Darlington Jewish Community

& Hebrew Congregation

Darlington, County Durham




Page created: 3 November 2003
Latest revision or update: 20 July 2017

Town of Darlington

The town of Darlington, in the North East of England, has a population of about 100,000 and is in the county borough of Darlington, a unitary authority since 1997. Prior to then, Darlington was a district of County Durham. The present boundaries were formed in 1974 by the merger of the old borough of Darlington and the rural district of Darlington. It lies on the river Skerne near the confluence with the river Tees. The world's first railway line, opened in 1825, ran from Darlington to Stockton.

Darlington Jewish Community

The town had a Jewish congregation during the late nineteenth century. It dwindled as several families saw no prospect of there being a larger Jewish population and making a congregation, so they left and by 1894, the Congregation was defunct. Board of Deputies cancelled the congregation's right to maintain a Marriage Register "owing to the decay of the congregation". The Jewish community began to increase again at the end of the nineteenth century and the present congregation, the Darlington Hebrew Congregation, dates back to 1904.

Congregation Data


Darlington Hebrew Congregation


15 Bloomfield Road, Darlington DL1 5TG

Previously at 13 Bloomfield Road, Darlington

(The congregation moved to 13 Bloomfield in 1967 and the new synagogue was dedicated by the then Emeritus Chief Rabbi Dr. Israel Brodie. In 2007, the congregation moved next door (No. 15) to somewhat smaller premises that had been the rabbi's bungalow.(i))

Other Former Addresses:

Studley House, 9 Victoria Road, Darlington (from 1930 until 1967(ii))
and prior thereto in rented premises including Albion Hall, Northgate; 7 Prospect Chambers, Bondgate; Russel Street Chambers, 74 Northgate; and West End Building, Skinnergate.

During the nineteenth century, the Congregation had no fixed premises and would frequently used rented rooms for the high holiday services

Current Status:


Date Formed:

The earlier congregation was founded by about 1885.(iii) However by 1894, it was defunct and  Board of Deputies cancelled the congregation's right to maintain a Marriage Register "owing to the decay of the congregation"(iv).

The present congregation dates from 1904.


The congregation was Askanazi Orthodox until about 1987/88, when it became Reform


Currently an Associated Community with of the Movement for Reform Judaism (formerly the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain), having joined to movement following the adoption of Reform form of services in 1987/88


Rev. Moses Reichman - Chazan 1888(vi)

Rev. Samuel Gordon - Minister 1891, 1892(vii)

Rev. Barnet Moss - Chazan and Shochet from 1907(viii)

Rev. M. Franks - Minister in 1914(ix)

Rev. Bernard Hyams - Minister from about 1915 to 1932(x)

Rev. M. Isaacs - Minister from 1932(?) to 1933(xi)

Rev. D. Garb - Minister from 1934 to 1939(xii)

Rev. Shalom Barron - Chazan, Shochet from 1939 until 1944(xiii)

Rev. Marcus Schwarz - Minister from 1945 to about 1946(xiv)

Rev. Israel Cohen - Chazan from 1947 to 1950(xv)

Rev. M. I. Fabritz - Minister from 1951 to 1958(xvi)

Rev. A. Freedman - Minister from 1958 until about 1969(xvii)

Rev. Wilfred Wolfson - Minister from 1973 to 1969(xviii)

Rabbi Alby Copeland - Minister 1976 to 1980(xix)

(from 1987/8 until about 2012, there was a rabbi sharing arrangement with Newcastle Reform Synagogue(xx))

Rabbi Barbara Borts - Part-Time Minister from 2012 to present (June 2017)(xxi)


http://www.darlingtonhebrewcongregation.org.uk (which includes certain historical and genealogical information on the congregation.)

Membership Data:

1892 -  10 seatholders (Board of Deputies return)

Registration District (BDM):

Darlington (since founding of congregation) - Register Office Website.

Marriage Group: WLS (West London Synagogue).

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Consecration - Jewish Chronicle, 21 July 1967. Move next door - Congregation's website, accessed 25 June 2017.

  • (ii) L. Olsover's The Jewish Communities of North East England pages 317 and 319. The pre-1930 addresses also appear on page 317 of Olsover's book.

  • (iii) L. Olsover's The Jewish Communities of North East England, based on report of 29 June 1889 in the Darlington and Stockton Times that "Mr. S Abrahams ... established the [Darlington] Hebrew congregation five years ago...".

  • (iv) Jewish Chronicle, 23 November 1894.

  • (v) JCR-UK is grateful to Mr. Harold Pollins for his research on Darlington (see list of Online Articles) from which much of the informmation on the Congregation's ministers was extracted.

