Brighton & Hove Hebrew Congregation

Brighton & Hove, East Sussex



JCR-UK is a genealogical and historical website covering all Jewish communities and
congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.
NOTE: We are not the official website of this congregation, the address of which appears below.

Middle Street Synagogue, Brighton 
The Middle Street Synagogue
© David Newman 2017

Congregation Data


Brighton & Hove Hebrew Congregation

formerly Brighton Hebrew Congregation until 1918.(ii)



The congregation has two synagogues:

   West Hove Synagogue, 29-31 New Church Road, Hove BN3 4AD
This is now the congregation's main synagogue. As the Jewish population was gradually shifting west from central Brighton to Hove, there was a need to hold branch services in Hove. These were initially held in a number of different venues in Hove, including the Bernard Baron Memorial Hall, Marmion Road and the YMCA Hall, Marmion Road. It appears to have commenced using 29 Church Street for services in the late 1940s, although the land for the construction of the synagogue was not purchased until the early 1950s. On 14 December 1958 the foundation stone was laid for a new purpose-built synagogue at the site and the synagogue was opened and consecrated by the Chief Rabbi Sir Israel Brodie on 9 July 1961.(iii)

From January 2020 until March 2023, the synagogue in New Church Road was closed for major redevelopment, services temporarily being relocated to 101 Pembroke Crescent, Hove, BN3 5DE,(iv) as well as at Ralli Hall, 82 Denmark Villa, Hove BN3 3ST.

On Shabbat 4 March 2023, services returned to New Church Road, now newly rebuilt as BNJC (Brighton and Hove Jewish Community), a Jewish community complex housing the synagogue, a mikva, 45 new homes, plus other recreational, educational, cultural, social, commercial and co-working facilities.(iv)

  Middle Street Synagogue, 66 Middle Street, Brighton BN1 1AL
This beautiful synagague is no longer in active use, having ceased holding regular services in 2004,(v) and is only opened on specific days for viewing and tours and is occasionally used for specific occasions, including weddings. (See description from Appendix to Newman Papers)

The synagogue, designed by Thomas Lainson, was built in 1873/5 and was consecrated on 23 September 1875.(vi) Although initially fairly plain, it was latter richly adorned by donations from wealthy Anglo-Jewish families including the Rothschilds and the Sassoons.(vii)

Although no longer in general use, commencing from the late 1990s, extensive repairs and renovations were carried out to the building, with the assistance of grants from English Heritage and contributions from the public. The work was completed in November 2009.(viii)

The synagogue and attached gate has been a Grade II* Listed Building since 20 August 1971 (number 1381796). View description on Historic England.

Predecessor Synagogues:

   Jew Street Congregation - from about 1792(ix) (other sources state 1800(x)):

First synagogue was in rooms in a house in Jew Street, Brighton.

   Poune's Court Congregation - from at least 1808(xi) to 1813:

The synagogue moved to 59a Poune's Court, a short lane off West Street, Brighton.(xi)

   1813 to 1821 - Congregation temporarily closed down (lack of numbers).(xii)

   West Street Congregation - from 1821 to 1824:(xii)

The congregation formally re-constituted in West Street, Brighton. primarily due to the efforts of Emanuel Hyman Cohen.(xii)

   Devonshire Place Synagogue (the Regency Synagogue), 38 Devonshire Place, Brighton BN2 1QB - from 1824 to 1874:(xiii)

The congregation was formally established in 1824. The premises at 38/39 Devonshire Place were purchased in 1823 and work undertaken to converted them into a synagogue in 1824/5.(xiv) In 1837 the building was replaced by Brighton's first purpose build synagogue.
The former Devonshire Place synagogue, designed by David Mocatta, and the adjoining rabbi's house and schoolroom at 37 and 37A Devonshire have been Grade II Listed Buildings since 20 August 1971 (most recent amendment 26 August 1999) (numbers 1380432 and 1380431 respectively). To view descriptions on the Historic England website, click here and here, respectively.
See also description from Appendix to Newman Papers

Former Private Synagogue:

Brunswick Terrace Synagogue - This was a private synagogue, which was opened sometime after 1852(xv) and existed for many years, at 26 Brunswick Terrace, Brunswick Square, Hove BN3 1HJ, on the roof of the house of Philip Salomons (who died in 1867)

The building at 20-32 Brunswick Terrace (built 1824/28), including no. 26 and attached railings have been a Grade I Listed Building (number 1187546) since 24 March 1950 (most recent amendment 2 November 1991). View description on Historic England website.

