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the former

Stockport Hebrew Congregation

Stockport, Greater Manchester

 

 

   

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

Town of Stockport

Stockport was a county borough in Cheshire, just to the southeast of Manchester. In 1974, it merged with adjoining areas (all of which had been in Cheshire) to form the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport within the new Metropolitan County of Greater Manchester. Stockport became a unitary authority in 1986 when Greater Manchester lost its administrative status, becoming purely a ceremonial county.

Stockport Jewish Community

A Jewish community developed in Stockport in the latter years of the nineteenth century. However, numbers began to dwindle in the 1950s and the Stockport Synagogue closed in the 1960s, Jews having migrated to other neighbourhoods in the Greater Manchester area. (There is, however, an active congregation in Gateley, Cheadle, the Yeshurun Hebrew Congregation, which is in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport.)

Congregation Data

Name:

Stockport Hebrew Congregation

Last Address:

211 Chestergate, Stockport, opened 17 September 1905 (i)

The freehold plot of land, with large house attached was purchased at auction for £300 and extensive structural alterations were made at a cost of over £1,000, giving the synagogue capacity to accommodate 200 worshippers.(ii)

Previous Address:

Bridgefield Street, Wellington Road, Stockport.(iii)

On Sunday, 27 September 1891, the congregation consecrated its first synagogue, described as a former "Unitarian Christadelphian Synagogue" situated in "a fashionable part of the town".(iv) On Sunday, 27 December 1903, the congregation consecrated, or reconsecrated, its synagogue, at the address in Wellington Road, being described as "formerly occupied by the Stockport spiritualist society".(v) It is unclear from the press reports whether both consecrations refer to the same premises, since a report in June 1904 refers merely to the synagogue having been "redecorated" six months previously.(vi)

However, on Tuesday, 7 June 1904, the synagogue collapsed, The walls had given way, and in their fall had caused a rent of about fifty square feet in the ceiling, and totally smashed the gallery, fixtures, seats and Almemar. The Ark and its contents were undamaged and no one was in the building at the time.(vii) The building was unable to be used and the congregation was forced to use temporary accommodation, including the Temperance Hall, London Square for its high holy day services,(viii) until suitable new premises could be acquired.

Formation of the Congregation:

The congregation acquired its first synagogue in 1891, but, being a community of already 20 families, services may well have been held earlier in private homes.

Closure:

Although the congregation continued to be listed in Jewish Year Books until 1975, this was an error (in fact, the data for Stockport had remained unchanged from 1965 through 1975), the congregation having merged into the Yeshurun Hebrew Congregation in about 1966, as membership had dwindled and many of its members had moved to the Cheadle and Gatley area. The synagogue building and the minister's house were sold and the money transferred to the Yeshurun congregation.(ix)

Ritual:

Ashkenazi Orthodox

Affiliation:

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

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

Rev. Nathan Speakmaster - from about 1903 until, possibly, 1908(xii)

Rev. Abraham Dove - from about 1908 until at least 1918(xiii)

Rev. Menachem Ben Zion Ordman - from 1924 until 1927(xiv)

Rev. Hermann Abrahams - from about 1927 until 1933(xv)

Rev. Abraham Freedman - from 1933 until 1944(xvi)

Rev. Shalom Barron - from 1944 until 1952(xix)

Rev. Ephraim Groundland - from 1953 until about 1957(xx)

Rev. Harold Lerner - from 1959 until 1961(xxi)

Rev. David Kurnoff - from 1962 until 1964(xxii)

Other Ministers and Readers connected with the Congregation:

Rev. K. Slivkin was reader during the Chief Rabbi's visit to Stockport in 1903.(xxvi)

Rev. A. Samet served the congregation sometime prior to 1920.(xxvii)

Rev. Ehrlich officiated at the Chanuka soiree in Stockport in December 1920.(xxviii)

Lay Officers:

Unless otherwise stated, the data below on the lay officers of the congregation has been extracted from the following sources:
(a) Data relating to the 1890s and 1901 - Jewish Chronicle reports of officers elected at annual meetings;(xxxiii)
(b) Data from 1902 -  Jewish Year Book listings (in which the congregation was first listed in 1902). When a first name is given, this has generally been obtained from other sources.(xxxiv)

Life Presidents

from 1891 - William Aronsberg, JP

 

Honorary Presidents

1954 to at least 1956 - S. Clare

 

