Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation

Southend-on-Sea, Essex




Brief Profiles of Presidents

Researched and written by Anne Marcus

DAVIS KONTILI 1867 - 1931, PRESIDENT 1910 - 1917

Davis Kontili was one of the founders of the community. He was born in Romania in 1867, son of Moses and Hannah Koutili. Davis became a naturalised citizen in 1899 whilst living in London and working as a Fancy Goods Dealer. He settled in Southend and married Kate Steinberg. During his time in Southend he was an active member of St Andrew's Lodge in Shoeburyness. At the time of his death in 1931 he was serving as Vice-President, having handed over the role of President to Adelman Goodman. He was interested in many areas of the community and served as Chairman of the Shechita Board for many years. He is buried in East Ham cemetery.

ADELMAN GOODMAN 1874 - 1938, PRESIDENT 1917 - 1938

Adelman Goodman was born in Vilno in about 1874, the son of Berko and Hannah Adelman. He settled in Hackney, London where he lived for many years and traded as a boot manufacturer before moving to Westcliff with his wife Rebecca, whom he married in 1896. Adelman worked within the local community alongside his close friend Davis Kontili and took over the role of President from him. He was also actively involved in Freemasonary up until his death. He had three children, David, Lionel and Leah. Adelman died in 1938 and is buried alongside his wife at East Ham Cemetery.

LEON JOSEPH FEITELSON 1878 - 1970, PRESIDENT 1938 - 1968

Leon Feitelson was born in Chernegova, Russia, in 1878. His parents were Gershon, a jeweller, and Esther. Leon married Sophy (Sophia) Woolf in 1906 in Whitechapel and he became a naturalised citizen in 1910. They settled firstly in Upton Park before relocating to Southend. The family lived in Chalkwell Avenue and maintained a chain of jewellery shops. Leon was President of SWHC for over 30 years and had been appointed as an Honorary Life President. Leon died on 7 Jun 1970 in Southend, he is buried alongside his wife in Willesden United Synagogue Cemetery.


Sam Rosenberg was born on 25 April 1893 in Poland and came to England as a child. His family initially settled in London where he met and married Sarah Bach 1915. A few years later they moved to Southend. Throughout his life he was very active in the local community. Prior to becoming Chairman he held the post of Treasurer for many years. Within his years of service he was directly involved in the building of the Talmud Torah, the Youth Centre and the cemetery. He died in November 1978, whilst serving as President. He is buried locally.

HYMAN WINE 1905 - 1994 PRESIDENT, 1978 - 1982

Hyman Reuben Wine (known as Hymie) was born in Leeds in 1905. The eldest of three children to Annie & Harry Wine. In 1914 the family moved to London just before the outbreak of The First War.  Because of family circumstances he had to leave school at the age of 14 and was apprenticed as a dental technician. In 1935 he met and married Rachel Kronman of Nottingham and the family moved to Westcliff in 1939 where Hyman immediately joined the SWHC. At that time, on the outbreak of World War 2 many of the residents left the town. Alexandra Road Synagogue was the main centre of worship, Ceylon Road synagogue being closed during the war. Hyman was seconded as a member of the synagogue executive, first as secretary, then treasurer; also chairman of kashrus, ultimately as vice-president under Mr.S.B.Rosenberg as president. He became President in 1979 to 1982. It was he who appointed Rabbi E.Levy as minister in 1980, at that time a popular choice.

DEREK BAUM MBE 1927 - 2008, PRESIDENT 1982 - 1997

Born and lived in Westcliff-on-Sea. He went to Conway House primary school in Crowstone Road and then to Southend High School for Boys. He was evacuated to Mansfield in 1940 but returned to continue his education at Clarke's College in 1941. In May 1945 He volunteered for the RAF.
Derek married Nannette Sharpe on June 11th 1950 at Hendon Synagogue. Dennis was born in 1952, Colin in 1956 and Tina in 1962.
Derek joined the Southend and District Branch of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women in 1948 and became the Honorary Secretary between 1954 and 1958 and he was elected Chairman in 1960 and again in 1964 and then became its President. For 6 years from 1964 he also served as the National Honorary Secretary of Ajex and then 4 years as the National Vice-Chairman. In 1974 Derek was made a Vice-President and a Trustee of the Southend and District Branch of the Royal British Legion.
He represented the Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation as a member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews from 1968 to 1980 and was invited to become a member of the Chief Rabbi's Council in 1989. In 1967 he was elected as Treasurer of the Southend & Westcliff Hebrew Congregation and he served in that office for 15 years before becoming President in 1982 for another 15 years. When he retired as President he was elected as the Honorary Life President.
Derek was involved with many other national and local Jewish organisations including the Southend and District Jewish Representative Council and the Honorary Secretary of the Southend and District Council of Christians and Jews. His hobby was freemasonry which he joined in 1950 and in which he was very active and rose to very senior rank.
MBE Awarded in 1997 for distinguished service to AJEX and the Jewish Community.


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Page created: 28 February 2021
Latest revision or update: 10 March 2021

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