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Wembley Synagogue
Wembley Synagogue 1957-2022 
(Courtesy Jeff Rosen)

 Congregation Data


Wembley Synagogue(i) and later known as Wembley United Synagogue(ii)

Former Names:

Wembley District Synagogue (from 1934 until 1956)(iii)

Wembley Hebrew Congregation (from formation until 1934)(iv)


On 21 February 2023, the congregation relocated to 88 Wembley Park Drive, Wembley, a converted, detached house.(vi)

Previous Address:

8-10 Forty Lane, Wembley, Middx HA9 8JW.

On 11 December 2022, a closing and farewell ceremony was held, attended by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, to mark the closing of the synagogue (a 14,500 square feet building) after some 60 years.(vii) Services continue to be held at Forty Avenue until 21 February 2023, when Rabbi Michael Laitner (of Kinloss Synagogue) presided over the final services.

Click on image to view enlarge image in a new window.

The building was sold, for some £4 million, to Dawat-e-Islami, a global Sunni Muslim group founded in Pakistan, which distributed an offensive fundraising leaflet (image on right) referring to the synagogue as "a former place of worship of non believers". Following a wave of upset and protest, the Islamic group profusely apologised for any offence caused and ceased distribution of the leaflet.(vii)

The congregation first acquired part of the site in 1931, which was extended by the purchase of an adjoining house in 1934. The congregation initially worshipped in a Nissen hut and the foundation stone for a temporary synagogue on the site was laid by Sir Isidore Salmon on 22 April 1934 and the synagogue was consecrated by Chief Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz on 2 September 1934.(viii)

By 1949, it was realised that a larger site, with a wider frontage, would be required for the building of a permanent synagogue and ancillary facilities. Accordingly no. 10 Forty Lane was purchased when it became available. The first new building on the extended site was a classroom wing for the Hebrew and Religious Classes, the foundation stone for which was laid on 23 March 1953 and the building was consecrated by Chief Rabbi Israel Brodie on 25 October 1953. The foundation stone of the new synagogue was not laid until November 1956.(ix)

Previously the services were in members' homes and, for festivals, various halls were used such as the Union Hall in Ealing Road, Mitchell’s Restaurant in Wembley High Road and later the Capital Ballroom in Empire Way.(ix)

Current Status:


Date Formed:

The congregation's origins date back to 1928, when several isolated Jewish families living in the Wembley area decided to join together for the purposes of worship and to facilitate Hebrew and Religious education for their children. The first meeting was held on 5 September 1928, at which it was decided to form the Wembley Hebrew Congregation. The first classes were held in January 1929 and religious services were held only on festivals.(ix)


Ashkenazi Orthodox


An affiliated synagogue of the United Synagogue from 1931, becoming a district synagogue in 1934 and a constituent synagogue in 1956.(x)



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

Rev. (later Rabbi) Myer Berman, MBE - minister from 1934 until 1974 (except for the period he served as Chaplain to the Forces 1940-1946) and thereafter emeritus minister until his death.(xiv)

Rev. Sam Venitt, BA - war-time acting minister from 1940 until 1946.(xv)

Rev. Ivor L. Abrams - minister from 1974 until about 1981.(xvi)

Rabbi Yisroel Y. Fine - minister from 1982 until January 1987.(xvii)

Rabbi David Radomsky - minister from 1988 until 1993.(xx)

Rabbi Martin van den Bergh - minister from 1994 until September 2006.(xxi)

Rabbi Simon Harris - minister from July 2007 until about July 2022.(xxii)

Readers (Chazanim):

Rev. Louis Klein - from 1949 until 1956.(xxv)

Rev. Ahrn Mair Lev - from 1958 until 1973.(xxvi)

Rev. L. Stephen Robins - from 1974 until 1986.(xxvii)

Rev. Alan Bright - from 1987 until about 1989.(xxviii)

Rev. Mark C. Goldman - from 1990 until 1991.(xxix)

Rev. Anthony Wolfson - from 1992 until about 2011.(xxx)

Lay Officers:

Unless otherwise stated, the following has been extracted from Jewish Year Books,(xxxiii) publication of which was suspended during the war years from 1941 until 1945 and from 1957 it generally ceased to provide details of lay officers other than the secretary.


