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the former

Hammersmith & West Kensington Synagogue

 

 


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Hammersmith Synagogue
A photograph (circa 1940s) of the Hammersmith & West Kensington Synagogue, Brook Green

Congregation Data

Name:

Hammersmith & West Kensington Synagogue

Former Names:

Hammersmith and Western District Synagogue (name initially adopted in 1889 for short period)(ii)

or simply just Hammersmith Synagogue (until about 1899)(iii)

Address:

69/71 Brook Green, Hammersmith, London W6 7BE.

The synagogue was designed by architect Delissa Joseph (who was also an officer of the congregation). The foundation stone (at 71 Brook Green) was laid on 2 February 1890 by Benjamin Louis Cohen with Chief Rabbi Dr. Hermann Adler officiating and the building was completed and consecrated on 7 September 1890.(iv)

Initially the synagogue was relatively small (seating for 104 men and 54 women), but was enlarged in 1896 and 1923. In about 1922, 69 and 70 Brook Green were purchased, upon which a communal hall erected.(v)   

Founders, Formation and Earlier Address:

Until the 1880s, the most westerly synagogue in London was the New West End Synagogue in St. Petersburgh Place, Bayswater, although many Jews had settled further west. Three Hammersmith residents however decided to initiated a project for a local synagogue: Joseph Morris Levy, who had a clothing business in King Street and was to serve as warden for some 24 years; Isaac Morris, a furniture dealer in Hammersmith Road; and Isaac Sandheim, a dentist in King Street, who was the son of Rev. Julius Sandheim. These three met in early 1889 and agreed to issue a circular to local Jews with the object of "promoting a Society" to establish a synagogue. They were immediately joined by two other influential local Jews - Ivan Nestor Schnurman, a Master at St Paul's School; and Delissa Joseph, FRIBA, a nephew of Mrs. Hermann Adler, who offered his professional services as an architect free of charge.(viii)

The first public meeting was held on 10 February 1889, attended by 18 heads of family, where an executive committee was formed and it was agreed to adapt a house at 173 Hammersmith Road for use as a synagogue, with religious classes to be held in rooms taken at 159 Hammersmith Road.(ix)

Closure:

The synagogue closed in 2001 and was sold the following year,(x) the building being converted into the Chinese Church in London.(xi)

Ritual:

Ashkenazi Orthodox

Affiliation:

The congregation applied to become a constituent synagogue of the United Synagogue in April 1889, which application was approved by the Executive of the United Synagogue in June 1889.(xiii) In 1890 the congregation entered the union,(xiv) "being the smallest Constituent Synagogue".(xv) It remained a member of the United Synagogue until its closure.

Secessionist Congregation:

In 1913, several members left the congregation and founded the Shepherd's Bush Synagogue and Talmud Torah not far away, in Poplar Grove, which became affiliated to the Federation of Synagogues.(xvi)

Congregational Magazine:

"The Brook" - the Magazine of the Hammersmith & West Kensington Synagogue, was first published in September 1947.(xvii) To view copies, see below.

Ministers:

(To view a short profile of a minister or reader - hold the cursor over his name.)

Rev. Barnet Elzas - hon. minister in 1889(xxi)

Rev. Michael Adler - minister from 1890 until 1903(xxii)

Rev. Solomon Alfred Adler - minister from 1904 until 1908(xxiii)

Rev. Solomon Lipson - minister from 1909 until 1938(xxiv)

Rabbi Ephraim Moses Levy - temporary minister from 1939 until 1940(xxv)

Rev. Michael Ehrnthal - temporary minister from July 1940 until February 1942(xxviii)

Rabbi Dr. Ernest Wiesenberg - temporary minister from March 1942 until 1946(xxix)

Rev. Sam Venitt - minister from 1946 until 1988(xxx)

Rabbi Moshe Simon - minister from 1989 until June 1990(xxxiii)

Rev. Maurice (Moishe) Joseph Golomb - part-time minister from 1991 until 1997(xxxiv)

Rev. Alexander Chapper - part-time minister from 1998 until about 1999(xxxv)

Chazans / Readers:

Rev. Michael Adler (see above) - served as reader from 1890 until 1899(xxxviii)

Rev. Gustave Prince - reader from 1899 until 1917(xxxix)

Rev Bernard Paletz - reader from 1919 until 1953, thereafter emeritus reader(xl)

Samuel Forscher - reader from 1954 until 1976, thereafter emeritus reader(xli)

Executive Committee 1889:(xlv)

Chairman - Joseph Morris Levy

Vice Chairman - Delissa Joseph

Treasurer - Isaac Morris

Hon. Secretary - Isaac Sandheim

Lay Officers from 1890:

Unless otherwise stated, the data presented below has been extracted from the following sources:(xlvi)

(a) Wardens and Financial Representatives:

  • 1890 to 1949 - The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue by Rev. Michael (1950);

  • 1949 to 1992 - "The Brook" magazine.

