JCR-UK

Bradford Reform Synagogue

(Bradford Congregation of British & Foreign Jews)

Bradford, West Yorkshire

 

 

 

 
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Congregation Data

Name

Bradford Reform Synagogue (frequently generally known simply as Bradford Synagogue).

Alternative Name

Bradford Tree of Life Synagogue, from November 2018(i)

Former Names

Bradford Congregation of British and Foreigh Jews or

Bradford Synagogue of British and Foreign Jews
This is the name by which the congregation was generally known until about the early 1950s.(ii)

(Known as the "Jewish Association" until 1886.)(iii)

Address:

7a Bowland Street, Bradford, BD1 3BW
(Foundation stone laid 1878, building erected 1880 - this GRADE II* listed building is Yorkshire's oldest purpose-built synagogue and the oldest reform synagogue building in the UK outside of London.)(iv)

Services were initially held in the Freemasons Hall, Salem Street, Bradford, from 1873.(v)

Current Status:

Active

Date Formed:

Founded in 1873 primariily by immigrants (many of whom were textile merchants or manufacturers) from German speaking lands of central Europe, where Reform Judaism was taking hold.(vi)

Ritual:

Reform

Affiliation:

The congregation is the third oldest reform congregation in the UK - only the West London Synagogue ofr British Jews and Manchester Congregation of British Jews had been established earlier. In common with both other congregations, it adopted a name indicating that it was inclusive of both Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews (in this case the inclusion of the words "British and Foreign Jews"). However, the Bradford congregation was initially considered tby the West London congregation as too radical for affiliation and it was not until the end of the 1870s that it agreed to some form of association.(vii)

In 1942, the congregation was a founding member of Associated British Synagogues (later known as Associated Synagogues of Great Britain), which subsequent became the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain and is now the Movement for Reform Judaism, of which it is a constituent synagogue.

Website:

http://www.bradfordsynagogue.co.uk/

Ministers:

(To view a short profile of a minister who also served other UK congregations - name in blue - hold the cursor over his name.)

Rabbi Dr. Joseph Strauss(x) - from 1873 until 1922.

Rev Nathaniel Jacobs(xi) - from about 1923 until 1927.

Rabbi Dr. L. Gerhard Graf - from 1940 until 1948.(xii)

Rabbi Dr. Erich Bienheim(xiii) - from 1949 until 1961.

H. Mellichan(xiv) - visiting minister from about 1962 until about 1964.

H. Milan(xvi) - acting minister from about 1964 until about 1965.

David Freeman - from about 1965 until about 1968.(xvii)

Rabbi David Zucker - from 1970 until 1972.(xviii)

Rabbi Michael Robert Heilbron - from about 1973 until about 1979.(xix)

Rabbi Douglas Charing - visiting rabbi from about 2008 until at least 2018.(xx)

Assistant Minister & Reader

Rev. J. Shulman - from 1903 until 1906(xxi)

Lay Officers:
Generally from 1890s to 1950s

Presidents

At least 1897-c.1922 - Jacob Moser JP(xxx)

c.1925-c.1949 - J. Herschel(xxxi)

c.1949-c.1954 - Oswald M. Stroud(xxxii)

Hon. Life President

c.1954 - at least 1956 - H.D. Drucquer(xxxiii)

Chairmen

c.1954-c.1955 - M. Arensberg(xxxiv)

c.1955 - at least 1956 - R.C. Yablon(xxxv)

Joint Hon. Vice Presidents

c.1955 - at least 1956 - M. Arensberg & Oswald M. Stroud(xxxvi)

 

Treasurers

At least 1897-c.1908 - Jacob Moser JP(xxxix)

c.1908-c.1915 - Emil Moser(xl)

c.1924-c.1948 - Oswald M. Strauss/Stroud(xli)

c.1948-c.1949 - R.C. Yablon(xlii)

c.1949 - at least 1956  - R.V. Stroud(xliii)

Hon. Secretaries

circa 1874 - A. Fürstenheim(xlvi)

c.1897-c.1901 - M. Fürstenheim(xlvii)

c.1901-c.1922 - Joseph Levy(xlviii)

c.1922-c.1930 - M. Ehrenberg/Arensberg(xlix)

c.1931- at least 1940 - M. Drucquer(l)

c.1945-c.1948 - R.C. Yablon(li)

c.1949-c.1952 - W.L. Michaelis(lii)

c.1952-c.1962 - L. Peissel(liii)

Marriage Secretary

c.1924-c.1935 - Oswald M. Stroud(liv)

 

Membership Data:

General (number of seatholders)
1893 - 82(lix) 1899 - 67(lx) 1902 - 65(lxi)

National Reports and Surveys(lxii)

1977 - 60 male (or household) members and 36 female members

1983 - 41 male (or household) members and 50 female members

1990 - 50 members (comprising 19 households, 10 individual male and 21 individual female members)

1996 - 68 members (comprising 61 households, 1 individual male and 6 individual female members)

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

Charitable Status:

No information found of current registered charity status (as of 3 September 2019)

Registration District

Bradford & Keighley (since 1 October 2008)(lxiii) - Link to Register Office website.

