Hendon Synagogue


London NW4



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Hendon Synagogue
A photograph of Hendon Synagogue, Raleigh Close, September 2007
© David Shulman 2007

Congregation Data


Hendon Synagogue, and more recently generally known as Hendon United Synagogue

Former Name:

Hendon Hebrew Congregation, until about 1935(ii)


18 Raleigh Close, Wykeham Road, Hendon, London NW4 2TA .

The Synagogue cost £20,000 to erect. The foundation stone was laid by Sir Robert Waley Cohen on 7 April 1935 and the synagogue was consecrated on 15 September 1935 by Dayan Dr. Asher Feldman. The land (which was previously a derelict site known as ‘the Gravel Pit’) is held on a lease from the trustees of All Souls College, Oxford for a term of 99 years at the annual rental of £100.(iii)

Previous Address:

Previously the synagogue was at 128 Brent Street, Hendon, London NW4 (just northwest of the junction with the North Circular Road) from 1928 to 1935.(iv)

The plot (which included six cottages) was purchased for £2,150 and a temporary building was constructed in 1928 at a cost of £1,000 (known to its congregants as "The Hut"). It was the first purpose built synagogue in Hendon and could seat about 360 congregants. It was consecrated by Chief Rabbi Dr. J. H. Hertz on 30 June 1929.(v) The building was sold in 1940 to Hendon Adath Synagogue for £2,700 (excluding the cottages) and the cottages were sold in 1942 for £600.(vi)



Date Founded:

The congregation dates its founding to 1928, with the building of the first synagogue - it formally celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1978. However, prior to the acquisition of the synagogue, religious services had been held since at least 1925, when high holy day services were held in the house of Mr. H. Berman.(vii) At a meeting held on 26 September 1926, it was resolved that a synagogue be obtained for Jewish inhabitants of Hendon.(viii)


Ashkenazi Orthodox


Initially independent, although there was an arrangement with the United Synagogue from 1929 regarding burial facilities.(xi) Although the congregation did not formally joined the United Synagogue until 1935, it was effectively part of the United Synagogue network from 1932. This three-year interim period reflected concerns by the Golders Green Synagogue about the close proximity of Hendon's Brent Street synagogue to their own synagogue. The congregation became a District Synagogue of the United Synagogue in 1935, becoming a full (Constituent) member the same year.(xii)




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

Rev. Benjamin B. Wykansky - from about 1928 until 1929(xv)

Rev. Joseph Herman - from 1929 until 1936(xvi)

Rev. Hyman Isidore Alexander - from 1937 until 1943(xvii)

Rev. Abraham Berman - from 1941 until 1943 (temporary)(xviii)

Rev. Maurice Landy - from December 1943 until 1945 (temporary)(xxi)

Rev. Leslie Henry Hardman - from December 1946 until 1980(xxii) and subsequently emeritus

Rabbi Sidney Silberg - from 1981 until 1997(xxiii)

Rabbi Mordechai S. Ginsbury - from 1999 until present (March 2021)(xxiv)

Assistant or Associate Rabbis:

Rabbi Leo Dee - from 2000 until 2011(xxviii)

Rabbi Johnny Hughes - from 2011 until 2013(xxix)

Rabbi Yisroel Binstock - from 2014 until 2019(xxx)

Rabbi Zvi Portnoy (& Rebbetzen Orly Portnoy) - from 2019 until present (March 2021)(xxxi)

Notable Chazanim (Readers)

Rev. David Koussevitzky - from 1937 until 1949(xxxv)

Rev. S. Shine - in about 1949/50 (temporary)(xxxvi)

Rev. Simon Hass - in about 1949/50 (temporary)(xxxvii)

Rev. S. B. Taub - from 1950 until 1958(xxxviii)

Rev. Moshe M. Korn - from 1960 until 1985(xxxix)

Rev. (later Rabbi) Shmuel Neuman - from 1981 until 2006(xl)

Honorary Officers:

The Wardens and Financial Representatives of the Congregation from 1926 to 1978 are listed in Appendix I of the The History of the Hendon Synagogue 1928-1979 by Geoffrey Alderman (online on JCR-UK).

Honorary Secretaries:
(to 1950s)

S.J. Levine - from about 1925 to about 1935(xlv)

Simon Wilsack - from about 1935 to about 1954, except for war years(xlvi)

(Rev. Abraham Berman - acting secretary from 1941 until 1943(xlvii))

(C. Goldstein - acting secretary from about 1943 to about 1945(xlviii))

P. Cohen - from about 1955 to about 1956(xlix)

V. Wagner - from about 1957 to about 1959(l)

Beadles (Shammeses):

Lionel Rosenthal - from 1937 to 1966(li)

Moshe Steinhart - from 1967 to 2005(lii)

Membership Data:


Membership figures for 1942 and annual membership figures for 1949 to 1977 are provided in Appendix II of the The History of the Hendon Synagogue 1928-1979 by Geoffrey Alderman (online on JCR-UK).

United Synagogue (male seat-holders)(liv)









National Reports & Surveys(lv)

1977 - 1,271 male (or household) members and 730 female members

1983 - 1,202 male (or household) members and 825 female members

1990 - 1,484 members (comprising 1,425 households, 21 individual male and 38 individual female members)

1996 - 1,339 members (comprising 1,183 households, 85 individual male and 71 individual female members)

2010 & 2016 - listed as having 750 to 999 members (by household)

Locality & Local Government District:

Hendon, a residential suburb in north west London with a large Jewish population, is in the London Borough of Barnet, and was (until 1965) in the former Municipal Borough of Hendon (incorporated as a borough in 1932).(lvi)

Registration District:

Barnet(lvii) - Link to Register Office website

Cemetery Information

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

Notes & Sources - These now appear towards the foot of this page, instead of the foot of this box. However, the note can also still be viewed in a pop-up box when the cursor is held over the note number.


