© Federationon of Synagogues
Federation of Synagogues
of Synagogues was the second major synagogal organisation to be established in
Britain, being founded in 1887, some 17 years after the establishment of the
United Synagogue. It was intended for cater
for the many small, less anglosized, congregations, or
that had multiplied in London, particularly since the wave of officially
inspired anti-Jewish attacks and pogroms that followed the assassination of Czar
Alexander II in 1881.
Federation of Synagogues falls into a category described by the
Board of Deputies as Central Orthodox, which also includes the
larger United Synagogue and many congregations of similar ilk
throughout the United Kingdom. Membership of Central Orthodox
congregations in 2016, constituted some 52.8% of synagogue membership in the United Kingdom
in 2016, although the figures are declining.(2)
(initially The Federation of Minor
65 Watford Way, Hendon,
London NW4 3AQ
Federation Burial Society
Board of the Federation of Synagogues (KF)
Reg. Charity No:
On 16 October 1887, a meeting, presided over by Samuel Montagu,
Liberal MP for Whitechapel (later Lord Montagu of Swaythling), was held in the Spital Square Synagogue,
Spitalfields, in London's East End. Attending the meeting were members of
so-called "minor" synagogues and "chevrot" from the East End. At the meeting the
following resolution was passed without dissent:
"That it is desirable for the Chevras to become federated for
certain clearly defined objects."
"That a representative of
every Chevra or Minor Synagogue in East London be invited to attend
a preliminary meetimg to be held at the Spital Square Synagogue on
Sunday, November 6th, at three o'clock, to discuss plans for a
Federation of the Chevras."
On 6 November 1887, representatives from 18 synagogues(3) met at the
Spital Square Synagogue, again under Mr. Montagu's chairmanship, to
to formally constitute themselves as the Federation of Minor Synagogues
(the word "Minor" was soon droped from the formal title).
It was determined that the Federation would be managed by a Board of
Delegates, which met for the first time on 4 December 1887.
16 synagogues(4) were represented at the first meeting of the Board of
Delegates in December 1887, whose total membership did not exceed
about 1,300. By the time of the Federation formally came into
existence there were 21 "original federating synagogues"(5) (of which only one,
the New Daston Synagogue, was outside the London East End).
the figure had grown to 39 synagogues, representing nearly 4,400 male
1937, there were 68 affiliated synagogues and some 13,000 members scattered across London,
but still primarily in London's East End.
Today, the Federation serves 18 constituent synagogues and 7
affiliated congregations in Greater London and Manchester.(7)
Active - Constituent (Greater London area):
Active - Constituent (Provincial):
Active - Affiliated:
Defunct - Post Early 1960s
West End Great
Woolwich & District Synagogue
(formerly Woolwich & Plumstead Synagogue)
Synagogue (formerly North-East London Beth Hamedrash; South Hackney Synagogue)
Defunct - Provincial and Outer
Defunct - By early 1960s:
* A congregation that is still active.
A congregation previously affiliated to the
Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (UOHC)
A congregation that
left the Federation and became affiliated to another organisation (the
United Synagogue or UOHC) and/or independent, or merged into a
congregation affiliated to the United Synagogue.
Ω A congregation, though
largely independent, affiliated to the Federation in certain
16 synagogues that were represented at the
first meeting of the
Board of the Federation of Synagogues on 4 December 1887.
"original federating synagogues" as listed in V.D. Lipman's "Social
History of the Jews 1850-1950", pp.120-121.
Bibliography, On-line Articles
and Other Material
relating to the Federation of Synagogues
The Federation of Synagogues 1887-1987.
Geoffrey Alderman, 1987
(Federation of Synagogues)
The Synagogues of London.
Paul Lindsay, 1993 (Valentine Mitchell,
The Lost Synagogues of London.
Peter Renton, 2000 (Tymsder
Cemeteries of the Federation of Synagogue
Edmonton Jewish Cemetery (active), Montague Road, Angel Road, Lower
Edmonton, London N18 2NF
Cemetery opened in 1890. See
Edmonton Federation Cemetery Records
for burial records of this cemetery (over 36,800 records, from the
opening of the cemetery until 2015), made available to the public by the
Federation, through JGSGB and JCR-UK.
(Also, for additional information, see
IAJGS Cemetery Project - Edmonton)
Rainham Jewish Cemetery (active), 416 Upminster Road North, Rainham Essex
Purchased by the Federation in 1936 and
opened in 1938. It comprises 106 acres. See
Rainham Federation Cemetery Records
records of this cemetery (over
25,800 records, from
the opening of the cemetery until 2015), made available to the public by the Federation,
through JGSGB and JCR-UK.
(Also, for additional information, see
IAJGS Cemetery Project
Synagogal Organisation in the United Kingdom
Community home page
Notes & Sources
returns to main text)
Page created: 27 June 2017
Latest revision or update:
31 May 2018
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