the former

United Kalischer Synagogue

London E1




Page created: 6 August 2007
Latest revision or update: 24 February 2015

Congregation Data


Kalischer Synagogue

Alternative Names:

United Kalischer (or Kalisher) Synagogue or Kalischer Chevra.

Name Origin:

The congregation took its name from the home town of its founders, Kalisz (also spelled Kalisch), on the Prosna river in west-central Poland, close to the pre-WWII border with Germany.

When Founded:

Although according to Geoffrey Alderman (in his "The Federation of Synagogues 1887-1987", p.20), the congregation was founded sometime between 1881 and 1887, it would appear to have somewhat earlier origins, and was in all probability the successor to the Kalischer Chevra of Steward Street. The following report appeared in the Jewish Chronicle of 12 September 1873:

"A new synagogue was consecrated in Steward Street, Spitalfields on Sunday afternoon last. About three years ago several gentleman, natives of the town of Kalisch in Poland, and residents in London, formed themselves into a society, called the Kalischer Chebra, principally with the object of affording monetary and other assistance to poor Jews from their native town. The society is flourishing; and some little time ago the members resolved to obtain a synagogue of their own. With this object a warehouse in Steward Street was purchased, and plainly but neatly converted into a synagogue by George Lewis of Sandy's Row."

According to the Jewish Chronicle of 14 December 1894, p. 14 (cited by Daniel Appeby in "Service and Scandal: the life and times of an immigrant Jewish Clergyman" p.90. 2013), the congregation had been in existance since 1863.


St. Mark's Street, London E1.

Previously the congregation would appear to have been at Steward Street, Whitechapel, London E1 (see above)

(Location: St. Mark's Street, in London's East End, is now known as St. Mark Street. The northern 150 feet stretch of the street was previously known as Alie Place. It runs south 700 feet from (Great) Alie Street (about 300 feet south of Whitechapel High Street) to Prescott Street (formerly Great Prescott Street), parallel with Mansell Street (to the west) and Leman Street (to the east).

Steward Street, situated in Spitalfields (some half mile to the north of St. Mark Street), runs north from Artillery Lane (the part which was formerly Artillery Street), parallel with Bishopsgate to the west. It now extends for about 600 feet to Spital Square, although it was previously shorter ending some 200 feet south of Spital Square.)

Status & Merger:

The congregation merged in 1895 with Windsor Street Chevra to form the Great Ali Street Synagogue. ("Service and Scandal: the life and times of an immigrant Jewish Clergyman" by Daniel Appleby, p.90. 2013).

After the merger, it would appear that the merged congregation at times continued to be known as the Kalischer Synagogue, as evidenced by an obituary for Rabbi Israel Dainow, that appeared in the Jewish Chronicle of 17 March 1922. This states that Rabbi Dainow arrived in London in 1877, and after duties as a maggid, he was appointed Rav. of the Kalischer Synagogue, which position he held for 35 years. Also, according to Ron Altshul, a great-grandson of Rabbi Dainow, the ketubah of Rabbi Dainow's daughter, Raysa, on her marriage to Rav. Morris Altshul, states that the marriage was performed at the Kalischer Synagogue in 1898.


Orthodox - Ashkenazi


One of the congregations (as "Kalischer Chevra" per Geoffrey Alderman's "The Federation of Synagogues 1887-1987") that attended the meeting of 16 October 1887 to form the Federation of Synagogues, and became one of the original federated synagogues (as United Kalisher synagogue, per V.D. Lipman's Social History of the Jews in England 1850-1950)  on 6 November 1887.

Local Government Districts:

St Mark Street and Steward Street are now in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, created on 1 April 1965, within the administrative area of Greater London.

Previously, both streets were in the Metropolitan Borough of Stepney (established 1900) in the County of London (established 1889), both of which entities were abolished in 1965.

St Mark's Street was also within the civil parish of Whitechapel and Steward Street was within the historic Liberty of the Old Artillery Ground, both of which entities were in the former County of Middlesex until 1889 and both of which, from 1856 to 1900, were constituents of the Whitechapel District.

In 1921, the Liberty of the Old Artillery Ground was absorbed into the civil parish of Whitechapel, which was itself abolished in 1927, being absorbed into Stepney Borough parish (until that parish's abolition in 1965).

Registration Districts:

From 1 July 1837 - Whitechapel
From 1 January 1926 - Stepney
Since 1 January 1983 - Tower Hamlets (which now holds the registers)

Other Congregation Information

  • Bibliography:

Street Directory of Synagogues in East End and City of London

Jewish Congregations of the London East End

Greater London home page

List of Federation of Synagogues Congregations

Explanation of Terms Used




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