Solihull & District Hebrew Congregation

Solihull, West Midlands




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Town of Solihull

Solihull is a large, relatively affluent, market town with a population of about 120,000 situated on the River Blythe about ten miles south of Birmingham.

It was historically situated in the county of Warwickshire, being an urban district until 1954, when it was granted municipal borough status, becoming a county borough in 1964. In 1974, it was combined with adjoining areas to become the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull in the Metropolitan County of the West Midlands.

Jewish Community

Jews began to settle in Solihull in the early 1960s,(ii) the town being some eight miles from the nearest Birmingham synagogue. In 1963, an organised Jewish congregation was established.

Congregation Data


Solihull and District Hebrew Congregation

(formerly Solihull Hebrew Congregation)(iii)

also known as Solihull Synagogue


Solihull Community Centre, 3 Monastery Drive, Solihull B91 1DW.(iv)

In 1977, the congregation, after over a decade of searching and four failed planning applications, was able to take a long lease of land of this plot of land from the Franciscan Monastery, upon which the synagogue was built and consecrated in late 1977,(v) subsequently followed, when funds permitted, by a hall and ancillary rooms, creating a community centre. In 2001, the congregation purchased the freehold.(vi)

Prior to 1977, the congregation used or rented a number of communal halls, including the Women's Institute Hall, Sharmans Cross School and, immediately prior to the move to its own premises, St Ninian's Church Hall.(ix)


The congregation was formed in 1963.(x)

Current Status:



Orthodox - Ashkenazi


A provincial synagogue under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi.



Communal Newsletter:

The Hakol Newsletter is published four times a year in both paper and electronic formats.


(To view a short profile of a minister - hold the cursor over his name.)

Rabbi Hershel Rader - from 1984 until 1993(xv)

Rabbi Yehuda Pink - from January 1993 to present (June 2022)(xvi)

Hon. Chazan:

Mr Bill Mereine - from about 1965 until at least 1986.(xvii)

Membership Data:

Reports & Surveys(xxii)

1977 - 50 male (or household) members and 1 female member

1983 - 90 male (or household) members and 2 female members

1990 - 86 members (comprising 80 households, 1 individual male and 5 individual female members)

1996 - 65 households members

2010 - listed as having 100 to 199 members (by household)

2016 - listed as having 50 to 99 members (by household)

Registered Charity

The congregation is a registered charity (no. 1100938), registered on 28 November 2003.(xxiii)

Registration District:

Solihull, from 1 April 2001(xxiv) - Link to Register Office website.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) Congregation's website, accessed June 2022.

  • (iii) Although listed as Solihull Hebrew Congregation in the Jewish Year Book until 1994, it would appear from press reports that the congregation was known as Solihull and District Hebrew Congregation from at least 1977.

  • (iv) Address given in Jewish Year Book from 1978.

  • (v) Jewish Chronicle report of 9 December 1977.

  • (vi) The congregation website, accessed June 2022.

  • (vii) and (viii) Reserved.

  • (ix) Various Jewish Chronicle reports and the congregation's website.

  • (x) The congregation's website, accessed June 2022, although Jewish Year Books (from 2004), refer to the community dating from 1962.

  • (xi) to (xiv) Reserved.

  • (xv) The Jewish Chronicle reported of 27 July 1984 reported that Rabbi Hershel Rader has been appointed minister to the congregation and on 16 July 1993 it reported that Woodside Park Synagogue without a minister for 15 months has selected a young Lubavitch rabbi, 38-year-old Hershel Rader, who had spent nine years with Solihull congregation. He is listed as minister of the congregations in Jewish Year Books 1985 through 1994.

  • (xvi) The Jewish Chronicle reported on 14 January 1994 that the new minister of the congregation, Rabbi Yehuda Pink, had begun his appointment with "the small but growing community" the previous week. The congregation's website, last accessed June 2022, shows him still as minister of the congregation. He is listed as minister of the congregations in Jewish Year Books 1995 through 2015 (the last edition published.

  • (xvii) The Jewish Chronicle of 10 January 1986 reported that Mr Bill Mereine for the past 21 years has been honorary chazan of the Solihull and District Hebrew Congregation. He also served as Chairman from about 1967 to about 1969 (Jewish Year Books 1968 and 1969).

  • (xviii) to (xxi) Reserved.

  • (xxii) Reports on synagogue membership in the United Kingdom, published by or on behalf of 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.

  • (xxiii) Charities Commission website, accessed June 2022.

  • (xxiv) The former Registration Districts were: Solihull from 1 July 1837 to 1 January 1978; and Solihull South from 1 January 1978 to 1 April 2001; All registers would now be held by the current register office.


On-line Articles and Other Material relating to this Congregation


Notable Jewish Connections with Solihull

  • Felicity Kendal CBE, actress, born in Solihull in 1946, converted to Judaism.

  • Mandy Rice Davies (1944-2014), who was best known for her involvement in the 1963 Profumo Affair and spent most of her childhood in Solihull, married an Israeli businessman in 1966, coverted to Judaism and was for a time a nightclub and restaurant owner in Tel Aviv.


Jewish Cemetery Information

There is no Jewish cemetery in Solihull, burials would generally take place in Birmingham.


Solihull Jewish Population Data



(The Jewish Year Book 1991)



(The Jewish Year Book 2005)

Birmingham & District Jewish Community home page

Jewish Congregations in West Midlands

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 17 April 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 3 June 2022
Page most recently amended: 7 June 2022

Research by David Shulman and Steven Jaffe
Formatting by David Shulman

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