the former

North Shields Jewish Community

& Synagogue

North Tyneside, Tyne & Wear




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 North Shields

The port of North Shields (population about 50,000) in the North East of England is situated on the north side of the Tyne estuary, opposite its twin town, South Shields. It lies about 8 miles northeast of Newcastle and about three miles south of the seaside town of Whitley Bay.

North Shields is now in the metropolitan borough of North Tyneside (in the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear), which was created in 1974 upon the merger of several authorities, including the county borough of Tynemouth (of which North Shields was part), all of which authorities had been within the county of Northumberland.

North Shields Synagogue
The former North Shields Synagogue

The Jewish Community

The North Shields Jewish community dates from the early nineteenth century, somewhat earlier than the establishment of the community in South Shields, and at one stage there was a single congregation covering both North and South Shields.(ii) The Jewish cemetery dates from at least 1856 and the synagogue was acquired in the 1870s. The community never exceeded 15/20 families and was totally defunct by the 1960s.

Congregation Data


North Shields Synagogue

However, it was known as North & South Shields Hebrew Congregation during the 1870s, when a short-lived united congregation was formed with South Shields.(iii)


29 Linskill Street, North Shields, close to the ferry landing from South Shields.

These premises were in use from 1873(iv) and the building consecrated as the synagogue and schoolrooms for the North and South Shield Hebrew Congregation by Rev. S.H. Harris of the Newcastle's Temple Street Synagogue on 22 March 1876.(v) Although initially rented, the building was subsequently purchased and enlarged.(vi) The main hall of worship was on the second floor.

Previously services were held in members' homes.

Earlier Congregation

An earlier synagogue was reported in 1827 to have stood "on the declinity of the bank in which Tyne Street is built".(vii)


Although the date of formation is generally given as about 1846, there was at least one earlier congregation and the community existed from at least the early 1820s. 


Due to the size of the community, already from at least 1908, services were only held on high holy days.(x) The numbers diminished significantly following World War II and services had generally ceased by the 1950s.(xi) By 1965 the congregation had ceased to exist(xii) and the synagogue was demolished in 1968.(xiii)


Ashkenazi Orthodox


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

(To view a short profile of a minister whose name appears in blue - hold the cursor over the name.)

Rev. Isaac Bernstein - shochet and reader from 1854 until 1861(xvii)

Rev. Lewis - about 1864(xviii)

Rev. Philip Phillipstein - shochet and reader from about 1873 until about 1876(xix)

From the 1880s, the congregation was served by visiting ministers, primarily from Newcastle upon Tyne, supported by the ‘Jewish Provincial Ministers’ Fund’. In some cases the same ministers are stated to be visiting ministers to the West Hartlepool and South Shields communities as well. Ministers were expected to preach occasionally and give religious instruction to the children of the towns they visited. These visiting ministers included the following:

Rev. Samuel Friedeberg - visiting minister from Newcastle from 1888 to 1891(xx)

Rev. Abraham Isaac Scheff - visiting minister in 1890(xxi)

Rev. Louis Mendelsohn - visiting minister from Newcastle from 1891(xxiv)

Rev. Noah Blaser - shochet and reader from about 1891 until 1893(xxv)

Rev. Harris Ehrenberg - reader, shochet and teacher from 1900 until no later than 1903(xxvi)

Rev. D. Lyons - reader in 1909(xxvii)

Rev. I. H. Cannon - minister from about 1917 to about 1919(xxviii)

Lay Officers of the Congregation:

Unless otherwise stated, all data on lay officers from 1896 has been extracted from listings in Jewish Year Book (first published 1896/7).(xxxii)


From at least 1856 to at least 1864
(not continuous) - Henry Jackson(xxxiii)

1861 - S.M. Lotinga(xxxiv)

1862 - Selig Hyman(xxxv)

1870s-1896 - Meyer Barcynski(xxxvi)

1896-1900 - H. Alperovich(xxxvii)

1900-1902 - C.D. Merkel

1902-1903 - M.J. Fisher

1903-1910 - M.J. Cohen

1910-1912 - E. Cohen

1912 - Jacob Foster(xxxviii)

1912-1915 - H. Ruddy

1915-1917 - C.D. Merkel

1917-1935 - H. Saltman

1935-1972 - N. Science(xxxix)


elected 1857 - Henry Isaacs(xliii)

1862 - Izak M. Cohen(xliv)

1864 - Meyer Barcynski(xlv)

until 1898 - Joseph Moses Fisher(xlvi)

1900-1902 - Myer Cohen(xlvii)

1902-1903 - M. Jackson

1903-1908 - M.J. Cohen(xlviii)

1908-1915 - B. Vander Velde

1915-1917 - S. Schultz

1917-1925 - A.B. Marco

1925-1935 - N. Science

from 1935 - no data


1935-1958 - N. Sheckman

Secretaries & Hon Secretaries (including Secretaries for Marriages)

to 1856 - Mr. Lotinga(lii)

1856-1861 - Rev. Isaac Bernstein(liii)

1896-1898 - *Joseph Moses Fisher(liv)

1900 - Asher Cohen(lv)

1900-1905 - *M.J. Fisher

1905-1904 - no data

1908-1910 - B. Vander Velde

1910-1915 - M.J. Cohen

1915-1917 - *I.E. Cohen

1917-1935 - *S. Shulds

1935-1972 - Esther Sheckman(lvi)

* Indicates where special mention was made of the fact that the secretary was secretary for marriages.

