the former

Dewsbury Jewish Community

& Synagogue

Dewsbury, Kirklees, West Yorkshire




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Town of Dewsbury

Dewsbury (population about 55,000) is a town in West Yorkshire in the north of England, lying on the river Calder.  It was a municipal borough (in the West Riding of Yorkshire) from 1862 to 1913, a county borough from 1913 to 1974.  In 1974, it merged with the county borough of Huddersfield and a number of smaller local authorities to form the metropolitan borough of Kirklees (in the metropolitan county of West Yorkshire).  In 1986, Kirklees became a unitary authority when West Yorkshire lost its administrative status and became purely a ceremonial county.

Dewsbury Jewish Community

There was only ever a very small number of Jews resident in the town. However, Dewsbury is only eight miles from Leeds and a larger number of Leeds Jews would have worked or had shops in the town, commuting daily from Leeds. There is evidence of Jews living in Dewsbury as early as the 1850s, although it was not until the first decade of the twentieth century that a congregation was established, which was only intermittently active and which became finally defuct by the middle of the century. For more details see below and "Jews of Dewsbury" by Harold Pollins.

Congregation Data


Dewsbury Synagogue


The only synagogue was in Grove Street, Dewsbury, Yorkshire, which was opened from 1906(ii) and is believed to have continued in use until congregational activities were discontunued during or prior to World War I.

Previously a minyan had been held a 16 Albion Street in about 1904/5(iii) and high holy day services were held in 1905 in a large room in the Town Hall.(iv)

In the second phase of the community's existence, from about 1947, it would appear that services only took place in private homes.

Formation, Subsequent Developments & Closure:

Although some services had commenced in about 1904 (see above), the congregation was not formally established until April 1906.(v)

This, the first phase of the congregation's existence, lasted no more than a decade (and probably only about three or four years), the congregation being disbanded, at the earliest, in about 1909, or in the latest during World War I.(vi)

An attempt was made in 1922 to re-establish the congregation,(vii) but this appears to have been unsuccessful.

In 1947, the congregation began its second phase of existence, when it was revived as "there was now a large enough number of Jews living in Dewsbury to make it possible".(viii) However, by the early 1950s, this too had become defunct.(ix)


Ashkenazi Orthodox


Rev. Israel Dobkin - from 1906 until about 1907.(xiv)

Lay Officers:

The data on the lay officers of the congregation has generally been extracted from listings in Jewish Year Books.(xv)

First Phase Congregation (pre-WWI)(xvi)

Hon. President

1906-1908 - Jacobi Wronker Flatow


1906-1907 - Louis Salinsky

1907-1908 - Myer Wattsman (or Watson)

1908-1909 - Jacobi Wronker Flatow

Vice Presidents

1906-1907 - B. Freidman (or Friedman)

1907-1908 - M. Cohen


1906-1907 - K. Weiss (or E. Weiss)

1907-1909 - Louis Salinsky

Hon. Secretaries

1906-1907 - M. Phillips

1907-1908 - Samuel Tissar (or Tisser)

1908-1909 - J. Salinsky (pro tem)

Second Phase Congregation (post-WWII)(xvii)


1948-1949 - Mark Salont

Vice President

1948-1949 - J. Salinsky

Hon. Secretaries

1948-1949 - Nelson A. Berkoff

1949-1950 - B. Solver

Registration District (BMDs):

Dewsbury, since 1 July 1837 - Register Office Website

Cemetery Details

There is no Jewish cemetery in Dewsbury


Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Dewsbury Jewish Community


Notable Jewish Former Residents of Dewsbury
or Jews having a close connection with the town

  • Sir John Simon (1818-1897), Liberal MP for Dewsbury (1868-1888), lawyer and a campaigner against the persecution of the Jews of Russia. (Jewish Encyclopaedia profile.)

  • Robert Weiss (c.1883-1911), reputedly the first Jew to be killed in an aviation accident (at Filey, Yorkshire).(xviii) (Jewish Chronicle report 15 November 1911.)


Other Dewsbury Jewish Institutions & Organisations

Other Institutions & Organisations

  • Dewsbury Hebrew Benevolent Society (founded by 1907)(xix)


Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) Jewish Chronicle report of 4 June 1906. This was also the address under which the congregation was listed in Jewish Year Books from 1945/6 through 1964.

  • (iii) The Jewish Year Book 1904/5, in which Dewsbury was first listed, gives this address, which was repeated the following year..

  • (iv) Jewish Chronicle report of 1 September 1905.

  • (v) Jewish Chronicle report of 1 September 1905.

  • (vi) The congregation ceased to be listed in Jewish Year Books from 1910, which is generally an indication that it it had been disbanded by 1909 and, in fact, there were no reports of any activities in the following years. However the Jewish Chronicle report of 14 July 1922 stated that the congregation "had been disbanded during the war" (i.e. World War I, 1914-1918), which seems unlikely.

  • (vii) Jewish Chronicle reports of 14 July 1922 and 30 May 1947, the latter of which states that Jewish community had been "out of existence for something like 30 years".

  • (viii) Jewish Chronicle report of 30 May 1947.

  • (ix) Although the final listing of the congregation was in the Jewish Year Book 1952, the entry for that year and for the previous year contained a note "no information provided", indicating that the data was historic, and accordingly it is probable that the congregation ceased activities by about 1950.

  • (x) to (xiii) Reserved.

  • (xiv) From about the Jewish Year Book 1927 entries do not appear to have been updated and in the editions for 1930 and 1931 the only information given is that of the hon. secretary, the community ceasing to be listed from the 1932 edition.

  • (xv) Where a person is first listed in a year book as holding a particular office, it has been assumed that his term of office commenced in the year of publication of the relevant year book and that he continued in office until the commencement of office of his successor, unless the office was vacant. Initially year books corresponded to the Hebrew year, and thus ran roughly from autumn of one year - the year of publication - until autumn of the next year. From 1909, year books were published according to the Gregorian year, being published generally towards the end of the year prior to the year appearing the title of the year book. For example, if an officer is listed in Jewish Year Books 1948 through 1950, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1947 and continued in office until 1950. However, it should be noted that this is only an assumption and, accordingly, his actual years of office may differ somewhat from those shown here.

  • (xvi) The listings below (extracted from the Jewish Year Books) are also consistent with the Jewish Chronicle reports of 6 April 1906, 1 February 1907 and 31 January 1908, reporting on the annual election of officers, except in certain instances (where indicated) there is a difference in spelling.

  • (xvii) The listings below (extracted from Jewish Year Books) are consistent with the Jewish Chronicle report of 30 May 1947, which named the first officers of the re-established congregation

  • (xviii) Weiss was a partner in the Anglo-Russian Trading Company of Dewsbury and brother in law of Jacobi Wronker Flatow, president of the Jewish community.

  • (xix) Jewish Chronicle report of 18 January 1907.

Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees Jewish Communities home page

Jewish Congregations in West Yorkshire

Jewish Communities of England homepage

Page created: 7 May 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 15 February 2021
Latest revision or update: 18 February 2021

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