the former

Canning Town Synagogue

Plaistow, London E13



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former Canning Town Synagogue
The former Canning Town Synagogue, Barking Road, Plaistow
Photograph by Steven Jaffe, September 2021

Congregation Data


Canning Town Synagogue


269 Barking Road, Plaistow, London E.13.

The building was purchased in about 1919 as a freehold.(i) Subsequently significant structural alterations were required, which put a serious financial strain on the congregation.(ii)

Date Founded:

The congregation was first organised in 1904(iv) although it is possible that services had commenced before that date and according to Jewish Year Books from 1950 the congregation was founded in 1901.(v)

Final Status:

The synagogue probably had closed its doors in about 1969(vi) and is now the Al-Habib Mosque and Islamic Centre.(vii) However, the congregation still appears to have continued, at least on some level, even without a functioning synogague and few, if any, activities, until about 1976.(viii)


Ashkenazi Orthodox


A member or affiliated synagogue of the Federation of Synagogues, since at least 1910.(ix)


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

Rev. Simon Mirsky - about 1919/1920(xi)

Rev. Pesach (Philip) Agdeshman - from about 1928 until about 1932(xii)

Rev. J. Adler - from about 1932 until about 1933(xiii)

Rev. J. Sugarman - from about 1933 until about 1935(xiv)

Rabbi Jacob Kahan - from 1935 until about 1937(xv)

Lay Officers:

Except where otherwise stated, the data below has been extracted from Jewish Year Books. Generally, where a first name is given, this has been obtained from other sources.(xx)


1911-1913 - M. Moses

1913-1927 - J. Isaacs

1927-1929 - Jacob Baronovitch

1929-1931 - M. Moses

1931-1934 - S. Berman

1934-1935 - H. Lever

1935-1936 - L. Secunda

1936-1938 - S. Berman

1938-1943 - no data

1943-1945 - H. Granditer(xxi)

1945-1946 - M. Granditer

1946-1948 - H. Granditer

1948-at least 1956 - J. Leach(xxii)


1927-1928 - A. Lanchinsky

1927-1936 - Henry Levenson

1928-1936 - A. Leach

1936-1938 - J. Isaacs

1937-1938 - A. Leach

1938-1943 - no data

1943-1946 - J. Balkin(xxiv)

1945-1946 - A. Leach(xxv)

1953-1956 - A. Gordon

1954-1955 - Jack Leach

Vice Presidents

1927-1928 - M. Moses

1930-1931 - S. Berman

1931-1932 - A. Franklin

1932-1933 - L. Secunda

1933-1934 - L. Cohen

1934-1935 - L. Secunda

1935-1936 - L. Berlinsky

1936-1938 - J. Goldberg

1938-1945 - no data

1945-1948 - Jack Leach(xxx)

1948-1950 - D. Leach(xxxi)

1954-at least 1956 - D. Morris


1927-at least 1956 - M. Graniter(xxxii)

Hon. Secretaries

pre-1927 - M.A.R. Moliver(xxxiii)

1927-1928 - H. Phillips

1928-1938 - Bernard Green

1938-1945 - no data

1945-1957 - D. Nalkin

1957-1969 - D.E. Levenson

Officers of the Talmud Torah:

The data below has been extracted from Jewish Year Books 1928 and 1930 through 1936.(xxxvi)


1927-1930 - J. Green(xxxvii)

1913-1927 - J. Isaacs

1930-1931 - D. Davis

1931-1933 - L. Jackson

1933-1934 - D. Davis

1934-1935 - J. Isaacs

1935-1936 - D. Nalkin


1927-1928 - L. Secunda

1931-1935 - M. Granditer

Vice Chairmen

1927-1928 - J. Baronovitch(xxxviii)

1930-1931 - S. Berman

1929-1930 - I. Rome

1930-1932 - I. Shumkovsky

1932-1934 - J. Isaacs

1934-1935 - I. Shumkovsky

1935-1936 - L. Cates


1927-1930 - M.A.R. Moliver(xxxix)

1930-1935 - S. Beds(xl)


Delegates to the Federation(xliii)

1928-1929 - J. Baronovitch, J. Green

1929-1931 - H. Lever, J. Green

1931-1934 - S. Berman, M. Flansberg, J. Green, H. Lever

Delegates to the Burial Society(xliii)

