Page created By John Berman: 2002
Congregations researched and page reformatted by David Shulman: September 2005
Page redesigned by Louise Messik: 11 November 2011
Page reorganized by David Shulman: 31 January 2013
Latest revision or update: 15 November 2014

THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF LEEDS


City of Leeds

The present boundaries of the officially-named City of Leeds metropolitan borough, in Northern England, date from 1974, when the county borough of Leeds was merged with a number of other localities from West Riding of Yorkshire to form the metropolitan district (later borough) within the then new metropolitan county of West Yorkshire.  Leeds became a unitary authority in 1986 when West Yorkshire lost its administrative status, becoming purely a ceremonial county.

The Jewish Leeds Community

The Leeds Jewish community is the second largest provincial community in Britain (exceeded only by Manchester), currently numbering over 8,000 (out of a total population of approximately for 430,000 for Leeds itself and 730,000 for the whole metropolitan borough).  The community only really became established in 1840, much later than many other communities.  By the 1870's, most of the community lived in, or close to, the very poor Leylands district, which was almost a Jewish ghetto. The Jews gradually moved to the north, partly as a result of slum clearance schemes which started in 1907 and very few were left in Leylands by the late 1930's. They initially settled in the Chapeltown district, and from the 1950's, moved further north to the vicinity of Moortown and the Ring Road (Alwoodley).
 


Search of Leeds Cemeteries Records,
with images

BHH Cemetery - Records of 2,200 burials, plus photographs of over 2,000 headstones, in the Leeds Beth Hamedrash Hagadol (BHH) Cemetery (which also includes a number of other congregations), Gelderd Road, Gildersome, from 1955 to 2013.

Hill Top Cemeteries - Records of burials, plus photographs of all headstones, in the Leeds Hill Top Cemeteries, generally in use from 1875 to 1970 (but with some later burials).

New Farnley Cemeteries - Records of nearly 10,000 burials, plus photographs of some 8,000 headstones, in the Leeds New Farnley Cemeteries, from 1896 to 2013. This cemetery is administered by the Etz Chaim Synagogue, except for the Louis Street Synagogue section, which is administered by the United Hebrew Congregation.

Sinai (Reform) Synagogue Cemetery - Records of approximately 350 burials (including photographs of headstones) in the Leeds Sinai (Reform) Synagogue section of the Harehills Cemetery, Leeds, from the early 1950's to June 2014.

UHC Cemetery - Records of over 6,500 burials, plus photographs of some 5,000 headstones, in the Leeds United Hebrew Congregation (UHC) Cemetery (which also includes a number of other congregations), Gelderd Road, Gildersome, from 1840 to 2013.
 

 


 Search the All-UK Database

The records in the All-UK Database associated with Leeds include:

Marriages

1855 - 1973 (5,044 records).

Burials

Hill Top Cemeteries:
 Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synagogue section (1,049 records*);
 Mariempoler (Old Central) Synagogue section (81 records);
 remaining section (1,659 records).

New Farnley Cemeteries:
 Louis Street Synagogue section (1,039 records);
 Psalms of David Synagogue section (630 records);
 remaining section (5,820 records).

New Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synagogue Cemetery, Geldred Road (1,132 records).

United Hebrew Congregation Cemetery (6,113 records).

*A search in the database may reveal duplicates of some of these records on the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Register (JOWBR) or some records may be on JOWBR exclusively.

1851 Anglo Jewry Database

Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Leeds during the 1820s (9 records), 1830s (30 records), 1840s (60 records plus 3 records in Wakefield), 1850s (129 records plus 5 records in Wakefield), 1860s (50 records), 1870s (41 records), 1880s (24 records), 1890s (5 records), 1900s (6 records) and 1910s (1 record).

Military

Additions to the Roll of Honour. Records of Jewish serviceman who died in service 1914-1921 and who were not listed on http://www.roll-of-honour.com. (At least 25 records of serviceman born in Leeds).
 

The Jewish Congregations in Leeds

The following congregations are, or were, considered to be part of the Leeds Community. (If you cannot trace the congregation in the list below, try searching in the list of alternative names.)

*  Denotes active congregation

(1) Congregation records (as listed) in All-UK Database.

(2) Pages with their own searchable databases.

(3) Pages with press reports on the congregation.

(4) Pages with photographs.

(5) Pages with articles and other contributed material.

(6) Pages with browsable lists.

On-Line Articles on the Leeds Jewish Community

The Rise of Provincial Jewry - Leeds by Cecil Roth, 1950. Available on JCR-UK as part of the Susser Archive

Leeds Jewish Community - The Early Years by Murray Freedman. Originally published in Shemot (the journal of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain), Spring 1993, Volume 1, Number 2.

Deciphering An Old Gravestone In Leeds by Murray Freedman. Originally published in Shemot, October 1994, Volume 2, Number 4.

Brief articles by Alan Tobias on the Leeds BHH Cemetery, Hill Top Cemeteries, New Farnley Cemeteries, Sinai (Reform) Synagogue Cemetery and UHC Cemetery, written, respectively, as prefaces to the cemeteries' databases.

