JCR-UK

Aberdeen Synagogue

& Jewish Community Centre

Aberdeen, Scotland

 

 

 

JCR-UK is a genealogical and historical website. It is not the official website of the congregation named above.

City of Aberdeen

The city of Aberdeen is the third largest in Scotland with a population of over 200,000. It is situated on the northeast coast between the mouths of the rivers Don and Dee.  Although traditionally part of the county of Aberdeenshire, the City of Aberdeen has constituted a self-contained unitary authority since 1996. From 1975 to 1996, Aberdeen was a district of the now defunct Grampian Region.

Aberdeen Jewish Community

This small Jewish community dates back to at least 1893, when the synagogue was established. The community was never large and there are records of only one Jewish congregation ever existing in Aberdeen. The community's synagogue has the distinction of being the most northerly synagogue in the United Kingdom and the Jewish community itself is now the most northerly, following the Inveness community becoming defunct some decades ago.

Aberdeen Synagogue logo
Congregation Data

Name:

Aberdeen Synagogue and Jewish Community Centre (since 2016)(i)

Former Name:

Aberdeen Hebrew Congregation (Hebrew Name: Beit Knesset Ohel Ya'acov)

Address:

74 Dee Street, Aberdeen AB11 6DS(ii)

The synagogue building was purchase in 1945 and the synagogue was consecrated in June of that year.  the building, a Georgian style town house built in the early 1800s, was refurbished, with a community centre, in 1983.

Former Address:

34 Marischal Street, Aberdeen (from 1893 until 1945).(iii)

Current Status:

Active

Date Founded:

1893

Ritual:

"Traditional"

Affiliation:

None

Website:

https://www.asjcc.co.uk/

Ministers & Readers:

Rev. James Littman  - minister from 1893 until about 1896(vi)

Rev. Morris Cohen - minister from about 1896 (and secretary from about 1900) until about 1903(vii)

Rev. A. Hirstovitz - reader (and shochet) from about 1904 until about 1907(viii)

Rev. I. Ostroff - reader (and hon. secretary) from about 1909 until about 1911(ix)

Rev. D. Halpern - reader (and hon. secretary) from about 1911 until about 1913(x)

Rev. J. Frankenthal - reader from about 1914 until about 1924(xi)

Rev. M. Wolfson - minister (and shochet) from about 1929 until about 1930(xiii)

Rev. J. Edelstein - minister (and shochet) from about 1930 until about 1933(xiv)

Rev. B. Fink - minister (and shochet) from about 1935 until about 1936(xv)

Mr. H. Brookfield - acting minister from at least 1945 until about 1949(xvi)

Rab. Dr. G. Pfingst - minister from about 1956 until about 1957(xvii)

Lay Officers:

See below for Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Treasurers and Secretaries of the congregation until mid 1950s.

Membership Data:

Jewish Year Books (number of seat-holders)(xx)

1895

1895

1897

1909

1911

1919

12

19

23

25

20

18

Reports & Surveys

2010 and 2016 - listed as having under 50 members (by household)(xxi)

Charitable Status:

The congregation is a registered Scottish Charity (no. SC046585), registered on 24 May 2016. The previous registration prior to the 2016 reorganisation, under the name Aberdeen Hebrew Congregation (no. SC002901), was registered on 13 September 1945.(xxii) 

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) The new name was adopted following the reorganisation of the congregation in 2016. 

  • (ii) The Dee Street address was listed in Jewish Year Books from 1945/6 and appears on congregation website, last accessed 30 December 2018.

  • (iii) Article entitled "Aberdeen" by Joseph Jacobs, in Jewish Encyclopedia, c.1906. This was also the address listed in Jewish Year Books until 1940 (the last edition until publication resumed in 1945/6 following World War II).

  • (iv) and (v) Reserved.

  • (vi) Aberdeen Jewish Community, on Scottish Jewish Archives Centre website and Rev. Littman's listing as minister of the congregration in the first Jewish Year Book of 1895/96.

  • (vii) Based upon Rev. Cohen's listing in Jewish Year Books from 1896/97 through 1902/03.

  • (viii) Based upon Rev. Hirstovitz's listing in Jewish Year Books from 1904/05 through 1906/07.

