JCR-UK

The Liberal Jewish Synagogue

St John's Wood, London NW8

 

 

JCR-UK is a genealogical and historical website covering all Jewish communities and
congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.
NOTE: We are not the official website of this congregation, which can be reached by clicking on the congregation's logo below.

The Liberal Jewish Synagogue logo
Congregation Data

Name:

The Liberal Jewish Synagogue (known as the LJS)

Address:

28 St. John's Wood Road, London NW8 7HA (since 1925).

The synagogue is situated opposite the Lord's Cricket Ground (but "not on the Lord's side" of St. John's Wood Road). The congregation moved here (a new purpose-built synagogue) in 1925. The building was seriously damaged by enemy bombing in 1940, but repaired by 1950. It was then extended in the 1960s. However, in part as a result of the discovery of serious structural defects, the building was demolished in 1988 (retaining only the original portico) and the present building was constructed, and opened in 1991. The redevelopment also included the building of private apartments around and above the synagogue.(i)

Former Address:

Hill Street, Dorset Square, Marylebone, London NW1 (a converted chapel in used 1911 to 1925).(ii)

Current Status:

Active

Date Formed:

The congregation, the first liberal synagogue in the UK, was founded in 1910, holding its first service on 4 February 1911. It was established by the Jewish Religious Union for the Advancement of Liberal Judaism (JRU) (pre-curser to the the Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues, now Liberal Judaism), which movement had been established in 1902 by Claude Montefiore and Lily Montagu. These two individuals, together with Rabbi Dr. Israel Mattuck, the congregation's first minister, were retrospectively known as the "Three Ms", and guided the congregation through its early years.(iii) For a brief history of the JRU, see History.

Ritual:

Liberal Progressive.

Affiliation:

A constituent synagogue and founding member of Liberal Judaism (formerly the Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues - ULPS) - the congregation is considered the flagship of Liberal Judaism.

Website:

http://ljs.org/

Senior Ministers:
(To view a short profile of a minister who also served other UK congregations - name in blue - hold the curser over his or her name.)

Rabbi Dr. Israel Isidor Mattuck - First Minister from 1912 until 1948 (and thereafter rabbi emeritus until 1954).(vi)

Rabbi Dr. Leslie I. Edgar - Senior Minister from 1948 until 1961 (and thereafter rabbi emeritus until 1984), having previously served as an associate minister (about 1931-1938) and assistant minister (1938-1948).(vii)

Rev. John Desmond Rayner - Senior Minister from 1961 until 1989 (and thereafter rabbi emeritus until 2005), having served as an associate minister from 1957.(viii)

Rabbi Dr. David J. Goldberg OBE - Senior Rabbi from 1990 until 2004 (and thereafter rabbi emeritus until his death on 30 April 2019), having served as an associate minister from 1975.(ix)

Rabbi Alexandra Wright - Senior Rabbi from March 2004 until present (January 2021), having served earlier as an associate minister from 1986 until 1989.(x)

Associate Ministers
(other than those who subsequently served as Senior Minister):

Rev. Maurice L. Perlzweig, MA - Second Minister from 1924 until 1938(xiii)

Rabbi Solomon E. Starrels - Third Minister from 1928 until 1933(xiv)

Rabbi Raphael H. Levine, BA LLB - an associate minister from 1938 until 1941(xv)

Rabbi Jakob Jankel Kokotek - an associate minister from 1941 until 1945(xvi)

Rev. Philip Cohen, HCF, BA - an associate minister from 1946 until 1958(xvii)

Rabbi Chaim (Herman) S. Stern - associate minister from 1962 (becoming acting senior minister from 1963) until 1965(xviii)

Rabbi Sidney Brichto - assistant minister from 1962 until 1964(xix)

Rabbi Dr. David Goldstein - an associate minister from 1964 until 1975(xx)

Rabbi Roger Herst - an associate minister from 1965 until 1969(xxi)

Rabbi Alan Mann - an associate minister from 1971 until 1975(xxii)

Rabbi Michael Feinberg - an assistant rabbi from 1989 until 1990(xxiii)

Rabbi Helen Freeman (née Horn) - an associate rabbi from 1990 until 1999(xxiv)

Rabbi Kathleen de Magtige-Middleton - an assistant or associate minister from 2000 until 2007(xxv)

Rabbi Mark L. Solomon - an assistant or associate minister from 2000 until 2009(xxvii)

Rabbi David Wilfond - an associate minister from 2010 until 2011(xxviii)

Rabbi Neil Janes - an associate minister from November 2011 until May 2015(xxix)

Rabbi Dr. René Pfertzel - an associate minister from 2015 until 2017(xxx)

