Finchley Synagogue

Kinloss Gardens, London N3



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Congregation Data


Finchley United Synagogue

also known as Kinloss Synagogue

Former Names:

Finchley Synagogue

Finchley District Synagogue

Finchley Hebrew Congregation


Kinloss Gardens, Finchley N3 3DU (consecrated 1935, new building 1967)

previously at 7 Crescent Road(i), from about 1931

Current Status:


Date Formed:

By 1930


Ashkenazi Orthodox (although there are also Sephardi services at the Synagogue - see "Persian Minyan" below)


Initially independent. Joined the United Synagogue, as a district synagogue, in 1935, achieving constituent (full member) status in 1950.(ii)

Web Site:



Rev. B. Wykansky - from about 1930 to about 1932(iv)

Rev. Marcus M. Goldberg - from about 1932 to about 1933(v)

Rabbi Dr. Israel Porusch - from 1934 to 1939(vi)

Rev. M. Bloch (temporary) - from about 1945 to about 1947(vii)

Rabbi (later Dr.) Benjamin J. Gelles - from about 1948 to 1981(viii)

Rabbi Isaac Joel Bernstein - from 1981 to 1994(ix)

Rabbi Ephraim Yitzchak Mirvis - 1996 to 2013(x)

Rabbi Michael Laitner (acting) - 2013 to 2014, continuing as an assistant rabbi to present (December 2018)(xi)

Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence - 2014 to present (December 2018)(xii)

Rabbi Nisan Andrews - associate rabbi from November 2017 to present (December 2018)(xiii)

Readers/Chazanim (Cantors):

Rev. M. Fried - from about 1937 until about 1940(xviii)

Rev. Abraham Rosenfeld - from 1941 to about 1970(xix)

Rev. Naftali Herstik - from about 1972 to about 1978(xx)

Rev. Moshe Haschel - from 1988 to about 1993(xxi)

Rev. Eli Sufrin - from at least 2016 to present (December 2018)(xxii)

Persian Minyan(xv):

Under arrangements agreed in 2010, the Finchley Persian Sephardi Minyan, which for some years previously had operated out of the synagogue in Kinloss Gardens, formally joined Finchley Synagogue as a satellite community. The Persian Minyan holds services (in the Persian Sephardi tradition) in its own fully refurbished synagogue within the Finchley Synagogue complex.

Under the arrangements, members of the Persian Minyan are entitled to full United Synagogue membership status and Finchley Synagogue members' benefits. This was the first formal arrangement between the United Synagogue and a Sephardi congregation.

The Minister of the Minyan, since at least 2010 until the present (December 2018), is Rabbi Leibush Heller.(xvi)

Membership Data:

United Synagogue (male seat-holders)(xxvii)









Reports & Surveys

Both 2010 and 2016 - listed as having 1,000 to 1,499 members (by household)(xxviii)

Congregation's Newsletter:

Kol Kinloss. Can be viewed online from February 2018 at http://www.kinloss.org.uk/kol-kinloss

Charitable Status:

As a constituent of the United Synagogue, the congregation operates within that organisation's registered charity status (registered charity no. 242552).

Local Government Districts:

Finchley, a residential suburb in Northwest London, is in the London Borough of Barnet(xxix) and was (until 1965) in the former Municipal Borough of Finchley.

Bibliography -  Barnet

Registration District (BMD):

Barnet(xxx)  - Link to Register Office website.


For United Synagogue cemeteries, see Cemeteries of the United Synagogue.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) This was the address in Jewish Year Books until 1935 (although on the first listing of the congregation in the 1931 edition, no address is given), the Kinloss address is shown from 1936. All post WWI Jewish Year Books give 1935 as date of consecration.

  • (ii) The United Synagogue 1870-1970 by Aubrey Newman (1977), p. 221.

  • (iii) Reserved.

  • (iv) Based upon Rev. Wykansky's listing as minister and secretary of the congregation in the Jewish Year Books 1931 and 1932.

  • (v) Based upon Rev. Goldberg's listing as minister and secretary of the congregation solely in the Jewish Year Book 1933. Sunderland-born Rev. Goldberg , BA (1910-1975) was subsequently minister of Brighton & Hove Liberal Synagogue (now Brighton & Hove Progressive Synagogue) (1936-1938). He later changed his surname to Grantham and was the brother of the late Rabbi P. Selwin Goldberg, who served for many years as minister of Manchester Reform Synagogue.

