the former

Doncaster Jewish Community

& Hebrew Congregation

Doncaster, South Yorkshire




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

Town of Doncaster

The town of Doncaster, with a population of about 110,000, is the largest urban settlement within the metropolitan borough of Doncaster, in Northern England. The present boundaries date from 1974, when the metropolitan district of Doncaster was formed within the then new metropolitan county of South Yorkshire. Doncaster became a unitary authority in 1986 when South Yorkshire lost its administrative status, becoming purely a ceremonial county. Until 1974, Doncaster was a borough within the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Doncaster Jewish Community

Although there were Jews in Doncaster from at least the 1820s, an organised Jewish congregation was not established until shortly before World War I and a Jewish cemetery was consecrated in the mid-1930s. The community was never large and was at times dependent upon the larger Jewish communities in Sheffield (only 17 miles to the southwest) and Leeds (some 25 miles to the northwest). Numbers began to decline after World War II and the congregation closed at the end of the 1970s.

Congregation Data


Doncaster Synagogue or
Doncaster Hebrew Congregation

Initial Name:

Doncaster United Hebrew Congregation(iii)

Last Address:

Canterbury Road, Doncaster, from about 1956(iv)

Whilst the synagogue was being constructed at this address, the congregation used temporary premises.(v)

In 1956, The Doncaster Free Church was lent to the congregation for the High Holyday services.(vi)

Previous Addresses:

North Bridge Road, Doncaster, from at least 1924.(ix)

Date Formed:

The congregation was formed by March 1913.(x)


In 1979, the synagogue was sold and the congregation commenced its dissolution.(xi)

Among the recipients of the proceeds of sale of the synagogue was Hillel House in Sheffield, which received a gift of £6,000 towards its new wing, which was named the Doncaster Hebrew Congregation Wing and was opened in November 1979.(xii)  In 1981, Sheffield Hillel House received an additional gift of £1,500 from the proceeds of dissolution of the Doncaster congregation.(xiii)

Other recipients included the Sheffield United Hebrew Congregation, which received a gift of £1,000 towards an archive room, which was named the Doncaster Room, and the Sheffield Burial Association.(xiv)


Ashkenazi Orthodox


The congregation was unaffiliated but was under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi.

The congregation was for many years under the “umbrella” of the Sheffield United Hebrew Congregation, which had attended to their requirements for kashrut and education and whose minister had conducted services in Doncaster on special occasions. However in 1967, the Doncaster congregation was "adopted" by the New Central Vilna Synagogue, Leeds, which caused somewhat of a controversy at the time.(xv)

(To view a short profile of a minister - hold the cursor over his name.)

Rev. Philip Chazan - reader from March 1913 until about 1916(xviii)

Rev. Maurice David Hershman - reader in about 1918(xix)

Rev. J. Edelstein - minister, reader and shochet from about 1931 until 1936(xx)

Rev. Israel Chazen - minister, reader and shochet from 1937 until 1942(xxi) 

Rev. I. Sacofsky - from about 1942 until 1948(xxii) 

Lay Officers:

The data on the lay officers of the congregation has been extracted Jewish Year Book listings.(xxvii)


1913-1915 - S. Russbaum

1915-1924 - H. Schapiro(xxviii)

1924-1930 - W. Schapiro

1930-1934 - Ald. Samuel Morris(xxix)

1934-1936 - Max Kletz(xxx)

1936-1940 - M. Morris

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1948 - W. Schapiro

1948-1971 - Maurice Puckatch(xxxi)

1971-1979 - Sidney Furman(xxxii)


1913-1923 - L. Srolowitz(xxxiii)

1923-1924 - H. Harris

1924-1925 - L. Srolowitz(xxxiii)

1926-1930 - S. Morris

1930-1932 - S. Blaskey

1932-1934 - Max Kletz(xxx)

1934-1948 - Maurice Puckatch(xxxi)

1948-1956 - L. Collins

Secretarie & Hon. Secretaries

1913-1915 - Max Kletz(xxx)

1915-1923 - H.J. Grunthal

1923-1924 - H. Blackey

1924-1926 - A. Watssman

1926-1930 - Maurice Puckatch(xxxi)

1930-1932 - I.V. Barder

1934-1936 - B. Kletz

1936-1938 - Sidney Furman(xxxii)

1938-1948 - Sidney FurmanJ. Slomson(xxxii)

1948-1953 - Sidney FurmanM. Escovitz

1953-1954 - Miss M. Collins

1954-1959 - M. EscovitzSidney Furman

1959-1960 - M. Escovitz

1962-1963 - S. Morris (acting)

