Northampton Hebrew Congregation

& Jewish Community

Northampton, Northamptonshire




JCR-UK is a genealogical and historical website covering all Jewish communities and
congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.
NOTE: We are not the official website of this congregation, the address of which is given below .

Town of Northampton

Northampton, a large town in central England on the river Nene, has a population of approximately 200,000.

Northampton was a county borough from 1898 until 1974, when it became a district and borough within the administrative county of Northamptonshire. In 2021, Northampton merged with the adjoining districts of Daventry and South Northamptonshire to form the unitary authority of West Northamptonshire, within the purely ceremonial county of Northamptonshire.

The Jewish Community

There had been a Jewish community in Northampton in medieval times from at least 1189 until the 1290 expulsion. Jews began resettling in the town in the middle of the nineteenth century, although it was not until the 1880s that an organised congregation was established. As a result of the influx of evacuees and refugees, the community significantly increased in number during World War II. The primary book on the history of the community is A Short History of the Jews of Northampton (1996) by Michael Jolles.

Congregation Data


Northampton Hebrew Congregation


95-97 Overstone Road, Northampton NN1 3JW.(iii)

The building, originally a prefabricated wood and corrugated-iron mission church, was acquired from the New Jerusalem Church in 1890.(iv) The consecration of the synagogue took place on 3 September 1890, the dedication ceremony being solemnised by Acting Chief Rabbi Dr. Hermann Adler.(v) It was rebuilt in 1966.(vi)

Previously, the congregation met in hired halls, the latest of which, a temporary synagogue in the Corn Exchange, was used from the high holy days 1889.(vii)


The congregation was formally founded in 1888.(x) However, there were reports of services being organised in the homes of Northampton residents as early as 1885.(xi)


Active, although by at least 1989 services were held on Friday evenings, the festivals and occasional morning services.(xii)


Ashkenazi Orthodox


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



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

Rev. A.H. Echmann - reader and shochet in 1885(xvi)

Rev. Moses Bregman - from 1888 until about 1893(xvii)

Rev. Lazarus Lubetzki - from before 1893 until about 1894(xviii)

Rev. E.M. Kreugal - in 1896(xix)

Rev. Harry Jonas - from 1896 until about 1898(xxii)

Rev. Hermann Abrahams - from 1899 until about 1903(xxiii)

Rev. P. Stroud - in 1905(xxiv)

Rev. Joseph Blachman - in 1907(xxv)

Rev. Joseph Schachtel - in 1908(xxvi)

Rev. M. Woolf - in 1909(xxix)

Rev. Samuel Wolfe - from about 1910 until about 1914(xxx)

Rev. W. Jacobs - from about 1914 until about 1918(xxxi)

Rev. Nahum Roman - following World War I(xxxii)

Rev. M. Chilkowsky - in about 1924(xxxiii)

The following ministers and chaplains provided religious services in Northampton during World War II:(xxxvi)

Rabbi Dr. Selig S. Auerbach - 1939 to 1940;(xxxvii)

Rev. J. Kelman - 1940;

Rev. I. Abrahams - 1940 to 1941;

Rev. Ephraim F. Einhorn - 1940 to 1941;

Rev. I. Wuman - 1941 to 1942, mainly at Kettering and nearby villages;

Rev. Irving Chazen - 1942;(xxxviii)

Rabbi Moses Cohen - 1941 to 1945.(xxxix)

Rev. W. Neier - from 1945 until about 1947(xl)

Rev. Montague Levy - from 1947 until about 1949(xli)

Rev. Reuven Restan - from 1947 until about 1949(xliii)

Rev. Eli Susman - from 1947 until about 1949(xliv)

Rev. Mendel Yare - from 1955 until 1966(xlv)

Rev. David Lipsidge - from 1966 until 1969(xlviii)

Rev. Harold Silman - from 1970 until 1993(xlix)

Visiting Ministers or Officiants:

The following were reportedly visiting ministers, occasional officiants or otherwise residents of Northampton:

Rev. H. P. Levy - conducted services in Northampton in 1885(liii)

Rev. Isaac Aryeh Rubinstein - minister resident in Northampton in 1887(liv)

Rev. H. Bialistozki - minister resident in Northampton in 1887(lv)

Rev. A. Miller - conducted services in Northampton in 1904(lvi)

Rev. S. Herzberg (or Hertzberg) - minister resident in Northampton in 1907(lvii)

The following were visiting ministers to Northampton in the 1920s and 1930s:(lx)

Rev. David Isaac Devons from Coventry;

Rev. Abraham Newman from Leicester;

Rev. Philip Isaacs, from Coventry, between 1927 and 1950 he taught Hebrew in Northampton, and conducted funerals;

Rev. Rosenbloom from Croydon conducted High Holy day services in the 1930s.

