Bradford has two Jewish cemeteries:
Bradford Synagogue (Reform) Cemetery is within the grounds of the Scholemoor
Cemetery and is reached via the Necropolis Road entrance, Bradford BD7. There
are two sections containing over 200 stones together with a small Ohel. The
first interment was in 1877. Here are buried the founding fathers and mothers of
the community, many of whom came from Germany in the nineteenth century. There
are also the graves of refugees from the Nazis who made new lives in Bradford
from 1933. Amongst the graves are those of Charles Semon, the first Jewish Mayor
of Bradford; Jacob Moser, Bradford’s first Jewish Lord Mayor and Philanthropist;
Rabbi Strauss, the first Rabbi of the community, and his descendants; and Rabbi
Bienheim. The headstones are eclectic, ranging in size and design. Some are
inscribed in Hebrew, some in English and some in German. The first burial in the
new section was in 1983.
Bradford Hebrew Congregation (Orthodox) Cemetery has over 400 stones and is
located at Birks Fold, Scholemoor, Bradford BD7. The cemetery has a small Ohel
and two sections, divided by a wall. The first section found on entering the
cemetery is full and burials now take place in the new section. The first burial
took place in 1912. Amongst those buried in the cemetery are Alderman Black and
Olivia Messer, Lord Mayors of Bradford; survivors of the Kovno Ghetto in
Lithuania; and victims of air crashes:
Jewish immigrants started coming to Bradford in the 1830s but it was not until
1873 that they invited Rabbi Strauss from Germany to be their Minister and to
inject some Jewish life back into this group of Merchants and their families.
The Orthodox Cemetery did not open until 1912, and it is believed that early
orthodox burials took place in Leeds at Gildersome (the distance from the centre
of Bradford to Gildersome is 8 miles compared to 5 from Leeds).
Before the Reform Cemetery was opened some Jewish burials took place at the
Bradford Cemetery in Undercliffe. In particular, a number of the German Jewish
merchants married non-Jewish spouses and, for that reason, when they died they
were buried in Undercliffe Cemetery. Details of these burials have been included
here together with information on all those family members mentioned on their
tombstones. There are also some headstones in Undercliffe Cemetery bearing Stars
of David, but these are known not to be Jewish burials.
Within the other general cemeteries in the Bradford District there may be other
graves of Jews. At Scholemoor, the descendants of Jacob Unna, who laid the
foundation stone of the Bradford Synagogue, are buried adjacent to the Jewish
Cemetery but in the non-Jewish section.
Finally, it should be noted that not all Bradford Jews who died are buried in
the cemeteries noted above. It is known that a large number of people who died
in Bradford and the surrounding towns of Elland, Halifax and Huddersfield were
Further information about the Bradford Jewish Community can be found
in the recent article by Nigel Grizzard, at
www.bradfordjewish.org.uk or by e-mailing
Details of all known Jewish burials in the Bradford Cemeteries are provided in
this database, together with images of all legible and partially legible
headstones. Plans showing the Sections and rows for the Orthodox cemetery can be
here and for
the Reform cemetery
here. Information for any individual may be displayed by first selecting the
appropriate surname letter from the list below and then selecting the required
name from its drop-down list.
These cemetery records are provided through the 'Making their Mark project on
Bradford Jewry' supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and coordinated by Nigel
Grizzard. Thanks are due to Benjamin Dunn for the research, Malcolm Sender for
headstone photographs, Nigel Grizzard for headstone photographs and data
transcription, and Alan Tobias for creation of these pages.
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