Harrogate Hebrew Congregation

Harrogate, North Yorkshire




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Town of Harrogate

Harrogate is a town in Northern England with a population of about 70,000, well known as a spa, some 15 miles from Leeds.  It is part of the District of Harrogate (which also includes the historic town of Knaresborough) within the county of North Yorkshire. Prior to 1974, Harrogate, covering a much smaller area, was a municipal borough within the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Entrance to Harrogate Synagogue, May 2013
© David Shulman 2013

The Jewish Community

There was a medieval Jewish community in Knaresborough. In modern times, Harrogate became a popular Jewish spa resort during the Victoran period and in her book, The History of the Harrogate Jewish community,  Rosalyn Livshin lists 20 Jewish boarding houses in the town. However, an organised Jewish community and congregation was not exstablished until the close of World War I.

Congregation Data


Harrogate Hebrew Congregation


St. Mary's Walk, Harrogate HG2 0LW, from 1925, formerly a church school building, The present synagogue dates from 1968.(iv)

Services were originally held in the Barozinsky boarding house and at 1 Montpelier Parde (a room over an antique shop). Prior to the formation of the congregation, services were held at various other Jewish houses in Harrogate including The Hawthorns and The Hollies.(v)

Current Status:



Formed in 1918.(vi)


Ashkenazi Orthodox


The congregation is an independent and unaffiliated congregation functioning under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi.

The Congregation was affiliated to Leeds United Hebrew Congregation for the purposes of burial rights, until the opening of the Harrogate Stonefall Jewish Cemetery in May 1964.



Ministers and Readers:  (To view a short profile - hold the cursor over the minister's name.)

Rev. Eli Kahan, BA - minister from 1918 until May 1952(x)

Rev. Bernard Louis Segal - reader and shochet from 1920 until April 1953(xi)

Rev. Judah Hosea Rockman - minister from March 1953 until August 1958(xii)

Rev. Dr. Norman E. Gale - minister from October 1958 until December 1967(xiii)

Rev. Ian Camissar (1st term) - chazan / minister from June 1968 until December 1975(xvi)

Rev. Solomon Raphael Evans - temporary minister in 1976(xvii)

Rev. Shmuel Josovic - temporary minister from December 1976 until 1979(xviii)

Rabbi Dr Simeon Lowy - part-time minister from about 1979 until July 1985(xix)

Rev. Ian Camissar (2nd term) - minister from December 1991 until July 1993(xx)

From 1985 to 1991 and since 1993 the congregation
was served by a roster of visiting ministers.

Lay Officers of the Congregation:

The principal source for the data on the congregation's lay officers is Rosalyn D. Livshin's The History of the Harrogate Jewish community, 1995,(xxiii) supplemented by the congregation's listing in Jewish Year Books.

Life President

1949-1952 - Sir Montague Maurice Burton, JP(xxiv)