(b) Secretaries and Hon. Secretaries:

  • 1890 to 1933 - The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue;

  • 1933 to 1948 - Jewish Year Books;(xlvii)

  • 1949 to 1992 - "The Brook" magazine.

Wardens

1890-1892 - Joseph Morris LevyIsaac Morris

1892-1893 - H. L. Friedlander(xlviii)Joseph Morris Levy

1893-1897 - Joseph Morris LevyAdolph Posener

1897-1899 - Joseph Morris LevyIsaac Sandheim

1899-1901 - Joseph Morris LevySolomon Levy

1901-1902 - Joseph Morris Levy

1902-1903 - Joseph Morris LevyH. L. Friedlander(xlviii)

1903-1913 - Joseph Morris LevyL. A. Solomon

1913-1914 - M. M. Landau

1914-1918 - L. A. SolomonSampson Freedman

1918-1919 - Jacob FreedmanSampson Freedman

1919-1920 - Sampson FreedmanD. Sharp

1920-1922 - Jacob FreedmanD. Sharp

1922-1926 - D. SharpL. B. Barnett

1926-1929 - J. LevyI. Kutner

1929-1930 - J. LevyS. de Smith

1930-1931 - S. de SmithJ. Adler

1931-1932 - J. Adler

1932-1935 - I. KutnerH. Content

1935-1937 - H. ContentS. Moss

1937-1939 - Sidney MossI. Kutner

1939-1940 - I. KutnerH. Content

1940-1941 - J. S. Rose

1941-1947 - F. BenzimraA. Coleman

1947-1948 - L. LoeweA. Sheinfield

1948-1949 - A. SheinfieldH. Sharpe

1949-1950 - H. Sharpe

1950-1951 - H. SharpeHarry Schneiderman

1951 - H. Sharpe

1951-1958 - H. SharpeDr. L. Freeman

1958-1959 - Dr. L. FreemanJ. G. Silver

1959-1961 - Dr. L. CollinsS. Goodman

1961-1965 - Dr. L. CollinsM. A. Amias

1965-1967 - J. NisnerM. A. Amias

1967-1974 - J. BrandH. Sharpe

1974-1977 - J. BrandM. De Vries

1977-1992 - M. A. AmiasM. De Vries

1992 - M. A. AmiasJ. N. Nidner

Financial Representatives

1890-1900 - Delissa Joseph

1900-1902 - Henry L. Friedlander(xlviii)

1902-1905 - Sampson Freedman

1905-1910 - H. F. Phillips

1910-1911 - M. M. Landau

1911-1913 - S. Rosenbaum

1913-1915 - J. Phillips

1915-1919 - D. Sharp

1919-1926 - M. Sampson

1926-1930 - H. Aaronson

1930-1932 - H. Content

1932-1934 - F. E. Oliver

1934-1947 - B. Bernadi

1947 - S. Winston

1947-1949 - N. Paros

1949-1951 - A. Harris, FCA

1951-1953 - B. Davis, FPCA

1953-1955 - J. Mendleson

1955-1959 - J. Bondt

1959-1965 - J. Brand

1965-1967 - B. J. Benzimra

1967-1977 - M. A. Amias

1977-1992 - D. Arram


Secretaries &
Hon. Secretaries

1890-1903 - Rev. Michael Adler

1903-1919 - Rev. Gustave Prince

1919-1921 - Rev. Solomon Lipson

1921-1933 - Miss Gertrude C. Marks(xlix)

1933-1946 - Samuel Goldberg(l)

1946-1948 - Maurice Sharpe

1949 - I. Nothman

1950-1961 - M. Freedman

1961 - S. Tanenbaum

1962 - G. Spevick (acting)

1963-1965 - G. Cohen

1966-1975 - M. Friedmann

1975-1984 - Miss R. Longhorn

1984-1985 - David Hart

1985-1992 - Sidney Fainlight

Membership Data:

Male Seatholders(lvi)

1890

1900

1902

1905

1910

1920

1930

1940

1950

1960

1970

57

175

190

230

295

362

375

347

456

402

265

Also see below for seatholder records on All-UK Database.

Reports & Surveys(lvii)

1977 - 188 male (or household) members and 158 female members

1983 - 175 male (or household) members and 141 female members

1990 - 254 members (comprising 235 households, 3 individual male and 16 individual female members)

1996 - 167 members (comprising 141 households, 11 individual male and 15 individual female members) 

2001 - 103 members (comprising 32 households, 14 individual male and 57 individual female members) 

Local Government District:

Hammersmith, a district in west London, is now in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, an Inner London Borough created on 1 April 1965 (and until 1979 named London Borough of Hammersmith), within the administrative area of Greater London.

