Sheffield Jewish Community

Sheffield, South Yorkshire




JCR-UK is a genealogical and historical website covering all Jewish communities and
congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.
NOTE: We are not the official website for this community.

City of Sheffield

The city of Sheffield, famous for its steel making, has a population of over half a million and forms the core of the Metropolitan Borough of Sheffield, in Northern England. The present boundaries date from 1974, when the metropolitan district of Sheffield was formed within the then new metropolitan county of South Yorkshire. Sheffield became a unitary authority in 1986 when South Yorkshire lost its administrative status, becoming purely a ceremonial county.  Until 1974, Sheffield was a county borough and part of the West Riding of Yorkshire.

The Sheffield Jewish Community

Jews are known to have settled in Sheffield from at least the 1790s. There was an incipient Jewish community in 1827 centered around the Jacobs family, who allegedly maintained a synagogue in their own home and employed a shochet. However, the date generally given for the establishment of a congregation is 1838. A plot for the use of a Jewish burial ground was acquired in 1831. (For a discussion on the date of establishment of the Community see Article by K. Lunn).

Jewish Congregations

The following are the Jewish congregations that exist or existed in and around Sheffield:

* An active congregation.

The following are former or alternative names of the above congregations:

    • Brunswick Street Synagogue - see Sheffield Central Hebrew Congregation

    • Campo Lane Synagogue - see Sheffield Central Hebrew Congregation

    • Central Synagogue - see Sheffield Central Hebrew Congregation

    • The Chevra - see Sheffield Central Hebrew Congregation

    • Figtree Lane Synagogue - see Sheffield Hebrew Congregation

    • Great Synagogue - see Sheffield Hebrew Congregation

    • Holly Street Synagogue - see Sheffield Hebrew Congregation

    • Kingfield Synagogue - see United Synagogue - Sheffield

    • North Church Street Synagogue - see Sheffield Hebrew Congregation

    • Scotland Street Synagogue - see Yanashker Synagogue

    • Sheffield Jewish Congregation and Centre - see United Synagogue - Sheffield

    • Sheffield New Hebrew Congregation - see Sheffield Central Hebrew Congregation

    • United Sheffield Hebrew Congregation - see United Synagogue - Sheffield

    • West Bar Green Synagogue - see Sheffield Central Hebrew Congregation

    • Wilson Road Synagogue (until 1953) - see Sheffield Hebrew Congregation

    • Wilson Road Synagogue (from 1953) - see United Synagogue - Sheffield


Sheffield's Communal Rabbis

(To view a short profile of a communal rabbi, hold the cursor over his name.)


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Sheffield include:

  • Marriage Records 1842 - 1952 (379 records), including:

  • Burials

    • Bowden Street Jewish Cemetery (closed),  1833 - 1874 (8 records);

    • Central Hebrew Congregation Cemetery, Colley Road, Ecclesfield, 1932 - 1953 (170 records);

    • Jewish Community Cemetery (formerly Sheffield UHC), Colley Road, Ecclesfield, 1874 - 1997 (1,390 records);

    • Walkley Jewish Cemetery, 1880 - 1945 (125 records).

  • 1851 Anglo Jewry Database (as of the 2016 update):

    • Individuals in the "1851" database who were living in Sheffield during the 1790s (2 records); 1800s (2 records), 1810s (7 records); 1820s (17 records), 1830s (41 records), 1840s (70 records), 1850s (131 records), 1860s (45 records), 1870s (25 records), 1880s (26 records), 1890s (9 records), 1900s (5 records) and 1910s (1 record).

  • UK Jewish Communal Leaders Database - Sheffield records:

    • Jewish Directory for 1874 (records of 12 indivduals);

    • Jewish Year Book 1896/97 (records of 17 individuals); and

    • JCR-UK Listings (records of 153 individuals - as of the March 2024 update).


On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to the Sheffield Jewish Community


on Third Part websites

Notable Jewish Connections with Sheffield

  • Entertainment and the Arts

    • Emily Maitlis (b.1970), television journalist and presenter, was brought up and educated in Sheffield. Daughter of Prof. Peter Maitlis (see below).

