Birmingham & District Jewish Community

West Midlands




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City of Birmingham
and the Boroughs of Solihull and Walsall

Birmingham, in the English Midlands, is the second largest city in England, with a population of approximately one million.  In the vicinity of Birmingham are a number of towns whose Jewish communities have looked to the Birmingham community for support or shares facilities, including Walsall immediately to Birmingham's northwest and Solihull immediately to Birmingham's southeast.

Until 1974, Birmingham, Solihull and Walsall were county boroughs, the first two in the county of Warwickshire and Walsall in the county of Staffordshire. Each then became metropolitan boroughs within the newly created metropolitan county of West Midlands (the areas of Solihull and Walsall being increased at the time by the incorporation of adjoining areas).  These metropolitan boroughs became unitary authorities in 1986, when West Midlands lost its administrative county status, becoming purely a ceremonial and geographical county.  Solihull had been an urban district until 1964, when it received county borough status.

The Birmingham Jewish Community

Birmingham did not develop as a major centre until relatively modern time and, accordingly, there was no medieval Jewish community in Birmingham. There was, however, a medieval Jewish community in Warwick, (34 miles away) and in Coventry (23 miles away). The modern Jewish community dates from the eighteen century, the earliest records of a synagogue and a Jewish burial ground being about 1730.

Jewish Congregations

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

* An active congregation.

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


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Birmingham include:

  • Burials (including images of grave stones)

    • Brandwood End Cemetery (Jewish Section) 1918 - 2005 (620 records)*;

    • Old Witton Cemetery 1875 - 1977 (1,767 records)*;

    • Witton Cemetery 1938 - 2006 (3,295 records)*;

    • WWII Civilian Casualties (12 records).
      *Note: Database only includes details of legible stones and a number of section and row numbers may not be correct. Several of the Witton Cemetery images have the reflection of the photographer and it is intended to replace them in due course.

  • Communal Leaders

    • Jewish Directory for 1874 (73 Birmingham records).

    • Jewish Year Book 1896/97 (26 Birmingham records)

  • 1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2016)

    • Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Birmingham during the 1770s (4 records); 1780s (7 records); 1790s (19 records); 1800s (30 records); 1810s (35 records); 1820s (77 records), 1830s (190 records), 1840s (429 records), 1850s (933 records), 1860s (333 records), 1870s (330 records), 1880s (253 records), 1890s (74 records), 1900s (46 records) and 1910s (19 records).


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


on third parties' websites


Other Birmingham Jewish Institutions & Organisations
(that had been formed by 1900*)

Educational & Theological

  • Birmingham Hebrew National School, later Birmingham Hebrew School and ultimately King David School (founded 1840/43, placed under Government inspection, 1867). website - www.kingdavid.bham.sch.uk

Other Institutions & Organisations

  • Birmingham Hebrew Philanthropic Society (founded 1828 or 1838). In 1874, objects described to grant relief in cases of sickness or distress; render assistance by gifts of money; grant loans not exceeding 5; lend or hire sewing machines; distribute coals and blankets during the winter months; grant provisions to aged and infirm persons In 1896/1900 objects were: (a) the relief of indigent tradesman, (b) granting pensions to aged persons, (c) undertaking all cases of deserving people not eligible for consideration by the Board of Guardians.

  • Hebrew Benevolent Educational Society, later Hebrew Educational Society (founded 1851). In 1874, objects described to assist necessitous children to obtain education to provide them with books and clothing, apprenticeship. In 1896/1900 objects were to pay all necessary support of the Hebrew schools and to apprentice Jewish children leaving school

  • Loyal Independent United Israelites Benefit Society (founded 1853) for relief of members during sickness and week of mourning, allowance to widows, etc.

  • Jewish Mutual "Birmingham" Benefit Society (founded 1862) for relief during sickness and week of mourning, medical attendance, pension in old age, funeral expenses, allowance to widows, etc.

  • Birmingham Hebrew Board of Guardians (founded 1870) for relief of the Jewish poor and casual.

  • Birmingham Provident Co-operative Matza Association (founded 1870).

  • Ladies' Benevolent Society (from at least 1874) for relief of sick women and children, supplying clothes and other necessaries to women in confinement, etc., later Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Visiting Society for relief of sick women and children. Care of women during confinement. Visiting the homes of the poor generally.

