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the former

Dudley Hebrew Congregation and Jewish Community

Dudley, West Midlands

 

 

   

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congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.

Town of Dudley

Dudley, with a population of about 195,000, lying to the south of Wolverhampton, became a metropolitan borough in 1974 within the newly created metropolitan county of West Midlands in Central England. In 1986, Dudley became a unitary authority, when West Midlands lost its administrative status, becoming purely a ceremonial and geographical county. Dudley had been a county borough from 1898 and was an enclave of the county of Worcestershire surrounded by the county of Staffordshire. In 1966 it was transferred to Staffordshire and its boundaries were expanded by the incorporation of adjoining areas of Staffordshire.

Dudley Jewish Community

There was a small Jewish community in Dudley from the mid-nineteenth century, which from time to time formed a congregation until the early part of the twentieth century.

Congregation Data

Name:

Dudley Hebrew Congregation

Foremation and Address:

There are reports of a community and synagogue being established in 1848,(ii) although its whereabouts are unknown and the community disappeared within a few years.

On 26 November 1871, the congregation was re-established(iii) and, although there were appeals to build a synagogue,(iv) none would appear to have been built(v) and services were discontinued shortly thereafter.

In October 1895, after a break of almost a quarter of a century, services recommenced(vii) and held in members' homes, in particular the president,(viii) although in at least 1902 and 1903 certain services, including festival services, were held in the Temperance Hall, 62 Shaw Road, Dudley.(ix)

Closure:

The congregation closed in the 1920s.(x)

Ritual:

Ashkenazi Orthodox

Affiliation:

The congregation was unaffiliated but was under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi.

Spiritual Leaders:(xiii)
(To view a short profile of a person listed in blue - hold the cursor over his name.)

On services recommencing in in 1895, visiting residents from Birmingham officiated at the services.(xiv)

Rev. Marks Fenton - from 1902 until about 1903(xv)

Rev. S. Kahn (or Cahn) - from about 1903 until about 1904(xvi)

Rev. Eli Bloom - in 1904(xvii)

(H. Harris was the officient at High Holy Day services in 1905 - see photograph below)

Rev. W. Hirshowitz - in 1906(xviii)

Rev. Abraham Brody - from 1907 until 1910(xix)

Lay Officers (1871 Congregation):(xxii)

President - B. Benjamin; Treasurer - Cohen Gicht;(xxiii) Hon. Secretary - Mr. Benjamin Jnr.

Lay Officers (from 1896):

Presidents  

at least 1902 - 1903 - I. Goldstone(xxv)

1903 - about 1906 - H. Cohen(xxvi)

from at least 1906 - I. Goldstone(xxvii)

Hon. Secretaries

1896 - 1902 - Louis Bergensky(xxviii)

1902 - 1906 - J. Marcuson(xxix)

from 1906 - I. Kingsler(xxx)

Membership Data:

In 1851 there were 10 appropriated seats, 10 attenders at service.(xxxii)

Registration District

Dudley (from 1 July 1837) - register office website

Cemetery Data:

There is no Jewish cemetery in Dudley

Dudley Hebrew Congregation - Silver Plate
Photograph David Shulman 2017
Click on above image to view an enlarged image of
the inscription in a new window.

The inscription on the silver plate to the left reads
"Presented by the
Dudley Hebrew Congregation
to
Mr. H. Harris
for Reading Services
5666 - 1905"

************

We are extremely grateful to
Phillip Morris
for kindly providing JCR-UK with an opportunity
of photographing the plate
which had been presented to his great-grandfather


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Dudley include:

  • 1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2016)

    • Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Dudley and nearby Stourbridge during the 1820s (1 record), 1840s (14 records), 1850s (56 records) and 1870s (1 record).

 

Bibliography, Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Dudley Jewish Community

on JCR-UK

 

Other Dudley Jewish Institutions & Organisations

Educational & Theological

  • Hebrew and Religious Casses School. Founded by at least 1906.(xxxv) In 1923, the classes were under the auspices of Jewish War Memorial with Mr. D. Moss appointed headmaster.(xxxvi)

 

Dudley Jewish Population Data(xxxvii)

1851

33

(Estimate from 1851 Census by Harold Pollins)

1861

36

(Estimate from 1861 Census by Harold Pollins)

1871

19

(Estimate from 1871 Census by Harold Pollins)

1881

15

(Estimate from 1881 Census by Harold Pollins)

1891

11

(Estimate from 1891 Census by Harold Pollins)

1896

9

(The Jewish Year Book 1896/7)

1898

12 families

(The Jewish Year Book 1898/)

1901

52

(Estimate from 1901 Census by Harold Pollins)

 

Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) Paper by Dr. Aubrey Newman for a conference on Provincial Jewry convened on 6 July 1975, based upon the Religious Worship Census of 1851, as reported in V. Lipman's Survey of Anglo Jewry in 1851.

