JCR-UK

The Liberal Jewish Synagogue

St John's Wood, London NW8

 

 

JCR-UK is a genealogical and historical website. It is not the official website of this congregation.

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) Services had originally been held at the West London Synagogue, but the congegation broke away over its insistance that men and women be permitted to sit together.(iii)

Current Status:

Active

Date Formed:

The congregation was founded in 1910 by the "Jewish Religious Union for the Advancement of Liberal Judaism" (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. It was the first liberal synagogue to be established in the UK. (iv)

Ritual:

Liberal Progressive- the first liberal or progressive synagogue in the United Kingdom

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:

Rabbi Dr. Israel Isador Mattuck - First Minister from about 1926 until about 1947 (and thereafter emeritus minister until 1954).(vi)

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

Rabbi John Desmond Rayner - Senior Minister from about 1961 until about 1990 (and thereafter emeritus minister until about 2005), having served as an associate minister from about 1957.(viii)

Rabbi Dr. David J. Goldberg OBE - Senior Rabbi from about 1990 until about 2004 (and thereafter rabbi emeritus until present - December 2018), having served as an associate minister from about 1975.(ix)

Rabbi Alexandra Wright - Senior Rabbi from about 2004 until present (December 2018), 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 about 1925 until about 1938(xiii)

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

Rabbi R.H Levene, BA LLB - an associate minister from about 1939 until early 1940s(xv)

Rabbi Jakob Jankel Kokotek - an associate minister from at least 1945 until about 1947(xvi)

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

Rabbi Chaim S. Stern - associate minister from about 1962 (becoming acting senior minister from about 1964) until about 1965(xviii)

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

Rabbi R. Herst - an associate minister from about 1965 until about 1969(xxi)

Rabbi Alan Mann - an associate minister from about 1972 until about 1975(xxii)

Rabbi H. Horn - an associate rabbi from about 1990 until about 1994(xxiii)

Rabbi Helen Freeman - an associate rabbi from about 1994 until 1999(xxiv)

Rabbi Kathleen de Magtige-Middleton - an assistant or associate minister from about 2001 until about 2008(xxv)

Rabbi Mark L. Solomon - an assistant or associate minister from about 2001 until about 2011(xxvii)

Rabbi D. Wilford - an associate minister from about 2011 until about 2012(xxviii)

Rabbi N. 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)

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

Other Sources(xxxx)

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(xxxxi):

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.(xxxxii)

Cemetery
Information:

The congregation's principal cemetery is the Willesden (Liberal) Cemetery, Pound Lane, Willesden, London NW10, opened in 1914, for the exclusive use by members of the congregation.

The congregation also has its own section of the Edgwarebury Cemetery, Edgwarebury Lane, Edgware HA8 8QP, opened in 1973.

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) Synagogues of London by P. Lindsay (1993), p.104.

  • (iv) Synagogues of London by P. Lindsay (1993), p.104 and the congregation's website, accessed 23 October 2018.

  • (v) Reserved.

  • (vi) Based upon his listing in Jewish Year Books from 1912 through 1948 and his biography on Jewish Virtual Library website. Lithuanian-born Rabbi Mattuck (1883-1954) was referred to as "Rev." in the 1912 and 1913 editions, and his title "Dr." first appeared in 1926.

  • (vii) Based primarily upon Rev. Edgar's listing as a minister of the congregation 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). He was referred to as "Rev." until 1951, and his title "Dr." first appeared in 1959 edition. Rabbi Edgar also served as a chaplain during World War II. He was was the son-in-law of Rabbi Mattuck.

  • (viii) Based primarily upon Rev. (later Rabbi) Rayner's listing 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"). He was referred to as "Rev." until 1965, and his title "Dr." first appeared in 1980 edition. Rabbi Rayner (1924-2005) previously served as minister of South London Liberal Jewish Synagogue (1953-1957).

  • (ix) Based primarily upon Rabbi Goldberg's listing 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. He previously served as minister of Wembley & District Liberal Synagogue (c.1971-c.1976). He was awared an OBE in 2004 and is the son of the late rabbi Percy Selvin Goldberg, formerly of Manchester Reform Synagogue.

  • (x) Based upon Rabbi Wright's profile on the congregation's website (last accessed 24 December 2018) and her listing as the third-named minister in the editions from 1987 through 1990 and as senior minister in the editions from 2005 through 2015 (the last edition to be published). During the interim period, Rabbi Wright served as minister of Radlett and Bushey Reform Synagogue (1990-2003).

  • (xi) and (xii) Reserved.

  • (xiii) Based primarily upon Rev. Perlzweig's listing as Second Minister of the the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1926 through 1938. Rev. Perlzweig (1895-1985) had served as minister of the North London Liberal Synagogue from 1921 From about 1925, he appears to have held both positions until 1938, when he became minister of North Western Reform Synagogue, Golders Green (1938-1942). Profile of Rev. Perlzweig. He was a founder of the World Jewish Congress. See The Reminiscences of Dr. Maurice L. Perlzeig.

