In 2010 we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the first custom built synagogue in Leeds.

At that time, we realised that there were many untold stories of the early Jewish immigrants to the city and decided to seek out these stories before they were lost to posterity.

After sending out blanket requests for people to send us stories, photographs and other items that would be of interest to future generations, this fascinating information has now grown into a vast, well documented archive.

We have also interviewed over 80 people whose stories have been taped and transcribed.

Leeds university students and staff, in addition to Channel 4, ITV and the BBC, have used material from the archive for research and documentaries such as  ‘A Very BritishPeople, and The Jews of Leeds’.



Extensive research and countless interviews with various cross sections of the Jewish community have been undertaken over the last 2 years to compile a comprehensive book that celebrates and chronicles the immigration of Jews to Leeds.

See Yorkshire Post short video clip made on the writing of the book:

C04.3.15 Girls at drill Darley Street School c 1905 Leeds Library and Information Services Charlie Marcus Band C06.3

Above: Girls at Drill, Darley School, c 1905 (Leeds Library and Information Services.

The Charlie Marcus Band

The book follows the story of the immigration and growth of the Jewish community of Leeds from the late 1800’s to present day through anecdotes, photographs and short stories – the struggles, the hardships and the good times.

Written by Diane Saunders and Philippa Lester, this fascinating book of around 400 pages, is captivating and emotional.

The launch event in the form of a one day ‘nostalgia fest’ offered a trip down memory lane and included a ‘brought to life’ exhibition, short films, drama sketches, stand up comedy, interesting talks, stands, artifacts, a cafe and much more..


 ‘From the Leylands to Leeds 17’ is on sale at £20 and can also be pre-ordered.






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