Chevra Mikra was one of the congregations that had only joined
the organisation since the previous meeting of 4 December 1887.
The following report appeared in
the Jewish World on 1 September 1876:
Fashion Street Synagogue
- On Sunday last, after undergoing extensive redecorations, the
Fashion Street Synagogue (Hibrah Mikrah) was consecrated, in the
presence of a great number of members and visitors. The Synagogue
posses about one hundred seatholders. The usual dedicatory service
was conducted by Rev. L Gluckstein assisted by a choir selected from
the members, on the occasion of the afternoon service. Rev. B.
Spiers delivered a sermon in the German language, taking his
text fromExod. Chap. xxxiv.
Note - Rev. B Spiers was presented with a testimonial on 19
March 1876 in recognition of the gratuitous services rendered by him
for many years as a preacher in connection with the minor synagogues
Princelet Street Synagogue in
January 1898 (Daniel Appleby - "Service and Scandal: the life and times of an immigrant Jewish Clergyman",
p. 86). There was a
Plotsker Synagogue in Commercial
Road in the 1920's, but this is presumed to have been a different
Orthodox - Ashkenazi
1870 - 50 members (Social History of
the Jews in England by V. D. Lipman, p.74, where the congregation is
referred to as "Widegate Street, Hebra Mikrah - Plotzker Synagogue")
1876 - about 100 members (Report in the Jewish World of 1 September
1876, see above)
1896 - 62 members (Jewish Year Book 1896-1897, where the
congregation is referred to as "Mikva Synagogue, New Court")
Widegate Street is in the City of London, having been
situated in the former
civil parish of St. Botolph Without Bishopsgate (abolished 1908) in the
Bishopsgate Ward Without.
Fashion Street is in
the London Borough of Tower Hamlets,
created on 1 April 1965, within the administrative area of Greater London.
Fashion Street was in the Metropolitan Borough of
Stepney (established 1900) in the County of London
(established 1889), both of which entities were abolished in 1965.
Fashion Street was also
within the civil parish of Spitalfields (which was in the former County of Middlesex until 1889)
and which, from 1856 to
1900, was a constituent of the Whitechapel District.
The civil parish of Spitalfields was abolished in 1921, being absorbed
into the civil parish of Whitechapel, which itself was abolished in 1927
to be absorbed into Stepney Borough parish (until that parish's
abolition in 1965).
From 1 July 1837 - City of London
From 1 July 1837 - Whitechapel
1 January 1926 - Stepney
1 January 1983 - Tower Hamlets
Other Congregation Information
Street Directory of Synagogues in East End
and City of London
City of London
and East End Congregations
Greater London home page
of Synagogues Congregations
Explanation of Terms Used