JCR-UK

the former

Epsom and District Affiliated Synagogue

Epsom and Ewell, Surrey

 

 

   


JCR-UK is a genealogical and historical website covering all Jewish communities and
congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.

Town of Epsom

Epsom, the spa town known for its famous Epsom Salts and for the racecourse at which The Derby and The Oaks are run, lies immediately to the south of the administrative boundary of Greater London.

It is in the local government district and borough of Epsom and Ewell in the county of Surrey. Epsom and Ewell was a municipal borough from 1937 to 1974 and an urban district from 1894 until 1937 (known simply as Epsom until 1934).

Epsom Synagogue
The former Epsom Synagogue, Prospect Place, 2013
Hassocks5489, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Epsom Jewish Community

The Jewish community in Epsom was formed during World War II, primarily by Jews evacuated from heavily populated areas of London The community was never particularly large and began to dwindle following the war, finally closing in the 1990s.

Congregation Data

Name:

Epsom & District Affiliated Synagogue(ii)

also referred to simply as Epsom Synagogue(iii)

Former Name:

Epsom & District Synagogue(iv)

Address:

Prospect Place, East Street, Epsom, Surrey.

A former Baptist chapel (known as Bugby Chapel), built in 1779 for William Bugby, an Independent Calvinist preacher who died in 1772. The building was later Unitarian, then Strict Baptist (Salem Chapel) and was consecrated as a synagogue by Dayan Dr. M. Lew in October 1954.(v) In 1994 it was converted into offices.

The former synagogue was designated a Grade II Listed building on 20 May 1975 (List Entry Number: 1232197). Historic England Listing & Description.

Previously services were held at the Lecture Hall, Upper High Street, Epsom (about 1947 to 1953(vii)) and Church House, Church Street, Epsom (from 1941 to about 1947(viii)) although some meetings were held in the Forestersí Hall in Waterloo Road.

Formation:

The first services were held in May 1941.(ix)

Closure:

Closed in 1993, merged with Sutton Affiliated Synagogue, some four miles away.(x)

Affiliation:

An Affiliated Synagogue of the United Synagogue from 1952.(xi)

Ritual:

Ashkenazi - Orthodox

Minister & Secretary:

Rabbi Dr. Paul Holzer - from at least 1945 until about 1950(xv)

Lay Officers:(xvi)

Dr. Hans Leo Lehmann - Founder, President (1941-c.1992), Acting Secretary (c.1949-c.1950), Hon. Secretary (c.1951-c.1992)(xvii) - biographical article

Dr. E. Brent - Treasurer (c.1945-c.1947)(xviii)

F. Hirsch - Treasurer (c.1947-c.1950)(xix)

M.E. Jones, Treasurer (c.1954-c.1955)(xx)

Membership Data:

Male Seatholders(xxiv)

1952

1960

1970

30

28

21

National Reports & Surveys(xxv)

1977 - 14 male (or household) members and 2 female members.

1983 - 17 male (or household) members and 3 female members.

1990 - 20 members (comprising 12 households and 8 individual female members)

Jewish Chronicle Reports(xxvi)

1993 - 13 members (comprising 9 male or household members and 4 female members).

Registration District (BMDs):

Surrey (since 4 August 2008)(xxvii) - Link to Register Office Website.

Worship Registration:

The synagogue at Prospect Place was registered as a Place of Worship - Worship Register Number 64502 - under the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855.(xxviii)

Cemetery Details

There is no Jewish cemetery in Epsom. For details of the cemeteries of the United Synagogue, see Cemeteries of the United Synagogue.

 

Online Articles and Other Material relating to
the Epsom Jewish Community


on JCR-UK


on Third Party Websites

  • Biographical Article on Dr. L.H. Lehmann, including a history of the congregation, on Epsom & Ewell History Explorer website.


Notable Jewish Connections with Epsom

(courtesy Steven Jaffe)

  • Alex Carlile, Baron Carlile of Berriew CBE QC, Liberal Democrat peer, attended Epsom College.

  • Andrew Garfield (b.1983), American-based award-winning actor, was brought up in Epsom. His family name was originally Garfinkle and his paternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants to the UK from Eastern Europe.

  • Henry Knorpel, Companion of the Bath and QC (1924-2017), principal Solicitor to the Department of Health and Social Security and later Counsel to the Speaker of the House of Commons, lived in Epsom and was vice president of the Epsom congregation before its merger with Sutton synagogue (where he later served as chair).

  • Ralph Koltai, CBE RDI (1924-2018) a German-born, naturalised British stage designer and sculptor, came to the UK on the kindertransport in 1939 and aged 17 was re-united with his mother (who also escaped Germany) in Epsom. He first trained at evening classes at Epsom school of art (1943).

  • Bernie Levien (1926-2018), on course bookie, whose pitch was known as Jolly Joe, worked on 64 Epsom Derby days.

  • Councillor Robert Lewis was Mayor of Epsom and Ewell in 1990.

  • Jonathan Maitland, BBC news correspondent, playwright and broadcaster was brought up in Epsom and attended Epsom college. He wrote about his childhood in Epsom in his book, How to Survive Your Mother (2007).

  • Councillor Keith Mann was Mayor of Epsom and Ewell in 2002.

  • Hannah Primrose, Countess of Rosebery (1851-1890), the daughter of Baron Mayer de Rothschild and wife of the Prime Minister, the Earl of Rosebery, had a home at The Durdans in Epsom. She and her husband resided there occasionally and for the week long Epsom Derby. Their connection to Epsom is commemorated by Rosebery Park, Rosebery school and Rosebery house at Epsom college.