  • Recreation Classes for Girls (founded 1887) to instil into the minds of Jewish working girls a profitable method of spending their leisure time. To improve their tastes generally.

  • Birmingham Aid Society of the Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum (founded 1888) to assist the parent institution by purchasing life governorships.

  • Birmingham Jewish Charities Aid Society (founded 1892) to make annual grants to the Birmingham Jewish Charities.

  • Sabbath Meals Society (from at least 1896) to provide meals on Sabbaths and festivals to poor Jews passing through the town.

  • Jewish Working Men's Educational Institute (from at least 1896) to provide an English Education for foreign co-religionists.

  • Mutual Improvement Birmingham Naturalisation Society (founded 1897).

  • Birmingham Hebrew Schools Old Boys Association (founded 1898) to promote good fellowship among the former pupils of the Hebrew Schools, and to unite in any movement calculated to advance the interests of the school or the community generally.

  • Birmingham Jewish Working Men's Club (founded 1899) to afford its members the means of social intercourse and rational recreation.

  • Chovevi Zion Association - Tent No 20 (from at least 1900).

  • Anglo-Jewish Association, branch (from at least 1900).

  • Bikur Cholim (from at least 1900) to supply visitors to the sick poor and watchers for the dying.

  • Jewish Young Men's Association (from at least 1900).

  • Birmingham Hebrew Ladies' Boot Fund (from at least 1900).

  • Court 'Jacob's Pride' No. 5946 AOF (from at least 1900).

  • Birmingham Jewish Lads' Brigade (from at least 1900).

* As listed in the Jewish Directory of 1874 and the Jewish Year Books 1896 & 1900


Community Records

  • Registration District (for BMD):Birmingham (since 1 October 1932).

    • Previous Registration Districts:

      • From 1 October 1924 until 1 October 1932 - Birmingham divided into two registration districts - Birmingham South and Birmingham North;

      • From 1 July 1837 to 1 October 1924 - Birmingham.

    • Any registers would now be held by current register office.

    • Register Office website


Birmingham Jewish Cemeteries Information

Listed below are the cemeteries used by the Birmington Jewish Community:

  • The Froggery Jewish Burial Ground. In used by 1730 until, most probably, about 1766 (opening of Granville Street Cemetery). Situated in the garden of The Froggery Synagogue. (Now site of New Street Railway Station.)

  • Granville Street Burial Ground. In use from 1766 to 1825. Site redeveloped as part of railway redevelopement. Some of the remains from cemetery were reinterred to Witton Old Cemetery in 1876.

  • Betholom Row Jewish Burial Ground, between Bath Row and Islington Row, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15. Opened about 1823 and closed many years ago. Fragments of headstones removed to Witton Old Cemetery.

  • Witton Jewish Cemeteries. Opened in 1868 and still in used. Comprises two sections at the Witton municipal cemetery:

    • Witton Old Jewish Cemetery In use from 1869 (consecrated on 14 February 1871). Includes obelist commemorating remains that were reinterred from Granville Street Cemetery in 1876 and fragments of headstones from Betholom Cemetery.

    • Witton New Jewish Cemetery, used by both the City's Orthodox and Progessive congregations.

  • Brandwood End Cemetery, Jewish Section, Woodthorpe Road, Kings Norton, Stirchley, B 14. Acquired in 1918 by the Birmingham New Synagogue.

Records of the Witton and Brandwood End cemeteries are on the All-UK Database (see above).

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


Birmingham Jewish Population Data


 First Jewish settlement (possibly earlier)



(Paper by Birmingham Jewish Local History Study Group))


3,000 to 4,000

(The Jewish Year Book 1896)



(The Jewish Year Book 1901)



(The Jewish Year Book 1910)



(The Jewish Year Book 1935)



(The Jewish Year Book 1947)



(The Jewish Year Book 1956)



(The Jewish Year Book 1970)



(The Jewish Year Book 1991)



(The Jewish Year Book 2005)

*Same source also gives 49 for Walsall in 1947

Jewish Congregations in West Midlands

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 21 August 2005
Latest revision or update: 18 January 2021

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