1963-1968 - D. Ross

1968-1979 - M. Escovitz

Membership Data:

Jewish Chronicle Reports

1967 - 50 members(xxxvi)

National Reports and Surveys

1977 - 7 male (or household) members and 3 female members(xxxvii)

Registration District

Doncaster, since 1 July 1837 - Link to Register Office website

Burial Arrangements:

In 1914, the congregation made arrangements with the Leeds Old Hebrew Congregation whereby members of the congregation were granted burial facilities in the cemetery at Gildersome (now known as the Leeds UHC Cemetery).(xxxviii)

In 1936, the congregation established its own burial grounds at the Rose Hill Cemetery (see below).





Search the Doncaster Jewish Cemetery Database,
including burial records and photographs of the headstones,
as well as a description of the cemetery

Basic Cemetery Information

The cemetery is at Rose Hill Cemetery, Jewish Section, Cantley Hill, Doncaster DN4. First burial 1936. The Database includes approximately 70 burials from 1936 to 2006.

(For some additional information, also see IAJGS Cemetery Project - Doncaster)


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Doncaster include:

1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2016)

Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Doncaster during the 1820s (5 records) and 1830s (14 records).


Online Articles, Photographs and Other Material
relating to the Doncaster Jewish Community


Notable Jewish Connections with Doncaster

  • Louis Kyezor (c.1796-1896), jeweller, watchmaker and property developer (see profile above), lived and traded in Doncaster from 1829 to 1834.

  • Professor Alan Menter (born 1941), an award-winning dermatologist, and flyhalf rugby union player for the Springboks, was born in Doncaster.

  • Edward (Ed) Miliband (born 1969), former leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition from 2010 to 2015, has been MP for Doncaster North since 2005. His parents were Polish Jewish immigrants who escaped to Britain during World War II.

  • Alderman Samuel Morris JP (1872-1950), who served as president of the Doncaster congregation in the 1930s, was Mayor of Doncaster in 1920/1 and 1937/8 and a Freeman of the borough. He was a brother of Lord Morris of Kenwood and of Alderman Hyman Morris of Leeds (who was Lord Mayor of Leeds in 1942) (Profiles of Ald. Samuel Morris and wife, Anna Morris.)

  • Boris Schapiro (1909-2002), a Grandmaster of the World Bridge Federation, lived as a child and was educated at Doncaster. He was born in Latvia into a prosperous family of Jewish traders, and came to Britain with his family to escape the Bolshevik Revolution. He is the only player to have won both the Bermuda Bowl (the world bridge championship for national teams) and the World Senior Pairs championship.


Other Doncaster Jewish Institutions & Organisations

Educational & Theological

  • Hebrew and Religious Classes

Other Institutions & Organisations*

  • Jewish Ladies Knitting Guild (founded 1940)(xli)

  • Jewish Ladies Society (later known as the Ladies Aid Society) (founded by 1932)(xlii)

  • Jewish Social Club (founded 1930)(xliii)

  • Refugee Aid Society (founded by 1939)(xliv)

  • Women's Zionist Society (founded by 1945)(xlv)


Doncaster Jewish Population Data


4 families

(Jewish Chronicle, 6 April 1906)



(The Jewish Year Book 1960)



(The Jewish Year Book 1967)



(The Jewish Year Book 1972)



(The Jewish Year Book 1975)


6 families

(Jewish Chronicle, 22 June 1979)


Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) and (ii) Reserved.

  • (iii) This name appeared in the Jewish Chronicle report of 31 October 1913.

  • (iv) This was the address listed in Jewish Year Books from 1957. The Jewish Chronicle of 24 February 1956. reported that the annual general meeting had been held "in the new synagogue building".

  • (v) c/o addresses were listed in Jewish Year Books 1954 through 1956 (initially c/o 7 George Gate and from 1955, c/o 228 Sandringham Road, the address of the hon. secretary, M.Escovitz).

  • (vi) Jewish Chronicle report of 25 December 1956.

  • (vii) and (viii) Reserved.

  • (ix) This address was listed in Jewish Year Books 1925 through 1953.

  • (x) Jewish Chronicle report of 14 March 1913. The congregation was first listed in the Jewish Year Book 1914.

  • (xi) Jewish Chronicle report of 22 June 1979. The congregation was last listed in the Jewish Year Book 1979.

  • (xii) Jewish Chronicle reports of 22 June 1979, 7 September 1979 and 9 November 1979.

