the former

Stockton-on-Tees Synagogue

& Jewish Community

Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham




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Town of Stockton-on-Tees

The borough of Stockton-on-Tees, in the North East of England, has a population of about 175,000 and, since 1996, has been a unitary authority.  Prior to then, Stockton-on-Tees was a district of the now defunct metropolitan county of Cleveland, which had been formed in 1974. After the abolition of Cleveland in 1996, part of the borough of Stockton-on-Tees (including the core of the town itself and other areas that had been part of County Durham until 1974) was placed for ceremonial purposes in County Durham, although the area to the east of the river Tees, that had been part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, was placed for ceremonial purposes in North Yorkshire.  From 1968 to 1974, Stockton-on-Tees was part of the county borough of Teesside, which had merged the municipal borough of Stockton-on-Tees (with different boundaries from the present borough) with the county borough of Middlesbrough. The world's first railway line, opened in 1825, ran from Stockton-on-Tees to Darlington.

Stockton-on-Tees Jewish Community

Jews began to settle in Stockton-on-Tees in the 1860s and Jewish community activity dates from the 1870s. A congregation was formally established and a cemetery was opened in 1884, the purpose-built Stockton-on-Tees Synagogue being built in 1906. There were never more than about 35 Jewish families in the town, the community existing to some extent in the shadow of the larger Middlesbrough community, only some five miles away. Numbers began to decline following World War II and the synagogue was closed in the 1970s.

A notable event took place on 10 September 1933, at "the Battle of Stockton-on-Tees", when a show of strength by the British Union of Fascists in the town centre led to violent clashes with anti-Fascist protesters. This event is regarded by historians as being as important regionally for the north east as the better-known Battle of Cable Street which took place three years later in London's East End. A plaque at Market Cross in the town commemorates the event.(i)  

Congregation Data


Stockton-on-Tees Synagogue


The Synagogue, Hartington Road, Stockton-on-Tees (TS18 1HD), which dates from 1906 (foundation stone laid on 22 March 1906,(ii) consecrated by the Chief Rabbi on 23 October 1906).(iii)
Previously services were held from 19 September 1884(iv) in a room at the Crow's Nest, a tavern in Skinner Street, next to Messrs Maule's carriage works, Stockton-on-Tees.(v)

Date Founded:

See the Early History of the Jews of Stockton-on-Tees by Harold Pollins ("Pollins' History") (

An organised community was established in 1884, when the congregation acquired its first synagogue, led primarily by Isaac Alston and a number of other ex-Middlesbrough congregants who had separated themselves from their former congregation. Services had previously been held, since about 1874, in private homes.(vi)

Current Status:

Closed. Regular Sabbath services ceased in 1970 and the last Festival services were held in 1971.(vii) The congregation formally closed in 1972(vii) (being amalgamated with Middlesbrough Hebrew Congregation(viii)). The synagogue building was sold to the Wesleyan Church of the Nazarene(ix) and later became a Christian Science Church.(x)


Ashkenazi Orthodox.


The congregation was unaffiliated but under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi.

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

Rev. Benjamin Cohen - from at least 1886 until about 1914(xv)

Rev. Shalom Cohen - from about 1917 until about 1927(xvi)

Rev. Elias Goodman - from about 1928 until about 1930(xvii)

Rev. Harry Berman - from about 1939 until possibly 1945(xviii)

Rev. Armin Hofstadter - from November 1948 until 1951(xix)

Other Ministers and Readers connected with the Congregation:

Rev. Jacob Marks, who slaughtered the first bullock for consumption by the Stockton Jewish community and was referred to as Stockton's "newly-appointed Rabbi" by the local press in 1875.(xxii)

Rev. Samuel Gordon acted briefly as reader and shochet from at least 1881 to about 1883.(xxiii)

Rev. Bernard Joshua Salomons served briefly as minister in about 1884.(xxiv)

Rev. H.P. Levy served as visiting minister in from 1886 to about 1888.(xxv)

Rev. Isaac Domnitz is believed to have practised as a shochet in Stockton in about 1915.(xxvi)

Rev. I. Hirsch served as visiting minister from about 1918 to about 1921.(xxvii)

Lay Officers:

Unless otherwise stated, the data below on the lay officers of the congregation has been extracted from the following sources:
(a) Data to 1899 - Jewish Chronicle reports of officers elected at annual meetings;(xxxi)
(b) Data from 1899 - Listings from Jewish Year Books and Jewish Chronicle reports.(xxxi)


1884-1886 - Isaac Levy

1886-1888 - Isak M. Levy(xxxv)

