Newcastle United Hebrew Congregation

Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear



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Newcastle Culzean Park Synagogue
The Synagogue at Culzean Park
(Courtesy Peter Gatoff)

Congregation Data


Newcastle United Hebrew Congregation (the "UHC")


The congregation came into being on 1 March 1973, on the merger of the three remaining Orthodox congregations in Newcastle, as well as three other communal organisations,(iii) namely:

The respective synagogues of each of the three congregations (see below) became constituent synagogues of the UHC and continued to function for some years until they were each gradually closed and the congregation was centralised in a new purpose-built synagogue.

The establishment of the united congregation was the result of discussions and negotiations that took place over several years and followed the signing of a Declaration of Intent by the presidents of the three congregation in January 1970, assisted by Mr. Nat Rubin, secretary of the United Synagogue in London.(iv) In December 1972, general meetings were held on the same day by each of the six existing organisation when it was agreed to wind up each such organisation by 28 February 1973.(v)

(Note: this was the third instance of the formation of a "Newcastle United Hebrew Congregation", the first was the 1880 merger and the second was the 1924 merger.

Synagogue Address:

Culzean Park, Graham Park Road, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 4BH, opened in 1986.(vi)

Previous (Constituent) Synagogues:

The UHC was initially served, from 1973, by each of the following constituent synagogues:

  • Leazes Park Road synagogue, of the Newcastle Old Hebrew Congregation, which closed in 1978;(ix)

  • Lansdowne Terrace synagogue, of the Gosforth & Kenton Hebrew Congregation, which closed in 1984;(x) and

  • Eskdale Terrace synagogue, of the Jesmond Hebrew Congregation, which closed in 1986.(xi)


Ashkenazi Orthodox

Current Status:

The congregation is still active. However, the community has witnessed in recent years a sharp decline in numbers. The present synagogue in Culzean Park is now far too large for regular Sabbath services. The community are in the process of selling part of the site and consolidating into a new synagogue and community centre within Lionel Jacobson House.(xii) 


Ashkenazi Orthodox


An unaffiliated provincial congregation under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi.




(To view a short profile of a minister - hold the cursor over his name.)

Rabbi Shlomo P. Toperoff - minister in 1973.(xv)

Rabbi Mordechai M. Baddiel - minister from 1973 until 1995.(xvi)

Rabbi Yisroel Y. Fine - minister from 1974 until about 1981.(xvii)

Rev. Chaim Ingram - minister from 1982 until 1987.(xviii)

Rabbi Yehuda L. Black - minister from 1995 until 2004.(xix)

Rabbi Dovid Y. Lewis - minister from 2005 until 2011.(xxii)

Rabbi Aaron Lipsey - minister from 2011 until the present (March 2024).(xxiii)

Lay Officers:(xxvi)


1973-1976 - Dr. Lionel Kopelwitz, JP

1976-1979 - David Franks(xxvii)

1979-1982 - Dr. Felix Lustman, JP(xxviii)

1982-1985 - G. Leigh

1985-1988 - A. Summerfield

1988-1991 - A.D. Science

1991-1994 - David Franks

1994-1997 - H. Ross

1997-1998 - D. Simons

1998-2001 - S.D. Pearlman

2001-2004 - H. Ross

2004-2005 - S.D. Pearlman

2005-2008 - V. Gallant

2008-2010 - Dr. Felix Lustman

2010-2013 - M.S.D. Pearlman

2013-2014 - V. Gallant

2014-2015 - H. Ross

Vice President

1973-1976 - Nathan Science



1973-1976 - Donald D. Cohen

1976-1977 - Dr. Felix Lustman, JP


Secretaries or Hon. Secretaries

1973 - David GoldJack Maurice(xxix)

1973-1974 - J. Gibson

1974-1975 - Mrs. A.J. Embola

1975-1976 - A.D. Science

1976-1979 - M. IsonF. Seiler

1979-1980 - Mrs. A.J. Embola

1980-1981 - Mrs. M. Cansfield

1981-1982 - Mrs. R. Metcalfe

1982-2006 - Mrs. P. Ashton

2006-2010 - Mrs. B. Levinson

2010-2013 - B. Dennis

Membership Data :

