Hackney & East London Synagogue

Hackney, London E9




Page created: 6 September 2006
Latest revision or update: 28 April 2019

View of South Hackney Synagogue, 1897

Congregation Data

Current Name:

Hackney & East London Synagogue

Previous Names:

Hackney Synagogue (until 1993)

South Hackney Synagogue (until 1935)


2a Triangle Road, Hackney, London E8 3RP (from 2010, consecrated 16 December 2012)

Former Addresses:

The synagogue was previously in Brenthouse Road (previously known as Devonshire Road), Mare Street, Hackney, London E9 6QG from 1885. The building still retains its external structure and is now an Evangelical church.

The synagogue was built in 1896 and opened by Hon Walter Rothschild, with a gold key. It was consecrated in 1897 in a ceremony led by Rev Dr. Hermann Adler, the then Chief Rabbi. In 1910, the synagogue was renovated and rededicated and, in 1936, it was enlarged and reconstructed.

The building included a large hall on the lower ground floor, which could be converted into nine classrooms, a main shul on the ground floor and a ladies gallery on the first floor. The synagogue could accommodate a congregation of 500 along with 300 children.

From 1885 to 1896, the Congregation used an iron building on the site (which building had been purchased from from Dalston synagogue for 80). The 1885 opening ceremony was carried out by Samuel Montagu MP and the building consecrated by Rev D Wasserzbug.

The Devonshire Road (Brenthouse Road) site, which had initially been leased by the Congregation at a rental of 22 per annum, was purchased in June 1892 for 500.  

From 1881 to 1885, the Congregation worshipped in a house in 43 Darnley Street, Hackney, London E9.

Current Status:


Date Formed:

The Congregation dates from 1879


Ashkenazi Orthodox


A constituent synagogue of the United Synagogue from 1897.

Incorporated and Merged Congregations:

In 1935, the Congregation (then known as the South Hackney Synagogue) amalgamated with the Central Hackney Synagogue, and was thereafter known as the Hackney Synagogue. This was the first amalgamation of synagogues in the history of the United Synagogue. As a result of the amalgamation, the Synagogue building was enlarged and reconstructed (which also entailed the purchased of the adjoining site at 22 Devonshire Road). For ten months from November 1935, services were held at the former Central Hackney Synagogue.

In 1976, Stoke Newington Synagogue was incorporated.

In 1993, East London Synagogue was incorporated, whereupon the Congregation changed its name from Hackney Synagogue to Hackney & East London Synagogue.


Past ministers of the Congregation included:

Rev. Gatchell Isaacs, first appointed on a temporary basis in 1890, who, "after a long and faithful ministry", was succeeded by

Rabbi Dr. Louis Rabinowitz, who in 1932, Rabbi Rabinowitz left to become minister of Cricklewood Synagogue and would later become the Chief Rabbi of the Hebrew Congregations in South Africa and later on, the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem.

Rev. Dr. Barnett Joseph followed in 1934 and remained in his post for over 40 years until his death in 1973. Rev Joseph was awarded an MBE for his services to the community. During World War II, while Rev. Joseph was in the armed forces on chaplaincy duties, the community was led by

Rabbi Dr A Melinek, who was acting minister during World War II.

Post 1973, the community struggled to afford a full time minister and in 1975,
Reverend Alan Greenbat, then director of the Victoria Community Centre in Stamford Hill and a visiting minister to the small communities went to the synagogue to address a Barmitzvah boy. From then on, Reverend Greenbat carried out ministerial duties for the congregation until his retirement. Upon his retirement, Reverend Greenbat was awarded the title of Emeritus Minister, a post which he held until his death in 2019.


Not currently active

Membership Data:

Number of male seat-holders, 1897-1970(i):



















In 2015, there were approximately 400 members.(ii)

Also see below for seatholder records on All-UK Database

Hebrew Classes:

In 1882, there were 35 children enrolled in the congregation's Hebrew classes and teachers included Rev A.L. Green and A.M. Hyamson. By 1910, there were 400 children registered in the Hebrew classes.(iii)

Local Government Districts:

Hackney is in the London Borough of Hackney, and was previously (until 1965) in the somewhat smaller former Metropolitan Borough of Hackney.(iv)

Registration District (BDM):

Hackney (since founding of congregation) - Register Office website


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

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) The United Synagogue 1870-1970 by Aubrey Newman (1977), pages 216/7.

  • (ii) Congregation's website.

  • (iii) Congregation's website.

  • (iv) The London Borough of Hackney, an Inner London Borough within the Greater London administrative area, was created on 1 April 1965 upon the merger of the former Metropolitan Borough of Hackney with the smaller Metropolitan Boroughs of Stoke Newington and Shoreditch. These metropolitan boroughs (each established in 1900) had been within the (then abolished) County of London (established in 1899).


Search the All-UK Databaseease

The records in the database specifically associated with this congregation include:

Seatholders Lists

1899 South Hackney Synagogue (199 records);
1910 South Hackney Synagogue (475 records)
1933 South Hackney Synagogue (423 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



List of United Synagogue Congregations

Street Directory of Congregations in Stamford Hill, Hackney and Neighbourhood

Jewish Congregations in the London Borough of Hackney

Jewish Congregations in Greater London

Greater London home page



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