Rabbi Rachel Benjamin - an associate minister from 2015 until about November 2018(xxxi)

Rabbi Elana Dellal - an associate minister from 2018 until 2020(xxxii)

Rabbi Igor Zinkov - an associate minister from 2019 until present (January 2021)(xxxiii)

Early Officers(xxxiv) :

Presidents

Claude Joseph Goldsmid Montefiore, MA, DD, D.Litt - from 1910 (founding of congregation) until 1938(xxxv)

Col. (later Sir) Louis Halle Gluckstein - from about 1945 until about 1954(xxxvi)

Secretaries or Hon. Secretaries

Mr. A.L. Henry - from 1910 until about 1912

Miss Lilian Wilson - from about 1912 until about 1913

Jack M. Duparc - from about 1913 until about 1917(xxxvii)

B.B. Halford (pro tem) - from about 1917 until about 1919

Jack M. Duparc (second period) - from about 1919 until about 1961(xxxvii)

Treasurers (generally Joint Treasurers)

Harry R. Lewis - from 1910 until about 1918

Sidney Mendelssohn - from about 1913 until about 1918

J.H. Simon - from about 1918 until about 1946

Albert Holt - from about 1926 until about 1938

Ernest M. Joseph OBE - from about 1938 until at least 1958

(Major to about 1954) Ronald M. Simon - from about 1946 until at least 1958

Membership Data:

Jewish Year Books(xxxix)

1915

1917

1918

1919

1920

1921

1922

1923

1938

1945

1946

1996 1997

546

584

646

754

814

884

868

938

1,611

1,512

1,570

c.1,850

c.1,800

National Reports & Surveys(xl)

1977 - 1,344 male members and an estimated 1,345 female members

1983 - 1,225 male members and an estimated 1,225 female members

1990 - 746 members (households)

1996 - 1,400 members (households)

2010 - listed as having 1,000 to 1,499 members (by household)

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

Legal & Charitable Status(xli):

The congregation is now a registered private company, The Liberal Jewish Synagogue (company no. 09113305), limited by guarantee without a share capital (and with an exemption from use of the word 'Limited'), incorporated on 2 July 2014.

It is also a registered charity (no. 1159292), its current registration dating from 20 November 2014. The governing documents are the company's Memorandum & Articles Association.

(There was an earlier charity registration (no. 235668), renamed The Liberal Jewish Synagogue Foundation on 1 January 2015 which, on that date, transferred all its assets to the new charity. The governing document was the congregation's Constitution adopted 26 October 1994, as subsequently amended.)

Local Government District:

Both the present and former address of the congregation are now in the City of Westminster (a London Borough)and were previously (until 1965) in the former Metropolitan Borough of St Marylebone.(xlii)

Cemetery
Information:

The congregation's cemetery is the Willesden (Liberal) Cemetery, Pound Lane, Willesden, London NW10, opened in 1914, for members and non-members of the congregation. It is one of the few remaining cemeteries in inner London with spaces for burial.

See London Cemeteries of Liberal Judaism.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Congregation's website, accessed 23 October 2018 and Synagogues of London by P. Lindsay (1993), p.104. This is the address given for the synagogue in all Jewish Year Books since 1926, except for the period of reconstruction (1989 and 1990) when the temporary address was 152 Loudoun Road, London NW8 0DH, a former Anglican church (All Souls).

  • (ii) Jewish Heritage in Britain and Ireland by S. Kadish (2015), p.52. This is the address given for the congregation in Jewish Year Books since the congregation's first listing in 1911 through 1925.

  • (iii) A Place to Call My Jewish Home - Memories of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue by Pam Fox, 2011, pp. 1-9 .

  • (iv) and (v) Reserved.

  • (vi) Rabbi Mattuck was listed as minister of the LJS in Jewish Year Books from 1912 through 1948 (his title "Dr." first appeared in 1926). Rabbi Mattuck (28-Dec-1883 to 3-Apr-1954) was born in Shirvint (now Sirvintos) Lithuania but grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts. Following graduation from Harvard University, he was ordained at the Hebrew Union College, Cincinnatti, in 1910 and was arabbi in Far Rockaway, New York before moving to England to become minister of newly established LJS. (A Place to Call My Jewish Home by Pam Fox, 2011, p.181 and Rabbi Mattuck's biography on Jewish Virtual Library website.)

  • (vii) Rev. Edgar's was listed as a minister of the LJS in the following Jewish Year Books editions: fourth-named minister (1932 and 1933), third-named (1934 through 1938), second-named (1939 through 1948) and senior minister (1949 through 1961). In 1951, he received rabbinical ordination from the Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati (being previously  referred to as "Rev." in Jewish Year Books), which in 1958 conferrred on him a Doctor of Divinity degree. Rabbi Edgar, who also served for five years as a chaplain during World War II, was was the son-in-law of Rabbi Mattuck. (A Place to Call My Jewish Home by Pam Fox, 2011, pp.182, 415.)

