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City of Leeds

The present boundaries of the officially-named City of Leeds metropolitan borough, in Northern England, date from 1974, when the county borough of Leeds was merged with a number of other localities from West Riding of Yorkshire to form the metropolitan district (later borough) within the then new metropolitan county of West Yorkshire.  Leeds became a unitary authority in 1986 when West Yorkshire lost its administrative status, becoming purely a ceremonial county.

The Leeds Jewish Community

The Leeds Jewish community is the second largest provincial community in Britain (exceeded only by Manchester), currently numbering over 8,000 (out of a total population of approximately for 430,000 for Leeds itself and 730,000 for the whole metropolitan borough).  The community only really became established in 1840, much later than many other communities.  By the 1870's, most of the community lived in, or close to, the very poor Leylands district, which was almost a Jewish ghetto. The Jews gradually moved to the north, partly as a result of slum clearance schemes which started in 1907 and very few were left in Leylands by the late 1930's. They initially settled in the Chapeltown district, and from the 1950's, moved further north to the vicinity of Moortown and the Ring Road (Alwoodley).

The Jewish Congregations in Leeds

The following congregations are, or were, considered to be part of the Leeds Community. (If you cannot trace the congregation in the list below, try searching in the list of alternative names.)

*  An active congregation.

#  Pages recently fully reformatted, with expanded data.

(1) Congregation records (as listed) in All-UK Database.

(2) Pages with their own searchable databases.

(3) Pages with press reports on the congregation.

(4) Pages with photographs.

(5) Pages with articles and other contributed material.

(6) Pages with browsable lists.

(7) Pages listing ministers and/or officers.


Alternative Names for Leeds Synagogues

The following are former, alternative or unofficial names for some of the congregations listed above:





Search of Leeds Cemeteries Records,
in respect of all Leeds Jewish Cemeteries
each with a brief article by A. Tobias describing the cemetery

  • BHH Cemetery - Records of 2,564 burials from 1955 to 29 February 2024, including photographs of 2,495 headstones.

  • Hill Top Cemeteries - Records of 2,953 burials, generally in use from 1875 to 1970 (but with some later burials), including photographs of 2,818 headstones.

  • New Farnley Cemeteries - Records of 9,017 burials from 1896 to 29 February 2024, including photographs of 7,943 headstones.

  • Sinai (Reform) Synagogue Cemetery - Records of 336 burials from the early 1950s to June 2014, including photographs of 324 headstones.

  • UHC Cemetery - Records of 7,078 burials from 1840 to 29 February 2024, including photographs of 5,293 headstones.

One may now do a single search covering all five of the Leeds Jewish Cemeteries,
to do so, follow the link from any of the above cemetery webpages.

Cemeteries Information

The following provides brief details of the five Jewish cemeteries in Leeds, for a more extensive description, please click on the name of the relevant cemetery below - for brief database details see above:

(For some additional information, also see IAJGS Cemetery Project - Leeds Cemetery)


 Search the All-UK Database

In addition to the Special JCR-UK Leeds Database (above), records in the All-UK Database associated with Leeds include:

  • Burials:

  • Marriages:

    • 1855 - 1973 (5,044 records).

  • Census:

    • Extracts for Leeds from: 1841 / 1851 / 1861 / 1871 / 1881 / 1891 / 1901 censuses (35,805 records).

  • Military:

    • Additions to the Roll of Honour. Records of Jewish serviceman who died in service 1914-1921 and who were not listed on http://www.roll-of-honour.com. (At least 25 records of serviceman born in Leeds).

  • UK Jewish Communal Leaders Database - Leeds records:

    • Jewish Directory for 1874 (records of 13 individuals);

    • Jewish Year Book 1896/97 (records of 29 individuals); and

    • JCR-UK Listings (records of 98 individuals - as of the March 2024 update).

