Finchley Synagogue

Kinloss Gardens, London N3



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Congregation Data


Finchley United Synagogue(ii)

also known as Kinloss Synagogue

Former or Alternative Names:

Finchley Synagogue (from about 1931 until 1935 and from 1950)(iii)

Finchley District Synagogue (from 1935 until 1950)(iv)

Finchley Hebrew Congregation (until about 1931)(v)


Kinloss Gardens, Finchley N3 3DU (consecrated 1935, new building 1967)

previously at 7 Crescent Road(vii), from about 1931

Current Status:


Date Formed:

By 1929(viii)


Ashkenazi Orthodox (although there are also Sephardi services at the Synagogue - see "Persian Minyan" below)


Initially independent. Joined the United Synagogue, as a district synagogue, in 1935, achieving constituent (full member) status in 1950.(ix)

Web Site:


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

Rev. Benjamin Wykansky - from about 1929 to about 1932(xiv)

Rev. Marcus M. Goldberg - from about 1932 to about 1933(xv)

Rabbi Dr. Israel Porusch - from 1934 to 1939(xvi)

Rev. M. Bloch (temporary) - from about 1945 to about 1947(xvii)

Rabbi Dr. Benjamin J. Gelles - from about 1948 to 1981(xviii)

Rabbi Isaac Joel Bernstein - from 1981 to 1994(xix)

Rabbi Ephraim Yitzchak Mirvis - 1996 to 2013(xx)

Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence - 2014 to 2023(xxi)

Rabbi Yisroel Yaacov Fine (temporary part time) - from May 2023(xxii)

Assistant Rabbis:

Rabbi Michael Laitner - assistant rabbi from 2013 to 2023(xxvi)

Rabbi Nisan Andrews - associate rabbi from November 2017 to May 2019(xxvii)

Readers/Chazanim (Cantors):

Rev. M. Fried - from about 1937 until about 1940(xxx)

Rev. Abraham Isaac Jacob Rosenfeld - from 1941 to about 1970(xxxi)

Rev. Naftali Herstik - from about 1972 to about 1978(xxxiii)

Rev. Moshe Haschel - from 1988 to about 1993(xxxiii)

Rev. Eli Sufrin - from 2003 to present (May 2023)(xxxiv)

Persian Minyan(xxxv):

Under arrangements agreed in 2010, the Finchley Persian Sephardi Minyan, which for some years previously had operated out of the synagogue in Kinloss Gardens, formally joined Finchley Synagogue as a satellite community. The Persian Minyan holds services (in the Persian Sephardi tradition) in its own fully refurbished synagogue within the Finchley Synagogue complex.

Under the arrangements, members of the Persian Minyan are entitled to full United Synagogue membership status and Finchley Synagogue members' benefits. This was the first formal arrangement between the United Synagogue and a Sephardi congregation.

The Attendant Rabbi of the Minyan, since at least 2010 until the present (May 2023), is Rabbi Leibush Heller..(xxxvi)

Lay Officers:(xl)

Early Executive Officers

1930-1932 - H.M. Grant (President)

1930-1931 - P.V.. Tobias (Vice-President)

1931-1932 - M.A.. Morris (Vice-President)

1932-1933 - H.J. Morgenstern (Chairman)

1932-1933 - M. Bucks (Vice-Chairman)


1932-1934 - H.J. Morgenstern & M. Bucks

1934-1936 - R. Lipman & I. Sheppard

1936-1937 - D. Morley & A. Samuels

1937-1938 - D. Morley

1938-1939 - A. Bard & R. Lipman

1939-1940 - R. Lipman & D. Morley

1940-1945 - War Years, no data

1945-1946 - P. Woolfson & S. Davis

1946-1949 - P. Woolfson & H. Godfrey

1949-1952 - L.B. Cowan & S. Davis

1952-1956 - S.S. Levin & S. Davis

Treasurers / Financial Representatives(xli)

1930-1933 - A. King Hamilton

1933-1934 - M.A. Morris

1934-1936 - D. Morley

1936-1937 - S.J. Lambert

1937-1938 - E. Raeburn

1940-1945 - War Years, no data

1945-1947 - L.B. Cowan

1947-1949 - K. Gulperin

1949-1953 - D.W. Jayson

1953-1955 - A.S. Cohen

1955-1956 - M. Nathan

Hon. Secretaries / Secretaries(xlii)