Rev. Nathaniel H. Rockman - visiting minister from 1969 until 1971(lxi)

Rev. John Mitchell - high holy day officiant from 2000 until present (September 2021)(lxii)

Lay Officers of the Congregation:

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


from 1888 - G.M. Michel(lxvii)

1896-1898 - D. Salomon

1898-1901 - J. Lichtenstadt

1901-1908 - D. Salomon

1908-1909 - M.C. Michel

1909-1914 - M. Moss

1914-1917 - Saul Doffman

1917-1919 - M.C. Michel

1919-1921 - Saul Doffman

1921-1930 - M.C. Michel

1930-1935 - Saul Doffman

1935-1939 - H. Doffman

1939-1940 - A. Green

1940-1949 - no data

1949-1954 - B. Bernstein(lxviii)

from 1955 - no data

Vice President

1950-1953 - Hyman. Aber(lxix)


1896-1897 - H. Michaelson

1897-1908 - M. Moss

1910-1912 - Saul Doffman

1912-1914 - M.C. Michel

1914-1915 - T. Fish

1915-1918 - H. Doffman

1918-1925 - L. Michel

1925-1930 - M.C. Michel

1930-1934 - Harry Aber

1934-1935 - E. Heymanson

1935-1945 - no data

1945-1949 - L. Blake

1949-1951 - M. Douglas

1951-1952 - M. Black

1952-1953 - P. Rudd

1953-1956 - R.M. Allen

1958-1966 - J. Shulman

from 1966 - no data


1945-1946 - Henry Cohen

1946-1949 - Hyman Aber

1951-1953 - M. Douglas

1953-1954 - A.J. Jacobs

1954-1956 - I. Necus

1956-1987 - no data

1987-1994 - J.H. Josephs

from 1994 - no data

Vice Chairmen

1946-1949 - A. Jacobs

1951-1953 - A. JacobsI. Necus

1955-1956 - F. Beer


1949-1951 - A. MarcusA. Morris

1951-1952 - A. Marcus

1952-1953 - A. MarcusF. Beer

1953-1954 - F. Beer

Secretaries & Hon Secretaries

1896-1900 - E. Salomon(lxx)

1900-1909 - M.C. Michel

1909-1930 - Saul Doffman

1930-1934 - Hyman Aber

1934-1940 - L. Blake

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1947 - I. Kaska

1948-1949 - D. Marcus

1949-1951 - Mrs. J. Aronowitz

1953-1954 - J. Conn

1954-1966 - J. Maizels

1955-1969 - M.A. Jacobs

1969-1971 - J. Maizels

1971-1975 - Mrs. M. Markstein

1975-1980 - Mrs. F. Allbury

1980-1985 - J.H. Josephs

1985-1988 - Mrs. F. Allbury

Membership Data:

Number of Seatholders - as reported in Jewish Year Books







Reports & Survey(lxxvi)

1977 - 85 male (or household) members and 24 female members

1983 - 64 male (or household) members and 73 female members

1990 - 75 members (comprising 42 households, 9 individual male and 24 individual female members)

1996 - 67 members (comprising 31 households, 8 individual male and 28 individual female members)

2001 - 61 members (comprising 42 households, 5 individual male and 14 individual female members)

2010 & 2016 - listed as having 50 to 99 members (by household)

Charitable Status:

The congregation is a registered charity (no. 1191560), registered on 1 October 2020 (standard registration).(lxxvii)

Registration District:

West Northamptonshire, since 1 April 2021(lxxviii) - Link to Register Office website

Worship Registration:

The synagogue in Overstone Road is registered as a Place of Worship - Worship Register Number 69878 - under the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855.(lxxix)


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Northampton include:

  • 1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2016)

    • Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in:
      Northampton during the 1800s (1 record); 1810s (1 record); 1840s (3 records), 1850s (10 records), 1860s (11 records), 1870s (8 records), 1880s (5 records), 1890s (3 records) and 1900s (1 record).


Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Wolverhampton Jewish Community


 on Third Party Websites


Notable Jewish Connections with Northampton and Northamptonshire

(courtesy Steven Jaffe)

  • Ben Cohen MBE, born in Northampton in 1978, English Rugby Union international who is his country's third highest try scorer, is of Jewish descent.

  • The Rt Hon. Michael Ellis QC, born in Northampton in 1967, has been Conservative MP for Northampton North since 2010. He was formerly Solicitor General from 2019 and was appointed Attorney General in March 2021. He was Deputy Leader of the House of Commons from 17 July 2016 to 8 January 2018.

  • Major Samuel Isaac (1812-1886) owned one of the earliest mechanised shoe factories at Northampton. He was later the chief promoter of the Mersey tunnel.

  • Dr. Michael Jolles, an amateur historian and biographer of Anglo Jewry, was born in Northampton. Amongst his books, is a history of the Jewish community and a study of the Jewish cemetery in Northampton.

  • Lesley Joseph (b. 1945), actress, grew up in Northampton. She played the Jewish character, Dorien Green, in the television sitcom Birds of a Feather. In 1999 she was awarded an honorary MA by Northampton University.

  • Ivan Kaye, actor and producer, was born in Northampton in 1961. In 1992 he played Sam Sterne, a Jewish detective, in a London Weekend TV series.

  • George Leopold Michel (d.1911), the congregation's founder, established himself in about 1958 as an early manufacturer and trader in the leather and shoe industry in Northampton. His son Montagu (d.1939) was president of the congregation for 18 years.

  • Des O'Connor (1932-2020), TV presenter and singer, was evacuated to Northampton during World War II. His mother was Jewish and he joked he was the first O'Connor to have a Bar Mitzvah.

  • The Rothschild family have owned an estate at Ashton, near the town of Oundle, in East Northamptonshire since the 1850s. The estate was acquired by Baron Lionel Nathan de Rothschild. By 1874 Anthony de Rothschild and Mayer Amschel de Rothschild were also landowners in Ashton and Lutton parishes. The Ashton estate was inherited by Nathaniel "Charles" Rothschild (1877-1923) who in 1902 became the first Jew in Northamptonshire to be appointed a magistrate. In 1905 he became High Sheriff for the county. Dame Miriam Rothschild DBE FRS, natural scientist and author, was born at Ashton in 1908 and her brother Victor Rothschild, third Baron Rothschild (1910-1990), banker and scientist, played cricket for Northamptonshire.

  • A Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, Philip Ullman and a South African born German Jew, Arthur Katz, set up the Mettoy factory in Northampton in 1934. The company later manufactured Corgi toys in the town.

  • David Winnick, born in Brighton in 1933, Labour MP for Croydon South (1966-1970) and Walsall North (1979-2017) was evacuated to Northampton during World War II.


Other Northampton Jewish Institutions & Organisations

Educational & Theological

  • Hebrew & Religious Classes - from the formation of the congregation

Other Institutions

  • Jewish Ladies Benevolent Society - formed by 1913.(lxxxv)

  • Ladies Guild - formed by 1945.(lxxxvi)

  • A number of Zionist organisation existed in Northampton, including a JNF Commission, a Zionist Society and a WIZO branch.(lxxxvii)

  • Social organisations in Northampton included a Literary and Social Club, a Maccabi Association, a Youth Association and a Jewish Social Club.(lxxxvii)

  • Following World War I, there existed the Northampton Maccabean Soldiers' and Sailors' Club(lxxxviii) and following World War II an AJEX branch was formed.(lxxxix)

  • During World War II there was a kosher canteen in Palmerston Road, for evacuees, refugees and service personnel. There was also a hostel for Jewish refugee children set up in Holly Bank in Cliftonville. In the Jewish Year Books 1947 to 1949, there is reference to a hostel for refugee boys at 20 Abington Park Road, Northampton.


