Independent Askenazi Congregations in London

Since the founding of the United Synagogue and the Federation of Synagogues in the nineteenth century, the vast majority of Synagogues in London have been members of a synagogal organisation. Outside London, this is only the case as regards non-Orthodox congregation. The vast majoriy of provincial Orthodox congregation are independent, although many are under aegis of the Chief Rabbi.

As regards Sephardi and other Edot haMizrach congregation in London, many of these are independent, although they frequently have some loose relationship with the premier Sephardi organisation, the S&P Sephardi Community (formerly the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation). These congregation are not listed on this page but are listed on our Sephardi webpage.

Although many of the independent Ashkanazi congregations in London were relatively small and played little part in the development of London Jewry, there were several significant independent congregations. These include the Western Synagogue, which had more than two centuries of complete independence before merging with the Marble Arch Synagogue, to form the Western Marble Arch Synagogue, which has the unique status as an "affiliate" of the United Synagogue. Another significant independent synagogue was the the West End Great Synagogue, to whose Chesed V'Emeth Burial Society members of many of the small London congregations are, or were, affiliated for burial rights.

In a number of instances, congregation that for much of their existance were independent are now, or were at some stage, affiliated to one of the main synagogal organisation, in particular the UOHC or the Federation of Synagogues. Others, including some influential congregations, while remaining independent were affiliated to the burial societies of the UOHC.


Listed below are the independent congregation in London. Excluded from the list are Sephardi or other Adoth Mizrach congregations, which are listed on our Sephardi Congregations webpage.


Early and Mid 20th Century

19th Century and Earlier:

The above list does not include congregations that were independent, but that subsequently joined a synagogal organisation.

* A congregation that is still active.

Φ  A congregation previously affiliated to the United Synagogue and/or the Federation of Synagogues.

Ω This congregation, though largely independent, was affiliated to the Federation of Synagogues in certain limited respects. It no longer holds services, but is still active for certain purposes, in particular its burial society.

(BS) Independent, but previously affiliated to the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations and still affiliated to its Burial Society.

(L)  An independent congregation, previously affiliated to Liberal Judaism, still following a Liberal tradition (accordingly not "Ashkanazi").

(P) An independent congregation believed to have followed a Progressive / Liberal tradition (accordingly not "Ashkanazi").

(R) An independent congregation following a Reform tradition (accordingly not "Ashkanazi").


Bibliography, On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to the Independent London Congregations


  • Selected Bibliography

  • The Western Synagogue through Two Centuries (1761-1961). Arthur Barnett, 1961 (Valentine Mitchell, London)

  • The Western Synagogue, 1961 to 1991. Sidney Jaque

  • History of the Western Synagogue. M. Levy, 1897

  • The Synagogues of London. Paul Lindsay, 1993 (Valentine Mitchell, London)


Cemeteries of Independent Congregations in the Greater London Area

  • Western Synagogue Cemeteries:

    • Fulham Road Cemetery (Brompton Cemetery) (disused), Queen's Elm Parade, London SW3
      This small one acre cemetery (near St. Stephen's Hospital) was opened in 1815 and closed in 1884. Its registers were destroyed in air raids by Nazi Germany in 1941. There are about 300 headstones. (For additional information, see IAJGS Cemetery Project - Fulham Road)

    • Edmonton Western Synagogue Cemetery (active), Montagu Road, Lower Edmonton, London N18
      This is adjacent to the Federation Cemetery, from whom it was acquired by the Western Synagogue, and is smaller. It was the main Western Synagogue Cemetery until the opening of Bulls Cross Ride.  (For additional information, see IAJGS Cemetery Project - Edmonton - Western)

    • Bulls Cross Ride Cemeteries (active), Cheshunt, Herts. EN7 5HT
      The principal cemetery of the Jewish Joint Burial Society, which serves a number of independent congregations as well as the Masorti, Reform and Liberal Communities in England. The cemetery comprises the original Bulls Cross Ride Cemetery as well as the newer Woodland Cemetery. Bulls Cross Ride had originally been the cemetery of the Western Synagogue as well as the West End Great Synagogue. (For additional information, see IAJGS Cemetery Project - Cheshunt)

  • West End Great Synagogue Cemeteries (Chesed V'Emeth Burial Society):

    • Streatham Jewish Cemetery, Rowan Road (active), Greyhound Lane SW16
      Part of the large Streatham Park Cemetey. Founded in 1915, approximately 5.5 acres. (For additional information, see IAJGS Cemetery Project - Streatham)

    • Bulls Cross Ride Cemeteries (active) - see above.

  • Maiden Lane Synagogue Cemetery:

    • Bancroft Road Cemetery (disused), London E1
      The Maiden Lane Synagogue (a breakaway from the Western Synagogue) closed in 1907. The cemetery had been inactive for many years and is now mostly derelict with few headstones remaining. Most records were destroyed in the Nazi German air raids over London in 1941. The United Synagogue "Find a Grave" search facility at https://www.theus.org.uk/gravesearch enables one to search for a grave at this cemetery. The search result generally includes the date of burial, the grave position and a photograph of the gravestone, if available. (For additional information, see IAJGS Cemetery Project - Bancroft Road.)

Synagogal Organisation in the United Kingdom

London Jewish Community home page

Page created: 27 June 2017
Page most recently amended: 5 May 2024

Research and formatting by David Shulman



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