1932-1934 - I. Amswych

1934-1938 - E. Raeburn

1938-1953 - A. Soester(xliii)

1953-1957 - D.S. Preston(xliv)

1957-1963 - M. Sagal(xlv)

1964-1965 - S. Silver

1966-1986 - A. Becker

Membership Data:

United Synagogue (male seat-holders)(xlix)









National Reports & Surveys(l)

1977 - 1,042 male (or household) members and 509 female members

1983 - 1,050 male (or household) members and 600 female members

1990 - 1,503 members (comprising 1,469 households, 28 individual male and 6 individual female members)

1996 - 1,219 members (comprising 1.107 households, 73 individual male and 39 individual female members)

2010 & 2016 - listed as having 1,000 to 1,499 members (by household)

Congregation's Newsletter:

Kol Kinloss. Can be viewed online from February 2018 at http://www.kinloss.org.uk/kol-kinloss

Charitable Status:

As a constituent of the United Synagogue, the congregation operates within that organisation's registered charity status (registered charity no. 242552).

Local Government Districts:

Finchley, a residential suburb in Northwest London, is in the London Borough of Barnet(li) and was (until 1965) in the former Municipal Borough of Finchley.

Bibliography -  Barnet

Registration District (BMD):

Barnet(lii)  - Link to Register Office website.


For United Synagogue cemeteries, see Cemeteries of the United Synagogue.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) This is the congregation name as shown on the congregation's web site from at least 2018 (and probably earlier), although the official name may still be Finchley Synagogue, as listed in the final Jewish Year Book (2015).

  • (iii) Finchley Synagogue was the name adopted when the congregation became a constituent synagogue of the United Synague in 1950. It had also been the name of the congregation prior to joining the United Synagogue in 1935 as listed Jewish Year Books 1936 through 1950.

  • (iv) This was the name adopted during the period the congregation was a district synagogue of the United Synague, as listed Jewish Year Books 1932 through 1935.

  • (v) This was the name under whch the congregation was initially listed, in the Jewish Year Book 1931.

  • (vi) Reserved.

  • (vii) This was the address in Jewish Year Books until 1935 (although on the first listing of the congregation in the 1931 edition, no address is given), the Kinloss address is shown from 1936. All post WWI Jewish Year Books give 1935 as date of consecration.

  • (viii) The congregation was first listed in Jewish Year Books until 1931.

  • (ix) The United Synagogue 1870-1970 by Aubrey Newman (1977), p. 221.

  • (x) to (xiii) Reserved.

  • (xiv) Rev. Wykansky's was listed as minister and secretary of the congregation in the Jewish Year Books 1931 and 1932. A Jewish Chronicle report of 25 July 1952 refers to Rev. Wykansky being the first minister of the congregation, serving it for five years.

  • (xv) Based upon Rev. Goldberg's listing as minister and secretary of the congregation solely in the Jewish Year Book 1933. There were no ministers listed in the editions for 1934 and 1935.

  • (xvi) Rabbi Dr. Porusch's online biography.

  • (xvii) Based upon Rev. Bloch's listing in the Jewish Year Books 1945/46 and 1947. There was no minister listed in the 1948 editions.

  • (xviii) Confirmed by upon Rabbi Gelles's listing in Jewish Year Books 1949 through 1981.

  • (xix) Confirmed by Rabbi Bernstein's listing in Jewish Year Books 1982 through 1994. There were no ministers listed in the editions for 1995 and 1996.

  • (xx) Rabbi Mirvis is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1997 through 2014 (except there was no listing of a minister in the editions for 1995 and 1996).

  • (xxi) Congregation's website, accessed 20 June 2021 and Jewish Chronicle report of 16 May 2023, entitled "Senior Kinloss rabbi steps down unexpectedly" announcing Rabbi Lawrences's sudden resignation.

  • (xxii) Jewish Chronicle report of 16 May 2023, entitled "Senior Kinloss rabbi steps down unexpectedly" regarding Rev. Fine's temporary appointment.

