Westminster Synagogue

London SW7



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Westminster Synagogue logo
Congregation Data


Westminster Synagogue(i)

Former Name:

New London Jewish Congregation or New London Synagogue (until about 1960)(ii)


Kent House, Rutland Gardens, Knightsbridge, London SW7 1BX (acquired 1960, consegrated 15 September 1963)

Services previously held in Caxton Hall, Caxton Street, Westminster, London SW1.(iii)

Current Status:


Date formed:

Formed in 1957, by Rabbi Reinhart (see below) accompanied by 80 former members of the West London Synagogue.(iv)


Reform tradition


None - but uses the Beth Din of the Movement for Reform Judaism and certain other of its facilities.(iv)



To view a short profile of a minister or associate minister hold the curser over his or her name.

Rabbi Harold Frederic Reinhart, DD - from 1957 until August 1969(vii)

Rabbi Dr. Albert H. Friedlander - from 1971 until 1997, and therafter emeritus until 2004(viii)

Rabbi Dr. Thomas Salamon - from 1997 until 2018, and therafter emeritus(ix)

Rabbi Benjamin (Benji) Stanley - from 2017 until present (January 2020)(x)

Associate or Assistant Rabbis:

Rabbi Chaim Stern - associate rabbi from about 1967 until about 1968(xi)

Rabbi Rebecca Qassim Birk - assistant rabbi from 2005 until until 2010(xii)

Memorial Scrolls:

Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust logo 

The Czech Memorial Scrolls Museum & Centre, with which the congregation is closely involved, is located on the top floor of Kent House (the bulding which houses the synagogue) and holds and cares for the Torah scrolls that originally served the former Jewish communities in Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia until the destruction of such communities in the Holocaust. Westminster Synagogue received the scrolls in 1964, and the Museum was established in 1988 to display the work of the Centre and tell the history of the scrolls. For further details press here.

Membership Data:

Congregation's Website

2006 - 600 male members - 400 families

National Reports & Surveys(xiv)

1977 - 200 male (or household) members and 156 female members

1983 - 152 male (or household) members and 148 female members

1990 - 364 members (comprising 176 households, 100 individual male and 88 individual female members)

1996 - 350 members (households)

2010 - listed as having 400 to 499 members (by household)

2016 - listed as having 500 to 599 members (by household)

Legal & Charitable Status:

The congregation is a registered charity (no. 1133190), registered on 8 December 2009. The governing document are the congregation's Constitution dated 18 March 2004, as amended.(xv)

Local Government District:

Both Rutland Gardens and Caxton Hall are in the City of Westminster, a London Borough, and were (until 1965) within the former Metropolitan Borough of Westminster (also known as the City of Westminster, but smaller in area than the present London Borough).(xvi)

Cemetery Information:

The congregation has links with the West London Synagogue's burial facilities.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) The names is derived from the fact that the first services were held in Caxton Hall, Westminster.

  • (ii) The congregation's website refers to the previous name as the "New London Synagogue" where the congregation was listed in Jewish Year Books through 1960 as the "New London Congregation". Later issues of the Jewish Year Books give the former name was the "New London Jewish Congregation".

  • (iii) Caxton Hall was the address listed for the congregation in Jewish Year Books through 1960.

  • (iv) Congregation's website.

  • (v) and (vi) Reserved.

  • (vii) "Our History" on the congregation's website, accessed 20 February 2019.

  • (viii) "Our History" on the congregation's website, accessed 20 February 2019 and Guardian newspaper obituary dated 13 July 2004.

  • (ix) Rabbi Salamon's profile on the congregation's website, last accessed 12 January 2020.

  • (x) Rabbi Stanley's profile on the congregation's website, last accessed 12 January 2020.

  • (xi) Based upon Rabbi Stern's listing as a minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1968 and 1969 and his obituary.

  • (xii) Rabbi Birk's profile on Finchley Progressive Synagogue's website.

  • (xiii) Reserved.

  • (xiv) 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.

  • (xv) Charities Commissioners website (in beta trial stage) and Open Charities website, both accessed 6 January 2019.

  • (xvi) The City of Westminster is an Inner London Borough within the Greater London administrative area and was 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 of which had been within the former County of London.


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

  • Bibliography

    • The History of Westminster Synagogue by Philippa Bernard

    • Westminster Synagogue: The first 50 Years by Evelyn Friedlander

    • The Synagogues of London (p.80-81) by Paul Lindsay (1993, Vallentine Mitchell)

    • Other City of Westminster Bibliography

  • Annual Reports filed with the Charities Commission (pdf):


 Congregational Records

Registration District (BMD):

Westminster (since 1 January 1965) - Link to Register Office website

Previous Registration Districts:
City of Westminster from 1 October 1933 until 1 January 1965;
(All records would now be held by current office.)

Marriage Registers:

Marriage Registers (first entry 3 September 1961), other than register currently in use, deposited with Westminster Register Office

List of Reform Congregations

Jewish Congregations in the City of Westminster (London Borough)

Jewish Congregations in Greater London (other than East End)

Greater London home page

Page created: 29 October 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes added: 6 January 2019
Latest revision or update: 12 January 2020

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