Darlington Jewish Community

& Hebrew Congregation

Darlington, County Durham




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congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.
NOTE: We are not the official website of the Darlington congregation, which can be reached by clicking on the congregation's logo below.

Town of Darlington

The town of Darlington, in the North East of England, has a population of about 100,000 and is in the county borough of Darlington, a unitary authority since 1997. Prior to then, Darlington was a district of County Durham. The present boundaries were formed in 1974 by the merger of the old borough of Darlington and the rural district of Darlington. It lies on the river Skerne near the confluence with the river Tees. The world's first railway line, opened in 1825, ran from Darlington to Stockton.

Darlington Jewish Community

The town had a Jewish congregation during the late nineteenth century. It dwindled as several families saw no prospect of there being a larger Jewish population and making a congregation, so they left and by 1894, the Congregation was defunct. Board of Deputies cancelled the congregation's right to maintain a Marriage Register "owing to the decay of the congregation". The Jewish community began to increase again at the end of the nineteenth century and the present congregation dates back to 1904.

Darlington Synagogue logo
Congregation Data


Darlington Hebrew Congregation Reform Synagogue(i) (known as DHC Reform Synagogue)
(Hebrew Name - Beit Shalom)

Former and Alternative Name:

Darlington Hebrew Congregation


15 Bloomfield Road, Darlington DL1 5TG

Previously at 13 Bloomfield Road, Darlington.

The congregation moved to 13 Bloomfield in 1967 and the new synagogue was dedicated by the then Emeritus Chief Rabbi Dr. Israel Brodie. In 2007, the congregation moved next door (No. 15) to somewhat smaller premises that had been the rabbi's bungalow.(ii)

Other Former Addresses:

Studley House, 9 Victoria Road, Darlington, from 1930 until 1967.(iii)

Prior thereto in rented premises including Albion Hall, Northgate; 7 Prospect Chambers, Bondgate; 6 Station Road; Russell Street Chambers, 74 Northgate; and West End Building, Skinnergate.

During the nineteenth century, the Congregation had no fixed premises and would frequently used rented rooms for the high holiday services.

Current Status:


Date Founded:

The present congregation dates from 1904.(iv)

Predecesor Congregation:

An earlier congregation was founded by about 1885.(v) However by 1894, it was defunct and Board of Deputies cancelled the congregation's right to maintain a Marriage Register "owing to the decay of the congregation".(vi)


The congregation is now Reform, although the congregation was traditional Askanazi Orthodox until about 1987/88.


Currently an Associated Community with of the Movement for Reform Judaism (formerly the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain), having joined to movement following the adoption of Reform form of services in 1987/88.


https://www.dhcreform.org/ (which includes certain historical and genealogical information on the congregation.)

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

Predecessor Congregation

From at least 1885, the community was served by visiting ministers from Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

Rev. Moses Reichman - reader in 1888(ix)

Rev. Samuel Gordon - minister from at least 1891 until at least 1892(x)

Re-established Orthodox Congregation

Rev. Barnet Moss - chazan and shochet from 1907 until about 1913(xi)

Rev. Max Franks - minister in about 1914(xii)

Rev. Bernard Hyams - minister from 1914 until 1931(xiii)

Rev. Monty Isaacs - minister from about 1932 to 1933(xiv)

Rev. Simon (or Samuel) I. Susman - minister from about 1933 until 1934(xv)

Rev. D. Garb - minister from 1934 until 1939(xvi)

Rev. Shalom Barron - reader and shochet from 1939 until 1944(xvii)

Rev. Marcus Schwarz - minister from 1945 until about 1946(xviii)

Rev. Israel Cohen - reader from 1947 until 1950(xix)

Rev. Maurice Isaac Fabritz - minister from 1951 until 1958(xxi)

Rev. Abraham Freedman - minister from 1958 until at least 1969(xxii)

Rev. Wilfred Wolfson - minister from 1973 until 1976(xxiii)

Rabbi Alby Copeland - minister from 1976 until 1980(xxiv)

Reform Congregation

From 1987/8 until about 2012, there was a rabbi sharing arrangement with Newcastle Reform Synagogue(xxv)

Rabbi Barbara Borts - part-time minister from 2012 until at least 2019(xxvi)

Lay Officers:

See below for Presidents, Treasurers and Secretaries of the congregation until mid 1950s.

Membership Data:

Board of Deputies return

1892 -  10 seatholders

National Reports & Surveys(xxvii)

1977 - 37 male (or household) members and 11 female members

1983 - 34 male (or household) members and 14 female members

1990 - 33 members (comprising 11 households, 2 individual male and 20 individual female members)

1996 - 30 members (comprising 11 households, 3 individual male and 16 individual female members)

2001 - 27 members (comprising 10 households, 6 individual male and 11 individual female members)

2010 & 2016 - listed as having under 50 members (by household)

Registration District (BDM):

Darlington (since founding of congregation) - Link to Register Office Website.

Marriage Group: WLS (West London Synagogue).