  • (xxiii) to (xxv) Congregation's website, last accessed 13 August 2020

  • (xxvi) Congregation's website, accessed 20 June 2021. Jewish Chronicle report of 16 May 2023, refers to Rabbi Laitner stepping doooown as assistnat minister at Pesach 2923. Rabbi Laitner also acted as minister of the congregation following the resignation of Rabbi Mirvis until the appointment of his successor and was accordingly named as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Book 2015.

  • (xxvii) Congregation's website and press reports. Canadian born Rabbi Andrews (m. Hannah), previously served as at a number of congregations in Canada and the United States and subsequently moved to became rabbi of Congregation Sons of Israel in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

  • (xxviii) and (xxix) Reserved.

  • (xxx) Based upon Rev. Fried's listing in Jewish Year Book 1938 through 1940.

  • (xxxi) Jewish Year Books Who's Who and online profiles. He was listed (initially on a temporary basis) as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1945/46 through 1970. There were no readers listed in the editions for 1971 and 1972.

  • (xxxii) Based upon Rev. Herstik's listing as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1973 through 1978. Rev. Herstik (born 1947, Hungary) was to became one of Israel's leading and best-known chazanim and served as chief chazan of Jerusalem's Great Synagogue (1981-2008).

  • (xxxiii) Based upon Rev. Haschel's listing as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1989 through 1994.

  • (xxxiv) Congregation's website, last accessed May 2023.

  • (xxxv) Jewish Chronicle report of 4 November 2010, entitled "Persian community join the US" and Congregation's website, last accessed 13 August 2020.

  • (xxxvi) Congregation's website, last accessed 19 May 2023. 

  • (xxxvii) to (xxxix) Reserved.

  • (xl) All the data as listed here has been extracted from Jewish Year Books. Where a person is first listed in a year book as holding a particular, it has been assumed that his term of office commenced in the year of publication of the relevent year book (which was generally towards the end of the year prior to year appearing the the title of the year book) and that he continued in office until the commencement of office of his successor (e.g. if he is listed in Jewish Year Books 1951 through 1954, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1950 and continued in office until 1954). However, it should be noted that this is only an assumption and accordingly his actual years of office may differ slightly from those shown here. Jewish Year Books were not published during WWII subsequent to 1940 and there were no listings of officers (other than secretary) subsequent to 1956.

  • (xli) From about 1935, the title of the office changed from Treasurer to Financial Representative.

  • (xlii) From about 1945, the title of the office changed from Hon. Secretary to Secretary.

  • (xliii) Mr. Soester was listed in Jewish Year Books as Hon. Secretary before World War II (editions 1939 and 1940) and as Secretary after World War II (editions 1945/6 through 1953) and is assumed that he continued to hold office throughout the War. He was also listed as Assistant Secretary in Jewish Year Books 1936 through 1938. Mr. Soester subsequently acted as secretary of the North-West Reform Synagogue, Golders Green (c.1954-c.1966).

  • (xliv) Mr. Davis subsequently acted as secretary of the Yeshurun Synagogue, Edgware (c.1957-c.1965).

  • (xlv) The surname appeared as "Fagall" in the Jewish Year Book 1958, but this is believed an error.

  • (xlvi) to (xlviii) Reserved.

  • (xlix) The United Synagogue 1870-1970 by Aubrey Newman (1977), pp. 218/19.

  • (l) 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.

  • (li) The London Borough of Barnet, an Outer London Borough within the Greater London administrative area, was created on 1 April 1965 upon the merger of the the Municipal Boroughs of Finchley and Hendon and Urban District of Friern Barnet (all of which had been in the former county of Middlesex) with the Urban Districts of Barnet and East Barnet (both of which had been part of the county of Hertfordshire).

  • (lii) The former Registration District was Hendon, from the formation of Congregation until 1 April 1999. All registers would now be held by current register office.

List of United Synagogue Congregations

Jewish Congregations in Finchley (London Borough of Barnet)

Jewish Congregations in Greater London

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Page created: 16 November 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 29 March 2018
Latest revision or update: 19 May 2021

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