1918-1923 - A. Feldman

1923-1939 - Nathan Cohen

1941-1949 - Sir Montague Maurice Burton, JP

1949-1952 - A. Morris

1953-1957 - E.G. Barnard

1957-1962 - Stanley H. Burton

1962-1966 - L. Wolfe

1966-1968 - E. Margolis

1968-1970 - H.J. Myers

1970-1974 - Dr. L. Robson

1974-1975 - H.J. Myers

1975-1977 - A. Gale

1977-1980 - S. Royston

1980-1982 - D. Katseph

1982-1986 - S. Royston

1986-1993 - Leslie Fox

1993-c.2000 - S. Royston

c.2000-c.2009 - Leslie Fox

Vice Presidents

1918-1925 - E. Englander

1925-1926 - M. Sugden

1926-1931 - E. Englander

1932-1936 - Moe Myers

1936-1941 - Sir Montague Maurice Burton, JP

1941-1942 - M. Sugden

1942-1944 - H. Altman

1946-1949 - A. Morris

1949-1952 - Mau. Myers

1952-1953 - E.G. Barnard

1953-1954 - Stanley H. Burton

1954-1957 - M. Angel

1957-1961 - S.M. Coleman

1961-1962 - L. Wolfe

1962-1966 - E. Margolis

1966-1968 - H.J. Myers

1968-1969 - S. Royston

1969-1970 - Dr. L. Robson

1970-1972 - P. Buntman

1972-1977 - Stanley H. Burton

1977-1979 - N. Fox

1979-1986 - Stanley H. Burton

1986-1993 - H. Brown


1918-1924 - L. Salberg

1924-1925 - M. Sugden

1925-1926 - L. Benjamin

1926-1927 - L. Salberg

1927-1931 - Montague Maurice Burton, JP

1931-1936 - Sir Montague Maurice Burton, JP

1936-1942 - M. Sugden

1942-1943 - H. Altman

1943-1946 - A. Morris

1946-1949 - Mau. Myers

1949-1953 - Stanley H. Burton

1953-1957 - S.M. Coleman

1957-1962 - L. Wolfe

1962-1966 - J.W. Myers

1966-1968 - P.E. MorrisS. Royston

1968-1971 - P.E. Morris

1971-1977 - P.E. MorrisD. Katseph

1977-1980 - P.E. MorrisE. Baker

1980-1986 - H. Brown

1986-1987 - S. Burton

1987-1993 - H. Brown

Secretaries & Hon Secretaries

1918-1919 - L. Railer

1919-1920 - M. Simans

1920-1924 - E.H. Myers

1924-1925 - H. Brooks

1925-1926 - L. Cope

1926-1927 - L. Benjamin

1927-1952 - Rev. Eli Kahan, BA

1952-1954 - H. CopeM. Angel

1954-1957 - H. Cope

1957-1968 - C. Margolis

1968-1974 - C. MargolisB. Leslie

1974-1975 - C. MargolisA. Gale

1975-1976 - C. MargolisC. Rosen

1976-1977 - C. Margolis

1977-1980 - C. RosenMrs. H.J. Myers

1980-1981 - C. Rosen

1981-1983 - C. RosenMrs. L. Franklin

1983-1984 - P.E. MorrisR. Kay

1984-1985 - C. RosenP.E. Morris

1985-1987 - R. Kay; C. RosenP.E. Morris

1987-1988 - H. Mainz; M. MarksP.E. Morris

1988-1989 - P.E. Morris; H. MainzN. Solk

1989-1992 - P.E. MorrisS. Ryde

1992-1994 - P.E. MorrisJ. Slater

Membership Data:


1919 - 40 members(xxv)

Reports & Survey(xxvi)

1977 - 72 male (or household) members and 30 female members

1983 - 65 male (or household) members and 22 female members

1990 - 95 members (comprising 65 households and 30 individual female members)

1996 - 74 members (comprising 43 households, 15 individual male and 16 individual female members)

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

2016 - listed as having 100 to 199 members (by household)

Worship Registration:

The synagogue in St Mary's Walk is registered as a Place of Worship - Worship Register Number 49980 - under the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855. Also registered under the act as a place of worship for Jews is the Chapel at Forest Lane, Harrogate (Number 70937), about which nothing further is currently known.(xxvii)




Search the Harrogate 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 Stonefall Jewish Cemetery, Wetherby Rd, Harrogate HG3 1DE. Opened 1964. The Database includes approximately 180 interments or re-interments from 1964 to 2014, as well as six Jewish servicemen buried in the Stonefall Military Cemetery.

Prior to 1964, Harrogate Hebrew Congregation had an arrangement with Leeds United Hebrew Congregation granting burial facilities in the UHC Cemetery at Gildersome.

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


Plaque commemorating the medieval synagogue in Knaresborough
© Murray Freedman 2009

Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Harrogate Jewish Community



Notable Jewish Connections with Harrogate

(courtesy Steven Jaffe)

  • Sir Montague Burton (1885-1952), founder of the tailoring empire that bears his name, was also a founder and trustee of Harrogate Synagogue, and president, and later life president, of the congregation from 1941 until his death. His son, Stanley H. Burton, was also an office holder.

  • Herbert Hart (1907-1992), professor of jurisprudence, principal of Brasenose College, Oxford, who had been a codebreaker at Bletchley Park during World War II, was born in Harrogate.

  • Alderman Rodney Kent, a Liberal member of Harrogate council, became the first and only Jewish Mayor of Harrogate in 1976.


Other Harrogate Jewish Institutions & Organisations(xxviii)

Social and Congregational Organisations

  • Literary and Social Union - founded by 1924

  • Harrogate Ladies Guild (formerly Ladies Synagogue Committee) - founded by 1931

  • Association of Jewish Refugees - founded by 1945

Welfare Organisations & Friendly Societies

  • Jewish Ladies Dorcas - founded by 1924

  • B'nai B'rith Harrogate Lodge No. 1122 - founded by 1929

  • German Jewish Children's Refugee Hostel Committee - founded by 1939

  • Adult Refugee Committee - founded by 1945

  • Jewish Forces Hospitality and Comfort Fund - founded by 1945

  • Jewish Refugee Children's Committee - founded by 1946

Zionist & Israel Organisations

  • Harrogate Zionist Society - founded by 1926

  • JNF Commissioner - founded by 1927

  • Ladies' Palestine Welfare Committee - founded by 1931

  • Ziona Group (later Zionist Group) - founded by 1951

  • Harrogate Women's Zionist Society - founded by 1945

Miscellaneous Organisations

  • Harrogate branch of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women - founded by 1950



Synagogue Records :

Held by the West Yorkshire Archive Service Leeds:

  • Harrogate Hebrew Congregation, Records. 1910-1993 (WYL1735).

  • Harrogate Hebrew Congregation (Additional) Treasurer's Papers, 1992-1994 (WYL1735).