1888-1890 - no data

1890-1891 - Isak M. Levy

1891-1894 - Asher Michelson(xxxvi)

1894-1896 - Morris Getz

1896-1899 - Asher Michelson

1899-1901 - M. Cohen

1901-1908 - Asher Michelson

1908-1910 - Eli Goldston

1910-1911 - Asher Michelson

1911-1913 - H. Taylor

1913-1914 - Asher Michelson

1914-1915 - H. Taylor

1915-1916 - Emanuel Hamburger

1916-1917 - A. Kaufman

1917-1921 - Cllr. R. Cohen

1921-1922 - J. Jackson

1922-1923 - A. Kaufman

1923-1926 - Ellius Sluifko

1926-1928 - Emanuel Hamburger

1928-1929 - Ald. Joshua Goldston

1929-1933 - Reuben Cohen

1933-1936 - J. Jackson

1936-1956 - Julius Mark

1956-1968 - Sigmund Hamburger

1968-1972 - Dr. David Manning


Hon. Life President

to 1958 - Reuben Cohen(xxxvii)


Vice President

1928-1929 - H. Taylor



1933-1939 - E. Lerman

1940-1946 - Louis Sive


1884-1888 - Asher Michelson

1888-1890 - no data

1890-1891 - Meyer Cohen (pro tem)

1891-1882 - J. (or I.Bloom

1892-1893 - A. Hyams

1893-1894 - Eli Goldston

1894-1895 - P. Bernstein

1895-1896 - Eli Goldston

1896-1897 - P. Bernstein

1897-1899 - Eli Goldston

1899-1900 - Asher Michelson

1900-1901 - Eli Goldston

1901-1903 - Asher Michelson

1903-1906 - Eli Goldston

1906-1908 - A.(sic) Hamburger(xxxviii)

1908-1910 - R. Cohen

1910-1911 - Emanuel Hamburger

1911-1913 - E. Lerman

1913-1914 - M. Cohen

1914-1915 - E. Lerman

1915-1916 - A. Kaufman

1916-1917 - J. Jackson

1917-1921 - H. Taylor

1921-1924 - M. Cohen

1924-1925 - J. Jackson

1925-1926 - E. Lerman

1926-1926 - H. Taylor

1928-1929 - Emanuel Hamburger

1929-1932 - Sigmund Hamburger

1932-1936 - Julius Mark

1936-1938 - B. Katz

1938-1940 - Louis Sive

1940-1946 - none data

1946-1956 - Sigmund Hamburger

1956-1960 - Louis Cohen

1960-1968 - Dr. David Manning

Honorary. Secretaries

1884-1885 - Asher Michelson

1885-1886 - Isaac Alston

1886-1888 - Asher Michelson

1888-1890 - no data

1890-1891 - Meyer Cohen

1891-1892 - no data

1892-1893 - A. Levy

1893-1899 - no data

1899-1902 - Reuben Cohen

1902-1903 - no data

1903-1905 - Hyman Cohen

1905-1908 - Reuben Cohen

1908-1910 - Emanuel Hamburger

1910-1911 - S. Goldston

1911-1914 - S. Garbutt

1914-1915 - P.C. Balcon

1915-1916 - S. Cohen

1916-1917 - J.(sic) Hamburger(xxxviii)

1917-1918 - Samuel Cohen

1918-1921 - Harry Cohen

1921-1926 - S. Garbutt

1926-1928 - J. Sarna

1928-1929 - J. Kaufman

1929-1933 - M. Galinsky

1933-1940 - S.M. Lerman

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1946 - Sigmund Hamburger

1946-1956 - Louis Cohen

1956-1969 - John H. Bloom

1969-1972 - K. Ruskin

Membership Data:

Number of Seatholders(xl)













Registration District (BMD):

Stockton-on-Tees (since 1 April 1996)(xli) - register office website


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Stockton-on-Tees include:


Stockton-on-Tees  Cemetery,  1885-2001 (134 records*)
*A search in the database may also reveal duplicates of these records on the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Register (JOWBR).


Bibliography, On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to Stockton-on-Tees Jewish Community


on third party websites

Notable Jewish Connections to Stockton-on-Tees

  • Judge Clifford Cohen (1906-1972), the son of the former Hon. Life President of the congregation, Reuben Cohen (a local magistrate), was born in Stockton-on-Tees. He was awarded the Military Cross in World War II and was a high profile "no nonsense" County Court judge on the Durham and Yorkshire circuit. (Profile on Findagrave website.)

