Bristol Hebrew Congregation





JCR-UK is a genealogical and historical website covering all Jewish communities and
congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.
NOTE: We are not the official website of this congregation, which can be reached by clicking on the congregation's logo below.

The Synagogue at 9 Park Row, Bristol (2001)

 The Holy Ark with the Torah Scrolls

Congregation Data


Bristol Hebrew Congregation


Present synagogue at 9 Park Row, Bristol BS1 5LP (built and in use from 1871)

The synagogue and attached clergy house is a Grade II Listed Building (number 1408340), designated 16 May 2012. View description on Historic England website.


Previously addresses:

1756-1786 - Stone Kitchen, Temple Street, Bristol

1786-1742 - Weavers' Hall, Temple Street, Bristol

1742-1781 - Quaker's Meeting House in a court to the West of Temple Street, Bristol

For further details of the present and earlier synagogue buildings, including sketches and photographs, see Bristol Synagogue Buildings.

Current Status:


Date Founded:

At least by 1756(vi)


Orthodox - Ashkenazi


A provincial synagogue under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi.




See List of Ministers of the Synagogue from 1762 to 2016


See List of Officers of the Synagogue from 1824 to 2002.

Secessionist Congregations:

From 1825 to 1835, a breakaway congregation was formed, meeting in a court just south of Counterslip, halfway between Temple Street and Temple Back, the congregations being re-united in 1835.(vii)

From 1893 to 1896, the Bridge Street Hebrew Congregation existed until the two congregations were re-united.(viii)

Membership Data:


1845  -  36 ba'alai batim and 40 seatholders (Chief Rabbi's Questionnaire)

Board Of Deputies Returns (Number of Seatholders)













Jewish Year Books













National Reports & Surveys(xi)

1977 - 79 male (or household) members and 21 female members

1983 - 49 male (or household) members and 27 female members

1990 - 82 members (comprising 44 households, 23 individual male and 15 individual female members)

1996 - 59 members (comprising 31 households, 15 individual male and 13 individual female members)

2010 & 2016 - listed as having 50 to 99 members (by household)

Charitable Status:

The congregation is a registered charity (registered charity no. 1165722), the governing document being a CIO - Association, registered 24 February 2016.
There was an earlier registration (registered charity no. 1139964), registered on 20 January 2011.(xii)


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Bristol Hebrew Congregation include:


1834 - 1990 (307 records).


Search the JCR-UK Bristol Databases

Bristol Jewish Cemeteries  - Records of burials, plus photographs of the headstones and copies of the burial certificates, where available, in the Bristol's St Phillips and Ridgeway Jewish Cemeteries (including re-interments from the Great Gardens, Rose Street Cemetery), from 1762 to 2003/

Congregation's Birth and Death Register (1829-1893) - Records of all entries in the Bristol Hebrew Congregation Birth and Death Register from 1829 to 1893, including, in each case, a scanned copy of the corresponding page of the Register.


Bibliography, Online Articles and Other Material relating to
Bristol Hebrew Congregation

JCR-UK is greatly indebted to Alan Tobias, a former member of Bristol Hebrew Congregation,
for much of the undermentioned material, which was Kindly provided by him
during the early years of the JCR-UK project.

Photographs and Drawings

  • Synagogue Buildings, a description of the synagogue buildings, past and present, including:

    • Drawings of the Stone Kitchen, the building used as a Synagogue from 1756 to 1786 (reproduced from the Braikenridge collection by kind permission of the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery); and

    • Photographs of the current Synagogue exterior and interior, including memorial plaques on the Eastern Wall and memorial plates on stained glass windows.

Other Congregation Documents & Lists Available

  • Synagogue Membership - Lists of Members of the Bristol Hebrew Congregation making donations for the years 1910, 1911, 1912, 1937, 1947, 1950, 1953, 1955 and 1959.

  • Constitution of the Congregation - Copies of the Constitution of the Congregation for 1842, 1872, 1898, 1966 and 1990.

  • Fund-Raising Brochures - Fund-raising brochures for the Synagogue and other Bristol Jewish communal purposes from 1905, 1925, 1927, 1934 to 1938, 1975 to 1979.

  • General Meeting Minutes - Scanned copies of all the pages from the Congregation's minute book for the period from 1901 to 1971.

  • Insurance Policies - Extracts from insurance policies for the synagogue buildings for 1838, 1842, 1844, 1845, 1847, 1852 and 1855.