  • (xiv) Based primarily upon Rabbi Starrels's listing as Third Minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1929 through 1933. US-trained Rabbi (later Rabbi Dr.) Starrels (1895-1984) had previously served congregations in New Orleans, Louisiana and Lincoln, Nebraska. During his period with the LJS, he assisted greatly in the establishment of the West Central Liberal Jewish Congregation, frequently leading the services. Rabbi Starrels subsequently served as the initial minister of North Western Reform Synagogue, Golders Green (1933-1938) and then returned to the United States and served as minister of several U.S. congregations.

  • (xv) Based upon Rabbi Levene appearing as the third-named minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Books 1939 and 1940. There were no editions of the book during World War II.

  • (xvi) Based primarily upon Rabbi Kokotek's listing as an associate minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1945/6 through 1948. According to other Jewish Year Book listings and the Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History p. 530, Polish-born Rabbi Kokotek (1911-1979) also served as rabbi/minister of the Southgate & Enfield Progressive Synagogue (c.1946-c.1948), Dublin Jewish Progressive Congregation (1948-51), Liverpool Liberal Synagogue (1951-56) and the New Jewish Liberal Association (later known as the Belsize Square Synagogue - 1956-79).

  • (xvii) Based upon Rev. Cohen's listing as an associate minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1947 through 1958 and The Lost Synagogues of London by Peter Renton, p.75. Rev. Cohen (born in Manchester in 1907) served as minister of the orthodox Central Synagogue, London (1934-c.1939) and was a chaplain during World War II. He later served as minister of North-Western Reform Synagogue, Golders Green (1958-72).

  • (xviii) Based upon Rabbi Stern's listing in Jewish Year Books from 1963 through 1965 and his obituary. New York born Rabbi Stern (1930-2001) was ordained in 1958 and served as rabbi to a number of United States congregations as well as associate rabbi of Westminster Synagogue, London (c.1967-c.1968).

  • (xix) Reserved.

  • (xx) Based upon Rabbi Dr. Goldstein's biography on the British Library website and his listing as associate minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1965 and 1975. He obtained his doctorate and received his ordination as a rabbi in 1966. Rabbi Goldstein (1933-1987) had previously served as minister as minister of South London Liberal Jewish Synagogue (c.1961-1964). A Rabbi Dr. D. Goldstein served as minister of the Stanmore Liberal Jewish Congregation (c.1975-c.1977), although it is uncertain if this is the same person.

  • (xxi) Based upon Rabbi Herst's listing as an associate minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1966 through 1969.

  • (xxii) Based upon Rabbi Mann's listing as an associate minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1973 through 1975. A Rabbi D. Mann served as minister of the Stanmore Liberal Jewish Congregation (c.1972-c.1975), and it is believed that this is the same person.

  • (xxiii) Based upon Rabbi Horn's listing as an associate rabbi of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1991 through 1994.

  • (xxiv) Based primarily upon Rabbi Freeman's listing as an associate rabbi of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1995 through 1999. In 1999, Rabbi Freeman, who was ordained in 1990, was appointed as a rabbi of the West London (Reform) Synagogue, becoming a principal rabbi from 2010 until present (January 2019)

  • (xxv) Based upon 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). She was subsequently appointed as minister of the Mosaic Reform Synagogue (former Middlesex New Synagogue) from 2008 to present (October 2018).

  • (xxvi) Reserved.

  • (xxvii) Based upon Rabbi Solomon's profile on Liberal Judaism's website and his 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 2011). Australian-born Rabbi Solomon also served as minister/rabbi of Watford Affiliated (United) Synagogue (1990-92), West Central Liberal Jewish Synagogue (c.1992-c.2000), Sukkat Shalom - the Edinburgh Liberal Community Synagogue (part-time, 2009 to present - October 2018), Manchester Liberal Jewish Community (part time, 2010-2014), Leicester Liberal Jewish Congregation (part-time 2014 to present - October 2018).

  • (xxviii) Based upon Rabbi Wilford's listing as a (non-senior) minister 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. He previously served as rabbi at Finchley Progressive Synagogue (2006 to 2010) and subsequently at the West London (Reform) Synagogue, from 2015 until present (January 2019) (as per the said Linkedin profile).

  • (xxx) Profile of Rabbi Pfertzel on the Liberal Judaism's website, last accessed 24 October 2018. French born Rabbi Pfertzel was previously an assistant rabbi of Finchley Progressive Synagogue and visiting rabbi at Wessex Liberal Jewish Community in 2014/15 and subsequent was appointed minister to Kingston Liberal Synagogue (2017 to present - October 2018).

  • (xxxi) The congregation's website, accessed 24 October 2018, listed Rabbi Benjamin as an associate minister and included her profile. The congregation's website, accessed 24 December 2018 no longer listed Rabbi Benjamin as one of its rabbis. Rabbi Benjamin also served as assistant rabbi (later associate rabbi) of Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue (c.1998-2004), rabbi of the Progressive Jewish Community of East Anglia (2003-09), rabbi of Woodford Progressive Synagogue (c.2004-2005), rabbi of South Bucks Jewish Community (2006-15).

  • (xxxii) and (xxxiii) Reserved.

  • (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.

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

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

  • (xxxxii) 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 Montague 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

 

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: 7 January 2019


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