Bevis Marks Synagogue

S&P Sephardi Community

(formerly the Spanish & Portuguese Jews Congregation)

City of London, London EC3




Page created: 17 March 2003
Latest revision or update: 31 January 2018


Gates to the Court Yard of
the Bevis Marks Synagogue

David Shulman 2007
Courtyard of the Bevis Marks Synagogue
following wedding in September 2007

David Shulman 2007


Congregation Data


Bevis Marks Synagogue

Official Name:

S&P Sephardi Community
(until about 2015 the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation)


Bevis Marks, London EC3A 5DQ(i)

The synagogue was designated a Grade I Listed Building (number 1064745) on 4 January 1950 (most recent amendment 10 November 1977). View description on Historic England website.

Current Status:


Date Founded:

1701 (although was successor to Synagogue in Creechurch Lane, founded in 1657)


Orthodox Sephardi, following Spanish & Portuguese rites, now often referred to as Western Sephardi.


Bevis Marks Synagogue is a constituent and the premier synagogue of the S&P Sephardi Community (formerly the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation)

The other current constituent synagogues of the S&P Sephardi Community are:
    the Lauderdale Road Synagogue;
    the Wembley Sephardi Synagogue;
    the Montefiore Synagogue, Ramsgate.

In addition, the Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue, Holland Park, was established under a Deed of Association with the then Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation.

The former Sephardi Synagogue in Bryanston Street, formerly in Wigmore Street, W1, was a branch congregation of Bevis Marks.

For additional information, see the section on Sephardi congregations

Listed Building:

The synagogue building (built 1699-99 - architect Joseph Avis) is a Grade 1 Listed Building.



Rabbis & Ministers (to 1751)(ii):

For the period prior to the construction of the synagogue in Bevis Marks, see list of rabbis of Creechurch Lane Synagogue.

  • Haham Rabbi David Nieto - from 1702 to 1728

  • Haham Rabbi Isaac Nieto - from 1733 to 1741

  • Haham Rabbi Moses Gomez de Mesquita from 1744 to 1751

  • Haham Rabbi Moses Cohen d'Azevedo - 1761 to 1784

  • Haham Rabbi Raphael Meldola - 1805 to 1828

  • Haham Rabbi Benjamin Artom - 1866 to 1879

  • Haham Rabbi Moses Gaster - 1887 to 1917

  • Rabbi Shem Tob Gaguine - 1920 to 1953 - "Ecclesiastical Chief" of the Congregation

  • Haham Rabbi Solomon Gaon - 1947 to 1977

  • Rabbi Abraham Levy - 1995 to 2012 - "Communal Rabbi and Spiritual Head" of the Congregation

  • Rabbi Joseph Dweck - 2013 to present (July 2017) "Senior Rabbi" of the S&P Sephardi Community"

List of Hahamin

Membership Data:

1800 - 242 members (out of estimated 2,000 to 4,000 Sephardi Jews in England)(iii)

1841 - 193 members(iv)

Local Government Districts:

Bevis Marks is in the Aldgate Ward of the City of London, within the administrative area of Greater London.

Until the abolition in 1908 of civil parishes in the City, it was in the parish of St. Katherine Cree.

Registration District:

City of London (since 1 July 1837) - register office website (for Islington & City of London)

Cemetery Information:

See Cemeteries of the S&P Sephardi Community

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Bevis Marks (400 feet long), in the City of London, is the continuation of Dukes Place leading to St Mary Axe, running parallel with Houndsditch (to the northeast). 

  • (ii) For brief biographical information on any Rabbi of the Congregation who also fulfilled the office of the Haham of the Sephardi community, see the List of Hahamin on the Sephardi Congregations home page. 

  • (iii) British Chief Rabbis 1664-2006 by Derek Taylor, 2007, pp.201,203. 

  • (iv) ibid., p.215. 


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database specifically associated with the Spanish & Portuguese Jews congregations include:


1836 - 1901 (1,253 records).


Hoop Lane Cemetery, Golders Green (424 records);
Novo Cemetery, Mile End, 1733-1918 (10,732 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


  • Congregation History.

  • Press Report relating to the Congregation, 1873.

  • Photographs of the Synagogue.

  • Jewish Heritage Sites in the City of London

  • Jewish Heritage Sites in Tower Hamlets

  • Selected Bibliography:

    • "First London Synagogue of the Resettlement", by W.S. Samuel & M.N. Castello - Transactions - Jewish Historical Society of England X, 1921/3.

    • Bevis Marks in History, by P. Goodman, 1934 (Oxford University Press).

    • Bevis Marks Records I, II & III, by R.D. Barnett and G.H. Whitehill, 1940.

    • The Laws and Charities of the Spanish & Portuguese Jews Congregation of London, by N. Laski, 1952,(Cresset Press).

    • "Correspondence of the Mahammad of the Spanish & Portuguese Jews Congregation of London during the 17th and 18th Centuries", by R.D.J. Barnett - Transactions - Jewish Historical Society of England XX, 11959/61.

    • "Problems of the London Sephardi Community 1720-33", by A.S. Diamond - Transactions - Jewish Historical Society of England XXI, 11962/67.

    • The Sephardim of England, by A.M. Hyamson, 1951 (Methuen & Co., London).

    • The Bevis Marks Synagogue, by R.D. Barnett and A. Levy, 1975 (Society of Hashaim, London)

    • The Oldest Synagogue, by A.M. Hyamson.

    • The Synagogues of Europe, by C.H. Krinsky, 1985 (The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge MA), pp. 412-415.

    • The Synagogues of London, by Paul Lindsay, 1993 (Valentine Mitchell, London), pp. 38-41.

    • "The Burial Grounds of the Resettlement", by Kadish, Sharman, 2006 - Issue No. 1 of the Cable - the magazine of the Jewish East End Celebration Society, pp 12-14.

    • British Chief Rabbis 1664-2006, by Derek Taylor, 2007 (Valentine Mitchell, London)

    • other City sources

    • other London sources

on Third Party websites


Congregational Records

Registration District (BDM):

City of London (since 1 July 1837) - Link to Register Office website


Material Deposited with the London Metropolitan Archives

These include:

  • records relating to the governance and administration of the Congregation including ascamot (laws) of the Congregation and minutes for the Mahamad (Executive), Elders and Yehidim (Congregation);

  • service registers covering births (17671882), circumcisions (171585, 180325, 185569), ketubot (marriages contracts, 16901795) and burials (16571935);

  • property and legal papers; financial records; some records for the Lauderdale Road and Mildmay Park Synagogue;

  • personal papers and family records from members of the Congregation; and
  • some material relating to Sephardic congregations in Barbados, Bordeaux, Amsterdam, Venice and Germany.

The records in this collection can only be accessed with prior written permission from the Congregation, which can be obtained from the Honorary Archivist and Chief Executive of the Congregation.

List of Sephardi Congregations

Street Directory of Synagogues in East End and City of London

Jewish Congregation in the City of London

Greater London home page



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