Defoe found Highgate a favourite
retreat of wealthy Jews, who lived there 'in good
figure', served by their own butchers and other
tradesmen. He also heard that there was a private
synagogue, (fn. 1) which presumably was part of a house.
Jewish residents, such as the Da Costas, (fn. 2) probably
led Hyman Hurwitz to open his school by 1802. (fn. 3) A
synagogue adjoined Hurwitz's buildings (fn. 4) but did
not survive the school's closure. (fn. 5)
Public worship was confined to neighbouring
parishes until a temporary building was opened by
Hornsey and Wood Green affiliated synagogue in
1920. A new building on the same site in Wightman
Road, seating c. 200, was founded in 1958 and
opened in 1959. (fn. 6) In 1976 the congregation remained
a local synagogue, affiliated to the United Synagogue
in Upper Woburn Place, St. Pancras. (fn. 7)
Highgate district synagogue, so called from 1947, (fn. 8)
originated in a community which bought no. 88
Archway Road in 1929. A synagogue for c. 400 was
opened in 1937 (fn. 9) but superseded by no. 200, on the
corner of Wembury Road, in 1950. The building,
a converted Baptist chapel partly refaced with
yellow bricks, was damaged by fire in 1975. (fn. 10)
Services thereafter were held in a room attached to
St. Augustine's church and in the former Congregational church in South Grove, while new
premises were sought.
Muswell Hill Jews at first worshipped in hired
halls and a house in Methuen Park. (fn. 11) In 1946 they
registered a hall on the ground floor of the Athenaeum (fn. 12) and in 1962 they bought a site at no. 31
Tetherdown, for a synagogue to hold 500. The
congregation formed a district synagogue of the
United Synagogue by 1962 (fn. 13) and a constituent
synagogue from 1976. (fn. 14)
||D. Defoe, Tour through Eng. and Wales (Everyman
edn. 1928), ii. 3.
Trans. Jewish Hist. Soc. xxi. 80; see above, p. 135.
||See p. 197.
||Brewer, Beauties of Eng. and Wales, x(5), 216.
||Howitt, Northern Heights, 398.
Hornsey Jnl. 20 June 1958; 15 May 1959.
||Ex inf. the hon. sec.
||Except where otherwise stated, the para. is based on
information from the rabbi.
The Times, 23 Aug. 1937.
||Ibid. 31 Oct. 1975.
||Ex inf. the sec.
||G.R.O. Worship Reg. no. 61365.
Hornsey Jnl. 28 Sept. 1962.
||Ex inf. the sec.