Registration District (BMD):

  • North Yorkshire,  since 1 October 1998 - Link to Register Office website

    • Previous Registration Districts:
         Knaresborough - 1 July 1837 to 1 January 1947
         Claro - 1 January 1947 to 1 October 1998.

    • All records would now be held by the current office.


Harrogate Jewish Population Data





12-15 families

(The Jewish Chronicle 12 April 1918)



(The Jewish Year Book 1940)



(The Jewish Year Book 1949)



(The Jewish Year Book 1950)



(The Jewish Year Book 1951)



(The Jewish Year Book 1952)



(The Jewish Year Book 1956)



(The Jewish Year Book 1974)



(The Jewish Year Book 1985)



(The Jewish Year Book 2004)


Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) to (iii) Reserved.

  • (iv) The congregation's website. This was the address listed in Jewish Year Books from 1926.

  • (v) Various Jewish Chronicle reports including reports of 28 September 1900 and 29 December 1911 I Montpellior Parade was the address listed in the Jewish Year Book 1925.

  • (vi) Jewish Year books from 1939. The Jewish Chronicle report of 12 September 1919 refers to the recent establishment of the synagogue.

  • (vii) to (ix) Reserved.

  • (x) Rosalyn D. Livshin, The History of the Harrogate Jewish community, 1995, p.79.  The Jewish Year Books only list Rev. Kahan as minister from 1923.

  • (xi) Rosalyn D. Livshin, The History of the Harrogate Jewish community, 1995, p.79.  Rev. Segal is listed as reader and shochet in Jewish Year Books 1925 through 1953.

  • (xii) The Jewish Chronicle of 22 August 1958 reported that Rev. Rockman, the minister of the Harrogate Hebrew Congregation for the past five-and-a-half years, has returned to the Catford Synagogue, London, which he served for six years before going to Harrogate. Also, Rosalyn D. Livshin, The History of the Harrogate Jewish community, 1995, p.80. Rev. Segal is listed as reader and shochet in Jewish Year Books 1954 through 1958.

  • (xiii) The Jewish Chronicle reported on 17 October 1958 that Rev. Norman Gale, assistant minister of the Hampstead Synagogue, for the past four years, has been appointed minister of the Harrogate Hebrew Congregation, and on 12 January 1968 it reported that Rev. Dr. Norman E. Gale preached his farewell Shabbat sermon in Harrogate before taking up his new position at Ealing. Also, Rosalyn D. Livshin, The History of the Harrogate Jewish community, 1995, pp.80/1. Rev. Segal is listed as reader and shochet in Jewish Year Books 1959 through 1968.

  • (xiv) and (xv) Reserved.

  • (xvi) The Jewish Chronicle reported on 11 October 1968 that Rev. Ian Camissar, who has been acting as reader to the Harrogate Congregation for the past few months, has now accepted an invitation to continue in this position and also be acting-minister, and on 19 December 1975 it reported that a kiddush was held in the Harrogate synagogue classroom after the service the previous Shabbat, in honour of the Rev Ian Camissar, who had conducted his last service in his seven years' ministry to the congregation and had given his farewell sermon. Also, Rosalyn D. Livshin, The History of the Harrogate Jewish community, 1995, p.81. Rev. Camissar is not listed in Jewish Year Books with regard to this congregation.

  • (xvii) Rosalyn D. Livshin, The History of the Harrogate Jewish community, p.81. Prior to taking up this temporary post, Rev. Evans had regularly assisted the congregation on High Holydays or when needed. He is not listed in Jewish Year Books with regard to this congregation.

  • (xviii) Rosalyn D. Livshin, The History of the Harrogate Jewish community, p.81. Rev. Josovic is not listed in Jewish Year Books with regard to this congregation.

  • (xix) The Jewish Chronicle of 22 December 1978 that Rabbi Dr Simeon Lowy had been appointed minister of the Congregation and on 2 August 1985 it reported on his departure. Also, Rosalyn D. Livshin, The History of the Harrogate Jewish community, p.81. Rev. Lowy is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1980 through 1986.

  • (xx) Rosalyn D. Livshin, The History of the Harrogate Jewish community, p.81.

  • (xxi) and (xxii) Reserved.

  • (xxiii) The lists of officers appears in Appendix B (pp. 142/5).

  • (xxiv) Listed as Life President in Jewish Year Books 1950 through 1952.

  • (xxv) Jewish Chronicle report of 12 September 1919.

  • (xxvi) 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.

  • (xxvii) Pages 1039 and 1035 of the 2010 List of Places of Worship.

  • (xxviii) The year listed as regards the founding of an organisation is the year prior to the first listing of such organisation in the Jewish Year Book.

Jewish Congregations in North Yorkshire

Jewish Communities of England homepage

Page created: 22 August 2005
Data significantly expanded and notes added: 14 June 2023
Page most recently amended: 19 September 2023

Research by David Shulman, assisted by Steven Jaffe
Formatting by David Shulman

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