Reports & Surveys(xxxii)

1977 - 460 male (or household) members and 159 female members

1983 - 360 male (or household) members and 180 female members

1990 - 456 members (comprising 233 households, 64 individual male and 159 individual female members)

1996 - 544 members (comprising 361 households, 60 individual male and 123 individual female members)

2010 - listed as having 200 to 299 members (by household)

2016 - listed as having 100 to 199 members (by household)

Committees and other affiliated organisations:

Among the congregation's committees and affiliated organisations are the following, established in 1973:(xxxiii)

  • Shechita and Kashrus Committee, which became the the Kashrus Committee in about 1993;(xxxiv)

  • Education and Youth Committtee (initially the Education Committee);

  • Burial Committee;

  • Ladies Guild.

Charitable Status:

The United Hebrew Congregation of Newcastle upon Tyne is a registered charity, number 504336 (standard registration), registered on 22 August 1975.(xxxv)


The Orthodox Community in Newcastle has three Jewish cemeteries in use since 1973, Hazlerigg, Heaton and Ravensworth (for details, see Newcastle Cemetery Information)


Culzean Park Synagogue, Newcastle
Plaque commemorating the Consecration of the
Culzean Park Synagogue
(Courtesy Peter Gatoff)
Culzean Park Synagogue, Newcastle
Plaque commemorating the Laying of the
Foundation Stone at the Culzean Park Synagogue
(Courtesy Peter Gatoff)


Congregational Records


  • Numerous records of the Jewish Communities in Northeast England (only a sample of which are listed below) are deposited with the Tyne and Wear Archives Service (http://www.legacyarchives.org.uk)

  • CLICK HERE to view a list of these records (correct to December 2005).

Synagogue Records:

  • Annual Reports 1973-1990 - Tyne and Wear Archives Service (see above)

  • Orders of Service 1975-1996 - Tyne and Wear Archives Service (see above)

  • Plan 1984 - Tyne and Wear Archives Service (see above)

Registration District (BMD):


Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) and (ii) Reserved.

  • (iii) The Jewish Communities of North-East England by Lewis Olsover (1980) ("Olsover's Book"), p. 71, 72.

  • (iv) Olsover's Book, p. 71.

  • (v) Olsover's Book, p.72.

  • (vi) The congregation's website, accessed March 2024.

  • (vii) and (viii) Reserved.

  • (ix) Olsover's Book, p.74.

  • (x) "Gosforth and Kenton Synagogue" article by Walter Sharman, final page.

  • (xi) Jewish Year Book 1986.

  • (xii) The congregation's website, accessed March 2024.

  • (xiii) and (xiv) Reserved.

  • (xv) Rabbi Topperoff had been regional minister in Newcastle since 1951. The Jewish Chronicle of 9 November 1973 reported that the United Hebrew Congregation of Newcastle held a farewell reception at the Gosforth and Kenton Communal Hall, the previous week for Rabbi and Mrs S. P. Toperoff, before their departure for Israel.

  • (xvi) Rabbi Baddiel had been the minister of the Gosforth and Kenton Hebrew Congregation since 1968. The Jewish Chronicle of 17 February 1995 reported that a retirement function was to be held in March for Rabbi Baddiel, who will continue his duties on a month-to-month basis [until the arrival of Rabbi Yehuda Black]. He is listed as a minister of this congregation in Jewish Year Books 1976 through 1985.

  • (xvii) Rabbi Fine's appointment - Olsover's Book, p. 73 and Jewish Chronicle report of 26 July 1974 (Rabbi Yisroel Fine has been appointed a minister of the United Hebrew Congregation of Newcastle and will take up his appointment after the High Festivals); his departure - Jewish Chronicle reports of 23 October 1981 (Rabbi Yisroel Fine, minister of the United Hebrew Congregation, Newcastle upon Tyne, and minister-designate of the Wembley Synagogue) and 15 January 1982 (Rabbi Yisroel Fine will tomorrow conduct his first service as minister of Wembley Synagogue). He was listed as a minister of this congregation in Jewish Year Books 1975 through 1981.