Current Status:



Ashkenazi Orthodox.


The congregation is unaffiliated but under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi.



Ministers and Readers of the Congregation:(xviii)
(To view a short profile of a minister or reader whose name appears in blue, hold the cursor over his name.)

Nineteenth Century Officiants(xix) (other than those who served into the twentieth century)

Emanuel Hyman Cohen – shochet in about 1821(xx)

Rev. Isaac Davidson – shochet/chazan in 1820s(xxi)

Rev. Moses Levi – chazan/minister in 1820s(xxii)

Jacob Moses Cohen – shochet and chazan in about 1827(xxiii)

Rev. Moses Wineman – shochet, chazan and secretary in about 1827(xxiii)

Rev. Lion Levy – shochet and chazan from about 1827 until about 1831(xxiui)

Rev. Jacob Isaacs – shochet from about 1831 until about 1836(xxiii)

Rev. Benjamin Berliner – shochet/chazan from about 1837 until about 1840(xxiv)

Rev. Nathan Cohen – reader, secretary and temporary teacher in about 1840(xxiv)

Rev. Benjamin Barnett – reader, secretary and teacher in about 1840 and 1841(xxiv)

Rev. Moses Rintel - reader and shochet in about 1842 and 1843(xxv)

Rev. Moss B. Levy - reader and shochet in about 1843 to 1851(xxvi)

Rev. Michael Simon Nuremberg – reader and shochet from about 1841 to about 1879(xxvii)

Rev. Abraham N. Spier - reader and shochet from 1880 until about 1885(xxix)

Rev. Lazarus Jacob Slevansky - reader and shochet from about 1885 until about 1897(xxxi)

Rev. Goodman Lipkind - assistant minister, second reader and teacher in 1898 and 1899. (xxxii)


Ministers from 1900

Rev. Abraham Charles Jacobs - from 1867 until 1915(xxxv)

Rev. Bernaman Benas Lieberman, BA - from 1915 until 1930(xxxvi)

Rev. Isaac N. Fabricant, BA (first term) - from 1930 until 1973(xxxvii)

Rabbi Dr. Julius. Unsdorfer - from 1973 until 1978(xxxviii)

Rev. Isaac N. Fabricant, BA (second term) - from 1978 until 1981 and briefly in 1985(xxxvii)

Rabbi Dr. Bernard Susser - from 1982 until 1985(xli)

Rabbi Leonard Book - from 1989 until 1994(xlii)

Rabbi Pesach Efune - from 1995 until 2008(xliii)

Rabbi Hershel Rader - from 2009 until present (June 2023)(xliv)


Assistant Ministers, Readers (Chazanim) and Shochet from 1900

Rev. Lazarus Lubetzki - shochet from 1897 until 1954(xlix)

Rev. Abraham Levinson - second reader (later reader) from 1899 until 1930(l)

Rev. Leo Bryll - reader from 1930 until 1935(li)

Reverend Phillip Brummer - from 1936 until 1948(lii)

Rev. Berel Braunstein - from 1948 until 1989 and thereafter as emeritus until about 1993(liii)

Rev. M. Bloom - reader from 1943 until 1962, primarily at the West Hove Synagogue(lvi)

Rev. Michael Kahan - reader from 1962 until 1985(lvii)

Rev. Benny Cass (or Kass) - reader possibly from about 1983 until about 1995(lviii)

Rev. Yehiel Weiss - reader from 1985 until 1988(lix)

Rabbi Moshe Shaw - assistant minister from 1990 until, at least, 1992(lx)


Acting and Temporary Ministers

Rev. Louis Weiwow - acting minister in 1917 (while minister was abroad on chaplaincy duties)(lxiii)

Rabbi Rafael Wolf Cymberg - minister providing part time assistance from 1987 until about 1989(lxiv)

Some Early Lay Officers :

Levy Emanuel Cohen - secretary in about 1824(lxvii)

Solomon Nathan Berncastle - president in 1824(lxviii)

Lawrence Abrahams & Wolf Davis - wardens in 1874(lxix)

Lay Officers of the Congregation from 1896:

Unless otherwise indicated, the information on the congregation's officers below, has generally been extracted from Jewish Year Books, first published in 1896/7. They were not published during the war years 1941 to 1945, nor were there any listings of lay officers (other than secretary) subsequent to 1956.(lxxv)