  • (vi) Death reported in Jewish Chronicle, 5 October 1888, shortly following his appoinment.

  • (vii) 1891 census and Jewish Chronicle, 30 September 1892.

  • (viii) Appointment reported in Jewish Chronicle, 25 October 1907.

  • (ix) Referred to as minister in Jewish Chronicle, 2 January 1914.

  • (x) Appointment reported in Jewish Chronicle, 30 July 1915 (but could have commenced in 1914). Retirement from ministry reported in the Jewish Chronicle, 25 March 1932.

  • (xi) The Jewish Chronicle, 21 December 1945 reported that Rev. M. Isaacs had left Darlington for Stoke in 1933.

  • (xii) Appointment reported in the Jewish Chronicle, 31 August 1934 (was previously at Lennox Street Synagogue, Dublin) and resignation reported in Jewish Chronicle, 21 April 1939 (to take up post in Blackpool).

  • (xiii) Appointment reported in the Jewish Chronicle, 14 July 1939. In the Jewish Chronicle, 14 January 1944, he is bidded farewell.

  • (xiv) Appointment reported in the Jewish Chronicle, 19 January 1945 and 2 February 1945 (was previously at Swansea Beth Hamedrash). The postion was already vacant and being advertised in the Jewish Chronicle, 21 March 1946, although he is still named as minister in the Jewish Year Book 1947.

  • (xv) Appointment reported in the Jewish Chronicle, 20 June 1947. Resignation reported in the Jewish Chronicle, 25 August 1950 (to take up post in Portsmouth & Southsea).

  • (xvi) Appointment reported in the Jewish Chronicle, 9 March 1951 (having previously been in South Shields). Resignation reported in the Jewish Chronicle, 18 July 1958 (to take up post in Portsmouth & Southsea).

  • (xvii) Referred to as being in Darlington in the Jewish Chronicle, 3 October 1958, reported still in Darlington in the Jewish Chronicle, 12 September 1968. The Jewish Chronicle, 8 June 1973, reported that position had been vacant since 1969.

  • (xviii) Appointment in Darlington reported in the Jewish Chronicle, 8 June 1973. His appointment as minister in Cardiff reported in the Jewish Chronicle, 5 December 1975. The position in Darlington having been advertised in the Jewish Chronicle, 21 November 1975

  • (xix) Appointment reported in the Jewish Chronicle, 24 September 1976. His resignation reported in the Jewish Chronicle, 12 October 1979 (to take up post at Pollokshields Hebrew Congregation, Glasgow, in April 1980).

  • (xx) Congregation's website, accessed 25 June 2017.

  • (xxi) The Congregation's website reported Rabbi Bolts appointed on 14 September 2012. In 2014, the Congregation congratulated her on her Ph.D., Jewish Chronicle, 28 August 2014.


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Darlington include:

1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2016)

Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Darlington during the 1810s (1 record); 1830s (1 record), 1850s (7 records), 1860s (1 record), 1900s (1 record) and 1910s (1 record).


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



Darlington Jewish Cemetery Information

Darlington Jewish Cemetery  Darlington Jewish Cemetery
The Gates of the Darlington Jewish Cemetery, with a close-up of the plaque
Courtesy Peter Gatoff ( 2016)

Darlington Jewish Cemetery. The Darlington Hebrew Congregation has its own consecrated areas in the local municipal cemetery - West Cemetery, Carmel Road North, Darlington DR3 8RY. There are two sections, an "Old Section" dating from 1922 (earlist burial 1926) and a "New Section" dating from 1957.

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


Darlington Jewish Population Data



(Olsover's "The Jewish Communities of North-East England")


30 families

(The Jewish Chronicle, 16 November 1906)



(The Jewish Year Book 1910)



(The Jewish Year Book 1920)



(The Jewish Year Book 1935)



(The Jewish Year Book 1947)



(The Jewish Year Book 1956)



(The Jewish Year Book 1991)



(The Jewish Year Book 2005)


Darlington's Earliest-Known Jewish Inhabitants

1841 Census
HO107/303/25/8 Page 11     Archer Street, Darlington, Durham




Trav. Jeweller
Trav. Jeweller
Trav. Jeweller
Trav. Jeweller



Reputed first Jewish child born in Darlington

Samuel Briski, June quarter Darlington 10a 17.  Brit Milah 23 March 1872. Father Jacob. Source: Arnold Levy, History of the Sunderland Jewish Community, 1755-1955, 1955, p. 293.

List of Reform Judaism Congregations

Jewish Congregations in County Durham

Jewish Communities of England home page



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