  • Owners of Epsom Derby winners who were Jewish or of Jewish ancestry:

    • Michael Tabor, businessman, is a joint owner of multiple Epsom Derby winners: in 2001 (Galileo); 2002 (High Chaparral); 2011 (Pour Moi); 2012 (Camelot); 2013 (Ruler of the World); 2014 (Australia); 2017 (Wings of Eagles); 2019 (Anthony Van Dyke); and 2020 (Serpentine).

    • Mayer A de Rothschild - 1871 (Favonius).

    • Lionel de Rothschild - 1879 (Sir Bevys).

    • Leopold de Rothschild - 1904 (St Amant).

    • Jack Barnarto Joel - 1911 (Humorist); and 1921 (Sunstar).

    • Solomon Joel (brother of Jack Barnardo Joel, previous winner) - 1915 (Pommern).

    • 6th Earl of Roseberry (son of Hannah Rosebery née de Rothschild) - 1939 (Blue Peter); and 1944 (Ocean Swell).

    • Sir Victor Sassoon - 1953 (Pinza); 1957 (Crepello); 1958 (Hard Ridden); and 1960 (St Paddy).

    • Piere Wertheimer - 1956 (Lavandin).

    • H.J. (Jim) Joel (son of Jack Barnarto Joel, previous winner) - 1967 (Royal Palace).

    • Sir Michael Sobel - 1980 (Troy).

    • Louis Freedman CBE - 1987 (Reference Point).

    • Anthony Oppenheimer - 2015 (Golden Horn).

 

Other Epsom Jewish Institutions & Organisations

  • Epsom Jewish Ladies Guild - founded by 1952(xxxii)

  • Epsom & District Jewish Social Committee - founded by 1953(xxxiii)

 

Epsom Jewish Population Data

1964

about 50

(The Jewish Year Book 1965)

 

Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) Listed under this name in the United Synagogue section of Jewish Year Books from the early 1960s.

  • (iii) This name was used in later press reports.

  • (iv) Original name of the congregation as mentioned initially in the Jewish Chronicle report of 22 August 1941.

  • (v) Consecration reported in Jewish Chronicle report of 29 October 1954. This was also the address listed in Jewish Year Books from 1954.

  • (vi) Reserved.

  • (vii) This was the address listed in Jewish Year Books 1948 through 1953. However, it was already the venue for high holy day services in 1946 (Jewish Chronicle report of 13 September 1946).

  • (viii) Jewish Chronicle report of 30 May 1941 and the address listed in Jewish Year Books 1945/6 and 1947.

  • (ix) Jewish Chronicle report of 30 May 1941.

  • (x) Jewish Chronicle report of 2 July 1993. Its last listing was in the Jewish Year Book 1993.

  • (xi) The United Synagogue 1870-1970 by Aubrey Newman, p. 222.

  • (xii) to (xiv) Reserved.

  • (xv) The Jewish Chronicle of 27 July 1945 refers to Rabbi Holzer as minister of the congregation. He was listed as minister and secretary of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1947 through 1950.

  • (xvi) Except as regards Mr. Lehman's early presidency, this data has been extracted from Jewish Year Books, which ceased publication in 1940 and only resumed with the publication of the 1945/6 edition. Generally, from 1956, the year book only listed one lay officer per congregation.

  • (xvii) The Jewish Chronicle of 30 May 1941 included a notice by Mr. Lehman of the commencement of services, the first of which were held in his home and The Jewish Chronicle report of 28 October 1977 on the seventieth birthday of Mr. Lehmann. He is listed in Jewish Year Books as president (1947 through 1950 and from 1954 until delisting), as acting secretary (1950) and as hon. secretary (1951 until delisting). He died in May 1992. (The Jewish Chronicle of 22 May 1992).

  • (xviii) Dr. Berent was listed as treasurer of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1945/6 and 1947.

  • (xix) F. Hirsch was listed as treasurer of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1948 through 1950.

  • (xx) M.E. Jones was listed as treasurer of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1955.

  • (xxi) to (xxiii) Reserved.

  • (xiv) The United Synagogue 1870-1970 by Aubrey Newman, p. 220.

  • (xv) Report on synagogue membership in the United Kingdom, published by 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 report.

  • (xxvi) Jewish Chronicle report of 2 July 1993.

  • (xxvi) Jewish Chronicle report of 2 July 1993.

  • (xxvii) Previous Registration District: Epsom (from 1 July 1837 to 1 April 1934); Surrey Mid-Eastern (from 1 April 1934 to 1 October 1996); Mid Surrey (from 1 October 1996 to 1 May 2000); and East Surrey (from 1 May 2000 to 4 August 2008). Any registers would be held by the current register office.

  • (xxviii) Page 1357 of the 2010 List of Places of Worship.

  • (xxix) to (xxxi) Reserved.

  • (xxxii) Listed in Jewish Year Books from 1953.

  • (xxxiii) Listed in Jewish Year Books from 1954.

List of United Synagogue Congregations

World War II Evacuee Communities

Jewish Congregations in Surrey

Jewish Communities of England homepage

Page created: 2 May 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 27 January 2023
Page most recently amended: 10 September 2023

Research by David Shulman, Harold Pollins and Steven Jaffe
Formatting by David Shulman


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