Northampton Jewish Cemetery Information

The Jewish cemetery in Northampton:

  • Towcester Road Cemetery, Jewish Section, in use since 1902.

There was also a Medieval Jewish cemetery in the town.

(For additional information, see also IAJGS Cemeteries Project - Northampton)


Northampton Jewish Population Data






(The Jewish Year Book 1896/7)



(The Jewish Year Book 1910)



(The Jewish Year Book 1945/6)



(The Jewish Year Book 1922)



(The Jewish Year Book 1945/6)


200 families

(The Jewish Year Book 1947)



(The Jewish Year Book 1952)



(The Jewish Year Book 1953)



(The Jewish Year Book 1954)



(The Jewish Year Book 1958)



(The Jewish Year Book 1983)



(The Jewish Year Book 1988)



(The Jewish Year Book 1990)



(The Jewish Year Book 204)


Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) and (ii) Reserved.

  • (iii) Overstone Road is given as the congregation's address in all Jewish Year Books. The street number is provided on page 1044 of the 2010 List of Places of Worship.

  • (iv) A Taste of Jewish Northampton, compiled by Donald Rainbow (2013), p.28.

  • (iv) A Taste of Jewish Northampton, p.27.

  • (vi) Jewish Heritage in Britain and Ireland by Sharman Kadish, 2015, p.155.

  • (vii) Jewish Chronicle report of 20 September 1889.

  • (viii) and (ix) Reserved.

  • (x) Jewish Year Books from 1945/6 and the congregation's website. The congregation celebrated its centenary in 1988 and its 125th anniversary in 2013.

  • (xi) A Jewish Chronicle report of 6 November 1885 refers to the dedicatory service of the room used as a synagogue in the Northampton home of Mr. G. L. Michel, subsequently named as president of the Northampton congregation.

  • (xii) Jewish Year Books from 1989.

  • (xiii) and (xiv) Reserved.

  • (xv) In most (but not all) instances, the list of ministers and their dates of service are taken from Appendix 3 - List of Ministers at Northampton to A Short History of the Jews of Northampton ("Jolles' Appendix 3") by Michael Jolles (1996).

  • (xvi) Jewish Chronicle of 6 November 1885 reports of Rev. Echmann's appointment. This was on the occasion of the dedicatory service of the room in a private home, prior to the formation of the Hebrew Congregation. Rev. H.P. Levy conducted the service.

  • (xvii) Jolles' Appendix 3 and various Jewish Chronicle reports relating to Rev. Bregman (spelled in severals ways) in Northampton, including final report of 11 August 1893 relating to his conducting services at Princes Street Synagogue.

  • (xviii) Jolles' Appendix 3 and Jewish Chronicle report of 28 April 1893 relating to a pastoral visit by the chief rabbi to Northampton, while Rev. Lubetzki was minister..

  • (xix) Jolles' Appendix 3. Rev. Kreugal (or Kreugel) was listed as minister of the congregation in the first Jewish Year Book (1896/7).

  • (xx) and (xxi) Reserved.

  • (xxii) Jolles' Appendix 3. Rev. Jonas was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1897/8 and 1898/9. The Jewish Chronicle of 11 December 1896 reported that the Rev. H. Jonas, of Waterford, had been elected minister and teacher to the Northampton Congregation

  • (xxiii) Jolles' Appendix 3. Rev. Abrahams was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1899/1900 through 1905/6.

  • (xxiv) Jolles' Appendix 3. Rev. Stroud was listed as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1906/7. The Jewish Chronicle of 13 October 1905 reported that Rev. Stroud conducted services in Northampton.

  • (xxv) Jolles' Appendix 3.

  • (xxvi) Jolles' Appendix 3. Rev. Schachtel was listed as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1909. Jewish Chronicle of 31 July 1908 reported that Rev. Schachtel had been appointed minister of the Northampton congregation and had taken up residence in the town.

  • (xxvii) and (xxviii) Reserved.

  • (xxix) Rev. M. Woolf was listed as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1910.

  • (xxx) Jolles' Appendix 3. Rev. S. Wolfe was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1911 through 1914.

  • (xxxi) Jolles' Appendix 3. Rev. W. Jacobs was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1915 through 1921 (although the last few year appear to have been an error).