    • Tanya Moiseiwitsch CBE (1914-2003), one of the leading theatre designers of the twentieth century, designed the stage for the Crucible theatre in Sheffield. The Tanya Moiseowitsch Playhouse, which opened in 1971 as part of the same complex as the Crucible, is named after her.

    • Jack Rosenthal, CBE (1931-2004), playwright, studied English literature at Sheffield University.

  • Industry

    • Ruben Viner OBE (1907-1996), proprietor of Viners Ltd (founded by his father in 1901 as siversmiths) grew the Sheffield-based business into one of the largest manufacturers of stainless steel cutlery in the UK. In 1972 he was awarded the OBE for services to exports.

  • Politics

    • Oliver Coppard, born in Sheffield in 1981, a Labour politician, was elected the Mayor of South Yorkshire, which includes the local authorities of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield, in May 2022.

    • Evan Leslie Harris (b.1965 in Sheffield) is a former Liberal Democrat MP (1997-2011). He is a patron of Humanists UK.

    • Baroness King of Bow, Oona King (b. 1967 in Sheffield) is a Labour politician and former MP.

    • Alderman Isidore Lewis, LLD, JP (b.1904 in Scarborough) was Lord Mayor of Sheffield in 1963. (Photograph)

    • Lord Morris of Kenwood (1893-1954), Harry Morris, was MP for Sheffield constituencies and a former president of the United Sheffield Hebrew Congregation. He was raised to a hereditary peerage in 1950. The full title is Baron Morris of Kenwood in the City of Sheffield.

    • Baroness Oppenheim-Barnes (b.1928 in Dublin), a former Conservative MP and Government minister, was raised and educated in Sheffield.

    • Sir Cyril Irvine Patnick, OBE (1929 – 2012), a businessman, was a former Conservative MP for Sheffield Hallam (1987-1997) and Lord Commissioner of the Treasury. He was the vice-president of Sheffield Hebrew Congregation, life president of Sheffield Jewish Representative Council, and a former national vice-chairman of the British Maccabi sports and youth organisation.

    • Sir Dove-Myer Robinson (1901-1989), born in Sheffield, was mayor of Auckland, New Zealand from 1959 to 1965 and from 1968 to 1980, the longest tenure of any holder of such office.

  • Science

    • Sir Hans Krebs (1900-1981) Nobel laureate and scientist lived in Sheffield for 19 years where he was director of the MRC Unit for Cell Metabolism Research. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1953. His scientific career in Germany was halted by the Nazi rise to power on account of his Jewish ancestry.

    • Sir Harold Kroto (1939-2016), a graduate of Sheffield University, won the Nobel Prize in chemistry jointly with others in 1996. He was a critic of religion. His father had been forced to flee Nazi Germany because he was Jewish.

    • Professor Peter Maitlis (b.1933) was a professor of chemistry at the University of Sheffield for 30 years until his appointment as an emeritus professor in 2002. Father of Emily Maitlis (see above).

    • Juda Hirsch Qastel (1899-1987) the son of Galician immigrants to Britain, was a leading biochemist. He was educated at Sheffield Central Secondary school. Amongst many academic honours, he was awarded an Honorary doctorate from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, of which he had also been a governor since 1950.


Other Sheffield Jewish Institutions & Organisations(iv)

Educational & Theological

  • Sheffield Talmud Torah Schools (formerly Sheffield Jews' School)

Founded 1892. (However, there was an earlier school, adjoining the Figtree Lane synagogue, already in existence by 1873, with 38 pupils (17 boys, 21 girls), the headmaster being Mr. M.J. Rudelsheim.(v))

Classes were held at the (Old) Hebrew Congregation's synagogue premises at North Church Street, moving to 22 Paradise Square in about 1905, to 93 Brunswick Street in 1924. From about 1939, they were at various premises, moving to 121 Bents Road in about 1946 and to Psalter House, Psalter Lane in about 1950.(vi)

Headmasters / Directors of Education: Isaac Aarons (c.1899-c.1902); I. Finkelstone (c.1905-c.1910); S.H. Finklestone (c.1910-c.1931); Rabbi Benzion Lapan (1946-1952); Dr. Moshe Friedlander (1953-1970); and Nathan Plotkin (1970-1976)(vii)

Number of Pupils(viii)














  • Sheffield Hebrew Education Board (founded 1902)

Religious Organisations

  • Chevra Kaddisha (founded by 1901)

Welfare Organisations

  • Sheffield Hebrew Benevolent Society (in operation from 1873 until 1887)

  • Sheffield Jewish Board of Guardians (founded 1887) to relieve resident and casual poor.