Bibliography, Online Articles and Other Material
relating to this Congregation


JCR-UK is extremely grateful to Mrs. Lyn Fisher (formerly Ofstein), a former member of
the Hendon Synagogue, for providing JCR-UK with copies of the above documents.



Other Congregational Institutions & Organisations

Educational & Theological

  • Hebrew and Religious Classes (founded by at least 1930).
    Pre-War officers (c.1930-c.1940): J. Bernberg (chairman); Alfred Goldston (hon. secretary).

Other Institutions & Organisations

  • Coordinated Charities Fund (founded 1942)

  • Hendon JNF

  • Ladies Guild (founded by at least 1930)

  • Orphan Aid Society

  • Social & Literary Society (initially founded by at least 1930 and reestablished in 1943)

  • WIZO

  • Youth Society

  • Zionist Society


Notes and Sources:
( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) This was the name under which the congregation was listed in Jewish Year Books from 1931 through 1935. It was, in fact, initially listed as Hendon Synagogue from 1928 through 1930.

  • (iii) The History of Hendon Synagogue 1928-1978 by Geoffrey Alderman ("Alderman's History"), page 4.

  • (iv) Alderman's History, pages 3 and 4. This was also the listed address in Jewish Year Books from 1932 through 1935

  • (v) Alderman's History, page 3.

  • (vi) Alderman's History, page 4.

  • (vii) Alderman's History, page 2.

  • (viii) Alderman's History, page 3.

  • (ix) and (x) Reserved.

  • (xi) Alderman's History, page 3.

  • (xii) Alderman's History, page 4.

  • (xiii) and (xiv) Reserved.

  • (xv) Alderman's History, page 3. He is not listed in any Jewish Year Book with regard to this congregation.

  • (xvi) Based upon Rev. Herman's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1930 through 1936 and Alderman's History, page 3.

  • (xvii) Alderman's History, pages 6 and 7. He is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1938 through 1940. Publication ceased during the war years.

  • (xviii) Alderman's History, page 7. Jewish Year Books were not published during the war years.

  • (xix) and (xx) Reserved.

  • (xxi) Alderman's History, pages 8. and page 9. and Rev. Landy's listing as temporary minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1945/6 and 1947.

  • (xxii) Alderman's History, page 9. Rev. Hardman is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1948 through 1980.

  • (xxiii) Jewish Chronicle reports of 27 March 1981, on Rev. Silberg first Shabbat with the congregation, and of 27 June 1997, on his farewell address. He is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1981 through 1997.

  • (xxiv) Congregation's website, last accessed 7 March 2021. Rev. Ginsbury was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 2000.

  • (xxv) to (xxvii) Reserved.

  • (xxviii) Based upon Jewish Chronicle press reports

  • (xxix) Rabbi Hughes's profile on United Synagogue website.

  • (xxx) Based upon Jewish Chronicle press reports

  • (xxxi) Report of 24 July 2019 on United Synagogue website.

  • (xxxii) to (xxxiv) Reserved.

  • (xxxv) Also spelled Kusevtsky and Kucewicki. Alderman's History, page 6. He is listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1938 through 1949, except for war years when publication ceased.

  • (xxxvi) Alderman's History, page 9.

  • (xxxvii) Alderman's History, page 9.

  • (xxxviii) Alderman's History, page 9. Rev. Taube is listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1952 through 1958.

  • (xxxix) Dates of when Rev. Korn served as chazan at the congregation (25 November 1985 to 23 October 1985) appear on the Order of Service for his memorial service. He died in office.

  • (xl) Jewish Chronicle report. He was only listed in Jewish Year Books from 1988 through 2006.

  • (xli) to (xliv) Reserved.

  • (xlv) Listed as hon. secretary of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1928 through 1935.

  • (xlvi) Alderman's History, page 6. Mr. Wilsack was listed as hon. secretary of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1936 through 1954, except for the war years, during which he served in the Armed Forces in the Far East. In 1954, Mr. Wilsack became secretary of the Federation of Synagogues.

  • (xlvii) Alderman's History, page 5.

  • (xlviii) Alderman's History, page 6.

  • (xlix) Based on listing as hon. secretary of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1956.

  • (l) Based on listing as hon. secretary of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1958 and 1959.

  • (li) Lionel Rosenthal had formerly been beadle at the Hambro' Synagogue. He served Hendon until his retirement in 1966. Alderman's History, page 6.

  • (lii) See biography of Moshe Steinhart (1925-2013) (melchett mike blog).

  • (liii) Reserved.

  • (liv) The United Synagogue 1870-1970 by Aubrey Newman (1977), pages 218/9.

  • (lv) 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.

  • (lvi) 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 Hendon and Finchley and the 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). The former Municipal Borough of Hendon comprised the former Hendon Urban District and part of the former Hendon Rural District (both created in 1894).

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

List of United Synagogue Congregations 

Jewish Congregations in Hendon (London Borough of Barnet)

Jewish Congregations in Greater London (other than East End)

Greater London home page

Page created: 16 December 2006
Data and notes significantly expanded: 4 March 2021
Latest revision or update: 10 March 2021

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