1896-1897 - Lewis Lewis

1897-1904 - Louis Davidson

1904-1908 - Samuel Cook

1908-1914 - Bernard Davis

1914-1930 - Maurice Jacobs

1930-1933 - Rev. Meyer J. Heilbron

1933-1940 - M. Kulps

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1953 - J.N. Littman

1953-1956 - I. Silver


1896-1897 - Woolf Davis

1897-1904 - Samuel Cook

1904-1908 - Bernard Davis

1908-1914 - M. Kulp

1914-1918 - Henry Hyman

1918-1930 - M. Kulp

1930-1946 - H. Lass

1946-1949 - I. Candleshine

1945-1953 - I. Silver

1953-1956 - B. Oberman


1945-1956 - R. Lieberman


at least 1896-1915 - Rev. A. C. Jacobs

1915-1930 - Rev. B. Lieberman

Hon Secretaries

1901-1903 - H.R. Lewis

1930-1940 - J.N. Cohen

1940-1945 - no data

1945-1956 - J. Sawyer

1956-1961 - J.S. Green

1961-1963 - J.S. Davids


1967-2005 - B. Goldberg

Hon. Secretaries of West Hove Congregation

1964-1965 - M. Sugar

1965-1972 - L. Davids

1972-1975 - H. Rose

1975-1984 - I. Greenwood

1984-1990 - J. Simons

Membership Data:


1845 -16 ba'alai batim and 32 seatholders (Chief Rabbi's Questionnaire)

1851 - 10 appropriated seats and 150 individuals (ibid.)

Number of Seatholders - Board of Deputies Returns













Number of Seatholder - as reported by Jewish Year Books

















National Reports and Surveys(lxxvi)

1977 - 650 male (or household) members and 265 female members

1983 - 476 male (or household) members and 278 female members

1990 - 700 members

1996 - 501 members (comprising 202 households, 89 individual male and 210 individual female members)

2010 - listed as having 200 to 299 members (by household)

2016 - listed as having 100 to 199 members (by household)

Legal and Charitable Status:

On 9 June 2006, the congregation was incorporated as a charitable company, Brighton & Hove Hebrew Congregation (company no. 05842863), a private company limited by guarantee without a share capital (and with an exemption from use of the word 'Limited'). On 5 July 2006 Brighton and Hove Hebrew Congregation was most recently registered as a charity (number 1115092). The governing document is the company's Memorandum and Articles of Association dated 9 June 2006, as amended 2 September 2007. The congregation's previous registration as a charity was under no. 233221.(lxxix)


The current Orthodox Jewish cemetery in Brighton, in use since 1920 is the Bear Road or Meadowview Jewish Cemetery. The earlier Jewish cemetery, the Florence Place Old Jewish Burial Grounds, was opened in 1826. (For further details see Cemetery Information on the Brighton and Hove community page).



 Online Articles and Other Material
relating to this Congregation


Ralli Hall 



Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) Brighton Jewry 250 - An anthology of the Brighton & Hove Jewish Community 1766-2016 edited by Godfrey Gould and Michael Cook, (2016) ("Brighton Jewry 250"), p.30. The change of name reflected the fact that many of the congregants had moved west into Hove and new Jewish families were settling there.

  • (iii) The address listed in Jewish Year Books 1940 and from 1945/6 through 1948 was Bernard Baron Memorial Hall, Marmion Road, Hove. However Brighton Jewry 250, pp.30/31 states that the main venue for overflow services (from Middle Street) was the YMCA Hall, Marmion Road, "and generally regular services were held there for some years." The New Church Road address was first listed in Jewish Year Book 1949.

  • (iv) The congregation's website, accessed January 2023 and March 2023 and BNJC website, accessed March 2023.

  • (v) Brighton Jewry 250, p.16.

  • (vi) Brighton and Hove 1837-1901 - Paper by David Spector.

  • (vii) Brighton Jewry 250, p.14.

  • (viii) Brighton Jewry 250, pp.39-41.

  • (ix) Brighton Jewry 250, p.13 and 27. The street reputedly takes its name from the Jewish tinkers who plied their trade there.

  • (x) The Brighton section of Cecil Roth's Rise of Provincial Jewry.

  • (xi) Brighton Jewry 250, p.13.

  • (xii) The Brighton section of Cecil Roth's Rise of Provincial Jewry.

