the former

Oldham Synagogue

& Jewish Community

Oldham, Greater Manchester




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

Town of Oldham

Oldham was a county borough in Lancashire, lying just to the northeast of Manchester. In 1974, it merged with adjoining areas (primarily from Lancashire but including districts from Yorkshire) to form the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham within the new Metropolitan County of Greater Manchester.  Oldham became a unitary authority in 1986, when Greater Manchester lost its administrative status and became purely a ceremonial county.

16 Clegg Street, the last address of Oldham Synagogue
(Courtesy of Oldham Archives)

The Oldham Jewish Community

There were in fact several Jewish families living and working in Oldham from about 1870, mostly tailors and hawkers. My recent book, From Riga to Rock Street and Other Journeys; A History of the Oldham Jewish Community, 2012 (now available online on JCR-UK, see below),(ii) tells the story of this small community which lasted until the beginning of World War II. The congregation had three venues between 1910 and 1938. The first was at 19 Sickle Street, the tailoring premises of Israel Cossack; the second, from about 1930, was a room above the furniture store belonging to David Burman; and the final meeting place, 6 Clegg Street was a room in an office building. There was never a permanent minister. Yomtov and the occasional Shabbat services were conducted by students from Manchester Yeshiva, including Joseph Segal and Woolf Sacofsky.

Hilary Thomas, July 2016

Congregation Data


Oldham Synagogue


Earliest Address:
19 Sickle Street, Oldham, the home and tailoring premises of Israel Cossack, until about 1930.

Second Address:
a room in Yorkshire Street, Oldham, above the furniture store belonging to David Burman from 1930.

Third Address (re-established congregation):
a room in an office building at 6 Clegg Street, Oldham, used by the community from 1935 until no later than 1938.(iv)


Formed in about 1909(vii) but appears to have closed in 1920s and re-established in about 1935.(viii)

Final Status:

Closed about 1938.(ix)


Ashkenazi Orthodox


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

Ministers or Readers:

There is no record of the congregation ever appointing a resident minister or reader.

In 1935 and 1936, Rev. Wolfe Sacofsky, then a student a Manchester Yeshiva, officiated at the High Holy Days services.(xi)

Lay Officers(xii):


1909-1910 - N. Lechinsky(xiii)

1910-1925 - Israel Cossack(xiv)

1935-1937 - Simon Yaffe(xv)


1909-1925 - N. Lechinsky(xvi)


1909-1925 - S. Cossack(xvii)

Registration District:

Oldham, since 31 March 1848(xx) - Link to Register Office website


Bibliography (which includes From Riga to Rock Street and Other Stories:
A History of the Oldham Jewish Community
by Hilary Thomas, 2016).


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Oldham include:

  • 1851 Anglo Jewry Database (as of the 2016 update)

    • Individuals in the "1851" database who were living in Oldham during the 1830s (1 record), 1880s (3 records) and 1890s (2 records).


Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Oldham Jewish Community



© Hilary Thomas, 2016

Some Notable Jewish Connections with Oldham

(compiled by Steven Jaffe)

  • Connections with Oldham Athletic Football Club:(xxi)

    • Simon Corney, a US based British businessman owned Oldham Athletic FC from 2003 until 2018. For part of this period his business partner, Simon Blitz, was chairman of the club until 2010;

    • Dean Furman, South African international footballer, born in Cape Town, played for Oldham Athletic FC from 2009 until 2013, and was club captain in 2011-12; and

    • In the 2009/10 season, Welsh Under 21 international, Cardiff born Joe Jacobson, and Barbados international, Nick Blackman (born Salford), also played for Oldham Athletic FC. The club finished 16th in the English Football League One.


Other Oldham Jewish Institutions & Organisations

Educational & Theological

  • Hebrew and Religious Classes - established in about 1928(xxii)


Oldham Jewish Cemetery Information


Although the Oldham Jewish Community did not establish a Jewish cemetery in the town, the following cemetery was established by a Manchester congregation in what is now the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham.


Oldham Jewish Population Data





10 families

(The Jewish Year Book 1912)


9 families

(The Jewish Year Book 1914)



(2011 National Census)


Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) Hilary Thomas's book, which we refer to here as "Thomas's Oldham History", is filled with an enormous amount of information and stories about the individuals, families and companies that contributed to this small and little known Jewish community.

  • (iii) The source of this information is Thomas's Oldham History", p. 15.

  • (iv) This address was also listed in Jewish Year Books 1935 through 1938, being the only address for the congregation so listed.

  • (v) and (vi) Reserved.

  • (vii) The congregation was first listed in the Jewish Year Books 1910.

  • (viii) The congregation was listed until the Jewish Year Books 1925 but reappeared in the 1936 edition, which included a comment that the congregation was founded in 1935.

  • (ix) The final listing of the congregation was in the Jewish Year Books 1938.

  • (x) Reserved.

  • (xi) Thomas's Oldham History, p.16 and Jolles's Encyclopaedia of Chazanim, etc, p.. (2024) p.849

  • (xii) This data is based primarily on Jewish Year Book listings. The information listed in Jewish Year Books for this congregation showed no change between 1911 and 1925 (the last listing of the congregation before it was temporarily disbanded). Accordingly, although we have shown the relevant officers as continuing in office until 1925, it is quite likely that some or all of them may have stepped down somewhat earlier without notification to the publishers.

  • (xiii) Listed (as N. Leachinsky) as president in the Jewish Year Book 1910.

  • (xiv) Listed (as J. Cossack) as president in Jewish Year Books 1911 through 1925. First name is provided in Thomas's Oldham History.

  • (xv) Listed (as S. Jaffe) as president in Jewish Year Books 1936 through 1938. Thomas's Oldham History, p.16 provides his correct name.

  • (xvi) Listed (as N. Leachinsky) as treasurer in Jewish Year Books 1910 through 1925.

  • (xvii) S. Cossack is listed as secretary in Jewish Year Books 1910 through 1925.

  • (xviii) and (xix) Reserved.

  • (xx) Previous Registration District: Ashton and Oldham - from 1 July 1837 to 31 March 1848. All registers would now be held by the current office.

  • (xxi) The Jewish Chronicle article, Not quite a minyan, but Oldham are the real Jewish deal.

  • (xxii) The Jewish Chronicle of 29 January 1929, as related in Thomas's Oldham History, p.16.

Greater Manchester Jewish Community home page

Jewish Communities of England homepage

Page created: 7 May 2006
Data significantly expanded: 22 December 2016
Data further expanded and notes added: 23 May 2024
Page most recently amended: 9 July 2024

Research by David Shulman, with acknowledgement to Hilary Thomas
Formatting by David Shulman

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