  • 1851 Anglo Jewry Database - includes also Wakefield (8 miles to the south) (as of the 2016 update):

    • Individuals in the "1851" database who were living in:
      Leeds during the 1800s (1 record), 1820s (8 records), 1830s (30 records), 1840s (61 records), 1850s (131 records), 1860s (50 records), 1870s (45 records), 1880s (30 records), 1890s (8 records), 1900s (9 records) and 1910s (2 records);
      Wakefield during the 1840s (1 record) and 1850s (5 records).


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


on third party websites


Other Leeds Jewish Institutions & Organisations
(that had been formed by 1900)*

Educational & Theological

  • Jews Free School (Talmud Torah) (founded 1876) - just for boys.

  • Hebrew Schools (founded 1888) - for boys and girls

Other Institutions & Organisations

  • Jewish Board of Guardians (founded 1878) for the relief of resident and casual poor.

  • Society for the Relief of the Sick (founded 1872)

  • "Social Union" Benefit Society (founded 1854)

  • Chevra Kadishs Burial Society (founded 1895) to profer the last solemn rites to the dead, to assist the necessitous during the week of mourning, and to keep the cemetery in order.

  • Jewish Ladies' Benevolent Society (founded 1874), presumed successor to Ladies Lying-in Society (founded 1872) for assisting women during confinement.

  • Jewish Young Men's Association (founded by 1900).

  • Hebrew Literary Society (founded by 1900)

  • Bikur Cholim (founded 1876) for the relief of the sick poor.

  • Hachnasath Orechim (founded 1890) to provide poor strangers with shelter

  • Sick Charity Society (founded by 1900) for relief of sick poor, including medical attendance, surgical appliances.

* As listed in the Jewish Directory of 1874 and the Jewish Year Books 1896 & 1900.


Registration District
(Births, Marriages & Deaths)

  • Leeds (since 1 April 1939) -

    • Previous Registration Districts:
         Leeds (from 1 July 1837 to 1 March 1929); and
         Leeds North (1 March 1929 to 1 April 1939).

    • All registers would now be held by current office

  • Register Office website


Leeds Jewish Population Data


Approximate date of earliest organized Jewish Community in Leeds



(9 families and 28 male lodgers) (1841 census, per Murray Freedman's  "Leeds - The First Hundred Years")


Establishment of first Synagogue (see Great Synagogue)



(Murray Freedman's profile on Leeds Jewry)


about 500 families

(The Jewish Chronicle and E. Krausz - Leeds Jewry, 1964)



(Jewish Year Book 1896)



(Jewish Year Book 1935)



(Jewish Year Book 1945-6)



(Jewish Year Book 1956)



(Study of Louis Saipe)



(Murray Freedman's profile on Leeds Jewry)



(2001 Census results)



(estimate - Murray Freedman)



(2011 Census results)



(2021 Census results)

* These figures are disputed in "Leeds Jewry - A Demographical and Sociological Profile" by Murray Freedman, in which it is claimed that the highest number Leeds Jewry ever achieved was possibly around 22,000 in the late 1920's and early 1930's.  The Jewish Year Book 1991 also gives a figure for Leeds of 12,000, substantially above Murray's figure for a couple of years earlier.
**The 2001, 2011 and 2021 census result figures represent those who answered the voluntary question 'What is your religion?' by clicking the category 'Jewish' among the eight check-box options (another of which was 'No religion'). However, between 6.0% to 7.7% of the population nationally did not answer the question and the figure would not have included those who considered themselves Jews by ethnicity but not by religion, and accordingly the actual number of Jews would be higher than the figures shown. This figure for 2001 (and possibly other census results) includes approximately 1,000 students at university in Leeds.

Other Jewish Congregations in West Yorkshire

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created By John Berman: 2002
Congregations researched and page reformatted by David Shulman: September 2005
Page redesigned by Louise Messik: November 2011
Page reorganized by David Shulman: January 2013
Page most recently amended: 3 May 2024


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