1928-1934 - H. Hooberman(xxxiv)


Vice Chairman

at least 1933-1935 - I. Cohen


Hon. President

at least 1945-1948 - L. Rolnick


Financial Representatives

at least 1933-1935 - L. Rolnick(xxxv)

1935-1939 - A. Sadie, ACA

1939-1940 - N. Cree, JP

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1948 - B.V. Steele

1948-1949 - L. Simmonds, MA

1949-1950 - J.I. Simmons, JP

1950-1952 - J. Kaufman

1952-1956 - J. Clapman


1935-1939 - W. SadieL. Rolnick

1939-1940 - L. RolnickA. Sadie, ACA

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1946 - A. BrownL. Rolnick

1946-1948 - L. RolnickH. Roston

1948-1952 - H. RostonM. Sagon

1952-1953 - J. KaufmanJ.I. Simmons

1953-1956 - J. KaufmanJ. Sklan


Secretaries & Hon. Secretaries

at least 1933-1935 - G. Gold

1935-1940 - Rev. Myer Berman

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1946 - Rev. Sam Venitt (acting)

1946-1947 - Rev. Myer Berman(xxxvi)

1947-1949 - S. Goldstein

1949-1959 - H.A. Monat(xxxvii)

1961-1962 - P. Radom

1966-1972 - Mrs. R. Friedentag

1972-1984 - E. Lozowick

1985-1990 - L. Ford

Membership Data:

United Synagogue (male seat-holders)(xl)











National Reports & Surveys(xli)

1977 - 999 male (or household) members and 325 female members

1983 - 948 male (or household) members and 341 female members

1990 - 856 members (comprising 838 households, 3 individual male and 15 individual female members)

1996 - 702 members (comprising 650 households, 23 individual male and 29 individual female members)

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

2016 - listed as having 200 to 299 members (by household)

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 District:

Wembley, a suburb of northwest London, is within the London Borough of Brent(xlii) and was (until 1965) in the former Municipal Borough of Wembley (which was an urban district from 1894, being incorporated as a borough in 1937) in the former County of Middlesex.

Bibliography -  Brent

Registration District (BMD):

Brent(xliii) - Link to Register Office website


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

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) This name was adopted in 1956 when the congregation ceased being a "District Synagogue". It was the name listed in Jewish Year Books from 1956 until 2015 (the last edition published).

  • (ii) This is the name generally used on the congregation's website, last accessed December 2022.

  • (iii) Name used on being granted District Synagogue status in 1934. Listed s such in Jewish Year Books 1936 through 1956.

  • (iv) "The History of the Wembley Synagogue" by Bernard Myers, Wembley Synagogue News, April 1998, which is reproduced under the title "Early Years" on the congregation's website (accessed November 2022). The congregation is listed under this name in Jewish Year Books 1934 and 1935

  • (v) Reserved.

  • (vi) Jewish News Report 2 December 2022, with date confirmed by a member of the congregation.

  • (vii) Various press reports 2020-2023.

  • (viii) Early Years article on the congregation's website and Jewish Year Book 1947.

  • (ix) Early Years article on the congregation's website.

  • (x) The United Synagogue 1870-1970 by Aubrey Newman (1977), pages 221/2. 

  • (xi) to (xiiii) Reserved.

  • (xiv) Rabbi Berman's Jewish Chronicle obituary of 10 May 1985 and his listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1936 through 1974 and as emeritus rabbi 1975 through 1985.

  • (xv) Rabbi Venitt's Jewish Chronicle obituary of 6 January 1995, the congregation's website and his listing as acting minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1945/6.