  • (xxxii) Rev. Roman was formerly of Paris, France.

  • (xxxiii) Rev. M. Chilkowsky was listed as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1925.

  • (xxxiv) and (xxxv) Reserved.

  • (xxxvi) Jolles' Appendix 3.

  • (xxxvii) Rev. Dr. Auerbach was listed as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1940.

  • (xxxviii) Profile of Rev. Chazen from Jewish Chronicle reports. He was not listed in Jolles' Appendix 3.

  • (xxxix) Jolles' Appendix 3. Listed as Rabbi M. Cohen as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1945/6, the first to be published after the war time cessation of publication following the 1940 edition.

  • (xl) Jolles' Appendix 3. Rev. Neier was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1947 and 1948. His successor was appointed in November 1947.

  • (xli) Jolles' Appendix 3. Jewish Chronicle of 7 November 1947 reported Rev. Levy's appointment and he is listed as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1949.

  • (xlii) Reserved.

  • (xliii) Jolles' Appendix 3. Rev. Restan is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1950 through 1952.

  • (xliv) Jolles' Appendix 3. Rev. Susman is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1953 through 1955.

  • (xlv) Jolles' Appendix 3. Rev. Yare is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1956 through 1966.

  • (xlvi) and (xlvii) Reserved.

  • (xlviii) Jolles' Appendix 3. Rev. Lipsidge is not listed as minister of the congregation in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (xlix) Jewish Chronicle obituary 24 May 2002. Rev. Silman is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1980 through 1996.

  • (l) to (lii) Reserved.

  • (liii) Jewish Chronicle report of 6 November 1885.

  • (liv) Jewish Chronicle article of 30 June 1933 p.11 in relation to Rev. Rubinstein's appointment at Falmouth.

  • (lv) Jolles' Appendix 3. Jewish Chronicle reports of 24 June 1887 and 30 September 1887 places Rev. Bialistozki in Northampton.

  • (lvi) Jewish Chronicle reports.

  • (lvii) Jewish Chronicle report places Rev Herzberg in Northampton.

  • (lviii) and (lix) Reserved.

  • (lx) Jolles' Appendix 3.

  • (lxi) Jolles' Appendix 3.

  • (lxii) Jolles's Encyclopaedia of Chazanim, first edition 24 September 2021

  • (lxiii) to (lxv) Reserved.

  • (lxvi) 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. There were no Jewish Year Book listings of officers (other than secretary) subsequent to 1956.

  • (lxvii) Mr. G.L. Michel is the founder of the congregation and is named as president in a number of early press reports relating to the congregation. In 1885, even prior to the formal establishment of the congregation, a room in his home was used for services.

  • (lxviii) B. Bernstein was named as life president in the Jewish Year Books 1952 and 1953.

  • (lxix) Hyman Aber was named as life vice president in the Jewish Year Books 1952 and 1953.

  • (lxx) A "Mr. Salamon" was referred to as hon. secretary in The Jewish Chronicle report of 20 September 1889.

  • (lxxi) to (lxxv) Reserved.

  • (lxxvi) Reports 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 various reports.

  • (lxxvii) Charities Commission website, accessed March 2023.

  • (lxxviii) Previous Registration Districts: Northampton - from 1 July 1837 to 1 February 1924; Northampton and Hardingstone - from 1 February 1924 to 1 July 1936; Northampton - from 1 July 1936 to 1 October 2010; and Nothamptonshire - from 1 October 1936 to 1 April 2021. All registers would now be held by the current office.

  • (lxxix) Page 1044 of the 2010 List of Places of Worship.

  • (lxxx) to (lxxxiv) Reserved.

  • (lxxxv) First listed in Jewish Year Book 1914.

  • (lxxxvi) First listed in Jewish Year Book 1945/6.

  • (lxxxvii) Listed in various Jewish Year Books.

  • (lxxxviii) Listed in Jewish Year Books 1918 through 1921.

  • (lxxxix) First listed in Jewish Year Book 1950.

Jewish Congregations in Northamptonshire

Jewish Communities of England homepage

Page created: 2 March 2004
Data significantly expanded and notes added: 26 March 2023
Page most recently amended: 19 September 2023

Research by David Shulman, 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