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) The congregation appears to have started using this name on its website from about 2017/2018, although it is unclear as to whether there has been a formal change of name.

  • (ii) Consecration - Jewish Chronicle, 21 July 1967. Move next door - Congregation's website, accessed 25 June 2017.

  • (iii) Olsover's The Jewish Communities of North East England pages 317 and 319. The pre-1930 addresses also appear on page 317 of Olsover's book.

  • (iv) Jewish Chronicle, 2 September 1904.

  • (v) L. Olsover's The Jewish Communities of North East England, based on report of 29 June 1889 in the Darlington and Stockton Times that "Mr. S Abrahams ... established the [Darlington] Hebrew congregation five years ago...".

  • (vi) Jewish Chronicle, 23 November 1894.

  • (vii) Reserved.

  • (viii) JCR-UK is grateful to the late Harold Pollins z"l for his research on Darlington (see list of Online Articles) from which a great deal of the informmation on the Congregation's ministers was extracted - see An Early History of the Jews in Darlington.

  • (ix) Rev Reichman's death reported in Jewish Chronicle, 5 October 1888, shortly following his appoinment.

  • (x) Rev Gordon is mentioned in 1891 census and Jewish Chronicle, 30 September 1892.

  • (xi) Rev. Moss's appointment reported in Jewish Chronicle, 25 October 1907 and his position (presumably following his departure) was advertised in the Jewish Chronicle 15 August 1913. He was listed as reader of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1909 through 1915.

  • (xii) Rev. Frank is referred to as minister in Jewish Chronicle, 2 January 1914.

  • (xiii) Rev. Hyams's reported as minister in Jewish Chronicle, 30 July 1915 (which commenced in 1914). Retirement from ministry reported in the Jewish Chronicle, 25 March 1932. See photograph below of silver kiddush cup presented to Rev. Hyman on his retirement in 1931.

  • (xiv) The Jewish Chronicle, 25 March 1932 reported on Rev. Isaacs's appointment and Jewish Chronicle 21 December 1945 referred to that Rev. M. Isaacs leaving the community in 1933. Rev. Isaacs was listed as reader of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1933.

  • (xv) Based upon Rev. Susman's listing as minister of the congregation in the Jewish Year Book 1934. However, Jewish Chronicle 23 February 1934 refers to his election as shochet, second reader and teacher (although he had previously been referred to as minister).

  • (xvi) Rev. Garb's appointment was reported in the Jewish Chronicle, 31 August 1934 and his esignation in the Jewish Chronicle, 21 April 1939 . His is listed as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1935 through 1939 (until 1938 under the name Garbarz).

  • (xvii) Rev. Barron's appointment was reported in the Jewish Chronicle, 14 July 1939 and his departure in the Jewish Chronicle 14 January 1944.

  • (xviii) Rev. Schwarz's appointment reported in the Jewish Chronicle, 19 January 1945. The postion in Darlington was already vacant and being advertised in the Jewish Chronicle, 21 March 1946, although he is still named as minister in the Jewish Year Book 1947.

  • (xix) Rev. Cohen's appointment reported in the Jewish Chronicle 20 June 1947 and his departure in the Jewish Chronicle, 25 August 1950.

  • (xx) Reserved.

  • (xxi) Rev. Fabritz's appointment was reported in the Jewish Chronicle 9 March 1951 and departure in the Jewish Chronicle 18 July 1958.

  • (xxii) Rev. Freedman is referred to as being in Darlington in the Jewish Chronicle, 3 October 1958, although not listed in a Jewish Year Book until 1966. A replacement was being sought in the Jewish Chronicle, 12 September 1969 and it was reported in the Jewish Chronicle 8 June 1973 that position had been vacant since 1969 (although according to some sources Rev. Freedman remained in Darlington until 1971).

  • (xxiii) Rev. Wolfson's appointment in Darlington was reported in the Jewish Chronicle 8 June 1973 and his departure in the Jewish Chronicle 5 December 1975.

  • (xxiv) The appointment of Rabbi Copeland (the first "rabbi" appointed by the congregation) was reported in the Jewish Chronicle 24 September 1976 and his departure in the Jewish Chronicle 12 October 1979.

  • (xxv) Congregation's website, accessed 25 June 2017.

  • (xxvi) Jewish Chronicle pressreader report 14 September 2012 and calender of forthcoming events on the congregation's website, accessed 14 January 2019. No reference to her connection with the congregation could be found later than this date.

  • (xxvii) 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.


JCR-UK expresses its thanks to Ian Rubinstein of Calgary (formerly of Darlington)
for providing the photograph below of the kiddush cup, presented to his maternal grandfather
on the occasion of his grandfather's retirement as minister of the Congregation.
(Click on photograph for larger image)

Darlington Synagogue kiddush cup
Photograph Ian Rubinstein 201

The inscription on the above cup reads:
"Presented To
Rev. B. Hyams
by the Members of the
Darlington Hebrew Congregation
on his retirement from the Ministry
after 18 years devoted service


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Darlington include:

Burials (included in JOWBR - submitted by JCR-UK)

Darlington West Cemetery (Old Jewish Section), 1926-1994 (54 records) - cemetery details
Darlington West Cemetery (New Jewish Section), 1964-2006 (72 records) - cemetery details

1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2016)

Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Darlington during the 1810s (1 record); 1830s (1 record), 1850s (7 records), 1860s (1 record), 1900s (1 record) and 1910s (1 record).