  • Joshua Goldston (1877-1958) was elected the first Jewish Town Councillor in Stockton-on-Tees in 1906. He served on the Council for 39 years and was Mayor from 1927 to 1929 (also serving during such period as president of the congregation). (Jewish Chronicle obituary.)

  • Michael Marks (1859-1907) is said to have commenced his business career selling goods at Stockton-on-Tees market in 1883. He went on to co-found Marks and Spencer and is commemorated by the St Michael's brand. (Note and photographs on Picture Stockton Archive website)


Other Stockton Jewish Institutions & Organisations

Educational & Theological

  • Sabbath School (founded 1884)
    The minister or reader of the congregation generally also served as headmaster of school.
    Number of pupils:





    14 (11 boys, 3 girls)

    23 (12 boys, 11 girls)

    25 (15 boys, 10 girls)

    20 (14 boys, 6 girls)

Other Institutions & Organisations

  • Anglo-Jewish Association branch (founded 1887(l))

  • Board of Guardians (founded by 1929)

  • Chovevi Zion Association branch (founded 1891(li))

  • Jewish Ladies Guild (founded 1950(lii))

  • Ladies' Benevolent Society (founded by 1879, initially, jointly with Middlesbrough(liii))

  • Orphan Aid Society (founded 1892(liv))

  • Middlesbrough and Stockton Zionist Society) (founded by 1918(lv))


Stockton-on-Tees Jewish Cemetery Information

The Cemetery is the Jewish section of the Stockton Old Municipal Cemetery, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton TS18.

The grant of this section to the Jewish community, had been made as a result of an approach to the local burial board by a member of the community on 7 December 1883.(lvi) The earliest burial dates from 1885. It contains some 70 graves.

For plans of the cemeteries and details of burials, including photographs of headstones, see Stockton Cemetery on the Kehilat Middlesbrough website.

Burial records of the cemetery are also in the All-UK Database and JOWBR (see above).

(For additional information, see also IAJGS Cemetery Project - Stockton-on-Tees.)


Stockton Jewish Population Data


about 100

(The Jewish Year Book 1895/96)



(The Jewish Year Book 1935)



(The Jewish Year Book 1945/6)



(The Jewish Year Book 1947)



(The Jewish Year Book 1948)



(The Jewish Year Book 1954)



(The Jewish Year Book 1960)


Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) Northern Echo article of 15 October 2011.

  • (ii) Jewish Chronicle report of 23 March 1906. This address was first listed in the Jewish Year Book 1906/7

  • (iii) Jewish Chronicle report of 26 October 1906.

  • (iv) Jewish Chronicle reports of 5 September 1884 and 26 September 1884.

  • (v) The Jewish Communities of North East England by Lewis Olsover, 1981, Book Two, Chapter 10 ("Olsover's Book"), p.307.

  • (vi) Olsover's Book, p.307 and Pollins' History.

  • (vii) Jewish Chronicle report of 23 June 1972.

  • (viii) Jewish Year Book 1975.

  • (xi) Jewish Chronicle report of 3 November 1972.

  • (x) Jewish Heritage in Britain and Ireland by Sharman Kadish, 2015, p.233.

  • (xi) to (xiii) Reserved.

  • (xiv) Although those listed here (apart from Rev. B. Cohen) were appointed as reader (and generally shochet), they would actually have performed all the functions of a minister.

  • (xv) According to Olsover's Book, p.307, Rev. B. Cohen served the Stockton community "for at least 30 years until 1914". However, the first Jewish Chronicle report of him officiating at the congregation is a report of 8 November 1886. The last press report of him at the congregation was a Jewish Chronicle report of 3 January 1913 relating to his silver wedding. He died in, or shortly after leaving, office. He had certainly died by 1916 (a Jewish Chronicle family engagement notice of 24 November 1916 refers to him as "the late Rev B Cohen") and his death most probably occurred in 1914, when the congregation placed an advertisement in the Jewish Chronicle of 22 May 1914 for a chazan and shochet. The Jewish Year Books erroneously list Rev. B. Cohen as minister through to the 1918 edition.

  • (xvi) Based upon Rev. S. Cohen's listing as reader, teacher and shochet of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1918 through 1928.

  • (xvii) Based upon Rev. E Goodman's listing as reader, teacher and shochet of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1929 and 1930.

  • (xviii) Based upon Rev. Berman's listing as reader, teacher and shochet of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1931 through 1939 and in the 1945/6 edition (although the final listing may have been an error). The Year Book was not published during World War II.

