the former

Settlement Synagogue

London E1



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Congregation Data


The Settlement Synagogue

Former Names:

St. George's Settlement Synagogue (from about 1924 until about 1978)(i)

Oxford & St George's Settlement Synagogue (from formation until about 1924)(ii)

Most Recent Addresses:

from 1976 to 1996:
2 Beaumont Grove (now Raine House), Stepney Green, London E1 4NQ(iii)

This was the location of Stepney Jewish Girls Club and later the Stepney Jewish Settlement, which hosted the congregation upon its relocation following the closure of the Brady Clubs until the 1996 merger of the congregation (see below).
(Following the merger, services continued to be held at these premises for some years, but as the Stepney Branch of the South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue.(iv))

from 1973 to 1976:
192-196 Hanbury Street, E.1.(v)
This was the location of the Brady Club, which hosted the congregation during this period, until the Club closed in 1976 and moved to the northern suburbs.

Principle Former Address:

The Bernard Baron Settlement(vii), 33 Berners Street (renamed Henriques Street), London E1.
This was the home of the the Oxford and St George's Settlement and of the congregation from 1929 until the Bernard Baron Settlement was sold in 1973. The Settlement housed the Oxford and St. Georges Clubs for Jewish youth and included some 125 rooms for sport, education, recreation and prayer. During the period prior to World War II, the congregation was one of the largest non-orthodox congregations in the UK.(viii)

Original Address:

The congregation was located at, and formed part of, the Oxford and St George's Settlement and Youth Club, Betts Street, London E1 from the founding of the congregation until 1929, when it moved to the new facilities in Berners Street.(ix)


In 1914, Basil Henriques (later Sir Basil Henriques) established a Jewish boys' club, the Oxford and St Georges Club(x) in Cannon Street and in the following year a Jewish girls' club was opened in Betts Street, run by Rose Loewe,. In 1916, the couple were married and in 1919 were able to acquire a building(xi) (next to the girls' club), in which they set up the settlement and club. A room was set aside at the club as a synagogue. The date of establishment of the congregation is variously given as 1919, when services were first held, or 1921, when the congregation appears to have become more formally established.(xii)

Current Status:

Merged with South West Essex Reform Synagogue in 1998 to form South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue (SWESRS). Although all administrative activities moved to SWESRS's facilities in Ilford, for some years following the merger, Sabbath services were also held (as the Stepney Branch of the merged congregation) at the premises in Beaumont Grove, last used by the congregation.


Reform/Progressive. The Settlement Synagogue used prayer books specifically written for the congregation, in many instances by either Basil Henriques or his wife, Rose Henriques.


Affiliated to both the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain (now the Movement for Reform Judaism), being one of the six founding members in 1942 and to the Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues (now Liberal Judaism) from shortly following its founding, the flagship synagogues of both organisation having assisted in the founding of the congregation. It was the only congregation ever to be concurrently affiliated to both organisations.

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

Basil Lucas Quixano Henriques - Hon. Minister from formation (about 1919) until about 1937(xiv)

A. Pulverness(xv) - Hon. Minister from about 1924 until about 1937

Rev. Camillus Angel(xvi) - from about 1937 until at least 1938

Rabbi Bruno Italiener - early 1940s(xvii)

Rev. Ernest Konrad Sawady - from 1946 until 1956(xviii)

Rabbi Dr. André Ungar - from about 1957 until about 1958(xx)

Rev. Lionel Blue - from about 1958 until about 1961(xxi)

Rabbi Michael D. Standfield - from about 1969 until about 1971(xxii)

Rabbi Jeffrey Gale - from about 1982 until about 1985(xxiii)

Rabbi Lawrence Rigál - from 1985 until the 1998 merger (and he then continued to serve as minister of the South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue until about 2006)(xxiv)

Membership Data:

Jewish Year Books(xxv)






360 familes

500 families

over 600 familes

630 families

740 families

National Reports of Survey(xxvi)

1977 - 400 male (or household) members and 50 female members

1983 - 335 male (or household) members and 82 female members

1990 - 381 members (comprising 135 households, 75 individual male and 171 individual female members)

1996 - 298 members (comprising 80 households, 67 individual male and 151 individual female members)

Former Charitable Status:

The Settlement Synagogue was a registered charity (no. 236663), registered on 10 May 1965, the governing document being the congregation's Constitution, as amended 30 Setember 1999. It appears on the merger in 1997, the new merged congregation assumed this registration.(xxvii)

Local Government District:

All the former addresses of the Settlement Synagogue are in the area known as the "East End" of London and are now in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets(xxviii) and were previously (until 1965) in the former Metropolitan Borough of Stepney.


It is unclear as to exactly which cemeteries were available to members of the congregation and during what periods. There is reference in Jewish Year Books in the early 1950s(xxix) to the congregation using the Western Synagogue Cemetery at Montagu Road, Edmonton, London N.18.

See also London Cemeteries of Liberal Judaism and London Cemeteries of the Movement for Reform Judaism

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) This is the name under which the congregation was listed in Jewish Year Books from 1925 until 1979 (apart from 1939 and 1940, which contained no listing for the congregation, and 1941 to 1944, when there was no publication).

  • (ii) This is the name under which the congregation was listed in Jewish Year Books from 1921 through 1924.

  • (iii) Jewish Year Books from 1977 through 1986 give this as the address of the congregation. It is now the Brenner Centre at Stepney Jewish Community Centre, run by Jewish Care. Beaumont Grove is a short street running south from Mile End Road, just opposite Stepney Green underground station.

  • (iv) The History of The Settlement Synagogue by Rabbi L. Rigal.

