Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue

Borehamwood, Hertsmere, Hertfordshire




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Congregation Data


Borehamwood and Elstree Synagogue, from about 1977


Borehamwood, Elstree and Radlett Synagogue, in about 1994/5(i)

Boreham Wood, Elstree & District Affiliated Synagogue, until about 1977(ii)


Principal Synagogue (BES@Croxdale)

Croxdale Road, Borehamwood, Herts WD6 4QF (iii)

Southside Synagogue (BES@Yahneh)

Synagogue, Yavneh College, Hillside Avenue (South Borehamwood), Herts(iv)
The Southside minyan started in about 2008 and in 2023, formal discussions commenced as to whether it should become a independent congregation.

Alternative services are also held at a number of other additional venues, including Gilah Hall and a private home in Elstree(iv)

Current Status:


Date Formed:



Ashkenazi Orthodox


A constituent (full member) synagogue of the United Synagogue from about 1977(vi). Initially, from 1955, an affiliated synagogue.



Senior Ministers:
(To view a short profile of a rabbi hold the cursor over his name.)

Rev. Malcolm Henry Malits - from about 1959 until about 1960(vii)

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Unterman - from about 1963 until retirement in 1976(viii)

Rabbi Alan Plancey (& Rebbetzen Miriam Plancey)  - from 1976 until retirement in 2007(ix)

Rabbi Dr. Naftali Brawer (& Rebbetzen (later Rabbi) Dina Brawer) - from 2007 until August 2011(x)

Rabbi Shimshon D. Silkin - senior interim rabbi from about 2011 until 2013(xi)

Rabbi Chaim Kanterovitz (& Rebbetszen Bianca Kanterovitz) - senior rabbi from November 2013 to November 2018(xii)

Rabbi Alex Chapper (& Rebbetzen Eva Chapper) - community rabbi (and rabbi of Yavneh minyan) from April 2017 to April 2019, and thereafter senior rabbi to present (September 2022).(xiii)

Rabbi Sam Taylor (& Rebbetzen Emma Taylor) - community rabbi (and rabbi of Yavneh minyan) from August 2020 to August 2022.(xiv)

Associate or Assistant Rabbis:
(Other than those who also served as a senior minister)

Rabbi Adam S. Hill - associate minister from October 1991 until October 1993(xv)

Rabbi Boruch Boudilovsky (& Rebbetzen Esther Boudilovsky) - associate rabbi from 2010 until 2016 (rabbi of the Yavneh minyan from 2013)(xvi)

Rabbi Yaakov Finn - assistant (part-time) rabbi from October 2013 until present (September 2022)(xvii)

Membership Data:

United Synagogue(xxi)

1955 -  49 male seatholders

1960 -  92 male seatholders

1970 - 165 male seatholders

National Reports & Surveys(xxii)

1977 - 325 male (or household) members and 30 female members

1983 - 445 male (or household) members and 44 female members

1990 - 794 members (comprising 781 households, 11 individual male and 2 individual female members)

1996 - 889 members (comprising 858 households, 8 individual male and 23 individual female members)

2010 and 2016 - listed as having 1,000 to 1,499 members (by household)

Congregation's website(xxiii)

2018 - 1,200 families, the United Synagogue's largest congregation.

Charitable Status:

As a constituent of the United Synagogue, the congregation operates within that organisation's registered charity status (registered charity no. 242552).

Local Government District:

The Borough of Hertsmere, in the county of Hertfordshire, formed in 1974. For details and history, see Hertsmere Jewish Communities home page.

Registration District (BMD):

Hertfordshire(xxiv) - Link to Register Office website

Cemetery Information:

For United Synagogue cemeteries, see Cemeteries of the United Synagogue., of which Bushey Cemetery is only about 5 miles away.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) This is the name under which the congregation was listed solely in the Jewish Year Book 1995.

  • (ii) This is the name under which the congregation was listed in Jewish Year Books through 1977, the current name being adopted with effect from the 1998 edition (apart from 1995 - see previous note).

  • (iii) This was the address shown for the congregation in all Jewish Year Books since 1958.

  • (iv) Congregation's website, accessed 1 August 2018.

  • (v) Congregation's website, accessed 17 January 2017.

  • (vi) Based upon the congregation being first listed as a constituent member in the Jewish Year Book 1978. The congregation had previously been listed as an affiliated synagogue.

  • (vii) Based upon Rev. Malits MA being listed as minister of the congregation solely in the Jewish Year Book 1960.

  • (viii) Based upon Rabbi Unterman being listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1964 through 1977.

  • (ix) Congregation's website, accessed 1 August 2018. Jewish Chronicle reported on 24 September 1976 that "Rabbi Alan Plancey, formerly youth minister at Hampstead Garden Suburb, takes up his duties on Rosh Hashana as the new minister of the Elstree and Boreham Wood Synagogue. Rabbi Plancey, who is 34, succeeds Rabbi Abraham Unterman who has retired. He takes over the pulpit of one of the fastest growing communities in the London area. Synagogue membership (nearly 350) has increased threefold in the past six year." Rabbi Plancey was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1979 through 2007.

  • (x) Rabbi Dr. Brawer's profile, formerly on the congregation's webside, accessed 1 August 2018. 

  • (xi) Based upon Rabbi Silkin being listed as interim minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 2012 through 2014.

  • (xii) Rabbi Kanterovitz's profile previously on the congregation's webside, accessed 1 August 2018. In October 2018, it was reported (Jewish Chronicle report 23 October 2018) that Rabbi Kanterovitz would be taking an immediate "period of leave....for an unspecified period" and in November 2018 it was announced  (Jewish News report 21 November 2018) that he would be leaving his role "with immefiate effect".

  • (xiii) Congregation's website, last accessed September 2022. 

  • (xiv) United Synagogue report of 27 February 2020; profile on Congregation's website, accessed August 2022; and press reports of his departure. 

  • (xiv) Reserved).

  • (xv) Based upon Rabbi Hill's LinkedIn profile, last accessed 24 June 2020.

  • (xvi) Rabbi Bouilovsky's profile on Young Israel's website.

  • (xvii) Congregation's website, last accessed September 2021.

  • (xviii) to (xx) Reserved).

  • (xxi) The United Synagogue 1870-1970 by Aubrey Newman (1977), page 221.

  • (xxii) Reports on synagogue membership in the United Kingdom, published by or on behalf of 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 various reports.

  • (xxiii) Congregation's website, accessed 17 January 2017.

  • (xxiv) The former Registration Districts were Watford (1 March 1996 until 1 April 2008), Elstree & Potters Bar (1 April 1995 until 1 March 1996) and Barnet (from the formation of Congregation until 1 April 1995). All registers would now be held by current register office.

Hertsmere Jewish Communities home page

List of United Synagogue Congregations

Jewish Congregations in Hertfordshire

Jewish Congregations in Greater London and its Outskirts

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 19 May 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes added: 1 August 2018
Latest revision or update: 16 September 2022

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