  • (xviii) The Jewish Chronicle of 5 February 1982 reported that Rev Chaim Ingram, 29; who has been reader of the Cricklewood Synagogue, London, for the past three years, has been appointed to a full time post with the Newcastle United Hebrew Congregation and is to take up his new duties after Pesach. It subsequently reported, on 23 May 1986, that Rev. Ingram from Newcastle is expected to take up his duties in Leicester later this month. He was listed in Jewish Year Books as minister-reader in the editions for 1984 and 1985 and as minister in the 1986 edition.

  • (xix) The Jewish Chronicle of 17 February 1995 reported that the Newcastle United Hebrew Congregation had unanimously chosen Rabbi Yehuda Black as its new minister in succession to Rabbi Moshe Baddiel. It subsequently reported on 18 March 2005 on the induction on Sunday of the new minister of Kenton Synagogue, Rabbi Yehuda Black... who moved with his family from Newcastle seven months ago. He was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1996 through 2005.

  • (xx) and (xxi) Reserved.

  • (xxii) The Jewish Chronicle of 12 November 2004 reported that the Newcastle United Hebrew Congregation is planning to welcome its new rabbi, Dovid Lewis, currently youth minister at Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue, in January. President Sam Pearlman said: "We look forward to the arrival of Rabbi Lewis with his wife, Nachi.....". Subsequent on 13 May 2011 it reported on a farewell evening for Rebbetzin Nachi Lewis who leaves for Manchester next month where her husband Rabbi Dovid Lewis becomes the minister of South Manchester Synagogue in Bowdon. He was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 2006 through 2011.

  • (xxiii) Newcastle United Hebrew Congregation website, last accessed March 2024. He was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 2012 until the cessation of publication in 2015.

  • (xxiv) and (xxv) Reserved.

  • (xxvi) Unless otherwise stated the data on lay officers has been extracted from Jewish Year Books from 1974 (the years in which the congregation was listed) through 2015 (the last publication). Where a person was first listed in a year book as holding a particular office, it has been assumed that his term of office commenced in the year of publication of the relevant year book, which was generally towards the end of the year prior to year appearing in the title of the year book and that he continued in office until the commencement of office of his successor, unless the office was vacant (e.g. if he was listed in Jewish Year Books 1981 through 1985, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1980 and continued in office until 1985). However, it should be noted that this is only an assumption and accordingly his actual years of office may differ from those shown here. The year books generally listed only the president and secretary of this congregation, although occasionally other officers were listed. 

  • (xxvii) D. Franks was listed in Appendix 1 (p. 207) to Olsover's Book as president 1976-79. However, the Jewish Year Book listed a Mr. D. Marks as president in the 1977 edition and did not list a president again until the 1982 edition.

  • (xxviii) Dr. F. Lustman was listed in Appendix 1 (p. 207) to Olsover's Book as president from 1979 without giving an end date (the book was published in 1980). The Jewish Year Book listed listed Dr. Lustman as president in the 1982 edition and G. Leigh as president from the 1983 edition.

  • (xxix) Referred to as the initial joint hon. secretaries in Olsover's Book p.72, but not listed in the Jewish Year Book.

  • (xxx) and (xxxi) Reserved.

  • (xxxii) Reports on synagogue membership in the United Kingdom, published by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and which can be viewed on the website of the Institute of Jewish Policy Research. Click HERE for links to the various reports.

  • (xxxiii) Olsover's Book, p72.

  • (xxxiv) The change of name first appears in the Jewish Year Book 1994.

  • (xxxv) Charities Commission website, accessed March 2024. Clicking the charity number will take you to the charity's registration on the website.

Newcastle upon Tyne Jewish Community home page

Jewish Congregations in Tyne and Wear

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 3 September 2005
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 3 March 2024
Page most recently amended: 12 March 2024

Research by David Shulman, assisted by Steven Jaffe
Formatting by David Shulman

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