the former

Newcastle Beth Hamedrash

Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear



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Congregation Data


The Beth Hamedrash, Newcastle(ii)


12 Villa Place (off Westgate Road), Newcastle upon Tyne

The building was consecrated in May 1891 by Rev. Lewis Mendelssohn and afternoon prayers were conducted by Rev. David Applebaum.(iii)


There had been a significant increase in the number of Jews in Newcastle as a result those fleeing the pogroms and Czarist persecution in Russia and Poland, which intensified following the assasination of Czar Alexander II in 1881. The new arrivals had generally worshipped in "der Heim" (their country of origin) in "shtibles" (small prayer houses) and often felt out of place worshipping in a large "cathedral-type" synagogue with cantor, a choir and rabbis in canonicals and clerical collars, such as Leazes Park Synagogue. Accordingly in 1891, at the instigation of Rev. Samuel Friedeberg, a house was rented in Villa Place and converted into a place of prayer and learning for the exclusive use of the newcomers. So the Beth Hamedrash was born and, in 1895, the freehold of the premises was purchased.(iv)

Final Status:

In 1916, the Beth Hamedrash amalgamated with Corporation Street Synagogue, but continued to be used for daily services and study, but the Sabbath and Festival services were henceforth held in Corporation Street and High Holy Day services held in the nearby Westgate Hall. However both congregations continued to function under separate administrations for several years, although united in name. Finally, in 1924, both congregations became united in administration and worship with opening of a new purpose-built synagogue in Ravensworth Terrace, under the name Newcastle United Hebrew Congregation and Beth Hamedrash.(v)
(Note: this was the second instance of the formation of a "United Hebrew Congregation" in Newcastle, the first was 1880 merger (Leazes Park Road Synagogue) and a third was the 1973 merger.)


Ashkenazi Orthodox


The Beth Hamedrash was not an independent congregation, but was, until its amalgamation, an affiliated body of the Leazes Park Road Synagogue.(vi)

Rabbis and Ministers(viii):

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

Rabbi Abraham Aaron Yudelovitch - about the 1890's (ix)

Rabbi Y.M. Sandelson - minister from 1890s until about 1919/1920(x)

Rev. Kraut - reader from 1919 until about 1920.(xi)

Rev. S. Rosenbloom - from about 1917 until about 1919(xii)

Rev. Shachtel - minister from about 1919 until about 1921(xiii)



Joseph Rosenberg - dates not known(xvi)

M. Krantz - 1896-1899, 1901-1902(xvii)

D. Cohen - 1899-1900(xviii)

Moses Cohen - 1900-1901(xix)

H. Rothfield - 1902-1905(xx)

I. Segal - 1905-1913(xxi)

E. Morris - 1914-1921(xxii)

M. Wiseman - dates not known(xxiii)


Hon. Secretaries(xxv)

1896-1901 - S. Rosenberg

1901-1902 - L. Krowitz

1902-1905 - B. Bromberger

1905-1906 - D. Sandelman

1906-1907 - D. Rubinstein

1907-1911 - M. Benjamin

1911-1921 - E. Block


1896-1899 - N. Meltzer

1899-1900 - M. Falk

1900-1901 - L. Richman

1901-1902 - M. Fenwick

1902-1905 - Mr. Adleman

1905-1906 - Rev. J. Cohen

1906-1907 - A. Balkind

1907-1911 - H.D. Abrahams

1911-1913 - J. Levy

1913-1915 - B. Morris

1915-1921 - J. Levy

Membership Data:

about 1891 - 72 members (with 65 children)(xxvi)


The Orthodox Community in Newcastle has several Jewish cemeteries, for details see Newcastle Cemetery Information on Newcastle home page.


Affiliated Institutions & Organisations

  • Chevra Mishnayot (established early 1890s), for the study of the Mishna.


Congregational Records


  • Numerous records of the Jewish Communities in Northeast England (only a sample of which are listed below) are deposited with the Tyne and Wear Archives Service (http://www.legacyarchives.org.uk)

  • CLICK HERE to view a list of these records (correct to December 2005).

Congregational Records:

  • Minutes 1901-1909-  Tyne and Wear Archives Service (see above)

  • (The minutes prior to 1901 appear to have been lost.)

Registration District (BMD):


Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) Beth Hamedrash means House of Learning in Hebrew.