Jewish Population Data

1840
1841
  
1846
1850
1877
1896
1934
1945
1955
1964
1988 
2004
2008

-  Approximate date of earliest organized Jewish Community in Leeds
-    60 (9 families and 28 male lodgers) (1841 census, per Murray Freedman's  "Leeds - The First Hundred   Years")
-  Establishment of first Synagogue
(see Great Synagogue)

-  100 (Murray Freedman's profile on Leeds Jewry)
-  about 500 families (The Jewish Chronicle)
-  10,000 (The Jewish Year Book 1896)
-  25,000* (The Jewish Year Book 1935)
-  25,000* (The Jewish Year Book 1945-6)
-  25,000* (The Jewish Year Book 1956)
-  18,000 (Study by Louis Sape)
-  10,500 (Murray Freedman's profile on Leeds Jewry)
-    8,267** (The Jewish Year Book 2005)
-    6,100
(estimate - Murray Freedman)

* These figures are disputed in "Leeds Jewry - A Demographical and Sociological Profile" by Murray Freedman, in which it is claimed that the highest number Leeds Jewry ever achieved was possibly around 22,000 in the late 1920's and early 1930's.  The Jewish Year Book 1991 also gives a figure for Leeds of 12,000, substantially above Murray's figure for a couple of years earlier
** This figure is from the 2001 census, but includes approximately 1,000 students at university in Leeds

Other Leeds Jewish Information

List of Jewish Collections held by the West Yorkshire Archive Service Leeds

Jewish Property and Heritage & Places of Local Interest

Bibliography and other sources

IAJGS Cemetery Site - Leeds Cemetery Information

Medieval Community in Knaresborough
 

Alternative Names for Leeds Synagogues

The following are former, alternative or unofficial names for some of the congregations listed above:

Agudah Synagogue - see Agudas Israel Synagogue
Agudas Hazionim Synagogue - see Leeds Zionist Synagogue
Albert Grove Synagogue  - see Psalms of David and Talmud Synagogue
Back Rockingham Street Synagogue - see Great Synagogue
Belgrave Street Synagogue- see Great Synagogue
Beth Hamidrash Chevra Shass - see Talmudical Synagogue
Beth Hamidrash Hagadol (Chapeltown) - see Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue
Beth Hamidrash Hagadol (Moortown) - see Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue
Brunswick Street Synagogue - see Leeds Zionist Synagogue
Byron Street Synagogue - see Louis Street Synagogue
Central Synagogue  - see New Central Synagogue and Old Central Synagogue
Chapeltown United Synagogue  - see Chapeltown Hebrew Congregation
Chevra Shass - see Talmudical Synagogue
Chevra Sward - see Chevra Sefard Congregation
Chevra Tehillim - see Psalms of David and Talmud Synagogue
Crimbles Street Synagogue - see  Talmudical Synagogue
Elmwood Green Synagogue - see Chevra Shilleler
"Englisher Shul" - see Great Synagogue
Federation Synagogue - see Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue
Francis Street Synagogue - see Chapeltown Hebrew Congregation
"Grinner Shul" - see New Briggate Synagogue
Herzl Moser Zionist Synagogue - see Leeds Zionist Synagogue
Hope Street Synagogue - see Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue
Lady Lane Synagogue  - see Leeds Jewish Workers' Burial and Trading Society Congregation
Leeds Reform Synagogue - see Sinai Synagogue
Lowkever Synagogue - see Chapeltown Hebrew Congregation
Lodzer Chevra - see Ahavas Achim Bnei Lodz Synagogue
Mariempoler (or Mariampolar) Synagogue - see Old Central Synagogue
New Mariampolar Synagogue - see Old Central Synagogue
Newton Park Road Synagogue - see Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue
Northfield Terrace Synagogue - see Chevra Torah
Old Central Hebrew Congregation - see Old Central Synagogue
Old Hebrew Congregation - see Great Synagogue
Old Mariampolar Synagogue - see Old Central Synagogue
Parkside Synagogue - see Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue
Polish Synagogue - see Louis Street Synagogue
Psalms of David Congregation - see Psalms of David and Talmud Synagogue
Regent Street Beth Hamedrash - see Amalgamation of Synagogues
Reginald Terrace Synagogue - see Psalms of David and Talmud Synagogue
Sephardic Synagogue - see Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue
Shadwell Lane Synagogue - see United Hebrew Congregation
Sholebroke Terrace Synagogue - see Shalom Beth Hamedrash
Spencer Place Synagogue - see Chassidishe Synagogue
St. Alban's Street Synagogue - see Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue; Leeds Zionist Synagogue and Old Central Synagogue
St. John's Place Synagogue -  - see New Synagogue
Street Lane Synagogue - see Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue
Wintoun Street Synagogue - see New Central Synagogue
Victoria Place Synagogue - see Old Central Synagogue
Zionist Synagogue - see Leeds Zionist Synagogue


Other Jewish Congregations in West Yorkshire

Jewish Communities of England home page

Explanations of Terms Used

 
   


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