JCR-UK

the former

Londonderry Jewish Community

& Hebrew Congregation

Londonderry, Northern Ireland

 

 

 


JCR-UK is a genealogical and historical website covering all Jewish communities and
congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.

City of Londonderry (or Derry)

Londonderry - locally and historically Derry (Doire or Doire Cholm Chille in Irish) is a city in Northern Ireland, with a population of approximately 105,000, situated on the banks of the river Foyle. Since 2015, it has been part of the Derry and Strabane District and was formerly, from 1973, within the District of the City of Derry (formerly Londonderry until 1984). Prior thereto it formed the County Borough of Londonderry, geographically within County Londonderry, one of the six counties of Northern Ireland (which are now purely traditional counties, no longer with administrative authority).

Londonderry (Derry) Jewish Community

The city of Londonderry had a small Jewish community established towards the end of the nineteenth century with an organised congregation. However, due to dwindling numbers, the congregation became defunct by the end of the 1940s.

Congregation Data

Name:

Londonderry Hebrew Congregation

Last Synagogue Address:

4 Kennedy Place (off Hawkin Street), Londonderry, Northern Ireland (from about 1939)(i)

The building was sold to the Ulster Unionist Party and became thrir local branch office. It was susequently sold to a housing association, sometime in the twenty-first century. It later became derelict and collapsed, while empty, on 18 April 2013 and had to be demolished.

Following the disbanding of the congregation, its sepher Torah was donated to the Nachlat Avot Synagogue in Rechovot, Israel and the balance of the congregation's funds used for the building of a synagogue at Kibbutz Lavie, in Israel's Lower Galilee region.(ii)

Previous Addresses:

Lower Fountain Street, Hawkin Street, Londonderry (from about 1900 to about 1939)(iii)

18 Abercorn Road, Londonderry (from at least 1896 until about 1900)(iv)

Both these addresses, as well as Kennedy Place, are in the Bishop Street area of Londonderry.

Date Founded:

1894(vi)

Current Status:

Closed 1947, last service was on Yom Kippur(vii)

Ritual:

Orthodox - Ashkenazi

Ministers:
(To view a short profile of a minister whose name appears in blue - hold the cursor over his name.)

F. Harris - from at least 1896 to about 1900(x)

Rev. Samuel Joseph - about 1901 (may have been a visiting minister)(xi)

Rev. A. Pekorsky - from about 1902 to about 1906(xii)

Rev. M. Yagh - from about 1906 to about 1915(xiii)

Rev. N. Schatz (temp.) - from about 1915 to about 1917(xiv)

Rev. Isaac Domnitz - from about 1917 to about 1933(xv)

Rev. Heshel (Harris) Freedman - from about 1933 to 1946(xvi)

Lay Officers:(xx)

Presidents

1896-1897 - B. Robinson

1897-1900 - D. Harris

1900-1901 - B. Robinson

1902-1903 - E. Blough

1903-1904 - S. Lazarus

1904-1915 - E. Blough

1915-1918 - D. Spain

1918-1925 - B. Ruben

1925-1947 - D. Spain

Treasurers

1904-1907 - J. Friedlander

1907-1915 - I. Frieslander

1915-1918 - B. Ruben

1918-1924 - I. Silver

1924-1926 - S. Blogh

1926-1927 - W. Frieslander

1928-1933 - M. Watson

1933-1947 - D. Spain(xxi)

Secretaries & Hon Secretares

1896-1897 - I. Rosen

1897-1898 - L. Welsky

1898-1900 - E. Blough

1900-1901 - R. Morris

1902-1904 - E. Gordon

1904-1917 - J. Epstein

1917-1918 - M. Watson

1918-1919 - A. Freedman

1919-1924 - D. Spain

1924-1938 - B. Ruben

1939-1947 - M. Watson

Membership Data:

Jewish Year Books (number of seat-holders)

1896

1903

1904

1906

1916

15

25

20

13

17

Cemetery:

There was no Jewish cemetery in Londonderry. The only Jewish cemeteries in what is now Northern Ireland are in Belfast. For details, see Belfast Jewish Cemeteries Information on the Belfast home page.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Address given in Jewish Year Books from 1940.

  • (ii) Belfast Jewish Record, November 1960.

  • (iii) Address given in Jewish Year Books from 1900/01 through 1938. There was no address listed in the 1939 edition.

  • (iv) Address given in Jewish Year Books from the first edition (1896/97) through 1899/1900.

  • (v) Reserved.

  • (vi) Noted in Jewish Year Books from the first edition (1896/97).

  • (vii) Information communicated to JCR-UK. The congregation's last listing in a Jewish Year Book was 1948.

  • (viii) and (ix) Reserved.

  • (x) The 1901 Census return for 8 Mountjoy Street, Londonderry reveals a minister named Joseph Samuels, aged 46, from Russia, lodging with the Blogh and Harris families. No othere references to himhave been found.

  • (xi) Based upon Mr. Harris's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from the first edition (1896/97) through 1899/1900. There were no ministers listed for the congregation in the 1900/01 and 1901/02 editions.

  • (xii) Based upon Rev. Pekorsky's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from the first edition (1896/97) through 1899/1900.

  • (xiii) Based upon Rev. Yagh's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1906/07 through 1915.

  • (xiv) Based upon Rev. Schatz's listing as temporary minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1916 and 1917.

  • (xv) Based upon Rev. Domnitz's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1918 and 1933.

  • (xvi) Based upon Rev. Freedman's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1934 through.1940 and in the 1945/46 edition. As he is listed in Jewish Year Books both prior to and following World War II, it is assumed that he also served as minister throughout the war, although no data is available for such years.

  • (xvii) to (xix) Reserved.

  • (xx) The data listed here has been extracted from Jewish Year Books, first published in 1896/97. 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 relevent 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 1925 through 1928, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1924 and continued in office until 1928). 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. However, where an officer is listed in a particular office both prior to and following World War II, it is assumed that he also served in such office throughout the war, although no data is currently available for such years.

  • (xxi) Mr. Spain's title is given as Hon. Treasurer.

 

Bibliography, On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to the Londonderry Jewish Community

on JCR-UK

  • Bibliography:

    • "Derry's Jewish community" by Trevor Danker, Belfast Jewish Record, October 1960, p3.

    • "100 Years of Jewry in Ulster" by Steven Jaffe, Belfast Jewish Record, September 1989, pp. 9-11.

    • Other Londonderry Bibliography (if any)

On Third Party websites

 

Londonderry Jewish Population Data

1896

43

Jewish Year Book 1896/97

1898

52

Jewish Year Book 1898/99

1903

60

Jewish Year Book 1903/04

1904

50

Jewish Year Book 1904/05

1939

109

Jewish Year Book 1940

1945

72

Jewish Year Book 1945/46

1946

42

Jewish Year Book 1947

 

 Jewish Communities & Congregations in Northern Ireland


Page created:21 August 2005
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 15 October 2020
Latest revision or update: 11 April 2021


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