  • Newsletter - Copies of the Congregation's monthly newsletter (The Recorder) for 1946 and for most years from 1956 to 1990.

  • Synagogue Order of Service - Copies of pamphlets containing the Order of Service for various special occasions (for example, consecrations of synagogue buildings, coronations and royal jubilees, induction of ministers, etc.) in 1786, 1842, 1871, 1887, 1897, 1902, 1942, 1945, 1951, 1953, 1961, 1969, 1971, 1981, 1986 and 1994.

  • Bristol Hebrew Congregation Gabbai Book (on JGSGB website) - with an introduction. The full transcription of the Gabbai Book, estimated to have commenced prior to 1854, and information about Prominent Members of the Bristol Hebrew Community can be viewed in the Members Area of the JGSGB website (open only to members of JGSGB). The transcription will in due course be transferred to the JCR-UK website for open viewing.

  • Annual Reports and Accounts filed with the Charities Commission:

    • Earlier registration - years ended 31 July 2015 and 2016;

    • Current registration - years ended 31 July 2017 (11 months), 2018 and 2019.

Articles published by the Congregation

  • The Jews of Bristol by Alex Schlesinger (pdf - 1.2mb) - A summary of the Community's history, as published in a fund-raising brochure of the Congregation from the 1970s.

  • Victorian Jewry in Bristol by Alex Schlesinger (pdf - 2.3mb) - A more detailed summary of the Community's history during the Victorian era, as published in a fund-raising brochure the Congregation from the 1970s. A non-pdf version of this article can be viewed as part of Bristol from "Provincial Jewry in Victorian Britain", material prepared by Aubrey Newman for the Conference on Provincial Jewry in Victorian Britain, - 6th July 1975.


Jewish Institutions & Organisations
connected to this congregation

Educational & Theological

  • Hebrew and Religious Classes (known as the Bristol Hebrew School until about 1920(xx)), founded 1890.(xxi)

    Number of pupils:(xxii)














  • Hebrew and Religious Instruction Committee, formed by 1932.(xxiii)

Other Institutions

  • Chevra Kadisha (Jewish Burial Society) and Bikur Cholim Society, founded by 1896.(xxvi)

  • Ladies' Holy Vestments Society, founded by 1904.(xxvii)

  • Ladies' Guild (previously known as Jewish Women's Guild), founded by 1951,(xxvii)


Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) to (v) Reserved.

  • (vi) Jews in Bristol by Judith Samuels, 1997,  p.63.

  • (vii) Jews in Bristol by Judith Samuels, 1997,  p.70.

  • (viii) Jews in Bristol by Judith Samuels, 1997, pp.157/160.

  • (ix) and (x) Reserved.

  • (xi) 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.

  • (xii) Charities Commission website, accessed 7 September 2020.

  • (xiii) to (xix) Reserved.

  • (xx) It was listed as such until the Jewish Year Book 1921.

  • (xxi) Noted in the Jewish Year Book 1896/7.

  • (xxii) Extracted from the relevant Jewish Year Books.

  • (xxii) First listed in the Jewish Year Book 1933 and listed until the 1937 edition.

  • (xxiv) and (xxv) Reserved.

  • (xxii) Existed at least from the reuniting of the congregation in 1896 (Jews in Bristol by Judith Samuels, 1997, p.171).

  • (xxvii) First listed in the Jewish Year Book 1904/5 and listed until the 1924 edition.

  • (xxviii) First listed in the Jewish Year Book 1952.


Bristol Jewish Community home page
which includes additional information and other articles relating to this congregations

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created prior to 31 December 2002
Page completely redesigned: 20 October 2014
Page significantly expanded and notes first added: 21 July 2020
Page most recently amended: 6 November 2023

Research by Alan Tobias and David Shulman
Formatting by David Shulman

Explanation of Terms   |   About JCR-UK  |   JCR-UK home page

Contact JCR-UK Webmaster:
(Note: This is to contact JCR-UK, not the above Congregation)

JGSGB  JewishGen

Terms and Conditions, Licenses and Restrictions for the use of this website:

This website is owned by JewishGen and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain. All material found herein is owned by or licensed to us. You may view, download, and print material from this site only for your own personal use. You may not post material from this site on another website without our consent. You may not transmit or distribute material from this website to others. You may not use this website or information found at this site for any commercial purpose.

Copyright © 2002 - 2024 JCR-UK. All Rights Reserved