Previously Hammersmith was in the Metropolitan Borough of Hammersmith (established in 1900, previously a civil parish) in the County of London (established 1889), both of which entities were abolished in 1965.

Registration District (BMD):

Hammersmith & Fulham (since 1 January 2001)(lix) - Link to Register Office website

Cemetery Information:

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

Notes & Sources - In light of the large number of notes, 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.

Hammersmith Synagogue

A photograph of the former Hammersmith & West Kensington Synagogue, taken in January 2008.
The building was converted into the Chinese Church in London.
Reproduced with kind permission Leslie Bailey 2008

Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database specifically associated with the Hammersmith & West Kensington Synagogue include:

Seatholders Lists

1899 (189 records);
1910 (346 records);
1933 (455 records).

For a list of other London records in the Database that may also include records associated with this congregation, click here.
 

 

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

on JCR-UK


Notable Jewish Connections with Hammersmith

  • Jewish Mayors of Hammersmith

    • Joseph Morris Levy (1860-1927), one of the founders of the congregation and synagogue warden for some 24 years, served as the first Jewish Mayor of Hammersmith in 1904-5.

    • Stanley Moss Atkins (1917-1966), a member of the Shepherds Bush, Fulham and District Synagogue, served as the second Jewish Mayor of Hammersmith in 1963/4.

  • Delissa Joseph (1859-1927), an acknowledged architect whose works included a large number of synagogues, including the synagogue in Hammersmith, lived in Hammersmith and was an active member of the congregation.

 

Other Congregational Institutions & Organisations

Educational & Theological

  • The Hebrew and Religious Classes, established with the formation of the congregation.
    The following are details of the number of pupils enrolled in the clases for the relevant years:(lxii)

    1890

    1891

    1892

    1897

    1901

    1903

    1910

    36

    53

    65

    82

    76

    90

    100

Other Early Institutions & Organisations

  • Burial Society (formed 1910) - formed to assist members to meet expenses incidental to the time of mourning.(lxiii)

  • Jewish Lads' Brigade, Hammersmith Company (formed 1902)(lxiv)

  • Synagogue Ladies Guild (formed 1892)(lxv)

  • Children's Orphans Aid Society (formed by 1901)(lxvi)

  • Jewish Social and Literary Society (formed 1919), developed from the Literary Society (formed 1902) and the Young Men's Jewish Association (formed about 1913). This subsequently merged into the Social Circle in 1937. (lxvii)

  • Jewish Youth Club (formed 1930s)(lxviii)

Later Institutions & Organisations

For details of later communal institutions and organisations, please refer to the issues of "The Brook", each of which includes a list of such institutions and organisations, their officers and activities.

 

Notes and Sources:
( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) Adopted at first general meeting - The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue by Rev. Michael Adler (1950), p,17.

  • (iii) This was the name under which the congregation was listed in Jewish Year Books until 1898/99.

  • (iv) The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue by Rev. Michael Adler (1950), pp.18/19.

  • (v) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue pp.19 and 42-44.

  • (vi) and (vii) Reserved.

  • (viii) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue pp.15/16 and Jewish Chronicle report of 23 February 1990 on the congregation's centenary.

  • (ix) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue pp.15/16 and The Synagogues of London by Paul Lindsay (1993) p98

  • (x) Jewish Chronicle report of 6 December 2002. It was last listed in the Jewish Year Book 2001

  • (xi) Jewish Heritage in Britain and Ireland by Sharman Kadish (2015), p.51.

  • (xii) Reserved.

  • (xiii) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue p.18.

  • (xiv) The United Synagogue 1870-1970 by Aubrey Newman (1977), p.216.

  • (xv) Observation of the Jewish Chronicle - Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue p.19.

  • (xvi) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue p.39.

  • (xvii) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue p,52.

  • (xviii) to (xx) Reserved.

  • (xxi) Rev. Elzas was a student at Jews' College at the time of his appointment. Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue pp. 17 and 54.

  • (xxii) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue and various other sources.

  • (xxiii) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue pp. 35/6 and 54. Rev S.A. Adler's appointment is reported in The Jewish Chronicle of 15 July 1904 and his stepping down in various reports in 1908. He is listed as minister in Jewish Year Books 1904/5 through 1909. Rabbi Dr Salis Daiches acted as locum minister until the appointment of his successor.

  • (xxiv) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue pp. 37/8 and 54. Rev Lipson's appointment is reported in The Jewish Chronicle of 23 April 1909 and his retirement in the issue of 5 August 1938. He is listed as minister in Jewish Year Books 1910 through 1938.