  • (xiii) Brighton and Hove 1837-1901 - Paper by David Spector.

  • (xiv) Brighton Jewry 250, p.13.

  • (xv) Brighton Jewry 250, p.14.

  • (xvi) to (xvii) Reserved.

  • (xviii) The primary source for the listing of ministers is Brighton Jewry 250, pp.59-64 - "Brighton & Hove's Jewish spiritual leadership - 1827 to present day" compiled by Gordon Franks ("Gordon Franks's listings"), which is now online as part of the Our Jewish History website. The list of twentieth century officiants has been supplemented by Jewish Year Book listings and other sources as indicated in footnotes.

  • (xix) Compilation of the list of officiants who served during the nineteenth century presented a number of problems to Gordon Franks and the accuracy of the list cannot be guaranteed. The search involved inspection of often very unclear photocopies of the original Minute Books (now housed at The Keep) and the deciphering of records written in a number of hands.

  • (xx) The Brighton section of Cecil Roth's Rise of Provincial Jewry.

  • (xxi) Louis Hyman's The Jews of Ireland, from Earliest Times to the Year 1910 (1972), p. 124. He does not appear in Gordon Franks's listing.

  • (xxii) Jolles's Encyclopaedia of Chazanim, etc., p.584.

  • (xxiii) Gordon Franks's listing.

  • (xxiv) Gordon Franks's listing.

  • (xxv) Australian Dictionary of Biography online, various Jewish Chronicle reports and Gordon Franks's listing.

  • (xxvi) Jewish Chronicle obituary 12 December 1873 and Gordon Franks's listing.

  • (xxvii) Gordon Franks's listing. Rev. Nuremberg was listed as second reader and shochet in The Jewish Directory for 1874, edited by Asher I. Myers.

  • (xxviii) Reserved.

  • (xxix) Jewish Chronicle reports and Gordon Franks's listing (in which he is listed as Spiers).

  • (xxx) Reserved.

  • (xxxi) Gordon Franks's listing.

  • (xxxii) Jewish Chronicle report of 4 August 1911 and Gordon Franks's listing. Rev. Lipkind was listed as assistant minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1898/9.

  • (xxxiii) and (xxxiv) Reserved.

  • (xxxv) Jewish Chronicle obituary 12 February 2015. Rev. Jacobs was listed by Gordon Franks as reader/secretary/teacher of the congregation and he was listed as minister and secretary of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1896/7 (the first edition) through 1915.

  • (xxxvi) Jewish Chronicle obituary 3 September 1976 and Gordon Franks's listing. Rev. Lieberman (initially as Liebermann) was listed as minister and secretary of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1916 through 1930.

  • (xxxvii) Jewish Chronicle obituary of 20 October 1989 and Gordon Franks's listing. The Jewish Chronicle of 18 July 1930 reported that Rev. Fabricant, B.A., of Jews' College had been appointed minister of the congregation to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement of Rev. Lieberman to begin his duties on 25 July. He was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1931 through 1972 and again in 1980, and was listed as emeritus minister from 1981 through 1990.

  • (xxxviii) Jewish Chronicle obituary of 8 December 1978 and Gordon Franks's listing. Rabbi Unsdorfer was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1973 through 1978.

  • (xxxix) and (xl) Reserved.

  • (xli) Jewish Chronicle obituary of 2 May 1997 and Gordon Franks's listing. Rabbi Susser was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1982 through 1985.

  • (xlii) Gordon Franks's listing. Rabbi Book was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1989 through 1995.

  • (xliii) Rabbi Efune is listed by Gordon Franks as minister 1995-2006 although he was listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1998 through 2010.

  • (xliv) Rabbi Rader's profile on the congregation's website, last accessed June 2023 (although he was only listed as minister of the congregation from Jewish Year Book from 2011).

  • (xlv) to (xlviii) Reserved.

  • (xlix) Jewish Chronicle obituary of 1 October 1954. L. Lubetzki was first listed as shochet of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1901/2.

  • (l) Jewish Chronicle tribute of 22 July 1955 and Gordon Franks's listing. Rev. Levinson was listed as a reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1900/01 through 1930.

  • (li) The Jewish Chronicle of 18 July 1930 reported that Rev. Leo. Bryll, of Liverpool had been appointed chazan of the congregation to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement of Rev. A. Levinson, to begin his duties on 25 July. He was listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1931 through 1935. He was not listed for this period in Gordon Franks's listing, although later (1948-1950), a Rev. Leo "Brill" is listed as a minister.