  • (viii) Rev. (later Rabbi) Rayner was listed as associate minister in Jewish Year Books from 1958 through 1961, as senior minister in the editions from 1962 through 1986 and as the first-named minister in the editions from 1987 through 1990 (where all three rabbis are given the designation "minister").

  • (ix) Rabbi Goldberg was listed as associate minister in Jewish Year Books from 1976 through 1986, as the second-named minister in the editions from 1987 through 1990 and as senior minister in the editions from 1991 through 2004.

  • (x) Based upon Rabbi Wright's profile on the congregation's website (last accessed 4 January 2021) and her listing as the third-named minister in Jewish Year Books from 1987 through 1990 and as senior minister in the editions from 2005 through 2015 (the last edition to be published), as well as a communication from Rabbi Wright to JCR-UK, August 2019.

  • (xi) and (xii) Reserved.

  • (xiii) Rev. Perlzweig was listed as Second Minister of the LJS in Jewish Year Books from 1926 through 1938.

  • (xiv) Rabbi Starrels was listed as Third Minister of the LJS in Jewish Year Books from 1929 through 1933.

  • (xv) A Place to Call My Jewish Home by Pam Fox, 2011, p.415 and Rabbi Levine's listing as the third-named minister of the LJS in the Jewish Year Books 1939 and 1940. There were no editions of the book during World War II.

  • (xvi) A Place to Call My Jewish Home by Pam Fox, 2011, p.415. Rabbi Kokotek was however listed as an associate minister of the LJS in Jewish Year Books from 1945/6 through 1948, although this would appear to be incorrect. 

  • (xvii) Based upon Rev. Cohen's listing as an associate minister of the LJS in Jewish Year Books from 1947 through 1958, A Place to Call My Jewish Home by Pam Fox, 2011, p.415 and The Lost Synagogues of London by Peter Renton, p.75. 

  • (xviii) A Place to Call My Jewish Home by Pam Fox, 2011, p.415. as well as Rabbi Stern's listing as a minister of the LJS in Jewish Year Books from 1963 through 1965 and his obituary.

  • (xix) A Place to Call My Jewish Home" by Pam Fox, 2011, p.415. Rabbi Bricho was not listed as a minister of LJS in any Jewish Year Books.

  • (xx) Rabbi Dr. Goldstein was listed as associate minister of the LJS in Jewish Year Books from 1965 through 1975.

  • (xxi) Based upon Rabbi Herst's listing as an associate minister of the LJS in Jewish Year Books from 1966 through 1969 and "A Place to Call My Jewish Home" by Pam Fox, p.415.

  • (xxii) Based upon Rabbi Mann's listing as an associate minister of the LJS in Jewish Year Books from 1973 through 1975 and "A Place to Call My Jewish Home" by Pam Fox, p.415.

  • (xxiii) Rabbi Feinber was an American rabbi appointed to bridge the twelve month gap between Rabbi Wright's departure and the arrival of Rabbi Horn (later Freeman). ("A Place to Call My Jewish Home" by Pam Fox, 2011, p191. Rabbi Feinberg was not listed as a minister of LJS in any Jewish Year Books.)

  • (xxiv) Based upon the listing of Rabbi Freeman (listed under her maiden name of Horn until 1994) as an associate rabbi of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1991 through 1999. 

  • (xxv) Based upon "A Place to Call My Jewish Home" by Pam Fox, p. 185 and Rabbi de Magtige-Middleton's listing in Jewish Year Books, as an assistant minister (2002 through 2004), as an associate minister (2005 and 2006) and as a (non-senior) minister (2007 through 2008). 

  • (xxvi) Reserved.

  • (xxvii) Based upon "A Place to Call My Jewish Home" by Pam Fox, pp. 185-186 and Rabbi Solomon's profile on Liberal Judaism's website. Rabbi Solomon was listed in Jewish Year Books, as an assistant minister (2002 through 2004), as an associate minister (2005 and 2006) and as a (non-senior) minister (2007 through 2011 (sic)).

  • (xxviii) "A Place to Call My Jewish Home" by Pam Fox, p. 191. Rabbi Wilfond was listed as a (non-senior) minister of the LJS in the Jewish Year Book 2012.

  • (xxix) Based upon Rabbi Janes's listing as a (non-senior) minister in the Jewish Year Books 2013 through 2015 (the last publication) and his Linkedin profile, accessed 24 October 2018.