  • (xxv) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue pp. 48 and 54 provides details of Rabbi Levy's term of office.

  • (xxvi) and (xxvii) Reserved.

  • (xxviii) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue pp. 48 and 54 provides details of the term of office of Rev. Ehrnthal (later Elton).

  • (xxix) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue pp. 48/9 and 54 and Rabbi Wiesenberg's Obituary in Jewish Chronicle of 17 March 2000. He is listed as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1945/6.

  • (xxx) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue pp. 50-54 and Jewish Chronicle report of 9 September 1988 of Rev. Venitt's retirement. He is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1947 through 1988.

  • (xxxi) and (xxxii) Reserved.

  • (xxxiii) Rabbi Simon's induction address appears in "The Brook" number 65. A Jewish Chronicle report of 22 June 1988 refers to Rabbi Simon's suspension from duty. He is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1989 and 1990.

  • (xxxiv) Jewish Chronicle report of 16 August 1991 refers to the appointment of Rev. Golomb, the minister at Waltham Abbey Jewish Cemetery, as part time minister of the congregation. He died in office - Jewish Chronicle obituary of 20 June 1997. He is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1991 through 1997.

  • (xxxv) Jewish Chronicle report of 6 February 1998 refers to Rev. Chapper "taken over the reins" at Hammersmith and West Kensington Synagogue and a report of 8 June 2001 refers to the post of minister at the synagogue having been vacant for two years after its last occupant, Rabbi Alex Chapper, left to study in Israel. He is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1999 and 2000.

  • (xxxvi) and (xxxvii) Reserved.

  • (xxxviii) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue p,30. Rev. Adler had initially been appointed as minister, reader, secretary and superintendent of the religion classes. With the appointment of Rev. Prince in 1899, he became just minister and secretary.

  • (xxxix) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue pp. 30, 40 and 54. Jewish Chronicle report of 23 June 1899 refers to Rev. Prince's election as reader of the congregation and a report of 1917 refers to his appointment at St. John's Wood Synagogue. He is listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1899/1900 through 1917.

  • (xl) Jewish Chronicle report of 16 May 1919 refers to the election of Rev. Paletz of Bristol as reader of the congregation and a report of 17 July 1953 refers to the unanimous approval of a recommendation to confer upon Rev. Paletz the honorary title of emeritus reader of the congregation on his retirement from office. He is listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1920 through 1953.

  • (xli) Jewish Chronicle obituary of 24 June 1983. He is listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1955 through 1976.

  • (xlii) to (xliv)) Reserved.

  • (xlv) Elected at a public meeting held on 10 February 1889 - Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue p. 16.

  • (xlvi) As regard data extracted from The Brook and Jewish Year Books, the computation of the years for the commencement and termination of service are based upon certain assumptions, which could result. in certain instances, to a slight inaccuracy in the years presented below.

  • (xlvii) The Jewish Year Book was first published in 1896/97 and there were no issues published during WWII subsequent to 1940. There were no Jewish Year Book listings of officers (other than secretary) subsequent to 1956.

  • (xlviii) Full name Henry Lesser Friedlander. He subsequently emigrated to Australia and became minister of the Brisbane Congregation, Queensland, until his death. Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue p. 33.

  • (xlix)) Miss Marks had previously, from 1918, served as assistant secretary - Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue p. 41.

  • (l) Although the Jewish Year Book was not published during the war years from 1940 to 1945, and thus there is no firm data covering that period, Mr. Goldberg was listed in Jewish Year Books as secretary of the congregation for several years prior to the war and in the first year book published immediately following the war, and it is therefore assume that he also held such position throughout the war years, which is also indicated in Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue p. 49.

  • (li) to (xlv)) Reserved.

  • (lvi) The United Synagogue 1870-1970 by Aubrey Newman (1977), pages 216/7, except for 1902 and 1905 (Jewish Year Books).

  • (lvii) 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.

  • (lviii) Reserved.

  • (lix) The former Registration Districts were Fulham, from 1 April 1875 until 1 August 1915, and Hammersmith, from 1 August 1915 until 1 January 2001. All registers would now be held by current register office.

  • (lx) and (lxi) Reserved.

  • (lxii) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue (1890, 1891, 1892 and 1897) and Jewish Year Books (1901, 1903 and 1910).

  • (lxiii) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue p.38.

  • (lxiv) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue pp.33 and 45.

  • (lxv) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue p.24.

  • (lxvi) Listed in Jewish Year Books from 1901/2.

  • (lxvii) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue pp.33, 39, 41 and 45.

  • (lxviii) Rev. Adler's The History of the Hammersmith Synagogue p. 45.

 

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Page created: 23 July 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 26 May 2022
Page most recently amended: 16 October 2022

Formatting and research by David Shulman


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