the former

Chevra Mikrah

London E1




Page created: 5 August 2007
Latest revision or update: 25 February 2015

Congregation Data


Chevra Mikra (or Mikrah Chevra)

Alternative Names:

Mikrah Synagogue (Mikrah is an alternative Hebrew name for the Hebrew Bible or Tenach).

The name of the congregation was frequently incorrectly referred to (in the press, in Jewish Year Books and in the records of the Federation of Synagogues) as Chevra Mikva or Mikvah Synagogue.

Also known as Fashion Court Chevra or Fashion Street Synagogue (although this name generally refers to the Chevra Bikkur Cholim, Fashion Street Synagogue at 16 Fashion Street, New Court). There was also a later Fashion Street Synagogue.

Plotzker Synagogue, in 1870 (V. D. Lipman in his "Social History of the Jews in England 1850-1950", p. 74, refers in 1870 to "Widegate Street, Hebra Mikrah - Plotzker Synagogue", whereas on p. 120, he appears later to distinguish between "Plotzker" and "Chevra Mikra" .)


New Court, Fashion Street, London E1 (by 1876).

Widegate Street, London E1 (in 1870)

(Both the above addresses are mentioned in V. D. Lipman's "Social History of the Jews in England 1850-1950" and it is assumed that they refer to the same congregation.)

(Location: Fashion Street (some 600 feet long), in London's East End, runs east from Commercial Street to Brick Lane, parallel with Fournier Street (300 feet to the north). (Flower & Dean Street used to run parallel 200 feet to the south but this no longer exists.) New Court was a courtyard within the block on the south side of Fashion Street, north of Flower & Dean Street.

Widegate Street (some 350 feet long) runs east from Bishopsgate to  Sandys Row and is situated at the northern end of Middlesex Street.)


Probably in 1858 (see below) and certainly by 1870.


A foundation meeting had been held on 16 October 1887 to form the the Federation of Synagogues, and neither the name Mikrah Chevra nor Plotzker Synagogue appear in the list provided by Geoffrey Alderman in his history of "The Federation of Synagogues 1887-1987" (p. 20) of the 16 synagogues that attended that meeting, although there was a congregation named as the Fashion Court Chevra, founded in 1858, which is presumed be a reference to this congregation.

The "Mikrah, Fashion Street", is among the 21 or 22 synagogues listed by V. D. Lipman in his "Social History of the Jews in England 1850-1950" (pp.120-121) as the founding members  of the Federation on 6 November 1887. However, according to the Federation's record of its second meeting of 6 January 1888 (as cited by Daniel Appleby in his "Service and Scandal: the life and times of an immigrant Jewish Clergyman", p. 86) Chevra Mikra was one of the congregations that had only joined the organisation since the previous meeting of 4 December 1887.

Press Report:

The following report appeared in the Jewish World on 1 September 1876:

Fashion Street Synagogue - On Sunday last, after undergoing extensive redecorations, the Fashion Street Synagogue (Hibrah Mikrah) was consecrated, in the presence of a great number of members and visitors. The Synagogue posses about one hundred seatholders. The usual dedicatory service was conducted by Rev. L Gluckstein assisted by a choir selected from the members, on the occasion of the afternoon service. Rev. B. Spiers delivered a sermon in the German language, taking his     text fromExod. Chap. xxxiv.

Note - Rev. B  Spiers was presented with a testimonial on 19 March 1876 in recognition of the gratuitous services rendered by him for many years as a preacher in connection with the minor synagogues in London.

Current Status:

Merged with Princelet Street Synagogue in January 1898 (Daniel Appleby - "Service and Scandal: the life and times of an immigrant Jewish Clergyman", p. 86). There was a Plotsker Synagogue in Commercial Road in the 1920's, but this is presumed to have been a different congregation


Orthodox - Ashkenazi

Membership Data:

1870  -  50 members (source)

1876  -  about 100 members (source)

1896  -  62 members (source)

Local Government Districts:

Widegate Street is in the City of London, having been situated in the former civil parish of St. Botolph Without Bishopsgate (abolished 1908) in the Bishopsgate Ward Without.

Fashion Street is in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, created on 1 April 1965, within the administrative area of Greater London.

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

Fashion Street was also within the civil parish of Spitalfields (which was in the former County of Middlesex until 1889) and which, from 1856 to 1900, was a constituent of the Whitechapel District.

The civil parish of Spitalfields was abolished in 1921, being absorbed into the civil parish of Whitechapel, which itself was abolished in 1927 to be absorbed into Stepney Borough parish (until that parish's abolition in 1965).

Registration Districts:

Widegate Street

Since 1 July 1837 - City of London

Fashion Street:

From 1 July 1837 - Whitechapel
From 1 January 1926 - Stepney
Since1 January 1983 - Tower Hamlets

Other Congregation Information

Street Directory of Synagogues in East End and City of London

City of London and East End Congregations

Greater London home page

List of Federation of Synagogues Congregations

Explanation of Terms Used





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