Cemetery
Information:

The congregation is a member synagogue of the Jewish Joint Burial Society (JJBS), through which the congregation's members participate in a burial scheme.

From 1877, the congregation had its own cemetery, the Reform Jewish section at Scholemoor Cemetery, Necropolis Road. For details and database see Cemetery Information on Bradford Jewish Community home page.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) This name was adopted as an alternative name for the congregation in November 2018, to order to honour the memory of the eleven people murdered the previous month at The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, USA (Reform Judaism blog 26 November 2018). However, this name is not mentioned on the congregation's (last accesssed 3 September 2019).

  • (ii) Although this was the name under which the congregation was listed in Jewish Year Books until 1951, it apears that much earlier, following WWI, the congregation started using the name Bradford Reform Synagogue and in 1949 this was changed to Bradford Synagogue (Tradition and Change by Kershen & Romain, p.195 - see Bibliography below) and this was the name under which the congregation was listed in Jewish Year Books from 1951. However, the congregation still currently styles itself as the Bradford Reform Synagogue on its website (last accessed 3 September 2019).

  • (iii) This is  the name under which the congregation was listed in Jewish Directory of 1874 by Asher I. Myers.

  • (iv) Congregation's website, last accessed 3 August 2019.

  • (v) Tradition and Change by Kershen & Romain (see Bibliography below), p.74.

  • (vi) Tradition and Change by Kershen & Romain (see Bibliography below), pp.71/2.

  • (vii) Tradition and Change by Kershen & Romain (see Bibliography below), p.75.

  • (viii) and (ix) Reserved.

  • (x) Rabbi Dr. Strauss (1845-1922) was born in Berlichingen, Wuerbeinberg, Germany and educated at Stuttgart Royal Gymnasium. He was ordained as a rabbi in 1870 and shortly thereafter obtained an MA in medieval history and modern philosophy and was awarded a PhD. He served the Bradford Reform congregation as its first rabbi from 1873 to 1922. He was an enthusiastic Zionist and founded the Bradford Zionist Society and was provincial VP of the English Zionist Federation,  (Joseph Strauss 1845-1922)

  • (xi) Tradition and Change by Kershen & Romain (see Bibliography below), p.122 and Rev. Jacobs's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Books 1924 through 1927. There was no minister listed for the congregation in the 1923 edition. Rev. Jacobs left the congregation for Kingston, Jamaica.

  • (xii) Based upon Rabbi Graf's "Who's Who" profile in Jewish Year Books. There had previously been no minister for the congregation listed in Jewish Year Books since 1927 until the appointment of Rabbi Graf.

  • (xiii) Based upon Jewish Year Book listings and the gravestone of Rabbi Dr Bienheim (16 November 1898 - 28 January 1962), see database on Bradford home page .

  • (xiv) Based upon H. Mellichan's listing as visiting minister to the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1963 and 1964.

  • (xv) Reserved.

  • (xvi) Based upon H. Milan's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1965.

  • (xvii) Based upon David Freeman's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1966 through 1968. There was no minister listed for the year 1969 through 1971.

  • (xviii) Based upon Jewish Year Book listings and Rabbi Zucker's website. There was no Jewish Year Book listing of a minister for the year 1973.

  • (xix) Based upon Rabbi Heilbron's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1974 through 1979. There were no further listings of ministers for the congregation in Jewish Year Books, publication of which ceased after 2015.

  • (xx) Based upon BBC report dated 24 September 2014 and earlier profile on Rabbi Charings linkedIn page, accessed 2018.

  • (xxi) Tradition and Change by Kershen & Romain (see Bibliography below), p.79. and Jewish Year Book listing (1904/05 through 1906/07) of Rev. Shulman as Reader.

  • (xxii) to (xxix) Reserved.

  • (xxx) Based upon J. Moser's listing as President in Jewish Year Books from 1897/98 (the congregation's first listing) through 1922. In the editions for 1897/8, 1898/9 and 1899/1900, he is referred to as "Councillor". Until about 1908, J. Moser also served as Treasurer (see below). He had arrived in Bradford from Schleswig in 1863 and was elected Lord Mayor in 1910 (Tradition and Change by Kershen & Romain). There is no President listed for 1923 and 1924.

  • (xxxi) Based upon Mr. Hirschel's listing as President in Jewish Year Books from 1925 through 1940 and from 1945/46 through 1949. There was no editions published during the intervening WWII war years and it is assume that Mr. Hirschel continued to serve during that period.

  • (xxxii) Based upon listing of Mr. Stroud (later Sir Oswald M. Stroud) as President in Jewish Year Books from 1950 through 1954. Mr. Stroud's surname was previously Strauss and he was the son of the congregation's first rabbi, Dr. Joseph Strauss. Mr. Stroud had previously served as Treasurer and Marriage Secretary. The title "President" is no longer used after 1954, being replaced by the offices of "Hon. Life President" and "Chairman".