Presidents

1893-1895 - Jacob Winter

1901-1907 - L. Williams

1907-1910 - I. Freedman

1910-1913 - S. Platt

1913-1915 - S. Berman

1915-1916 - Alexander Isaacs

1916-1918 - A. Isaacs

1918-1919 - M. Bearman

1919-1923 - F.I. Bowman

1923-1927 - S. Freedman

1927-1931 - L. Berger

1931-1934 - S. Freedman

1934-1935 - M. Blank

1935-1939 - A. Roseman

1939-1940 - L. Winter, JP

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1946 - B. Freeman

1946-1947 - S. Freeman

1947-1949 - H. Freeman

1949-1950 - M. Cohen

1950-1953 - L. Berger

 

Vice Presidents

1891-1893 - Jacob Winter

1893-1894 - M. Cohen

1894-1895 - A. Cohen

1895-1936 - none listed

1936-1937 - L. Berger

1937-1939 - J. Mendleson

1939-1947 - no data

1947-1949 - M. Cohen

1949-1950 - L. Berger

1950-1951 - M. Blank

 

Wardens

1891-1893 - David Bowman

1893-1894 - Reuben Bernstein

1894-1895 - Mr. Burman

1895-1916 - none listed

1916-1917 - R. Bernstein

1917-1925 - none listed

1925-1927 - S. ClareE. Harris

1927-1929 - A. IsaacsE. Harris

1929-1935 - E. Harris

1935-1940 - M. Craft

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1947 - M. Lakerman

1947-1956 - M. Craft

Treasurers

1891-1892 - Reuben Bernstein

1892-1893 - Louis Leverman

1893-1894 - H. Pivarsky

1894-1895 - Mr. Hyman

1901-1903 - S. Isaacs

1903-1904 - I. Freedman

1904-1905 - D. Flacks

1907-1908 - B. Brown

1908-1915 - J. Winter

1915-1918 - D. Flacks

1918-1927 - S. Leviene

1927-1929 - J. Korner

1929-1931 - S. Landau

1931-1934 - L. Winter

1934-1939 - S. Landau

1939-1940 - D. Blank, LLB

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1947 - E. Edels

1947-1956 - H. Craft

 

Hon Secretaries

1891-1892 - Isaac Moses

1892-1893 - Mr. Tarshish

1893-1895 - S. Platt

1901-1904 - L. Harrison

1904-1905 - N. Bennan

1905-1906 - Charles Marks

1906-1907 - M. Barman

1907-1908 - A. Isaacs

1908-1909 - L. Harris

1909-1910 - L. Williams

1910-1913 - B. Clarke

1913-1914 - W. Isaacs

1914-1915 - R. Isaacs

1915-1916 - A. Lewis

1916-1918 - A. Sorkin

1918-1920 - M. Brown

1920-1921 - J. Kover

1921-1927 - E. Peters

1927-1929 - T. Peters

1929-1930 - M. Blank

1930-1934 - M. Blank, Jnr.

1934-1935 - B. Clare

1935-1938 - C. Levene

1938-1939 - H. Cohen

1939-1940 - C. Levene

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1947 - J. Blasberg

1947-1948 - C. Cohen

1948-1950 - S. Cohen

1950-1952 - I. Van Clare

1952-1960 - Dr. J.B. Lester

1960-1961 - B. Hyman

1961-1962 - H.L. Freeman

1962-1964 - I.S. Normie

1964-1966 - R. Baker

Registration District:

Stockport, since 1 July 1837 - Link to Register Office website.

Cemetery Information:

See Cemetery Information on the Greater Manchester Jewish Community homepage.

 

Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Stockport Jewish Community

on JCR-UK

Notable Former Residents of Stockport with Jewish Connections

  • Joseph "Joe" Berger (1911-1972) was the first Jewish mayor of Stockport, in 1967-68. He was a former president of the congregation.

  • Harry Bernstein (1910-2011), Jewish American writer, was born in Stockport. In his later years, he wrote a four volume autobiography, the first of which, The Invisible Wall, was a memoir about his Jewish childhood in Stockport and was published when he was 96. The fourth volume was published posthumously. (Article on his centenary by Bruce Frankel.)

  • Nicholas "Nick" Cohen, author, journalist, political commentator and columnist for a number of newspapers, including the Jewish Chronicle, whose father was Jewish, was born in Stockport in 1961.

  • Nicholas Frankau, actor, of German Jewish descent, was born in Stockport in 1954. He is best known for his part in the British television sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!. In the 1980s, he taught for a time at the Jewish Free School in London. (IMDb profile.)

