the former

Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue

Leeds, West Yorkshire




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 House of Faith plaque - Leopols Street, Leeds
Blue "House of Faith" plaque displayed on the wall of the
congregation's former synagogue at 21 Leopold Street
© Nigel Grizzard

 Congregation Data


Leeds Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue(i)


21 Leopold Street, Leeds 7, from about 1924.(ii)

Date Founded:

Founded in about 1924.(ii)


Closed in the late 1940s due to declining numbers.(iii) The synagogue building was sold to Sinai (Reform) Synagogue in 1951 for £700(iv) and in 1961 became the Jinnah Mosque, the first mosque in Leeds (see photograph of plaque above).


Orthodox Sephardi, following Spanish & Portuguese rites, now often referred to as Western Sephardi.(v)

Many of the Sephardim Jews, who come to Leeds generally from Turkey and Greece in particular the city of Solonika, were traders in textiles and carpets, whose mother tongue was Ladino, derived from Old Spanish.


Although the congregation was unaffiliated it was, at least in the 1930s, attached to the United Hebrew Congregation for burial rights.(vi)


None known

Lay Officers:

Services were led by Maurice Nathan.(x)

The hon. secretary in the late 1940s is believed to have been Mr. N. Levy.(xi)

Registration District:

Leeds (since 1 April 1939)(xii) - Link to Register Office website


As mentioned above, at least in the 1930s, the congregation was attached to the United Hebrew Congregation for burial rights.

For details see Cemetery Information on Leeds Jewish Community home page.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) For some unknown reason, the congregation was never listed in Jewish Year Books, except, possibly from 1948 through 1951, when there is a listing of the "Sephardic Synagogue" with its address at 21 Leopold Street.

  • (ii) "Leeds Jewry - A History of its Synagogues" by Murray Freedman, p.48.

  • (iii) "Leeds Jewry - A History of its Synagogues" by Murray Freedman, pp.48/49. However Jewish Year Books 1948 through 1951 list a congregation under the name "Sephardic Synagogue" with its address at 21 Leopold Street, which is believed to be an incorrectly-named reference to this congregation. If this is the case, it is the only listing of this congregation in the Jewish Year Books at which stage the congregation had closed its doors or was in the process of doing so.

  • (iv) The website of the Sinai Synagogue, accessed 11†September 2019.

  • (v) There were about 35 to 40 Sephardi families in Leeds when the congregation was founded - "Leeds Jewry - A History of its Synagogues" by Murray Freedman, p.48.

  • (vi) Jewiish Years Books 1932 through 1938.

  • (vii) to (ix) Reserved.

  • (x) "Leeds Jewry - A History of its Synagogues" by Murray Freedman, pp.48/49.

  • (xi) Listed as hon. secretary of the Sephardic Synagogue(sic) of 21 Leopold Street in Jewish Year Books 1948 through 1951.

  • (xii) Previous registration districts:
    1 July 1837 to 1 March 1929 - Leeds.
    1 March 1929 to 1 April 1939 - Leeds North
    Any registers would now be held by current register office

Leeds Jewish Community home page

Other Jewish Congregations in West Yorkshire

List of Sephardi Congregations

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 20 September 2005
Latest revision or update: 24 February 2021

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