  • (v) The Hanbury Street address is given in Jewish Year Books from 1974 through 1976. The building is now called the Brady Centre, home to a wide range of social facilities. Hanbury Street runs east from Commercial Street for one third of a mile, crossing over Brick Lane, and previously extended for a further 800 feet to what is now the southern section of Vallance Road. The Brady Centre is on the southern side of the street, close to the eastern end of the present street. 

  • (vi) Reserved.

  • (viii) The term "settlement" refers to a group of social workers from a college, etc. who established themselves in a poor or crowded district in order to provide educational, recreation, etc. for the inhabitants. (Lost Synagogues of London, p.148.) 

  • (viii) Berners Street ran some 700 feet south from Commercial Road, parallel to Batty Street and Christian Street, to the east, and Back Church Lane, to the west. It was renamed Henriques Street in the early 1960s after Sir Basil Henriques, founder of the Settlement. The Bernard Baron Settlement took its name from Bernard Barron, a wealthy business man and major shareholder in Gallagher's (tobacco company), who donated 65,000 for the purchase of the building. (Jewish East End article.) 

  • (ix) The area around Betts Street has been substantially developed and Betts Street, which was about 600 feet long (running south from Cable Street, 300 feet west of Cannon Street Road) is now only about 150 feet, without direct access to Cable Street.

  • (x) So called after Oxford University, at which Henriques studied, and St. Georges, the area of East End inwhich the club was located.

  • (xi) The building was previously a refuge for fallen girls, known as "the Bridge of Hope". Its purchase was largely funded by Sir Marcus Samuel (later Viscount Bearsted), founder of the Shell Transport and Trading Company, in memory of a son killed in World War I (Lost Synagogues of London, p.148).

  • (xii) Although later editions of the Jewish Year Books refer to the congregation as "founded 1925", this is clearly as error as the congregation was first listed in the 1921 edition, which stated that the congregation was "[E]stablished under auspices of the Berkeley St. and Hill St. Synagogues" (such reference being, respectively, to first Reform and Liberal synagogues). As a result of this assistance, the congregation was affiliated to both organisations.

  • (xiii) Reserved.

  • (xiv) Based upon his listing as hon. minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1921 through 1937 (from 1924 jointly with A. Pulverness). He is also mentioned periodically until 1956 as president of the congregation. He was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1948 and knighted in 1955.

  • (xv) Based upon A. Pulverness's listing as (joint) hon. minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1924 through 1937.

  • (xvi) Based upon Rev. Angel's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1938. The congregation was omitted from the 1939 and 1940 year books, it was not published during the subsequent war years and there was no minister listed for the congregation in the 1945/6 edition.

  • (xvii) Based upon Rabbi Italiener's biography in Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History, p. 461.

  • (xviii) Based upon Rev. Sawady's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1947 through 1956 and his biography in Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History, p. 866.

  • (xix) Reserved.

  • (xx) Based upon Rabbi Ungar's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1958. There was no minister listed in the 1957 edition.

  • (xxi) Based upon Rev. (later Rabbi) Blue's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Books 1959 through 1961.

  • (xxii) Based upon Rabbi Standfield's profile and his listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Books 1970 through 1972. There were no ministers listed in the editions from 1962 through 1969.

  • (xxiii) Based upon Rabbi Gale's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Books 1983 through 1985. There were no ministers listed in the editions from 1973 through 1982.

  • (xxiv) Based upon Rabbi Rigál's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Books 1986 through 1997 (the last appearance of the congregation) and the website of the late Rabbi Regal.

  • (xxv) In each case, the date given here is the year prior to the year of the Year Book.

  • (xxvi) 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.

  • (xxvii) Open Charities website, accessed 10 December 2018, states the The Settlement Synagogue was the "Old Name" of the registered charity no 236663, now registed in the name of South West Essex & Settlement Reform Synagogue.

  • (xxviii) The London Borough of Tower Hamlets, an Inner London Borough within the Greater London administrative area, was created on 1 April 1965 upon the merger of the Metropolitan Boroughs of Stepney, Bethnal Green and Poplar (all of which had been in the former County of London, established 1889).

  • (xxix) Jewish Year Books 1951 through 1956.


Bibliography, On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to this Congregation


  • Selected Bibliography:

    • St Georges Jewish Settlement 50th Anniversery Review 1914-1964 (1964)

    • 150 Years of Progressive Judaism by A. Kershen (1990, London Musuem of Jewish Life) - Chapter on The Settlement Synagogue by Rabbi L. Rigal

    • The Story Of A Synagogue, 1919-1996: A history of the Settlement Synagogue, as told by its members, edited by Rabbi L. Rigal (1990, published in two forms, a 90 minute cassette and a booklet)

    • The Sounds of the Settlement, compact disc complilation of music from the Settlement Synagogue and the youth clubs associated with it, produced by the congregation.

    • Basil Henriques - a portrait based on his diaries, letters and speeches as collated by his widow Rose Henriques by L.L Loewe (1976, Routledge & Kegan Paul).

    • The Lost Synagogues of London by P. Renton (2000) pp. 148-150

    • Other London Borough of Tower Hamlets sources

on Third Party websites


Congregational Records

Registration District (BMD):

  • Tower Hamlets (since 1 January 1983)

  • Previous Registration Districts:

    • St George in the East - from founding of congregation until 1 January 1926

    • Stepney - from 1 January 1926 until 1 January 1983

  • All records would now be held by current office.

  • Link to Register Office website

Marriage Registers:

One Marriage Register, relating to the Settlement Synagogue, (first entry 6 July 1930; last entry 15 August 1974) deposited with Tower Hamlets Register Office (ref: s15).

List of Liberal Judaism Congregations

List of Reform Judaism Congregations

Street Directory of Synagogues in London East End and City of London

Jewish Congregations of the London East End

Greater London home page

Page created: 16 November 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes added: 26 October 2018
Latest revision or update: 5 August 2020

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