Leeds Jewish Community

West Yorkshire




Page created: 19 January 2014
Latest general update: 29 February 2024
Latest revision or modification: 24 March 2024

Leeds UHC Cemetery


Following the founding of the 'Old Hebrew Congregation' (sometimes referred to as the 'Englisher Shul) in the mid-1830s, its first president, Gabriel Davis, was instrumental in obtaining, from the Earl of Cardigan in 1837, these burial grounds on Gelderd Road, Gildersome. This cemetery was opened in 1840, six years prior to the opening of the first proper Synagogue in Leeds. Gabriel Davis died in 1851 and was buried in this cemetery where his headstone remains partially legible but clearly identifiable to this day. One of the first burials in this cemetery was that of David Davis (eldest son of Gabriel) who passed away on 8 June 1842 at the age of 19.

The Congregation became known as the Great Synagogue following the consecration of its building in Belgrave Street in 1861. It grew rapidly and incorporated the Copenhagen Street Chevra in 1876 and the Neir Tamid Chevra in the late 1800s. During this period, these burial grounds filled up in spite of being extended and, in the early 1880s, a substantial plot of land adjoining the existing cemetery was purchased and remains in use to the present day.

In 1890, the Congregation became a member of the United Synagogues of Leeds which also included the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol (BHH) congregation. In 1930, the Great Synagogue became one of the constituent synagogues of the Leeds United Hebrew Congregation together with the New Leeds Congregation (1930/31), the New Synagogue (1931/32), the Moortown Synagogue (1937), the Chapeltown United Synagogue (1939) and the Louis Street Synagogue (1974). Over the years a number of other smaller congregations were affiliated with UHC for the purpose of burial rights. With the exception of the Louis Street Synagogue (which has separate burial grounds at New Farnley), all of these Congregations have used the UHC cemetery.

Notable burials in this cemetery include:

  • Ministers - Rev Moses Abrahams, Rev Dr J Abelson, Rev Solomon Diamond, Rev Wolfe Sacofsky and Rev Jacob Samuel
  • Former Lord Mayors of Leeds - Hyman Morris and Joshua Samuel Walsh
  • Former High Sheriffs of West Yorkshire - Arnold Ziff and John D Jackson
  • Businessmen - Victor Lightman (The late Sir Montague and Lady Burton were originally laid to rest in this cemetery but, in 1964, were re-interred in the newly opened Jewish Cemetery at Stonefall, Harrogate)
  • Painter - Jacob Kramer
  • Italian Consul - Maximillian Zossenheim

Details of all burials in the UHC Cemetery are provided in this database, together with images of all legible and partially legible headstones. This "virtual" cemetery contains details of 7,078 burials together with digital photographs of 5,293 headstones and has been assembled from Synagogue Burial Registers, Sexton Day Books together with a few older extant records.

The burial records include details of approximately 1,400 interments for which no specific grave locations have been identified. The large bulk of these (approximately 950) are for children under the age of six. Also, most of these burials were recorded prior to 1940, the time at which the records first started to include details of burial locations. This is consistent with the fact that the oldest Sections of the cemetery (A and B) have many gaps between the remaining headstones, implying that these Sections contain a large number of unmarked graves. Details of these burials are provided without headstone images and can be accessed via separate drop-down lists.

Where possible, the assignment of rows and burial plots has been kept consistent with the details given in the records. However, for the newer Sections of the Cemetery, where locations were not assigned, it has been necessary to define rows. In these cases the burial reference has been included as a separate data field.

The opportunity has been taken to update the aerial views of the cemetery using the latest satellite images from Google Earth. The overall layout of the UHC Cemetery can be viewed here, while details of the row assignments in the various sections can be viewed:

  • here - for Sections A, B and C
  • here - for Sections D, E, F, G, H and CH
  • here - for Sections I, J, K, L, M, N, O , P, Q and R

The term 'Unconsecrated Grave' is used to describe graves for which the deceased has been identified (from the burial records) but where no headstone or plaque has been consecrated. The term 'Unknown' is used to describe graves (usually soil or concreted) for which the deceased cannot be identified.

This database covers all burials, consecrations and headstone renovations carried out up to 29 February 2023.

Information for any individual may be displayed by first selecting the appropriate surname letters from the list below and then selecting the required name from its corresponding drop-down list. Navigation to the next or previous burial plot in the Section/Row (or unknown location lists) is achieved by clicking the appropriate link on the individual burial page.

Grave locations (accurate to about a metre) can be displayed on a Google satellite image via the button provided on each burial page. Note that, although the grave location will always be identified, the image may not necessarily contain details of some of the most recent row additions to the cemetery.

For a single search covering all five Leeds Jewish Cemeteries, click Here

Please ensure that JavaScript is enabled in your browser before making a selection above.

This database has been created through the efforts and support of Lee White, Alan Tobias, Malcolm Sender and the late Murray Freedman. Webmaster - David Shulman. It is made available here with permission of the UHC Synagogue. The GPS enhancements were developed by Alan and Derek Tobias.

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