1928-1931 - H. Lever

1931-1932 - J. Goldberg, I. Shumovsky

1932-1934 - J. Goldberg

Delegates to the Board of Deputies(xliv)

1930-1932 - Dr. J.H. Ripka

1932-1935 - H. Bagel

Membership Data:

Number of members (from Jewish Chronicle reports)(xlv)





Number of members (from Jewish Year Books)(xlvi)







Locality & Local Government District:

The localities of Canning Town and Plaistow, to its north, are relatively poor working class districts in the east of London, just to the north side of the River Thames and to the south of the district of West Ham. These districts never had a large Jewish population, unlike the London East End, a few miles to the west, and most of the Jewish residents were shop owners or street traders.

During World War II, many families moved away from Canning Town to escape the blitz and did not return the community had never fully recovered.(xlvii) After the was, many of the remaining Jewish residents also moved away to more affluent areas, in particular Woodford and Wanstead.

Canning Town and Plaistow are situated in the London Borough of Newham and were previously (until 1 April 1965) in the former County Borough of West Ham..(xlviii)

Cemetery Information

Federation of Synagogues cemeteries, see Cemeteries of the Federation of Synagogues.

Notes & Sources - These now appear towards the foot of this page, instead of the foot of this box. However, the note can also still be viewed in a pop-up box when the cursor is held over the note number.


Bibliography, Online Articles and Other Material
relating to this Congregation


Notable Jewish Former Resident of Canning Town

  • Marty Feldman (1934-1982), actor, comedian and comedy writer, was born in Canning Town. (Jewish Chronicle obituary, 10 December 1982.)


Other Congregational Institutions & Organisations

Educational & Theological

  • Talmud Torah (date founded uncertain, but still functioning in late 1930s)(l) - see list of officers above and 1919 photograph of staff and pupils.

Other Institutions & Organisations

  • West Ham Jewish Social Club (existed during 1930s)(li)


Congregational Records

Registration District (BDM):

Newham(lii) - link to register Office website

Marriage Records:

Marriage Registers deposited with Newham Register Office:

  •  1925-1942 (first entry June 1925; last entry 1937)

  • 1950-1977 (first entry January 1950; last entry May 1953)

The Board of Deputies (ref:16/4a/1) also holds a copy of the first register (from 1925) and gives reason for cessation as "disused", whereas the Newham Registry refer to the cause of cessation of such register as "Enemy action 1942".


Notes and Sources:
( returns to text above)

  • (i) Jewish Chronicle report of 17 February 1922, which refers to the premises being purchased three years previously

  • (ii) Jewish Chronicle reports of 21 December 1923 and 7 September 1934.

  • (iii) Reserved.

  • (iv) Jewish Chronicle report of 21 October 1904.

  • (v) Jewish Chronicle report of 21 December 1923 states that the congregation was established "over twenty years" earlier and the congregation celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1952 (Jewish Chronicle report of 14 November 1952). The congregation was not listed in Jewish Year Books until the 1911 edition.

  • (vi) Based upon the congregation's last appearance in the Jewish Year Books 1969.

  • (vii) Faith in Newham website, accessed February 2021, which also indicated that the building was used as a synagogue only until 1966.

  • (viii) The last known public notice issued in the name of the congregation appeared in the Jewish Chronicle of 30 April 1976, expressing condolences to the family of Sam Balkin, the congregation's hon. auditor, who had died suddenly and "who for so many years freely served this synagogue".

  • (ix) The congregation was listed as represented in the Federation of Synagogues from its first appearance in the Jewish Year Book of 1911.

  • (x) Reserved.

  • (xi) Rev. Mirsky appears in a 1919 photograph of the staff and pupils of the congregation's Hebrew classes. He is not listed as minister in any Jewish Year Book

  • (xii) Based upon Rev. Agdeshman's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1929 through 1932. There were no previous listings for the congregation.

  • (xiii) Based upon Rev. Adler's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1933.

  • (xiv) Based upon Rev. Sugarman's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1934 and 1935. There were no ministers listed for the congregation in the 1936 and 1937 editions.

  • (xv) Based upon Jewish Chronicle 1937 report of Rev. Kahan's appointment and his listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1938. There were no subsequent listings of ministers for the congregation.