  • (xxxiii) Based upon Mr. Drucquer's listing as Hon. Life President in Jewish Year Books 1955 and 1956. Mr. Drucquer previously served as Hon. Secretary. From 1957, Jewish Year Books ceased listing executive officers.

  • (xxxiv) Based upon Mr. Arensberg's listing as chairman in the Jewish Year Book 1955. Mr. Arensberg previously served as Hon. Secretary.

  • (xxxv) Based upon Mr. Yablon's listing as chairman in the Jewish Year Book 1956. Mr. Yablon previously served as Hon. Secretary and as Treasurer. From 1957, Jewish Year Books ceased listing executive officers.

  • (xxxvi) Based upon the listing of Mr. Arensberg and Mr. Stroud as Hon. Vice Presidents in the Jewish Year Book 1956. Mr. Stroud's surname was previously Strauss and he was the son of the congregation's first rabbi, Joseph Strauss. From 1957, Jewish Year Books ceased listing executive officers. 

  • (xxxvii) and (xxxviii) Reserved.

  • (xxxix) Based upon J. Moser's listing as Treasurer in Jewish Year Books from 1897/98 (the congregation's first listing) through 1907/08. In the editions for 1897/8, 1898/9 and 1899/1900, he is referred to as "Councillor". During this period, J. Moser was also serving as President (see above).

  • (xl) Based upon Emil Moser's listing as Treasurer in Jewish Year Books from 1909 through 1915. There is no Treasurer listed from 1916 through 1924.

  • (xli) Mr Stroud's surname was previously Strauss, and he was listed under the latter name until 1934. The term of service is based upon listing as Treasurer in Jewish Year Books from 1925 through 1940 and from 1945/46 through 1948. There was no editions published during the intervening WWII war years and it is assume that Mr. Stroud continued to serve during that period. He was the son of the congregation's first rabbi, Dr. Joseph Strauss, and he also served as President and as Marriage Secretary.

  • (xlii) Based upon Mr. Yablon's listing as Treasurer in the Jewish Year Book 1949. He also served as Chairman and as Hon. Secretary.

  • (xliii) Based upon R.V.. Stroud's listing as Treasurer in Jewish Year Books 1950 through 1956. From 1957, Jewish Year Books ceased listing executive officers.

  • (xliv) and (xlv) Reserved.

  • (xlvi) Based upon A. Fürstenheim's listing as Hon. Secetary in the Jewish Directory of 1874, compiled by Asher I. Myers.

  • (xlvii) Based upon M. Fürstenheim's listing as Hon. Secetary in Jewish Year Books 1897/98 (the congregation's first year book listing) through 1900/01.

  • (xlviii) Based upon Mr. Levy's listing as Hon. Secetary in Jewish Year Books 1901/02 through 1922.

  • (xlix) Mr Arensberg's surname was previously spelled Ehrensberg, and he was listed under the latter spelling in 1923 and 1924. His term of service is based upon his listing as Hon Secretary in Jewish Year Books from 1923 through 1930. He later served as President and Hon. Vice President.

  • (l) Based upon Mr Drucquer's listing as Hon Secretary in Jewish Year Books from 1931 through 1940. Subsequently, no further addition swere piblished during the war years until 1845 Mr Drucquer was later appointed as Hon. Life President.

  • (li) Based upon Mr Yablon's listing as Hon Secretary in Jewish Year Books from 1945/46 (the first following WWII) through 1948. He was later served as Treasurer and as Chairman.

  • (lii) Based upon W.L. Michaelis's listing as Hon Secretary in Jewish Year Books from 1949 (the first following WWII) through 1952.

  • (liii) Based upon L. Peissel's listing as Hon Secretary in Jewish Year Books from 1953 through 1962.

  • (liv) Based upon the listing of Mr. Stroud (formerly Strauss) as Marriage Secretary in Jewish Year Books from 1925 through 1935. There were no other person listed specifically as Marriage Secretary. Mr. Stroud also served as Treasurer, President and Hon. Vice President.

  • (lv) to (xlviii) Reserved.

  • (lix) Board of Deputies Return.

  • (lx) Jewish Year Book 1899/1900.

  • (lxi) Jewish Year Book 1902/03.

  • (lxii) Reports on synagogue membership in the United Kingdom, published by or on behalf of 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.

  • (lxiii) For previous registration districts, see on Bradford home page. Any registers would now be held by current register office.

 

Bibliography, On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to this Congregation

  • Bibliography

    • "Bradford Synagogue" - Jewish Heritage in Britain and Ireland (2015) by Sharman Kadish, pp 200-203.

    • Tradition and Change - A History of Reform Judaism in Britain 1840-1995 by A.J. Kershen and Rabbi J. A. Romain (in particular, pp 71-79)

    • Other Bradford Bibliography

Third Party Websites


Bradford Jewish Community home page

List of Reform Judaism Congregations

Jewish Congregations in West Yorkshire

List of Member Synagogues of the Jewish Joint Burial Society

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 21 August 2005
Data significantly expanded and notes added: 3 September 2019
Latest revision or update: 20 September 2019


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