Finchley Reform Synagogue

North Finchley, London N12



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Congregation Data


Finchley Reform Synagogue

Former Name:

Woodside Park & District Reform Synagogue, until about 1963.(i)


299/101 Fallow Court Avenue, North Finchley, London N12 0BE

Previous Address:

Previously (until about 1969(ii)) at Granville Hall, Granville Road, Finchley, London N12, and prior to then (until about 1963(iii)) in Unitarian Church, Woodside Park, N.12

Current Status:


Date Founded:





A constituent synagogue of the Movement for Reform Judaism (formerly the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain), having joined the movement in 1962.(v)



Ministers and Rabbinical Team:

Rabbi Henry Goldstein - Rabbi from 1968 until 1973.(vi)

Rabbi Jeffrey Newman - Senior Rabbi from 1973 until 2000.(vii)

Rabbi Sheila Shulman - Rabbi from about 2000 until about 2005, initially part-time, then for a number of years as half-time associate rabbi, then part-time again.(viii)

Rabbi Colin Eimer - Senior Rabbi from 2001 until 2005.(ix)

Rabbi Lee Wax - Rabbi from about 2002 until about 2005.(x)

Rabbi Roderick Young - Senior Rabbi from about 2006 until about 2008.(xi)

Rabbi Miriam Bayfield - Rabbi from about 2006 until about 2008.(xii)

Rabbi Miriam Berger - Initially Associate Rabbi (from 2006) then Principal Rabbi from 2008 until present (April 2018).(xiii)

Cantor Zoe Jacobs - Ordained Cantor, from at least 2010 until present (April 2018).(xiv)

Rabbi Howard Cooper - Rabbi from at least 2010 (and probably much earlier until present (April 2018).(xv)

Membership Data:

1960 - about 20 families(xvi)

Congregation's Magazine:

Newsletter, first published 1961, which subsequently became the Tree of Life.

Legal & Charitable Status:

Finchley Reform Synagogue is a private (non-profit) company limited by guarantee without share capital and with use of 'Limited' exemption (company number: 07321494), incorporated on 21 July 2010(xvii)

It is also a registered charity, its current registration dating from 20 August 2010 (registered charity number: 1137557). The governing documents are the Company's Memorandum & Articles Association.(xviii)

(The congregation's previous registration as a registered charity was from 25 July 1996 until 19 June 2012 (registered charity number: 1057953).The governing document was the Congregation's Constitution adopted 28 September 2005, as subsequently amended.(xix))

Local Government District:

North Finchley and neighbouring Woodside Park, residential suburbs in Northwest London, are in the London Borough of Barnet(xx) and were (until 1965) in the former Municipal Borough of Finchley.

Bibliography -  Barnet

Registration District (BMD):

Barnet(xxi)  - Register Office website.

Cemetery Information:

The congregation has "London Synagogue" membership of the Jewish Joint Burial Society (JJBS), which includes rights of burial at one of the Society's cemeteries, in particular the Western Cemetery, Bulls Cross Ride, Cheshunt. There is also generally the option (through the JJBS) of a Woodland Burial in Cheshunt or cremation at Golders Green Crematorium.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Based on listing under this name until Jewish Year Book 1963.

  • (ii) This was the address given in the Jewish Year Books until 1969.

  • (iii) The move from Woodside Park would have coincided with the change of name of the Congregation- see above.

  • (iv) Congregation's website, accessed 8 February 2018.

  • (v) Congregation's website, accessed 8 February 2018.

  • (vi) "Who's Who" entries in Jewish Year Books, latest 2008. Congregation' website refers to his appointment in 1968, as its first rabbi. London-born Rabbi Goldstein (b. 1936) subsequently became minister of South-West Essex Reform Synagogue (South-West Essex & Settlement Reform Synagogue from 1998) (1973-2001, and thereafter Emeritu until at least 2008).

  • (vii) Congregation's website, last accessed 9 April 2018. Rabbi Newman (b.1941, Reading) continues to be listed as Emeritus Minister until present (April 2018).

  • (viii) "Rabbi Sheila Shulman" - Religious Archives Network. Retrieved 3 November 2014. Also based upon listing in Jewish Year Books 2001 through 2006, initially shown as associate rabbi. Rabbi Shulman (1936-2014) was the founder rabbi of Beit Klal Yisrael Synagogue from 1990 to about 2007, and thereafter as its emeritus rabbi. 

  • (ix) "Who's Who" entries in Jewish Year Books, latest 2015. Rabbi Eimer (b. 1945, London) was previously rabbi of Union Liberale Israelite Synagogue, Paris (1971-74) and Bushey & District Reform Synagogue (1975-77) and was subsequently senior rabbi of Southgate & District Reform Synagogue, later known Sha'arei Tzedek North London Reform Synagogue (1977-2015).

  • (x) Based upon Rabbi Wax's listing in Jewish Year Books 2003 through 2006.

  • (xi) Based upon Rabbi Young's listing in Jewish Year Books 2007 and 2008. Rabbi Young was previously Assistant Rabbi at West London Synagogue (2004-2006).

  • (xii) Based upon Rabbi Bayfield's listing in Jewish Year Books 2007 and 2008. See also article on Rabbi Mirriam Bayfield, Jewish Chronicle, 21 December 2007. 

  • (xiii) Congregation's website, last accesssed 26 March 2018.

  • (xiv) Appointment based upon Cantor Jacob's first listing in Jewish Year Books 2011. She was still in office, per Congregation's website, last accesssed 9 April 2018.

  • (xiv) Although Rabbi Cooper's first listing is in the Jewish Year Books 2011, the Congregation's website, which includes a biography of Rabbi Cooper, refers to his first involvement with the Congregation in 1983.

  • (xvi) Congregation's website, accessed 8 February 2018.

  • (xvii) Open Corporates website, accessed 25 March 2018.

  • (xviii) Charities Commissioners website (in beta trial stage) and Open Charities website, both accessed 25 March 2018.

  • (xix) Open Charities website, both accessed 25 March 2018.

  • (xx) 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).

  • (xix) 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 Reform Judaism Congregations

Jewish Congregations in Finchley (London Borough of Barnet)

List of Member Synagogues of the Jewish Joint Burial Society

Jewish Congregations in Greater London (other than East End)

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Page created: 16 November 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes added: 8 February 2018
Latest revision or update: 3 October 2018

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