  • (xix) Appointment - Jewish Chronicle report of 10 December 1948. Although Rev. Hofstadter was listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1950 through 1953, he moved to Canada in 1951 (Olsover's Book, p.309 and Jewish Chronicle report of 23 June 1972).

  • (xx) to (xxi) Reserved.

  • (xxii) Jewish Chronicle report of 18 December 1875.

  • (xxiii) Samuel Gordon was described in the 1881 Census as "Hebrew minister" at Stockton-on-Tees. In a 1883 case before the Stockton County Court, involving Rev. Gordon, reported by The Jewish Chronicle on 17 January 1883, he was described as "a scripture-reader to the Jewish community in the town", "the officially-approved slaughterer" and "a vendor of Dutch clocks and old clothes".

  • (xxiv) Also known as Benjamin Salomons. Jewish Chronicle obituary for Rev. Salomons dated 1 April 1938.

  • (xxv) Jewish Chronicle report of 17 August 1888.

  • (xxvi) Rev Isaac Domnitz, a shochet, was living in Stockton-on-Tees in 1915, when his son Jaoob was born - profile of B/A Sgt.Jacob Dominitz on the former Jews in RAF website.

  • (xxvii) Based upon Rev. Hirsch's listing as visiting minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1919 through 1921.

  • (xxviii) to (xxx) Reserved.

  • (xxxi) The election of officers took place at the initially meeting of the congregation in 1884, reported by the Jewish Chronicle on 5 September 1884, and at subsequent annual meetings, reported by the Jewish Chronicle on 18 September 1885 (1885 AGM); 8 October 1886 (1886 AGM); 7 October 1887 (1887 AGM); (no reports available for 1888 and 1889 AGMs); 24 October 1890 (1890 AGM); 23 October 1891 (1891 AGM); 14 October 1892 (1892 AGM); 29 September 1893 (1893 AGM); 2 November 1894 (1894 AGM); 11 October 1895 (1895 AGM); 25 October 1896 (1896 AGM); 22 October 1897 (1897 AGM); and 28 October 1898 (1898 AGM).

  • (xxxii) Although the Jewish Year Book was first published 1896/7, we have used the more reliable data from Jewish Chronicle reports of annual meetings for the years to 1899. Thereafter, annual meetings were not reported every year by the Jewish Chronicle. However many were and where such meetings were reported and information differs from the Jewish Year Book listings, we have relied on such reports. Where a person is first listed in a Jewish Year Book as holding a particular office, it is generally assumed that his term of office commenced in the year of publication of the relevant year book (or the previous year, if it is known that the congregation held its general meetings after the date of publication). Initially year books corresponded to the Hebrew year, and thus ran roughly from autumn of one year until autumn of the next year, and were published in late summer. 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 the title of the year book. For example, if an officer is listed in Jewish Year Books 1935 through 1938, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1934 and continued in office until 1938. 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, nor were there any listings of lay officers (other than secretary) subsequent to 1956.

  • (xxxiii) and (xxxiv) Reserved.

  • (xxxv) It is uncertain whether Isaac Levy and Isak M. Levy are the same person.

  • (xxxvi) Michelson was born Asher Przedecky. 1887 Naturalisation Certificate.

  • (xxxvii) Jewish Chronicle report 16 October 1959 and obituary. Date of appointment not known.

  • (xxxviii) Believed to be a typographical error in the Jewish Year Book, most probably the initial should have been "E." (for Emanuel).

  • (xxxix) Reserved.

  • (xl) Board of Deputies Returns 1884, 1890 and 1900. Other years, Jewish Year Books.

  • (xli) Former registration districts: Central Cleveland - 1 April 1974 to 1 April 1996; Teeside - 1 October 1971 to 1 April 1974; Teeside North - 1 April 1968 to 1 October 1971; Durham South Eastern - 1 July 1938 to 1 April 1968; and Stockton - 1 July 1838 to 1 July 1938. Any records would now be held by the current register office.

  • (xlii) to (xlix) Reserved.

  • (l) Jewish Chronicle report of 8 April 1887.

  • (li) Jewish Chronicle report of 19 June 1891.

  • (lii) Jewish Chronicle report of 6 January 1950.

  • (liii) Jewish Chronicle report of 31 January 1879.

  • (liv) Jewish Chronicle report of 29 July 1892.

  • (lv) Jewish Chronicle report of 3 August 1900.

  • (lvi) Jewish Chronicle report of 8 February 1884.


Jewish Congregations in County Durham

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Page created: 15 March 2004
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 18 April 2021
Page most recently amended: 20 February 2024

Research and formatting by David Shulman

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