  • (iii) Jewish Chronicle press report of 1 December 1871.

  • (iv) Jewish Chronicle press report of 29 December 1871.

  • (v) None was listed in Jewish Year Book nor in any known press report.

  • (vi) Reserved.

  • (vii) Jewish Chronicle press report of 11 October 1895.

  • (viii) Jewish Chronicle press reports of 11 October 1895, 8 October 1897 and 10 January 1902. Jewish Year Books from 1902/3 stated that weekly services were held at the house of the president

  • (ix) Jewish Chronicle press reports of 10 October 1902 and 16 October 1903.

  • (x) Although the congregation was listed in Jewish Year Books until 1929, as the data provided had remained unchanged for several years it is probable that the congregation became defunct some years previously.

  • (xi) and (xii) Reserved .

  • (xiii) Generally employed as shochet, teacher and/or mohel, they also acted as reader at services.

  • (xiv) Jewish Chronicle press reports of 11 October 1895 and 8 October 1897.

  • (xv) Jewish Chronicle press report of 10 January 1902 and 3 July 1903. Rev. Fenton was listed as shochet and teacher of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1902/3.

  • (xvi) Jewish Chronicle press reports of 27 May 1904. Rev. S. Cahn was listed as shochet and teacher of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1903/4.

  • (xvii) Jewish Chronicle press report of 29 July 1904. Rev. Bloom was listed as shochet and teacher of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1904/5.

  • (xviii) Rev. Hirshowitz is only mentioned in two Jewish Chronicle press reports with regard to this congregation, both in 1906, namely reports of 11 May 1906 and 5 October 1906. However, he was listed as shochet and teacher of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1906/7 through 1929, which clearly appears to be an error. Presumably, the yearbook was merely reprinting the previous year's data and continued to do so for over two decades.

  • (xix) Rev. Brody's Jewish Chronicle obituary of 1 July 1955 and Jewish Chronicle report of 17 December 1909. He was not listed in the Jewish Year Books with regard to this community.

  • (xx) and (xxi) Reserved.

  • (xxii) Jewish Chronicle press report of 1 December 1871.

  • (xxiii) This appears to be the correct spelling, However, he is elsewhere described as Cohen Dwight and Cohen Gight.

  • (xxiv) Reserved.

  • (xxv) Referred to as president in Jewish Chronicle press report of 10 October 1902 and listed as president in the Jewish Year Book 1902/3.

  • (xxvi) Referred to as president in Jewish Chronicle press report of 27 May 1904 and listed as president in Jewish Year Books from 1903/4. Although he continued to be listed through 1929, which clearly appears to be an error, as H. Cohen was again reported in 1906 (see next note). Presumably, from about 1905/6, the yearbook was merely reprinting the previous year's data and continued to do so for over two decades.

  • (xxvii) Referred to as president in Jewish Chronicle press report of 2 February 1906.

  • (xxviii) Listed as hon. secretary in Jewish Year Books 1896/7 through 1901/2.

  • (xxix) Listed as hon. secretary in Jewish Year Books 1902/3 through 1905/6.

  • (xxx) Listed as hon. secretary in Jewish Year Books from 1906/7. Although he continued to be listed through 1929, this clearly appears to be an error, as the yearbook was merely reprinting the previous year's data and continued to do so for over two decades.

  • (xxxi) Reserved.

  • (xxxii) Religious Worship Census of 1851, as reported in V. Lipman's Survey of Anglo Jewry in 1851

  • (xxxiii) and (xxxiv) Reserved.

  • (xxxv) Jewish Chronicle press report of 21 December 1906.

  • (xxxv) Jewish Chronicle press report of 11 May 1923.

  • (xxxvii) Estimates by Harold Pollins are from his article "The Jews of Dudley", Shemot July 2009 Vol. 17 No. 2, pp.18/19.

 
Jewish Congregations in West Midlands

Jewish Communities of England homepage

Page created: 25 April 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 30 December 2022
Page most recently amended: 5 January 2023

Formatting and research by David Shulman


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