  • (ix) Based upon Rev. Ostroff's listing in Jewish Year Books 1910 and 1911.

  • (x) Based upon Rev. Halpern's listing in Jewish Year Books 1912 and 1913.

  • (xi) Based upon Rev. Frankenthal's listing in Jewish Year Books from 1915 through 1924.

  • (xii) Reserved.

  • (xiii) Based upon Rev. Wolfson's listing in the Jewish Year Book 1930.

  • (xiv) Based upon Rev. Edelstein's listing in Jewish Year Books from 1931 through 1933.

  • (xv) Based upon Rev. Fink's listing in the Jewish Year Book 1930.

  • (xvi)) Based upon Mr. Brookfield's listing in Jewish Year Books from 1945/6 through 1949.

  • (xvii) Based upon Rab. Pfingst's listing in the Jewish Year Book 1957.

  • (xviii) and (xix) Reserved.

  • (xx) Membership numbers extracted from Jewish Year Books. In each case, the date given is the date when the congregation was first listed as having the number of seatholders indicated.

  • (xxi) Reports on "Synagogue Membership in the United Kingdom in 2010" and "...in 2016", published by BOD and JPR. Link to reports.

  • (xxii) Website of the Office of Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), search 31 December 2018.

  • (xxiii) to (xxix) Reserved.

 


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Aberdeen include:

1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2016)

Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Aberdeen during the 1850s (2 records).
 

 

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

on JCR-UK

on third parties' websites

 


Aberdeen Jewish Cemetery Information

The is a small Jewish cemetery in Aberdeen:

  • Grove Cemetery, Jewish Section, Mugiemoss Road, Perslie AB21

    Opened in 1911. Contains over 70 graves in three rows.
    The Scottish Jewish Cemeteries website, created and maintained by Derek Tobias, includes a searchable database in respect of burials at this cemetery.

(For additional information, see also IAJGS Cemetery Project - Aberdeen)

 

Lay Officers of the Congregation
(until mid-1950s)(xxx)

Presidents:

Alexander Zarmek - from 1893 until about 1900(xxxi)

Thomas Geershon - from about 1900 until about 1928 (except from about 1902 to about 1903)(xxxii)

Max Silverman - from about 1902 until about 1903

Myer Grant - from about 1928 until about 1933(xxiii)

J. Bromberger - from about 1933 until at least 1938(xxxiv)

Ernest Bromberg - from at least 1945 until about 1948(xxxv)

J.M. Miller - from about 1948 until about 1949(xxxvi)

Dr. F. Fackenheim - from about 1949 until at least 1956

Vice Presidents:

L. Bittiner - from about 1945 until about 1947(xxxix)

L. Bittiner and J.M. Miller (jointly) - from about 1947 until about 1948(xl)

Ernest Bromberg - from about 1948 until about 1949(xli)

J.M. Miller - from about 1949 until about 1950(xlii)

Myer Grant - from about 1950 until about 1953(xliii)

B. Diamanstein - from about 1953 until at least 1956

Treasurers:

J. Barnett - from at least 1895 until about 1900

Isaac Barnett - from about 1900 until about 1911

J. Abrahams - from about 1911 until about 1913

Louis Bittiner - from about 1913 until about 1914(xlv)

Thomas Geershon - from about 1914 until about 1928(xlvi)

D.M. Franklin - from about 1928 until about 1933

J. Bromberger - from about 1933 until at least 1938(xlvii)

B. Teff - from at least 1945 until about 1946; and from about 1947 until 1950(xlviii)

H. Carson - from about 1946 until about 1947; and from about 1950 until about 1953

B. Collins - from about 1953 until at least 1956

Secretaries or Hon. Secretaries:

Thomas Geershon - from at least 1895 until about 1897(l)

S. Edelshain - from about 1897 until about 1900

Rev. Morris Cohen (also minister) - from about 1900 until about 1903

Noah Abramovitz - from about 1907 until about 1909

Rev. I. Ostroff (also reader) - from about 1909 until about 1911

Rev. D. Halpern (also reader) - from about 1911 until about 1913

E. Hyams - from about 1914 until about 1918

M. Freeman - from about 1935 until at least 1938(li)

B. Teff - from at least 1945 until about 1950.(lii)

Dr. J.M. Naftalin - from about 1950 until about 1951

W.I. Talbot - from about 1951 until about 1953; and from about 1954 until about 1958