  • (xvi) to (xix) Reserved.

  • (xx) 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. Year books were generally published 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. The Jewish Year Books were not published during World War II and ceased providing details of lay officers (other than secretaries) after 1956.

  • (xxi) Based upon H. Ganditer's election as president as reported by the Jewish Chronicle on 2 July 1943 and 1 June 1945.

  • (xxii) From c.1948 to c.1951, J. Leach was described as chairman instead of president.

  • (xxiii) Generally, the congregation was served by two wardens.

  • (xxiv) Based upon J. Balkin's election as warden as reported by the Jewish Chronicle on 2 July 1943 and 1 June 1945 and his listing (as Belkin) in the Jewish Year Book 1945/6.

  • (xxv) Based upon A. Leach's listing as warden in the Jewish Year Book 1945/6 and his election, as M. Leach(sic), as warden reported by the Jewish Chronicle on 1 June 1945.

  • (xxvi) to (xxix) Reserved.

  • (xxx) Based upon J. Leach's listing as vice president in the Jewish Year Book 1945/6 and his election as such reported by the Jewish Chronicle on 1 June 1945

  • (xxxi) D. Leigh was described as vice chairman instead of vice president.

  • (xxxii) Although there is currently no data for the years 1938 to 1943, as M. Granditer was listed as treasurer in the Jewish Year Books prior to World War II (1928 through 1937) and after the war (1948 through 1956), and was elected as treasurer as reported by the Jewish Chronicle on 2 July 1943 and 1 June 1945, it is presumed that he also served as such in the intervening years.

  • (xxxiii) In Jewish Chronicle report of the death of Mr. Moliver dated 10 May 1935, it stated that he was "for many years" secretary of the congregation. Jewish Year Books did not lists the secretary for this congregation until the 1928 edition.

  • (xxxiv) and (xxxv) Reserved.

  • (xxxvi) Officials of the Talmud Torah (also referred to as the Hebrew & Religious Classes or the "Cheder") were not listed in the 1929 edition. As regards methodology, see note (xx).

  • (xxxvii) J. Green was described as chairman in the 1928 edition and although unlisted in the 1929 edition, it is assumed that he continued to head the Talmud Torah, as he is described as chairman in the 1930 edition.

  • (xxxviii) J. Baronovitch was described as vice chairman.

  • (xxxix) M.A.R. Moliver was listed as secretary of the Talmud Torah in the 1928 edition and although unlisted in the 1929 edition, it is assumed that he continued in such capacity, as he is listed as secretary (and superintendent) in the 1930 edition.

  • (xl) S. Beds is also listed as superintendent of the Talmud Torah and in the 1937 edition is listed as its headmaster.

  • (xli) and (xlii) Reserved.

  • (xliii) Extracted from Jewish Year Books 1929 through 1934. As regards methodology, see note (xx).

  • (xliii) Extracted from Jewish Year Books 1931 through 1935. As regards methodology, see note (xx).

  • (xlv) Jewish Chronicle reports of 21 October 1904 and 17 February 1922.

  • (xlvi) Jewish Year Books 1911, 1915 and 1923.

  • (xlvii) Comment by Mr. J. Leach, president of the congregation at the synagogue's Golden Jubilee service in 1952, as reported in the Jewish Chronicle, 14 November 1952.

  • (xlviii) The London Borough of Newham, an Outer London Borough within the Greater London administrative area, was created on 1 April 1965 upon the merger of the former County Borough of West Ham (established in 1889) with the former County Borough of East Ham (established in 1915), both unitary authorities geographically in the county of Essex, together with some small adjoining areas.

  • (xlix) Reserved.

  • (l) The Talmud Torah was listed in Jewish Year Books until 1938, but probably continued after World War II.

  • (li) Listed in Jewish Year Book 1935, and mentioned in Jewish Chronicle report of 7 September 1934.

  • (lii) The former Registration District was West Ham, from the founding of the congregation until 1 January 1968. All registers would now be held by the current register office.

List of Congregations in the Federation of Synagogues 

Jewish Congregations in the London Borough of Newham

Jewish Congregations in Greater London (other than East End)

Greater London home page

Page created: 6 December 2006
Data and notes significantly expanded: 15 February 2021
Latest revision or update: 3 October 2021

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