Burnley Synagogue

& Jewish Community

Burnley, Lancashire




Page created: 12 October 2006
Latest revision or update: 12 April 2013

Press Reports relating to the Burnley Synagogue
 and Jewish Community

Compiled by Harold Pollins

Jewish Chronicle, 12 October 1894, page 17

During the Holy days services were held in Burnley for the first time, a suitable room, specially fitted up as a synagogue, having been lent for the occasion by Mr. N.S. Bernstein, dentist. Mr. Ginsberg read both services on the New Year, and all the Day of Atonement services except Mincha. During the past twelve months the number of Jewish families in Burnley has been considerably augmented, and it is hoped shortly to establish there a regular congregation.

Jewish Chronicle, 6 September 1895, page 15

On the 25th ult., the Jewish inhabitants of Burnley and district consecrated their new synagogue. At last year’s High Festivals they had a Minyan for the first time, and have since then formed themselves into a congregation, of which Mr. E. Denby is President, Mr. S. Shabbatt, of Nelson, Vice-President and Treasurer,  and Mr. M. Zacharias, Acting Hon. Secretary. Mr. Shabbatt drew the plans for the interior fittings and decorations, had all the work carried out under his personal supervision, and found the balance required to meet the expenses. He also bought a new Sepher Torah, at his own expense, for the occasion. The interior of the synagogue is handsomely decorated. Mr. T. Goldstein presented the curtains for the Ark, one of magnificent tapestry and the other white, Mr. Williams, cover for reading-desk, Mr. N.S. Goldstein, clock, Mr. M. Zacharias, Ark, Mrs. Shabbatt, decoration for the windows. Mr. Rosenson, of Blackburn, who was one of the invited guests, acted as Reader on the occasion and impressively conducted the service. Mr. and Mrs. Shabbatt invited about sixty ladies and gentlemen, Jews and Christians, to a repast, and an enjoyable evening was spent.  Mr. S. Saks, of Blackburn, proposed the health of the Queen, which was heartily honoured, as was also the health of the Host and Hostess. - A Christian who was present at the synagogue wrote to the Burnley Express: “The opening of the synagogue in Burnley on Sunday last was quite an unusual event, and I, as an Englishman, was alive to the privilege of attending for once the ceremonial of the ancient religion. As a mere observer I was much impressed by the way in which everything was done in due and ancient form. The unrolling of the Scripture Parchment, the Ark and Covenant and all the rapt attention of the worshippers was quite a revelation. I am not able to describe all the various furnishings, but from what I saw I could leap back better the days of King Solomon’s Temple, and could realise better than ever I had done before the magnificence of that building. I was received with all courtesy and afterwards I left with a feeling of respect for the Jewish religion and people”.

Jewish Chronicle, 2 April 1909, page 36

‘SHOCHET and TEACHER wanted; young man preferred; wage £1 per week; small Jewish community. Apply Blackston, 110 Colne-road, Burnley, Lancs.’

Jewish Chronicle, 28 July 1911, page 2

BURNLEY HEBREW CONGREGATION   -  WANTED, Shochet-Teacher, combined, for small congregation; salary 25/- weekly and house. State age, &c., by letter to A. Cowen, 130, St. James‘-street, Burnley’.

Jewish Chronicle, 13 October 1911, page 2

‘BURNLEY HEBREW CONGREGATION   -  WANTED, Shochet (Teacher combines) for small congregation; able to translate Hebrew into English; married, small family preferred; wages 25/- weekly, rent free. Apply Cowen, 130 St. James’-street’.

Jewish Chronicle, 2 February 1912, page 22

‘Burnley. At a domestic gathering held recently the Rev. A. Krant urged the formation of a Hebrew and Jewish History Class for the members of the congregation. The suggestion was supported by all present’.

Jewish Chronicle, 26 July 1912, page 22

‘Burnley. The annual meeting of the congregation  was held last Sunday. The balance-sheet showed a satisfactory state of affairs. The following were elected: Messrs. S. Blackstone, president; Fine, vice-president; I. Franks, hon. Secretary; A. Lever, treasurer; and a committee of five’.

Jewish Chronicle, 10 July 1931, page 16

‘Manchester Joint Education Board.  -   In reporting on the Bolton and Burnley Congregations, the Rev. I.W. Slotki said that for many years Burnley had carried on an uphill struggle. It had been difficult to get a teacher for the small remuneration they could offer and they had suffered through frequent changes of teachers, the children often being compelled to remain for various periods without any Hebrew instruction. Bolton had been faced with the necessity of reducing the salary of the Shochet. It was pleasing to report that, thanks to the efforts of the Board, the two Congregations had combined and that the Central Committee had consented to raise a grant’.

Jewish Chronicle, 25 September 1931, page 10

‘Manchester Joint Jewish Education Board.  -   Mr. S. Isaacson, president of the Bolton Congregation, expressed thanks to the Area Committee for its successful efforts in connection with the scheme of co-operation between the Bolton and Burnley Hebrew Congregations’.

Jewish Chronicle, 25 December 1931, page 23

‘Manchester Joint Jewish Education Board.  -   The Rev. I.W. Slotki, M.A., said that the scheme of co-operation between the Bolton and Burnley Congregations in connection with a sharing of the services of a Shochet Teacher had ceased owing to migrations from Burnley and the reduction of the number of pupils to teach’.

Jewish Chronicle, 28 June 1931, page III

From: ‘A Lancashire Journey By a Special Correspondent’

‘Across in East Lancashire stands Burnley, in the foothills of the Pennine Range. From the top of a hilly street I saw the gaunt ridge of these mountains, under a lowering sky, and felt the chill blast of an east wind bringing rain and squalls in its train. It was unpropitious. After a long uphill toil through narrow streets I found the address of the hon. Secretary. He no longer lived there, and a typical Lancashire lass, who answered my inquiry replied, “Oh, he’s flit!” (to Leeds, she thought). That really sunned up Burnley Jewry - they have “flit,” through bad trade mainly. Even Jewish names on shop fronts are no guide these days, for the owners (as in, to take at random, Lancaster, Warrington, Oldham, Bury) may have their businesses situated there, but require for the preservation  of their Jewish consciousness to live in the larger Jewish aggregations. Only four Jewish families remain in Burnley - the Synagogue was closed eight or nine years ago’.

Burnley Jewish Community & Congregation home page

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