F.J. Gold - from about 1953 until about 1954; and from about 1958 until about 1959

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (xxx) Unless otherwise stated, the data below is based solely on listings in Jewish Year Books. From 1956, the Jewish Year Book ceased providing the names of lay officers other than the congregation's secretary

  • (xxxi) Aberdeen Jewish Community, on Scottish Jewish Archives Centre website as well as Mr. Zarnek's listing as president of the congregration in Jewish Year Books from 1895/96 through 1899/1900.

  • (xxxii) Mr Geershon surname is sometimes spelled Gershon. He concurrently served as treasurer from about 1914. He also earlier served as secretary (see below).

  • (xxxiii) Mr. Grant later served as vice-president (see below).

  • (xxxiv) There were no listings of officers in Jewish Year Books 1939 and 1940 and the book was not published between 1940 and 1945. Accordingly, it is uncertain as to when Mr. Bromberger's term of office ended. He concurrently served as Treasurer (see below).

  • (xxxv) As there were no listings of officers in Jewish Year Books 1939 and 1940 and there were no editions published between 1940 and 1945, it is uncertain as to when Mr. Bromberg commenced serving as president. He subsequently served as vice-president (see below).

  • (xxxvi) Mr. Miller later served as vice-president (see below).

  • (xxxvii) and (xxxviii) Reserved.

  • (xxxix) Mr. Bittiner later served as joint vice president (see below) and a Louis Bittiner later served as Treasurer. (see below)

  • (xl) Mr. Bittiner and Mr. Miller also served on their own as vice president and Mr. Miller also served as president (see above).

  • (xli) Mr. Bromberg had earlier served as president (see above) and as treasurer (see below).

  • (xlii) Mr. Miller had earlier served as president and as joint vice-president (see above).

  • (xliii) Mr. Grant had earlier served as president (see above).

  • (xliv) Reserved.

  • (xlv) A Mr. L. Bittiner later served as vice-president (see above).

  • (xlvi) Mr. Geershon concurrently served as president (see above) and had previously served as secretary (see below).

  • (xlvii) Mr. Bromberger concurrently served as president (see above).

  • (xlviii)) As there were no listings of officers in Jewish Year Books 1939 and 1940 and there were no editions published between 1940 and 1945, it is uncertain as to when Mr. Teff commenced serving as Treasurer. He concurrently served as hon. secretary.

  • (xlix) Reserved.

  • (l) Mr. Geershon subsequently served as president and treasurer. (see above)

  • (li) The was no secretary listed in Jewish Year Books from 1919 through 1935. As there were no listings of officers in Jewish Year Books 1939 and 1940 and the book was not published between 1940 and 1945, it is uncertain as to when Mr. Freeman's term of office ended.

  • (lii) Mr. Teff also served concurrently in part as treasurer (see above). Also there were no listings of officers in Jewish Year Books 1939 and 1940 and the book was not published between 1940 and 1945, it is uncertain as to when Mr. teff's term of office commenced.

 

Aberdeen Jewish Population Data

1895

15 families

(The Jewish Year Book 1895/96)

1896

18 families

(The Jewish Year Book 1896/97)

1897

17 families

(The Jewish Year Book 1897/98)

1909

20 familes

(The Jewish Year Book 1910)

1911

23 families

(The Jewish Year Book 1912)

1914

21 families

(The Jewish Year Book 1915)

1918

16 families

(The Jewish Year Book 1919)

1939

40

(The Jewish Year Book 1940)

1945

50

(The Jewish Year Book 1945/46)

1956

70

(The Jewish Year Book 1957)

1961

40

(The Jewish Year Book 1962)

1965

50

(The Jewish Year Book 1966)

1971

40

(The Jewish Year Book 1972)

1980

30

(The Jewish Year Book 1981)

1990

30

(The Jewish Year Book 1962)

2011

about 100

(estimate - UK National Census)


Jewish Communities and Congregations in Scotland home page


Page created: 21 September 2005
Data significantly expanded and notes added: 31 December 2018
Latest revision or update: 1 January 201
9


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