Membership Data:

Number of Seatholders - Board of Deputies Returns











Number of Seatholders - as reported in Jewish Year Books













Registration District:

See North Tyneside Jewish Community home page


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with North Shields include:

  • 1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2016)
    Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in North Shields during the 1790s (1 record), 1800s (4 records), 1810s (4 records); 1830s (13 records), 1840s (31 records), 1850s (62 records), 1860s (27 records), 1870s (9 records) and 1880s (4 records).

North Shields Synagogue
Interior of North Shields Synagogue
(Courtesy Peter Gatoff)

Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the North Shields Jewish Community



Notable Jewish Connections with North Shields

  • Saul Caplan was an Independent Councillor and leader of Tynemouth Council in 1970.


Other North Shields Jewish Institutions & Organisations

Educational & Theological

  • Hebrew School and Religious Classes - founded in 1862(lx)

Other Institutions

  • A branch of Chovevei Zion was established in Shields in June 1891.(lxi)

  • A hostel for 30 refugee girls was established in Tynemouth (a small town which adjoins North Shields) during or immediately before World War II. The hostel was set up through the initiative of David Summerfield of Newcastle upon Tyne. At some point during the war it was moved to Windermere, Cumbria.


North Shields Jewish Cemeteries Information

Details of the Jewish cemeteries in North Shields:

  • Preston Road Cemetery, Jewish Section, Preston Road North, North Shields. Opened in 1856. Contains approximately 60 graves.

  • Newcastle Reform Synagogue Cemetery. This is situated at the other end of Preston Road Cemetery and is the cemetery of the Newcastle Reform Synagogue.

  • There were two other, now lost, early 19th century Jewish burial plots in North Shields, at Hawkies Lane and Chirton. Those interred in the latter plot were reinterred at the Preston Road Cemetery in 1924.

  • Click North Tyneside, for other Jewish cemeteries in North Tyneside.

(See also IAJGS Cemetery Project - North Shields.)


North Shields Jewish Population Data






(The Jewish Year Book 1903/4)



(The Jewish Year Book 1905/6)



(The Jewish Year Book 1909)



(The Jewish Year Book 1916)



(The Jewish Year Book 1920)



(The Jewish Year Book 1954)


Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) Lewis Olsover's The Jewish Communities of North-East England (1980), Book Two, Chapter Two, pages 251-255 ("Olsover's book"). An abridged version can be found in "North Shields" from Provincial Jewry in Victorian Britain

  • (iii) Jewish Chronicle reports of 11 April 1873 and 18 September 1874.

  • (iv) The Jewish Directory for 1874, edited by Asher Myers, states that a temporary synagogue at these premises was opened in 1873, and a Jewish Chronicle report of 11 April 1873 refers to North and South Shields having found premises for a synagogue.

  • (v) Jewish Chronicle report of 24 March 1876 and Shields Daily News report of 23 March 1876. and Olsover's Book, p252

  • (vi) A Jewish Chronicle report of 16 July 1875 refers to the premises being purchased in 1875, although Olsover's book pp.152/4, indicates (apparently incorrectly) that this took place in about 1880, when the building was enlarged.

  • (vii) History Directory and Gazetteer of Northumberland and Durham 1827, pp.164.

  • (viii) and (ix) Reserved.

  • (x) From Jewish Year Book 1909.

  • (xi) Jewish Chronicle report of 24 July 1953 and Jewish Year Book 1954.

  • (vi) Olsover's book p.155.

  • (xiii) From Jewish Year Book 1971.

  • (xiv) to (xvi) Reserved.

  • (xvii) The retirement of Rev. Bernstein was announced in the Jewish Chronicle of 12 July 1861 after seven years in office. He remained resident in North Shields and may have continued to serve the community for a year or two as there is no evidence of an immediate replacement being appointed.

  • (xviii) Unsigned notice of recommendation in Jewish Chronicle of 1 November 1864.

  • (xix) Listed as reader and shochet in The Jewish Directory for 1874, edited by Asher Myers. A Shields Daily News report of 23 March 1876 on the opening of the Linskill Street synagogue of the North and South Shields United Hebrew Congregation describes Rev Phillipstein as the officiating minister. However, the Jewish Chronicle report of the synagogue inauguration does not mention him.

  • (xx) Jewish Chronicle reports of 17 August 1888 and 6 July 1891. Rev. Friedeberg (later known as Frampton) had moved from Newcastle to Liverpool by 1891.

