Peterborough Hebrew Congregation

Peterborough, Cambridgeshire




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Congregation Data


Peterborough Hebrew Congregation(i)

(alternative name Peterborough Affiliated Synagogue)

developed from Peterborough United Synagogue Membership Group(ii)


The congregation's address from 1954 was 142 Cobden Avenue, Peterborough, PE1 2NU.(iii)

In 2011, the congregation vacated these premises, which were to be sold, and commenced holding services in a rented room at a local church.(iv)

Previous Addresses:

The congregation (including the Membership Group) previously met in Westgate Congregational Church Hall, Westgate, although at times, in at least the late 1940s, it met at 12 Queen's Gardens, Peterborough,(v) the home of Charles Shaw, the president of the congregation.(vi)

Current Status:



In November 1940, an appeal was made to parents of Jewish children evacuated to villages around Peterborough with a view to making provision for their children's religious education and, at the same time, an appeal was made to Jewish residents in and around Peterborough who might be interested in forming a congregation and Jewish centre, with regular services to commence in the summer of 1941.(vii) Regular Sabbath morning services commenced in July 1941.(viii)

The Peterborough Jewish Institute was established in May 1941 to provide entertainment and other facilities to servicemen and Jewish residents and raise funds for charitable causes. It also organised religious services that year and next. In 1943 a United Synagogue Membership Group was formed to take over the running of religious services from the Jewish Institute which retained its charitable and social activities.(ix) However, the Jewish Year Book 1945/6 gives the year of founding as 1940.


Orthodox - Ashkenazi


A United Synagogue Membership Group from 1943,(x) the congregation became an affiliated synagogue of the United Synagogue in 1948(xi)

To view a short profile of a minister - hold the cursor over his name.

Rev. Beruch Ben-Zion Greenberg - minister and secretary from about 1940 to 1945.(xiii)

Rabbi Cyril I. Shine - minister in and about 1945.(xiv)

Lay Officers:

Unless otherwise stated, the data below has been extracted from Jewish Year Books, which were not published during the war years 1940-1945.(xv)

Hon. President

1948-at least 1956 - Charles Shaw



1947-1948 - Charles Shaw

1948-1951 - M. Bindler


Vice President

1950-1951 - J. Pearlson


Financial Representative

1943 - S. Walters(xvi)



1945-1946 - A. Walters

1947-1948 - M. Bindler

1948-1950 - M. Rose

1950-1952 - L. Kammer

1952-at least 1956 - M. Green


1943 - M. A. Marcus & L. Stechler(xvi)

1945-1946 - Charles Shaw & L. Stechler

1947-1950 - L. Stechler

1951-at least 1956 - M. Bindler & J. Pearlson(xvii)

1973-1977 - C. Conn


Hon Secretaries

1947-1948 - H.H. Thomas

1948-1952 - A. Levy

1952-1960 - A. Bindler

1960-1970 - Dr. B.B. Stein

1970-1971 - A. Coran

1972-1973 - L. Kammer

1977-1980 - C. David

1980-1981 - C. Conn

1981-1983 - A.J. Corran

1983-1995 - R. Dan

1995-2001 - C. Conn

Membership Data:

Male Seatholders(xx)









Reports & Surveys(xxi)

1977 - 18 male (or household) members and 2 female members

1983 - 20 male (or household) members and 5 female members

1990 - 27 members (comprising 17 households and 10 individual female members)

1996 - 19 households members

2010 and 2016 - listed as having under 50 members (by household)

Other Reports

2011 - 8 members(xxii)


Peterborough has no Jewish cemetery

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Listed under this name in Jewish Year Books from 1948.

  • (ii) Listed under this name in the Jewish Year Books 1945/6. The congregation was not listed in the 1947 edition.

  • (iii) This address was listed in Jewish Year Books from 1955, which also included the comment on the year the synagogue opened.

  • (iv) Jewish Chronicle report of 8 July 2011. Jewish Year Books continued to list the Cobden Avenue as the congregation's address until its last edition in 2015.

  • (v) The Westgate address is listed in the Jewish Year Books 1945/6, and 1950 through 1954, whereas the Queen's Gardens address only appears in the 1949 edition

  • (vi) Jewish Chronicle report of 11 December 1942.

  • (vii) Jewish Chronicle report of 15 November 1940.

  • (viii) Jewish Chronicle report of 18 July 1941.

  • (ix) Jewish Chronicle reports of 9 May 1941 and 27 March 1943.

  • (x) Jewish Chronicle report of 27 March 1943.

  • (xi) The United Synagogue 1870-1970 by Aubrey Newman (1977), pp.218/9 and 222.

  • (xii) Reserved.

  • (xiii) Jewish Chronicle report of 9 February 1945. A Jewish Chronicle report of 9 May 1941 refers to Rev. Greenberg as secretary of the Peterborough Jewish Institute. Rev. Greenberg was listed as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1945/6.

  • (xiv) Rev. Shine's Jewish Chronicle profile 20 September 1946.

  • (xv) Where a person is first listed in a Jewish 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. The year books were generally published 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 1947 through 1952, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1946 and continued in office until 1952. 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. There were generally no listings of lay officers, other than secretary, in editions subsequent to 1956. Publication ceased in 2015.

  • (xvi) Jewish Chronicle report of 27 March 1943.

  • (xvii) C. Conn was also a joint warden from 1953-1954.

  • (xviii) and (xix) Reserved.

  • (xx) The United Synagogue 1870-1970 by Aubrey Newman (1977), pp.218/219.

  • (xxi) 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.

  • (xxii) Jewish Chronicle report of 8 July 2011.


Online Articles and Other Material relating to relating to
the Peterborough Jewish Community


on other third party websites

Notable Jewish Connections with Peterborough

  • Nicolai Poliokoff, OBE (1900-1974) born in Dvinsk, creator of Coco the Clown, arguably the best known clown in the UK after the war, lived at Woodnewton village about 10 miles west of Peterborough. He died at Peterborough Hospital.

  • Harry Pitch (1925-2015), profesional harmonica and trumpet player, who recorded the theme music for Last of the Summer Wine and provided background music for the programme for over 30 years, was amongst the Jewish children who were evacuated to Peterborough during the war. 

  • Al Avarez (1929-2019), poet and writer, attended Oundle school, near Peterborough.

Peterborough Jewish Community home page

List of United Synagogue Congregations (and Membership Groups)

World War II Evacuee Communities

Jewish Congregations in Cambridgeshire

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 22 March 2003
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 27 November 2022
Page most recently amended: 10 September 2023

Research by David Shulman and Steven Jaffe
Formatting by David Shulman

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