  • (xvi) Rabbi Abram's Jewish Chronicle obituary 13 February 1981. He was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1977 through 1981 and as reader in the 1975 editions.

  • (xvii) The Jewish Chronicle 15 January 1982 reported that Rabbi Yisroel Fine would the following day conduct his first sendee as minister of Wembley Synagogue. In 1987 it reported that Rabbi Fine had left Wembley at the beginning of that year to take up a post in Cockfosters. He was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1982 through 1986.

  • (xviii) and (xix) Reserved.

  • (xx) The Jewish Chronicle reported on 26 August 1988 that Rabbi David Radomsky had arrived at Wembley Synagogue from Dublin to replace Rabbi Yisroel Fine, who moved to serve Cockfosters in January the previous year and on 16 July 1993 it reported on the interviewing for a new rabbi at Wembley because of the imminent departure of Rabbi David Radomsky. He is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1989 through 1994.

  • (xxi) The Jewish Chronicle reported on 25 August 1994 that Rabbi van den Bergh and his family have moved to London where he was taking up an appointment at the Wembley Synagogue and on 8 September 2006 on his farewell the previous Sunday. He is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1995 through 2007.

  • (xxii) The Jewish Chronicle of 25 May 2007 reported that Wembley Synagogue members had voted overwhelmingly to appoint Rabbi Simon Harris as their new minister. Advised of departure by a member of the congregation. He was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 2008 through 2015 (the last edition).

  • (xxiii) and (xxiv) Reserved.

  • (xxv) Rev. L. Klein was listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1951 through 1956.

  • (xxvi) Rev. A.M. Lev was listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1959 through 1974.

  • (xxvii) Rev. L.S. Robins was listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1976 through 1986.

  • (xxviii) Rev. A. Bright was listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1988 and 1989.

  • (xxix) Online research. Rev. Mark Goldman is not listed in Jewish Year Books with regard to this congregation.

  • (xxx) Rev. A. Wolfson was listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1994 through 2011.

  • (xxxi) and (xxxii) Reserved.

  • (xxxiii) Where a person is first listed in a year book as holding a particular office, it has been assumed that his or her 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. For the period in question, the year books were published according to the Gregorian year, being published generally towards the end of the year prior to the year appearing in the title of the year book. For example, if an officer is listed in Jewish Year Books 1949 through 1954, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1948 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 somewhat from those shown here. 

  • (xxxiv) Hooberman was elected chairman at the first meeting of the congregation on 5 September 1928 (Early Years article on the congregation's website) and was still listed as chairman in the Jewish Year Book 1934, and it is assumed that he served in such capacity during the intervening years.

  • (xxxv) L. Rolnick's title at the time was treasurer.

  • (xxxvi) Rev. Berman was also listed as secretary (as well as minister) in the Jewish Year Book 1945/6, with Rev. Venitt named as acting minister and acting secretary. It would appear that during the period 1940 to 1946 when Rev. Berman served as chaplain to the Armed Forces, he still formally remained minister and secretary of the congregation.

  • (xxxvii) H.A. Monat was acting secretary 1949-1950.

  • (xxxviii) and (xxxix) Reserved.

  • (xl) The United Synagogue 1870-1970 by Aubrey Newman (1977), pages 216/7.

  • (xli) 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

  • (xlii) The London Borough of Brent, an Outer London Borough within the Greater London administrative area, was created on 1 April 1965 upon the merger of the Municipal Boroughs of Willesden and Wembley (both of which had been in the former county of Middlesex).

  • (xliii) The Registration District was renamed from Willesden on 1 April 1965. The previous registration district was Hendon, from 1 July 1837 to 1 October 1947. Any registers would now be held by the current register office.


Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Congregation


On Third Party websites

List of United Synagogue Congregations

Jewish Congregations in the London Borough of Brent

Jewish Congregations in Greater London

Greater London home page

Page created: 15 October 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 30 November 2022
Page most recently amended: 23 February 2023

Research and formatting by David Shulman

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