  • (xxi) Kelly's Directory of Durham 1890, which states that "There is a Jewish Synagogue in Linskill street, seating 50 persons" and lists amongst places of worship at North Shields: "Jewish Synagogue, 29 Linskill street, Rev. Abraham Isaac Scheff; Fri. evening & Sat. morning" - online. It is totally unclear whether Rev. Scheff was resident in North Shields or was a visiting minister who may have been resident in Newcastle upon Tyne.

  • (xxii) to (xxiii) Reserved.

  • (xxiv) Jewish Chronicle reports of 19 June 1891 and 6 July 1891.

  • (xxv) Jewish Chronicle report of 31 March 1893.

  • (xxvi) Jewish Chronicle report of 31 August 1900. By 1903, he was resident in Newcastle upon Tyne.

  • (xxvii) Jewish Chronicle report of 11 June 1909.

  • (xxviii) Based upon Rev. Cannon's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1918 and 1919.

  • (xxix) to (xxxi) Reserved.

  • (xxxxii) Where a person is first listed in a year book as holding a particular office, it has been assumed that his term of office commenced in the year of publication of the relevant year book and that he continued in office until the commencement of office of his successor, unless the office was vacant. Initially year books corresponded to the Hebrew year, and thus ran roughly from autumn of one year - the year of publication - until autumn of the next year. From 1909, year books were published according to the Gregorian year, being published generally towards the end of the year prior to the year appearing in the title of the year book. For example, if an officer is listed in Jewish Year Books 1919 through 1924, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1918 and continued in office until 1924. However, it should be noted that this is only an assumption and, accordingly, his actual years of office may differ somewhat from those shown here. Jewish Year Books were not published during World War II subsequent to 1940.

  • (xxvii) Henry Jackson is named as president in Jewish Chronicle reports of 1 February 1856, 4 December 1857 (election), 14 August 1863. and 1 November 1864.

  • (xxxiv) S.M. Lotinga is named as president in Jewish Chronicle report of 20 March 1861.

  • (xxxv) Selig Hyman is named as president in Jewish Chronicle report of 4 April 1862.

  • (xxxvi) Jewish Chronicle of 21 July 1896 reported that M. Barcynski had resigned after over 20 years as president. He was also listed as president in the first Jewish Year Book (1896/7).

  • (xxxvii) Listed as Alprovich n Jewish Year Books. Jewish Chronicle of 21 July 1896 reported that H. Alperovich had been appointed president.

  • (xxxviii) Jewish Chronicle of 22 March 1912 reported the death of Jacob Foster, president of the congregation. He was not listed in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (xxxix) As N. Science was listed as president in Jewish Year Books for several years both before World War II (1936 through 1940) and after the war (1945/6 through 1972), it is presumed that he also served during the war years, when there was no publication.

  • (xl) to (xlii) Reserved.

  • (xliii) Jewish Chronicle report of 4 December 1857.

  • (xliv) Named as treasurer in Jewish Chronicle report of 4 April 1862.

  • (xlv) Named as treasurer in Jewish Chronicle report of 1 November 1864.

  • (xlvi) Jewish Chronicle of 26 August 1898 reported the death of Joseph Moses Fisher, who "had been for many years treasurer of the congregation and lately also secretary for marriages".

  • (xlvii) Jewish Chronicle of 2 November 1900 reported on his election as treasurer. He was also listed as treasurer in the Jewish Year Book 1901/2.

  • (xlviii) It is uncertain whether he is the Myer Cohen referred to above.

  • (xlix) through (li) Reserved.

  • (lii) Named as resigning secretary in Jewish Chronicle report of 1 February 1856.

  • (liii) Named as newly appointed secretary in Jewish Chronicle report of 1 February 1856.

  • (liv) Jewish Chronicle of 26 August 1898 reported the death of Joseph Moses Fisher, who "had been for many years treasurer of the congregation and lately also secretary for marriages" He was listed as secretary in Jewish Year Books 1897/8 through 1899/1900.

  • (lv) Named as secretary in Jewish Chronicle report of AGM of 2 November 1900.

  • (lvi) As Esther Sheckman was listed as secretary in Jewish Year Books for several years both before World War II (1936 through 1940) and after the war (1945/6 through 1972), it is presumed that he also served as secretary during the war years, when there was no publication.

  • (lvii) through (lix) Reserved.

  • (lx) Jewish Chronicle report of 29 May 1863.

  • (lxi) Jewish Chronicle report of 19 June 1891.

North Tyneside Jewish Community home page

Jewish Congregations in Tyne and Wear

Jewish Communities of England homepage

Page created: 23 October 2005
Data significantly expanded and notes added: 12 March 2023
Page most recently amended: 19 February 202

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

Explanation of Terms   |   About JCR-UK  |   JCR-UK home page

Contact JCR-UK Webmaster:

JGSGB  JewishGen

Terms and Conditions, Licenses and Restrictions for the use of this website:

This website is owned by JewishGen and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain. All material found herein is owned by or licensed to us. You may view, download, and print material from this site only for your own personal use. You may not post material from this site on another website without our consent. You may not transmit or distribute material from this website to others. You may not use this website or information found at this site for any commercial purpose.

Copyright © 2002 - 2024 JCR-UK. All Rights Reserved