Finchley Progressive Synagogue

North Finchley, London N12



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Congregation Data


Finchley Progressive Synagogue

Former Names:(i)

Finchley Liberal Jewish Synagogue, from about 1964 until about 1970.

Finchley Liberal Jewish Congregation, until about 1964.


54 Hatton Grove, North Finchley, London N12 8DR(ii)

Current Status:


Date Formed:



Liberal Progressive


A constituent synagogue of Liberal Judaism (formerly the Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues - "ULPS") although the Congregation probably became affiliated to the ULPS only in the early 1960s.(iv)




(To view a short profile of a minister who also served other UK congregations - name in blue - hold the cursor over his or her name.)

Rabbi Charles Familant - about 1964(v)

S. Gerstein(vi) - about 1965

Rabbi Frank Heliner(vii) - from 1966 until 1999, and thereafter Emeritus Minister

Rabbi Mark Goldsmith - from 1999 until 2006(viii)

Rabbi Neil Janes - from about 2006 until 2010(ix)

Rabbi Rebecca Birk (known as Rabbi Rebecca Qassim Birk until mid-2016) - from 2011 until present (January 2020)(x)

Membership Data:

National Reports & Surveys(xi)

1977 - 260 male (or household) members and 72 female members

1983 - 270 male (or household) members and 59 female members

1990 - 358 members (households)

1996 - 459 members (households)

2010 & 2016 - listed as having 300 to 399 members (by household)

Congregation's Website

2018 - about 350 families(xii)

Congregation's Magazine:

Shofer, first published November 2012. Can be viewed online at https://issuu.com/fps.org.

Legal & Charitable Status:

On 23 December 2014, The Finchley Progressive Synagogue was incorporated as a registered company (company no. 09365956), a private company limited by guarantee without a share capital (and with an exemption from use of the word 'Limited'), but remained dormant until 1 January 2017.(xiii)

It is also a registered charity (no. 1167285), its current registration dating from 23 May 2016. The governing documents are the company's Memorandum & Articles Association.(xiv)

(Previously, the congregation was an unincorporated association registered as a charity, under the name Finchley Progressive Synagogue, (no. 1071040) on 17 August 1998, and whose assets and liabilities were transferred to the company from 1 January 2017. The governing document was the congregation's Constitution adopted 21 April 1998.)(xv)

Local Government District:

North Finchley and neighbouring Woodside Park, residential suburbs in Northwest London, are in the London Borough of Barnet(xvi)  and were (until 1965) in the former Municipal Borough of Finchley.

Bibliography -  Barnet

Registration District (BMD):

Barnet (xvii)  - Link to Register Office website.


See London Cemeteries of Liberal Judaism.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Based upon the name listed in Jewish Year Books. The change from "Congregation" to "Synagogue" first appeared in the 1965 edtion. The current name first apperaed in the 1971 edition.

  • (ii) The Hatton Grove address first appears in the Jewish Year Book 1965 (but without a number). The first reference to a number, "54b", appears in the 1986 edition and the Jewish Year Book 2002 is the first to refer to 54 Hatton Grove.

  • (iii) Although the Congregation was not listed in a Jewish Year Book until 1962 (when it was listed as a constituent of the ULPS), from that first appearance the Jewish Year Books containe a note that the Congregation had been established in 1953.

  • (iv) This would explain why it was not included in earlier Jewish Year Books.

  • (v) Based upon Rabbi Familant's listing as rabbi of this congregation solely in Jewish Year Book 1965.

  • (vi) Based upon S. Gerstein listing solely in Jewish Year Book 1966.

  • (vii) Jewish Year Book listings and the congregation's website, accessed 25 March 2018.

  • (viii) "Who's Who" entries in Jewish Year Books (latest 2015). 

  • (ix) Rabbi Janes's Linkedin profile, accessed 8 April 2018.

  • (x) Congregation's website, last accessed 2 January 2020. 

  • (xi) 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.

  • (xii) Congregation's website, accessed 25 March 2018.

  • (xiii) Open Corporates website, accessed 25 March 2018, and the Congregation's Annual Report and Financial Statements for year ended 31 December 2016 (filed with Charities Commission).

  • (xiv) Open Charities website, accessed 25 March 2018.

  • (xv) Open Charities website, accessed 25 March 2018.

  • (xvi) 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).

  • (xvii) 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.


On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to this Congregation

List of Liberal Judaism Congregations

Jewish Congregations in Finchley (London Borough of Barnet)

Jewish Congregations in Greater London (other than East End)

Greater London home page

Page created: 9 November 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 25 March 2018
Latest revision or update: 5 January 2020

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