  • (vi) Article entitled "Israel Porusch, 1907-1991" by Suzanne D. Rutland, published online in 2014 in Australian Dictionary of Biography. Jerusalem-born Rabbi Porusch is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1936 through 1940. He subsequently served as senior rabbi at the Great Synagogue, Sydney (1940-1973).

  • (vii) Based upon Rev. Bloch's listing in the Jewish Year Books 1945/46 and 1947 (and possibly the 1948 edition).

  • (viii) Based upon Rabbi Gelles's listing in Jewish Year Books 1949 (or possibly 1948) through 1981. Rabbi Gelles (b. 1916) previously served as minister of Manchester Great Synagogue (1944-46).

  • (ix) "Obituary: Rabbi Isaac Bernstein" by Joseph Finklestone publish in the Independent online on 1 September 1994. Dublin-born Rabbi Bernstein (1939-1994) is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1982 through 1994. He previously served as minister at Dublin's Terenure Hebrew Congregation (1966-70) and Hampstead Garden Suburb Synagogue (1972-77).

  • (x) "Biography of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis" published by the Office of the Chief Rabbi. Rabbi Mirvis is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1997 through 2014. He moved from his post at Finchley to take up the post of Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth on 1 September 2013. Rabbi Mirvis (born 1956 in South Africa) previously served as minister of Dublin's Adelaide Road Synagogue (1982-84), Chief Rabbi of Ireland (1984-92) and minister of London's Western Marble Arch Synagogue (1992-96).

  • (xi) Rabbi Laitner, who was (and still is, as of December 2018) assistant minister of the Congregation, acted as minister of the congregation following the resignation of Rabbi Mirvis until the appointment of his successor. He is named as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Book 2015.

  • (xii) Congregation's website (including biography of Rabbi Lawrence), last accessed 27 December 2018.

  • (xiii) Congregation's website and Rabbi Andrews's Facebook profile, both last accessed 27 December 2018.

  • (xiv) to (xvii) Reserved.

  • (xviii) Based upon Rev. Fried's listing in Jewish Year Book 1938 through 1940.

  • (xix) Jewish Year Books "Who's Who" mid 1970s. Rev. (later rabbi) Rosenfeld (born 1914, Jerusalem) is listed (initially on a temporary basis) as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1945/46 through 1970. He previously served as minister and reader of London's Walford Road Synagogue and later as chief minister of Wellington Hebrew Congregation, New Zealand.

  • (xx) Based upon Rev. Herstik's listing as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1973 through 1978. Rev. Herstik (born 1947, Hungary) was to became one of Israel's leading and best-known chazanim and served as chief chazan of Jerusalem's Great Synagogue (1981-2008).

  • (xxi) Based upon Rev. Haschel's listing as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1989 through 1994. Argentine-born Rev. Haschel later served as chazan of London's St John's Wood Synagogue (1996-2015).

  • (xvii) Rev. Sufrin is listed in July 2016 as cantor of the congregation in the list of UK Shuls with Cantors on the European Cantors Association website and is still serving as the congregations cantor according to the congregation's newsletter, dated 28 December 2018.

  • (xxiii) and (xxiv) Reserved.

  • (xxv) Jewish Chronicle report of 4 November 2010, entitled "Persian community join the US" and Congregation's website, last accessed 29 March 2018.

  • (xxvi) Congregation's website, both last accessed 27 December 2018.

  • (xxvii) The United Synagogue 1870-1970 by Aubrey Newman (1977), pp. 218/19.

  • (xxviii) Reports on "Synagogue Membership in the United Kingdom in 2010" and "...in 2016", published by BOD and JPR. Link to reports.

  • (xxix) The London Borough of Barnet, an Outer London Borough within the Greater London administrative area, was created on 1 April 1965 upon the merger of the the Municipal Boroughs of Finchley and Hendon and Urban District of Friern Barnet (all of which had been in the former county of Middlesex) with the Urban Districts of Barnet and East Barnet (both of which had been part of the county of Hertfordshire).

  • (xxx) The former Registration District was Hendon, from the formation of Congregation until 1 April 1999. All registers would now be held by current register office.

List of United Synagogue Congregations

Jewish Congregations in Finchley (London Borough of Barnet)

Jewish Congregations in Greater London

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Page created: 16 November 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 29 March 2018
Latest revision or update: 27 December 2018

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