  • Jewish Sisters Benevolent Association (founded by 1874)(xii)

  • Jewish Ladies Benevolent Society (founded 1901)

  • Sheffield Dorcas, or Sewing Guild (founded 1900)

  • Sheffield Shelter (founded by 1908)

Literary, Social, Youth and Sports Organisations

  • Jewish Students Association (founded 1907)

  • Jewish Working Men's Club (founded 1901).

  • Maccabean Social and Literary Society (founded by 1912).

  • Sheffield Jewish Literary and Philharmonic Society (founded 1887).

  • Sheffield Hebrew Literary and Debating Society (founded by 1904).

Friendly Societies, Lodges, etc.

  • Chevra Sholem (founded 1892, appears in JYB 1896 but not JYB 1900) for aid to members, loans, etc.

  • Jewish Tailors' Sabbath Observance and Benefit Society (founded by 1900)

  • Hadassah Lodge of Freemasons (N4871)

  • Order "Achei Brith" and "Shield of David", Sheffield Lodge No. 105

  • Order of Ancient Maccabeaeans, Simon Maccabeus Beacon, No. 17

  • Order of Ancient Maccabeaeans, Sisters of Covenant Lodge, No. 54

  • Independent Order of B'nei Brith, Lord Beaconsfield Lodge, No. 4

  • Independent Order of B'nei Brith, Sisters of Covenant Lodge, No. 43

  • Lodge of the Grand Order of Israel and Shield of David, Palestine Lodge, No, 39

Zionist and other Israel Organisations

  • Federation of Women Zionist

  • Junior Zionist Assoiation

  • Sheffield Mizrach Society(xiii)

  • Sheffield Zionist Association (founded 1899)

Miscellaneous Institutions

  • Jewish Tailors, Machinists and Pressers Union (founded by 1903)

  • Naturalisation  Society (founded 1907).

  • Refugee Hostell

This hostel was established in Priory Road to give refuge to some two dozen Jewish boys from Nazi occupied Europe. The hostel was bombed during a heavy air raid and the boys were given temporary refuge in the Assembly Hall in Wilson Road.(xiv)

  • Representative Council of Sheffield & District Jews (founded by 1950)


Community Records


Sheffield Jewish Cemeteries Information
(for records on the ALL-UK Database, see above)


Ecclesfield Jewish Cemetery, Sheffield

Sheffield had several Jewish burial grounds (one Reform and the remainder Orthodox), as listed below:

(For additional information, see IAJGS Cemetery Project - Sheffield)


Sheffield Jewish Population Data



(The Jewish Year Book 1896/97)



(The Jewish Year Book 1899/1900)



(The Jewish Year Book 1904/05)



(The Jewish Year Book 1909)



(The Jewish Year Book 1935



(The Jewish Year Book 1945/46)



(The Jewish Year Book 1947)



(The Jewish Year Book 1956)



(The Jewish Year Book 1966)



(The Jewish Year Book 1991)



(The Jewish Year Book 2000)



(The Jewish Year Book 2005)


Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) to (iii) Reserved.

  • (iv) Unless otherwise stated, dates of founding are as stated in Jewish Year Books or based upon the first appearance in Jewish Year Books.

  • (v) The Jewish Directory of 1874, edited by Asher I. Myers, p.83.

  • (vi) Jewish Year Books and Armin Krausz's Sheffield Jewry.

  • (vii) Jewish Year Books and Armin Krausz's Sheffield Jewry.

  • (viii) Jewish Year Books for the relevant year.

  • (ix) to (xi) Reserved.

  • (xii) The Jewish Directory of 1874, edited by Asher I. Myers, p.84, but not subsequently listed in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (xiii) Armin Krausz's Sheffield Jewry.

  • (xiv) The Wilson Street Synagogue's Golden Jubilee Souvenir Brochur (1980), p.4.

Jewish Congregations in South Yorkshire

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 21 August 2005
Page most recently amended: 1 April 2024

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