  • (iii) Service and Scandal by Daniel Appleby (2013), p.58 and the Jewish Chronicle 29 May 1891, p.19.

  • (iv) The Jewish Communities of North-East England by Lewis Olsover (1980) ("Olsover's Book"), p.37. 

  • (v) Olsover's Book, p.42.

  • (vi) Olsover's Book, p.37.

  • (vii) Reserved.

  • (viii) Appendix 1 to The Jewish Communities of North-East England by Lewis Olsover (1980) ("Olsover's Book") provides lists of various office holders of the congregations in Newcastle. These lists include the ministers, readers and presidents of this congregation (p.204), together with the year of commencement (but not year of termination) of the term of service of the respective office holders. For the purposes of the data provided here, we have used these lists to indicate the year of commencement of service unless such year is inconsistent (which is the case in a number of instances) with information provided from other, possibly more reliable, sources.

  • (ix) Olsover's Book, p.37 (although no initial is given), quoting the late Chief Rabbi Dr. Brodie. He was the Beth Hamedrash's first rabbi, but the years of service are not given.

  • (x) Although Rabbi Sandelson was not listed in Jewish Year Books as rabbi of the Beth Hamedrash until 1906/7, it would appear from Olsover's Book that he served as such from some years earlier. He remained listed in Jewish Year Books as rabbi of the congregation until 1917 and, according to Olsover's Book, p.42, it was not until 1920 that he transferred his service from the Beth Hamedrash to the Corporation Street Synagogue.

  • (xi) According to Olsover's Book, p.42, a Rev. E. Kraut transferred his service from the Beth Hamedrash to the Corporation Street Synagogue in 1920. However, it is believed that this is the same person who elsewhere is described as Rev. Abraham Kraut and came to Newcastle in 1919. He is not listed in Jewish Year Books with regard to the Beth Hamedrash.

  • (xii) Based upon Rev. Rosenbloom listing as minister in Jewish Year Books 1918 and 1919.

  • (xiii) Based upon Rev. Shachtel listing as minister in Jewish Year Books 1920 and 1921.

  • (xiv) and (xv) Reserved.

  • (xvi) Mr. Rosenberg is the first president listed in Olsover's Book, p.205, without any dates. Elsewhere (p.37), Olsover mentions that Rosenberg (who was treasurer of Leazes Park Road Synagogue in the 1890s) was instrumental in setting up the Beth Hamedrash. He is not mentioned in the Jewish Year Books with regard to this congregation.

  • (xvii) Based upon Mr. Krantz's listing as president of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1896/97 through 1899/99, and 1901/02. (Also listed Olsover's Book without dates, except for reference to him being president as of 9 April 1901).

  • (xviii) Based upon Mr. D. Cohen's listing as president of the congregation in Jewish Year Book 1899/1900 (not listed Olsover's Book).

  • (xix) Based upon Mr. M. Cohen's listing as president of the congregation in Jewish Year Book 1900/01 (not listed Olsover's Book).

  • (xx) Based upon Mr. Rothfield's listing as president of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1902/03 through 1904/05 (not listed Olsover's Book).

  • (xxi) Based upon Mr. Segal's listing as president of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1905/06 through 1913 (also listed Olsover's Book, without dates).

  • (xxii) Based upon Mr. Morris's listing as president of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1914 through 19021 (not listed Olsover's Book).

  • (xxiii) Mr. Wiseman is at the bottom of the list of presidents listed in Olsover's Book, p.205, without dates. He is not mentioned in the Jewish Year Books.

  • (xxiv) Reserved

  • (xxv) The data on the treasurers and hon secretaries of the congregation, as listed here, has been extracted from Jewish Year Books. Where a person was 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, which was generally towards the end of the year prior to year appearing in the title of the year book and that he continued in office until the commencement of office of his successor (e.g. if he was listed in Jewish Year Books 1915 through 1920, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1914 and continued in office until 1920). However, it should be noted that this is only an assumption and accordingly his actual years of office may differ from those shown here.

  • (xxvi) Olsover's Book, p.38.

Newcastle upon Tyne Jewish Community home page

Jewish Congregations in Tyne and Wear

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 12 June 2005
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 23 April 2020
Page most recently amended: 27 February 2024

Research and formatting by David Shulman

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