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Clapton Federation Synagogue

Clapton Federation Synagogue



Private (unknown)

Date or period


Current Designation


Architectural Merit

Some of the entrance gates and supporting brick piers remain

The Clapton Federation Synagogue at 47 Lea Bridge Road (formerly Sha’are Shomayim or Clapton Synagogue and Tamud Torah) was founded by Elias Emphraim Frumkin (1880-1958). The Frumkin family owned the reputable east end wine merchants, Frumkin & Co.

Constructed in a cinematic art deco style to a design by Marcus Kenneth Glass, the building was demolished in 2006 in the face of attempts to have it listed[1].

Based in Newcastle, Glass’s 1928 Ryhope Road Synagogue in Sunderland, which Pevsner describes as ‘vigorous and decorative’, islisted Grade II.[2].

Kenneth Glass was based in Newcastle from where he designed a string of Synagogues in a similar and distinctive cinematic style including Jesmond Synagogue, Newcastle (1915). His style is characterised by colourful facades with corner towers, polychrome brickwork and Byzantine features and mosaics.

Theentrance gates,incorporating an abstract menorah design, survive although these may be more closely associated with the adjacent former Jewish School (possibly also the Clapton Jewish Youth Club), now converted into flats.

The Federation was founded in 1919 and registered at no. 47LeaBridgeRd in 1932. The Federation was a constituent member of the Federation of Synagogues and the building was classified as a 'cathedral synagogue' in 1975.

Harold Pinter (playwright), Helen Shapiro (singer), Michael Billington (theatre critic), and Lord Levy (Labour donor) all attended the synagogue and/or the adjacent school.


'Hackney: Judaism', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10: Hackney (1995), pp. 145-148

The Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History,William D. Rubinstein, Michael Jolles, Hilary L. Rubinstein.


leabridge.org.uk December 2012