  • (lii) Jewish Chronicle reports place Rev. Brummer at Southport at the start of 1936 and in Brighton later in that year. On 4 June 1948 The Jewish Chronicle reported that Rev. Brummer, reader of the Brighton Synagogue, has received a call to the Congregation Beth Shalom of Rogers Park, Chicago, Illinoi, U.S.A. He is listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1937 through 1948 (apart from war years, when there was no publication).

  • (liii) According to the inscription on Rev. Braunstein's gravestone he served the community from 1948 until 1993. However the latter period appears to have been as emeritus chazan. The first Jewish Chronicle reference to him serving in Brighton is on 4 November 1949 during the Chief Rabbi's visit to Brighton, when the service was conducted by the "Revs. I. N. Fabricant and B. Braunstein". Rev. Braunstein was only listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1964 through 1989 and thereafter as emeritus chazan through 1996. Gordon Franks's listing gives the dates as 1950-1995.

  • (liv) and (lv) Reserved.

  • (lvi) Gordon Franks's listings. Rev. M. Bloom is listed as serving the West Hove Synagogue as hon. secretary in Jewish Year Book 1947 through 1957 and as minister the editions 1958 through 1962.

  • (lvii) Jewish Chronicle profile 30 November 1984. Rev. Kahan was listed as a reader of the congregation (jointly with Rev. Braustein) in Jewish Year Books from 1964 through only 1970. Gordon Franks's listing gives the dates as 1963-1983.

  • (lviii) Dates uncertain. Gordon Frank lists Rev. Benny Cass as minister 1983-1986, which possibly represents the first part of a period in which he served as second reader to Rev. Braunstein. However, Rev. B. Kass was listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books only from 1990 through 1995, during which period he would have been senior reader, as Rev. Braunstein was emeritus reader.

  • (lix) The Jewish Chronicle of 28 June 1985 reported that the minister at Luton, Rev. Y. Weiss was leaving to take up a new post in Hove and Gordon Franks lists him as serving Brighton and Hove Hebrew Congregation from 1986 to 1988. There is no reference to Rev. Weiss serving this congregation in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (lx) Dates uncertain. Gordon Franks lists Rabbi Shaw as a minister of the congregation from 1990 to 1992. Whereas, he was listed (following Rabbi Book's name) as a minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 1994 and 1995.

  • (lxi) and (lxii) Reserved.

  • (lxiii) Rev. Weiwow was listed as acting minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Books 1918. Gordon Franks refers to him temporarily replacing Rev. Lieberman in 1917 who was in France as chaplain.

  • (lxiv) Gordon Franks's listing.

  • (lxv) and (lxvi) Reserved.

  • (lxvii) The Brighton section of Cecil Roth's Rise of Provincial Jewry and Brighton Jewry 250, p.28. He was the son of Emanuel Hyman Cohen, and became a distinguished journalist.

  • (lxvi8i) Brighton Jewry 250, p.28.

  • (lxix) The Jewish Directory for 1874, edited by Asher B. Myers, p. 62.

  • (lxx) to (lxxiv) Reserved.

  • (lxxv) 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. Initially year books corresponded to the Hebrew year, and thus ran roughly from autumn of one year - the year of publication - until autumn of the next year. From 1909, 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 1919 through 1924, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1918 and continued in office until 1924. 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.

  • (lxxvi) Reports on synagogue membership in the United Kingdom, published by 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.

  • (lxxvii) and (lxxviii) Reserved.

  • (lxxix) Jewish Year Book 1996.

Brighton Jewish Community home page
(which includes additional information and other articles relating to this congregations)

Jewish Congregations in Sussex

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 24 March 2005
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 30 August 2022
Page most recently amended: 20 June 2023

Research by David Shulman and Steven Jaffe
Formatting by David Shulman

Explanation of Terms   |   About JCR-UK  |   JCR-UK home page

Contact JCR-UK Webmaster:

JGSGB  JewishGen

Terms and Conditions, Licenses and Restrictions for the use of this website:

This website is owned by JewishGen and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain. All material found herein is owned by or licensed to us. You may view, download, and print material from this site only for your own personal use. You may not post material from this site on another website without our consent. You may not transmit or distribute material from this website to others. You may not use this website or information found at this site for any commercial purpose.

Copyright © 2002 - 2024 JCR-UK. All Rights Reserved