  • (xiii) Jewish Chronicle report of 11 September 1981.

  • (xiv) Jewish Chronicle reports of 22 June 1979, 7 September 1979 and 11 September 1981.

  • (xv) Jewish Chronicle reports of 17 November 1967 and 24 November 1967.

  • (xvi) anf (xvii) Reserved.

  • (xviii) Based upon Jewish Chronicle report of 14 March 1913 of Rev. Chazan's appointment and his listing as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1914 through 1917.

  • (xix) Jolles Encyclopaedia of Chatanim, etc.(first edition), p.494.

  • (xx) Based upon a Jewish Chronicle report of 20 February 1931, which refers to progress being made by the children under the Rev. J. Edelstein, the new minister of the congregation, who had been teaching for about two months, and a 1936 report which placed him still in Doncaster, although by December 1936 he was already in Reading. He is listed as minister, reader and shochet of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1933 through 1936.

  • (xxi) The Jewish Chronicle of 23 April 1937 reported that Rev. Israel Chazen has been elected minister and shochet to the congregation. He is listed, under the name Rev. I. Chazan, as minister, reader and shochet of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1937 through 1940 (the last edition prior to the war-time cessation of publication).

  • (xxii) In 1942 Rev. Sacofsky, resident in Leeds, sent new year greetings in the Jewish Chronicle to the Doncaster community, indicating an existing relationship with the congregation. He was listed as minister, reader and shochet of the congregation in The Jewish Year Books from 1945/6 (the first to be published after the war-time cessation of publication) through 1948.

  • (xxiii) to (xxvi) Reserved.

  • (xxvii) 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. 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 in the title of the year book. For example, if an officer is listed in Jewish Year Books 1935 through 1938, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1934 and continued in office until 1938. 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. Jewish Year Books were not published during WWII subsequent to 1940. There were no Jewish Year Book listings of treasurers of the congregation subsequent to 1956.

  • (xxviii) H. Schapiro, who held the post of chairman of the congregation following the 1914 annual meeting (Jewish Chronicle report of 29 May 1914) is believed to Hyman Schapiro, either the grandfather (Jewish Chronicle obituary of 27 December 2002) or great-uncle (Jewish Chronicle obituary of 11 September 1998) of Boris Schapiro, the bridge Grandmaster (see Notable Jewish Connections). He died on 2 May 1921 (obituary in Jewish Chronicle of 13 May 1921) .

  • (xxix) Ald. Samuel Morris, was twice Mayor of Doncaster (see Notable Jewish Connections) (Jewish Chronicle obituary of 8 December 1950).

  • (xxx) The obituary of Max Kletz, who served as hon. secretary, treasurer and president of the congregation, appeared in the Jewish Chronicle of 23 July 1971.

  • (xxxi) The Jewish Year Book was not published in the war years 1941-1945. However, as Maurice Puckatch was listed as president both prior to the war (until 1940) and after the war (from 1945/6), it is presumed that he also served as such throughout World War II. The obituary of Maurice Puckatch, who served as hon. secretary, treasurer and president of the congregation, appeared in the Jewish Chronicle of 20 November 1970.

  • (xxxii) The Jewish Year Book was not published in the war years 1941-1945. However, as Sidney Puckatch was listed as hon. secretary (jointly with J. Slomson) both prior to the war (until 1940) and after the war (from 1945/6), it is presumed that they also served as such throughout World War II. The obituary of Sidney Furman, who served for over two decades as hon. secretary or joint hon. secretary and was the congregation's last president, appeared in the Jewish Chronicle of 23 April 1979.

  • (xxxiii) The obituary of L. Srolowitz, a founder of the congregation, appeared in the Jewish Chronicle of 4 September 1925.

  • (xxxiv) and (xxxv) Reserved.

  • (xxxvi) Jewish Chronicle report of 17 November 1967.

  • (xxxvii) Reports on synagogue membership in the United Kingdom, published by 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.

  • (xxxviii) Jewish Chronicle report of 26 June 1914.

  • (xxxix) and (xl) Reserved.

  • (xli) Jewish Chronicle report of 1 March 1940.

  • (xlii) First listed in Jewish Year Book 1933.

  • (xliii) Jewish Chronicle report of 28 November 1930.

  • (xliv) First listed in Jewish Year Book 1940.

  • (xlv) First listed in Jewish Year Book 1945/6.

Jewish Congregations in South Yorkshire

Jewish Communities of England homepage

Page created: 22 February 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 10 September 2021
Latest revision or update: 23 April 2023

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