 

 

Other Stockport Jewish Institutions & Organisations

Educational & Theological

  • Hebrew & Religious Classes (founded by 1914, at which time it had 40 boy and 15 girl pupils)

Other Institutions & Organisations

  • Benevolent Society (founded by 1916)

  • Chevra Kadisha (founded 1910)

  • Social and Literary Society (founded by 1925) 

  • Zionist Society (founded by 1913) 

 

Stockport Jewish Population Data

1906

200

(The Jewish Year Book 1906/7)

1910

275

(The Jewish Year Book 1911)

1914

280

(The Jewish Year Book 1915)

1945

350

(The Jewish Year Book 1945/6)

1950

400

(The Jewish Year Book 1951)

1956

220

(The Jewish Year Book 1957)

 

Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) Jewish Chronicle report of 22 September 1905 and the address listed in Jewish Year Books from 1906/7.

  • (ii) Jewish Chronicle reports of 23 October 1904 and 22 September 1905.

  • (iii) Jewish Year Books 1904/5 and 1905/6.

  • (iv) Jewish Chronicle report of 2 October 1891

  • (v) Jewish Chronicle report of 1 January 1904

  • (vi) Jewish Chronicle report of 10 June 1904

  • (vii) Jewish Chronicle report of 10 June 1904

  • (viii) Jewish Chronicle report of 14 October 1904

  • (viii) Jewish Chronicle report of 17 December 1965.

  • (x) and (xi) Reserved.

  • (xii) Based upon a Jewish Chronicle report of 1 January 1904 and Rev. Speakmaster's listing as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1904/5 through 1909. He was however referred to as ba'al tokeah elsewhere in 1905.

  • (xiii) In a Jewish Chronicle report of 3 January 1908 Rev. Dove is referred to as teacher at Stockport. Although he is listed as minister (and shochet) of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1910 through 1925, his Jewish Chronicle obituary of 2 July 1943 reported that he moved to Manchester in 1918, although he could still have retained some relationship with Stockport after such move.

  • (xiv) Rev. Ordman was listed as minister and shochet of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1926 and 1927. His appointment (as chazan and shochet) is confirmed by a Jewish Chronicle report of 25 July 1924 and his subsequent move to Edinburgh by a report of 4 March 1927.

  • (xv) Based upon Rev. Abraham's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1928 through 1934, although the earliest known Jewish Chronicle report of him at Stockport was on 5 October 1928 and the latest on 26 March 1933.

  • (xvi) Jewish Chronicle report of 10 November 1933 refers to Rev. Freedman's appointment in Stockport and his subsequent appointment in Bristol dates from 1944. He is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1935 until publication ceased in World War II.

  • (xvii) and (xviii) Reserved.

  • (xix) Jewish Chronicle report of 14 January 1944 refers to Rev. Barron's move from Darlington to Stockport and report of 18 April 1952 refers to his move from Stockport to Cork. He is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from the first publication following World War II (1945/6) through 1952.

  • (xx) Jewish Chronicle report of 4 September 1953 refers to Rev. Groundland's appointment as minister and shochet in Stockport and report of 4 October 1957 refers to his induction in Edinburgh. He is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1954 through 1957.

  • (xxi) Based upon Jewish Chronicle reports of 1959 and 1961 and Rev. Lerner's listing as the minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1960 and 1961.

  • (xxii) Jewish Chronicle report of 5 January 1962 refers to Rev. Kurnoff's appointment as minister in Stockport and report of 13 November 1964 refers to his appointment in Sale . He is not listed as minister of the congregation in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (xxiii) and (xxv) Reserved.

  • (xxvi) Jewish Chronicle report of 15 May 1903.

  • (xxvii) Jewish Chronicle report of 2 January 1920, which refers to Rev. Samet as being "late of Stockport".

  • (xxviii) Jewish Chronicle report of 24 December 1920.

  • (xxix) to (xxxii) Reserved.

  • (xxxiii) The annual election of officers (1891 to 1894 and in 1901) was reported by the Jewish Chronicle on 2 October 1891, 11 November 1892, 27 October 1893, 23 November 1894 and 18 October 1901, respectively.

  • (xxxiv) Where a person is first listed in a Jewish 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 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 World War II subsequent to 1940, nor was there any listings of lay officers (other than secretary) subsequent to 1956.


Greater Manchester Jewish Community home page

Jewish Congregations in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport

Street Directory of Jewish Congregations in Greater Manchester

Jewish Communities of England homepage


Page created: 23 August 2005
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 8 April 2021
Latest revision or update: 14 April 2021


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