  • (xxx) Profile of Rabbi Pfertzel on the Liberal Judaism's website, last accessed 24 October 2018. 

  • (xxxi) The congregation's website, accessed 24 October 2018, listed Rabbi Benjamin as an associate minister and included her profile. The same website, when accessed 24 December 2018 no longer listed Rabbi Benjamin as one of its rabbis.

  • (xxxii) Rabbi Dellal was ordained in 2011 at Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, USA. Prior to joining the LJS, she served as a congregational Rabbi at Cincinnatiís Temple Shalom, where she was in charge of the young family programming and worship. (The congregation's website, accessed 23 May 2019, 5 January 2020 and 30 December 2020.)

  • (xxxiii) Russian-born Rabbi Zinkov was ordained in 2019 at Leo Baeck College, London. Prior to his ordination, he worked as a rabbinic intern at Westminster Synagogue in 2016 and at the LBS from 2016. (The congregation's website, accessed 4 January 2021.)

  • (xxxiv) Unless otherwise stated, this data has been extracted from Jewish Year Books. The dates given here commence from the year prior to the first relevent listing until the year of the last listing.

  • (xxxv) Based upon Encyclopaedia Britannica biography of Claude Montefiore and his listing as president of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1911 through 1938. Claude Montefiore (1858-1938) was a founder of the congregation and president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism from 1926 until his death.

  • (xxxvi) Col. Gluckstein (1897-1979) had been the Conservative MP for Nottingham East (1931-1945) and was knighted in 1953.

  • (xxxvii) Listed in the Jewish Year Books under various names: I.M. Dupac (1914-16); Jack I.M. Duparc (1920-22); Jack M. Duparc (1923-24); and J.M. Duparc (1925-61), all are believed to relate to the same person.

  • (xxxviii) Reserved.

  • (xxxix) Membership numbers extracted from Jewish Year Books. In each case, the date given here is the year prior to the year of the Year Book.

  • (xl) 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.

  • (xli) Companies House and Charities Commissioners websites (both during beta test stage), accessed 25 October 2018.

  • (xlii) The City of Westminster is an Inner London Borough, within the Greater London administrative area, created on 1†April 1965 upon the merger of the former City of Westminster (a Metropolitan Borough) with the Metropolitan Boroughs of St Marylebone and Paddington, all previously within the former County of London.

 

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

on JCR-UK

  • Selected Bibliography:

    • A Place to Call My Jewish Home: Memories of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue 1911-2011 by Pam Fox (2011)

    • Israel Isidor Mattuck: Architect of Liberal Judaism by Pam Fox (2016)

    • Claude Montefiore, Lily Montagu and the Origins of the Jewish Religious Union by S. Bayme (1982). Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England Vol XXVII pp. 71-72.

    • The Lost Synagogues of London by P. Renton (2000)  pp. 112/116.

    • The Synagogues of London by P. Lindsay (1993) pp. 104-105.

    • 150 years of progressive Judaism in Britain: 1840-1990 by Anne J. Kershen (1990)

    • Jewish Heritage in Britain and Ireland by S. Kadish (2015)  p. 46.

    • Other City of Westminster sources

General

  • Trustees' Reports and Accounts filed with the Charities Commission and/or Companies House (pdf):

    • Previous registration - for years ended 31 December 2013 and 2014;

    • Current registration - for years ended 31 December 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

 

Congregational Records

Registration District (BMD):

  • Westminster (since 1 January 1978) - Link to Register Office website

  • Previous Registration District:
    St Marylebone - from founding of congregation until 1 January 1978.
    (All records would now be held by current office.)

Marriage Registers:

Marriage Registers (first entry 28 April 1935), other than register currently in use, deposited with Westminster Register Office.


List of Liberal Judaism Congregations

List of Synagogues destroyed or damaged by German air raids during World War II

Jewish Congregations in the London Borough of the City of Westminster

Jewish Congregations in Greater London (other than East End)

Greater London home page


Page created: 23 July 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 25 October 2018
Latest revision or update: 5 January 2021


Explanation of Terms   |   About JCR-UK  |   JCR-UK home page

Contact JCR-UK Webmaster:
jcr-ukwebmaster@jgsgb.org.uk
(Note: This is to contact JCR-UK, not the above Congregation)

JGSGB  JewishGen


Terms and Conditions, Licenses and Restrictions for the use of this website:

This website is owned by JewishGen and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain. All material found herein is owned by or licensed to us. You may view, download, and print material from this site only for your own personal use. You may not post material from this site on another website without our consent. You may not transmit or distribute material from this website to others. You may not use this website or information found at this site for any commercial purpose.


Copyright © 2002 - 2021 JCR-UK. All Rights Reserved