On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to the Darlington Jewish Community



Darlington Jewish Cemetery Information

Darlington Jewish Cemetery    Darlington Jewish Cemetery
The Gates of the Darlington Jewish Cemetery, with a close-up of the plaque
Courtesy Peter Gatoff (© 2016)

Darlington Jewish Cemetery. The Darlington Hebrew Congregation has its own consecrated areas in the local municipal cemetery - West Cemetery, Carmel Road North, Darlington DR3 8RY. There are two sections, an "Old Section" dating from 1922 (earliest burial 1926) and a "New Section" dating from 1957.

Database of burials (54 records in Old Section and 72 records in New Section, the majority with photographs of gravestones) on JOWBR (submitted by JCR-UK) searchable on All-UK Database or JOWBR (see also Search Burials above)

(For additional information (if any), see also IAJGS Cemetery Project - Darlington.)


Lay Officers of the Congregation
(until mid-1950s)

Predecessor Congregation:


Solomon Abrahams - (founder and president) from c.1884 until 1890(xxxv)

Re-established Orthodox Congregation (to 1950s)(xxxvi):

Presidents Treasurers Secretaries or
Hon. Secretaries

1904-08 - Ellius Sliufko

1908-11 - Simon Levi

1911-14 - Ellius Sliufko

1914-16 - Simon Levi

1917-18 - Samuel Abrahams

1918-28 - A. Richardson

1928-30 - Samuel Raphael

1930-32 - M. Muscrave

1932-34 - Samuel Raphael

1934-37 - A Richardson

1937-39 - M. Musgrave

1939-41 - Samuel Raphael

1941-45 - Fred Rachkind

1945-47 - Samson Abrahams

1947-55 - A. Richardson

1904-06 - Simon Levi

1906-07 - A. Richardson

1907-08 - Lipman Hush

1908-09 - Samuel Raphael

1909-11 - Lipman Hush

1911-13 - A. Richardson

1913-15 - Samuel Raphael

1915-18 - Samuel Abrahams

1918-21 - Bernard Kletz

1921-30 - Samuel Raphael

1932-38 - H. Abrahams

1938-42 - H. Prag

1942-45 - S. Jackson

1945-47 - Samson Abrahams

1947-50 - F.P. Kalkstein

1950-56 - F.B. Kendall & Bernard Kletz

1904-06 - S. Abrahams

1906-08 - Solomon Sliufko

1908-09 - S. Cohen

1909-13 - Bernard Kletz

1913-15 - S. Abrahams

1915-18 - Samson Abrahams

1918-33 - Benard Kletz

1933-42 - Samson Abrahams

1942-47 - George E. Routledge

1947-50 - S. Rosenberg

1950-52 - J. Magoon

1952-55 - E.M. Goldstein

1955-57 - N. Jackson

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (xxxv) H. Pollins "Early History" and Northern Echo press report 27 October 1894.

  • (xxxvi) This data is based upon the press reports extracted by Harold Pollins (see above) and listings in Jewish Year Books from 1905/6 until 1957. The initial year shown is the year or approximate year of election and it is assumed that the officer continued to serve until the known election of his successor (although this cannot be certain, especially as in a number of cases annual data was not provided to the Jewish Year Book and the book was not published during World War II). 


Darlington Jewish Population Data



(The Jewish Year Book 1909)



(The Jewish Year Book 1910)



(The Jewish Year Book 1918)



(The Jewish Year Book 1922)



(The Jewish Year Book 1945/46)



(The Jewish Year Book 1947)



(The Jewish Year Book 1950)



(The Jewish Year Book 1951)



(The Jewish Year Book 1952)



(The Jewish Year Book 1969)



(The Jewish Year Book 1986)



(The Jewish Year Book 1991)



(The Jewish Year Book 1993)


Darlington's Earliest-Known Jewish Inhabitants

1841 Census
HO107/303/25/8 Page 11     Archer Street, Darlington, Durham




Trav. Jeweller
Trav. Jeweller
Trav. Jeweller
Trav. Jeweller



Reputed first Jewish child born in Darlington

Samuel Briski, June quarter Darlington 10a 17.  Brit Milah 23 March 1872. Father Jacob. Source: Arnold Levy, History of the Sunderland Jewish Community, 1755-1955, 1955, p. 293.

List of Reform Judaism Congregations

Jewish Congregations in County Durham

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 3 November 2003
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 25 June 2017
Second significantly expantion of data: 14 January 2019
Latest revision or update: 17 June 2021

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