Finchley Reform Synagogue

North Finchley, London N12



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Congregation Data


Finchley Reform Synagogue

Former Name:

Woodside Park & District Reform Synagogue, until about 1963.(i)


299/101 Fallow Court Avenue, North Finchley, London N12 0BE

Previous Address:

Previously (until about 1969(ii)) at Granville Hall, Granville Road, Finchley, London N12, and prior to then (until about 1963(iii)) in Unitarian Church, Woodside Park, N.12

Current Status:


Date Founded:





A constituent synagogue of the Movement for Reform Judaism (formerly the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain), having joined the movement in 1962.(v)



Senior Ministers and Rabbinical Team:
(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 Henry Goldstein - Rabbi from 1968 until 1973.(vi)

Rabbi Jeffrey Newman (vii) - Senior Rabbi from 1973 until 2000, and thereafter emeritus rabbi.

Rabbi Lee Wax - Rabbi from about 2002 until about 2005.(viii)

Rabbi Roderick Young - Senior Rabbi from about 2006 until about 2008.(ix)

Rabbi Miriam Bayfield(x) - Rabbi from about 2006 until about 2008.

Rabbi Miriam Berger(xi) - Initially Associate Rabbi (from 2006) then Principal Rabbi from 2008 until present (June 2021).

Associate or Assistant Rabbis:

Rabbi Sheila Shulman - Rabbi from about 2000 until about 2005, initially part-time, then for a number of years as half-time associate rabbi, then part-time again.(xiv)

Rabbi Colin Eimer (part-time) - Senior Rabbi from 2001 until 2005.(xv)

Rabbi Howard Cooper - Rabbi from at least 2010, and probably much earlier until present (June 2021).(xvi)

Rabbi Danny Newman - from August 2017 until about 2018(xvii)


Cantor Zöe Jacobs(xx) - Ordained Cantor, from at least 2010 until present (June 2021).

Membership Data:

Congregation's Website

1960 - about 20 families(xxii)

National Reports & Surveys(xxiii)

1977 - 315 male (or household) members and 33 female members

1983 - 350 male (or household) members and 71 female members

1990 - 528 members (comprising 387 households, 53 individual male and 88 individual female members)

1996 - 639 members (comprising 527 households, 39 individual male and 73 individual female members)

2010 - listed as having 500 to 749 members (by household)

2016 - listed as having 750 to 999 members (by household)

Congregation's Magazine:

Newsletter, first published 1961, which subsequently became the Tree of Life.

Legal & Charitable Status:

Finchley Reform Synagogue is a private (non-profit) company limited by guarantee without share capital and with use of 'Limited' exemption (company number: 07321494), incorporated on 21 July 2010.(xxiv)

It is also a registered charity, its current registration dating from 20 August 2010 (registered charity number: 1137557). The governing documents are the Company's Memorandum & Articles Association.(xxv)

(The congregation's previous registration as a registered charity was from 25 July 1996 until 19 June 2012 (registered charity number: 1057953).The governing document was the Congregation's Constitution adopted 28 September 2005, as subsequently amended.)(xxvi)

Local Government District:

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

Registration District (BMD):

Barnet(xxviii) - Link to Register Office website.

Cemetery Information:

The congregation has "London Synagogue" membership of the Jewish Joint Burial Society (JJBS), which includes rights of burial at one of the Society's cemeteries, in particular the Western Cemetery, Bulls Cross Ride, Cheshunt. There is also generally the option (through the JJBS) of a Woodland Burial in Cheshunt or cremation at Golders Green Crematorium.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Based on listing under this name until Jewish Year Book 1963.

  • (ii) This was the address given in the Jewish Year Books until 1969.

  • (iii) The move from Woodside Park would have coincided with the change of name of the Congregation- see above.

  • (iv) Congregation's website, accessed 8 February 2018.

  • (v) Congregation's website, accessed 8 February 2018.

  • (vi) "Who's Who" entries in Jewish Year Books, latest 2008. Congregation' website refers to Rabbi Goldstein's appointment in 1968, as its first rabbi.

  • (vii) Congregation's website, last accessed 8 June 2021. Rabbi Newman continues to be listed as Emeritus Minister until present (June 2021).

  • (viii) Based upon Rabbi Wax's listing in Jewish Year Books 2003 through 2006.

  • (ix) Based upon Rabbi Young's listing in Jewish Year Books 2007 and 2008.

  • (x) Based upon Rabbi Bayfield's listing in Jewish Year Books 2007 and 2008. See also article on Rabbi Miriam Bayfield, Jewish Chronicle, 21 December 2007. 

  • (xi) Congregation's website, last accesssed 8 June 2021. Rabbi Berger was ordained in 2006. She had previously, from about 2005, been a student rabbi with the congregation.

  • (xii) and (xiii) Reserved.

  • (xiv) Based upon Rabbi Shulman's listing in Jewish Year Books 2001 through 2006, initially shown as associate rabbi. 

  • (xv) Rabbi Eimer's "Who's Who" entries in Jewish Year Books, latest 2015.

  • (xvi) Although Rabbi Cooper's first listing with regard to this congregation was in the Jewish Year Book 2011, the Congregation's website, last accessed 8 June 2021, includes a biography of Rabbi Cooper and refers to his first involvement with the Congregation since 1983.

  • (xvii) Based upon a report issued by the congregation on 11 August 2017 that Rabbi Newman had (on 3 August) taken up a full-time rabbinical position with the congregation after his receiving rabbinic ordination in July 2017, although by March 2018, Rabbi Newman was no longer a member of the congregation's rabbinical team.

  • (xviii) and (xix) Reserved.

  • (xx) Date of appointment based upon Cantor Jacob's first listing in Jewish Year Books 2011. Cantor Jacob, who received cantorial ordination in 2009, was the first and (as of 2018) only ordained cantor in the UK's Reform Movement and was still in office, per Congregation's website, last accesssed 8 june 2021.

  • (xxi) Reserved.

  • (xxii) Congregation's website, accessed 8 February 2018.

  • (xxiii) 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.

  • (xxiv) Open Corporates website, accessed 25 March 2018.

  • (xxv) Charities Commissioners website (in beta trial stage) and Open Charities website, both accessed 25 March 2018.

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

  • (xxvii) 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).

  • (xxviii) 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

  • Annual Reports filed with the Charities Commission (pdf):

  • Bibliography:

    • Tree of Life Silver Jubilee Issue: Finchley Reform Synagogue 1960-1985 [1985, the Congregation]

    • other London Borough of Barnet bibliograohy.


List of Reform Judaism Congregations

Jewish Congregations in Finchley (London Borough of Barnet)

List of Member Synagogues of the Jewish Joint Burial Society

Jewish Congregations in Greater London (other than East End)

Greater London home page

Page created: 16 November 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 8 February 2018
Latest revision or update: 8 June 2021

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