the former

Bishop Auckland Jewish Community

& Synagogue

North Tyneside, Tyne & Wear




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congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.

Town of Bishop Auckland

The town of Bishop Auckland (population approximately 25,000) is in County Durham in North East of England, close to the confluence of the river Wear and its tributary, the river Gaunless. It was an urban district until 1974, when it merged with adjoining areas to form the Wear Valley District of County Durham. In April 2009, the Wear Valley District was merged with six other districts of County Durham to form the unitary authority of County Durham.

Bishop Auckland Jewish Community

Although there were Jewish individuals and one or two families in Bishop Auckland from the late nineteenth century, it was not until the mid-1930s when an organised Jewish congregation was established. By 1952 there was only one Jewish couple left in the town.

Congregation Data


Bishop Auckland Synagogue


The congregation initially met at the home of Mr. Leo Lewin(ii) and possibly subsequently at the home of other members. For a number of years Canon Evans, Rural Dean at Bishop Auckland, reportedly placed the Lightfoot Institute, Kingsway, at the disposal of the community for services, Hebrew classes, meetings and events.(iii)  Later the congregation's address was 11 John Street, Eldon Lane.(iv)

Date Opened:



Closed 1952(vi)


Ashkenazi Orthodox


Rev Ephraim F. Einhorn - minister from October 1941 until 1942(ix)

Lay Officers:

Available information about the officers of the congregation is quite patchy, the sources being primarily three news reports of the election of officers during Worls War II and the listing of officers in one Jewish Year Book (1948). All dates below are approximate,

Hon. Life President

Leo Lewin - 1940s(xiii)


A. Friede - 1941 to 1944 and 1947 to 1948(xiv)

Mr. Rabin - 1946 to 1947(xv)

Vice President

N. Gatoff - 1947 to 1948(xvi)


K. Lewin - 1940s(xvii)


A. Snipper - 1941 to 1942(xx)

S. Cooper - 1942 to 1944(xxi)

W. Muskat- 1947 to 1948(xxii) .

Hon Secretaries

P. King - 1941 to 1942(xxiii)

S. Cooper - 1942 to 1943(xxiv)

B. Pearlman - 1947 to 1948(xxv)


Registration District (BMD):

County of Durham(xxvi)  - Link to Register Office website

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) The Jewish Communities of North-East England (1980) by L. Olsover, Part Two, Chapter 7, pages 299-301.

  • (iii) Jewish Chronicle report 16 January 1942. Lightfoot Institute, named after Bishop Lightfoot, was used as a library, and Olsover, in his 1980 book, refers to the congregation renting a hall in the library.

  • (iv) Jewish Year Books from 1945-6 through 1948 give this address.

  • (v) Olsover (1980 book, see note(ii)). However the community did not appear in a Jewish Year Book until 1945/6. (There was no publication during WWII).

  • (vi) Olsover (1980 book, see note(ii)). However the community last appeared in the Jewish Year Book 1948.

  • (vii) and (viii) Reserved.

  • (ix) Jewish Chronicle of 12 September 1941 reported on a meeting of congregation held the previous week at the Lightfoot Institute, with Mr. A. Friede in the chair, where the Rev. E. F. Einhorn was elected minister. He is also acting as local Liaison officer. The Jewish Chronicle subsequently places Rev. Einhorn in London in Autumn 1942.

  • (x) to (xii) Reserved.

  • (xiii) Olsover, in his 1980 book (see note(ii)), refers to Mr. Lewin, who came from Breslau, Germany and was the founder of the West Auckland Clothing Company, as very much the founder of the community. He is listed as hon. life president in the Jewish Chronicle report of 9 May 1941 but not in any other report. He died in 1965 and is buried in the Bishop Auckland Jewish Cemetery.n

  • (xiv) Mr. Friede was reported elected as president of the congregation in Jewish Chronicle reports of 9 May 1941, 1 May 1942 and 8 October 1943, and is listed as president in the Jewish Year Book 1948.

  • (xv) Mr. Rabin was named as president of the congregation in Jewish Chronicle report of 21 June 1946 and in the Jewish Year Book 1947.

  • (xvi) Mr. Gatoff was listed as vice president in the Jewish Year Book 1947.

  • (xvii) Mr. K. Lewin was reported elected as trustee of the congregation in Jewish Chronicle report of 9 May 1941.

  • (xviii) and (xix) Reserved.

  • (xx) Mr. Snipper was reported elected as treasurer of the congregation in Jewish Chronicle report of 9 May 1941.

  • (xxi) Mr. Cooper was reported elected as treasurer of the congregation in Jewish Chronicle reports of 1 May 1942 and 8 October 1943.

  • (xxii) Mr. Muskat was listed as trustee of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1948.

  • (xxiii) Mr. King was reported elected as hon. secretary of the congregation in Jewish Chronicle report of 9 May 1941.

  • (xxiv) Mr. Cooper was reported elected as hon. secretary of the congregation in Jewish Chronicle report of 1 May 1942.

  • (xxii) Mr. Pearlman was listed as hon. secretary of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1948.

  • (xxvi) The former Registration Districts were Auckland, from i July 1837 until 1 July 1938, and then Durham Western until 1 May 2006. Any registers would now be held by current register office.


Search the All-UK Database
(including JOWBR UK records)

The records in the database associated with Bishop Auckland include:


Bishop Auckland Cemetery (Jewish Section), 1952-2005 (13 records), included in JOWBR - submitted by JCR-UK


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



Bishop Auckland Jewish Cemetery Information

Bishop Aukland Jewish Cemetery
This plaque was originally displayed at the Cemetery
to commemorate its consecration.
Courtesy Peter Gatoff ( 2016)

Jewish Section, Bishop Auckland Municipal Cemetery.  The small Jewish section is encircled with privet hedges. It contains 12 graves (five double graves and two single graves) and a memorial to son of a deceased couple. The Cemetery was consecrated on 2 June 1946 and burials date from 1952 to 2005 (except for one of those interred, who died in 1935). Accordingly, most of the burials having taken place after the demise of the local Jewish community. Generally, burials of members of the community took place in Darlington.

Database of burials (13 records, with photographs of all gravestones) on JOWBR (submitted by JCR-UK) searchable on All-UK Database or JOWBR (see also JOWBR Cemetery Information)

See also IAJGS Cemetery Project - Bishop Auckland

Jewish Congregations in County Durham

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 21 August 2005
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 4 July 201
Latest revision or update: 15 March 2021

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