Holy Law South Broughton Congregation

Prestwich, Greater Manchester




Page Created: 2 March 2002
Latest revision or update: 1 January 2018

The Holy Law Synagogue, Bury Old Road, Prestwich, c.1965

Congregation Data


Holy Law South Broughton Congregation (since 1978)

Formation and Incorporated Congregations:

In 1978, the Congregation incorporated South Broughton Synagogue (formerly known as Broughton Synagogue).

From 1933 to 1978, the Congregation was officially known as the Holy Law Hebrew Congregation (and was frequently referred to as Holy Law Synagogue and Holy Law Synagogue and Beth Hamedrash).

In 1933, the Congregation incorporated Sedgley Park Hebrew Congregation.

From 1901 to 1933, the Congregation was officially known as the Holy Law & Beth Aaron Synagogue and Beth Hamedrash.

In 1901 by Congregation incorporated the Beth Aaron Synagogue (which had been founded by 1898(i)).

The Congregation was founded in 1864(ii) as the Chevra Torah (Society of the Holy Law) and became known as Kehillat Torah - Holy Law Congregation and Holy Law Synagogue, until 1901.


Old Bury Road, Prestwich, Manchester M25 (the building, the first purpose-built synagogue in Prestwich, was opened in 1935 and consecrated by Chief Rabbi Dr. J. H. Hertz on 15 September 1935.(iii) It was extended in 1961/62)

(The congregation is considered part of the "North Manchester" Jewish community.)

Previous Addresses:

1933 to 1935 - Temporary address for services in basement of Odean Cinema, Bury New Road

1901 to 1933 - Bank View, Red Bank, Cheetham, Manchester (a converted church) (Accordingly, the Congregation was often referred to as the Claff Shool, after Samuel Aaron Claff, who until 1904 owned the building, and from whom the name Beth Aaron originated; and as Red Bank Shool, after the neighborhood in the synagogue was situated.)

1878 to 1901 - In a loft above a provender shop on Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester, and accordingly known as the "Hay Shop Shul".

1875 to 1878 - Fernie Street (back of Lord Street), Manchester.

1864 to 1875 - In a house in Park Place, at the bottom of Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester.

Current Status:



Ashkenazi Orthodox


A provincial synagogue under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi.




Rabbi Menachem Dov (Ber) Dagutsky - 1886 to 1918.

Rabbi I. Zinower - 1923 to 1928

Rabbi Joseph Vilenski - 1938 to 1945

Rabbi Dr. Julius Unsdorfer - 1950 to 1971

Rabbi Ivan Wachmann - 1973 to 1990

Rabbi Yossi Chazan - 1991 to present (February 2017)

Membership Data:

1866 - 90 members (centenary brochure(iv), p.8.)
1914 - 360 congregants ("Pictorial History"(v))

1919 - 165 seatholders (Jewish Year Book 1920)
1920 - 100 congregants ("Pictorial History"(vi))
1926 - 100 members (centenary brochure(vii))
1933 - 120 families (Congregation's website)
1935 - 250 families (Congregation's website)
1999 - 800 members (Borad of Deputies Return)

Local Authority Districts:

The congregation is situated in Prestwich, close to the boundary with Salford.

Since 1974, Prestwich has been part of the metropolitan borough of Bury, within the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester (which no longer has any administrative powers).

Previously, Prestwich was in the county of Lancashire, being organized as an urban district from 1889 to 1939, and a municipal borough until from 1939 to 1974.

(Cheetham and Bury New Road were in the county borough of Manchester, later the metropolitan borough of the City of Manchester)

Marriage Certification:

Group for Certification: Board of Deputies
Worship Number: 55415

Registration Districts::

for Cheetham and Bury New Road:

1 July 1837 - Manchester
1 January 1925 - Manchester North
1 April 1939 - Mancheste

for Prestwich:

1 January 1925 - Manchester North
1 April 1934 - Heywood
1 April 1974 - Bury

Cemetery Information:

See below

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) This date is based based upon date of first marriage in marriage register of Beth Aaron Synagogue and also appears as the date of founding of that congregation in the Holy Law South Broughton Congregation - 150 Years (see bibliography below). However, it should be noted that Holy Law Congregation 100 Years 1865-1965, makes no mention of the Beth Aaron Synagogue having had a separate existance prior to 1901.

  • (ii) The Congregation's centenary souvenir brochure, Holy Law Congregation 100 Years 1865-1965, states on Page 8 that "the very first meeting of the Chevra took place on the first day of Chol Hamoed Succos 5625". This fell on 17 October 1864. Accordingly, the celebration of the centenary anniversary in 1965 was actually a year late.

  • (iii) Jewish Heritage in England - An Architectural Guide (p.152) by Sharman Kadish 2006 includes a description of the synagogue building.

  • (iv) Holy Law Congregation 100 Years 1865-1965 online on JCR-UK

  • (v) Manchester Jewry - A Pictorial History 1799-1988 by Bill Williams

  • (vi) ibid.

  • (vii) Holy Law Congregation 100 Years 1865-1965 online on JCR-UK


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database specifically associated with this congregation include:


Holy Law & Beth Aaron Synagogue, 1901-1932 (568 records);
South Broughton Synagogue, 1920-1938 (494 records).

For a list of other Manchester records in the Database that may also include records associated with this congregation, click here


On-line Articles and Other Material relating to this Congregation



Cemeteries Information

Inscription of the foundation of the Ohel at the Failworth Jewish Cemeter

Failworth Jewish Cemetery Layout
(click on Plan to enlarge)


The Failworth Jewish Cemetery, Cemetery Road, Failworth M35, was acquired in 1919 by the Holy Law & Beth Aaron Synagogue. For additional information, see Manchester Jewish Cemeteries Information on Manchester Jewish Community home page


Congregational Records

At Manchester Register Office and Board of Deputies (BOD ref: bod 17/13a/1-2 and 17/3a/1):

At London Metropolitan Archives:

  • 1952-1965 - Membership lists - acc/ 3121/DO2 (LMA Ref: 090).

Greater Manchester Jewish Community home page

Jewish Congregations in the Metropolitan Borough of Bury

Jewish Congregations in the City of Manchester (metropolitan borough)

Street Directory of Jewish Congregations in Greater Manchester

Jewish Communities of England home page


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