David Woolf Marks

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For other people named David Marks, see David Marks (disambiguation).

Rev Prof David Woolf Marks (22 November 1811 – 3 May 1909)[1] was a Hebrew scholar and an English rabbi of Reform Judaism. He served as professor of belles-lettres at Wigan College, Liverpool, and professor of Hebrew at University College London.[2] He is notable for devising the order of service used by the Reform synagogues of the time.

He served as assistant reader at the Western Synagogue, St Alban's Place, Haymarket, and was named assistant reader and secretary to the Liverpool congregation in 1833.[2] In 1840 Marks became the first rabbi of the West London Synagogue of British Jews[3] and served in that post until 1895.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Marks was born in London. His father was a merchant named Woolf Marks and his mother's name was Mary.[2]

He and his wife Cecilia Sarah (née Woolf;[2] 15 July 1818 – 19 October 1882) were married on 14 December 1842.[1] They had two daughters and four sons. One son, Harry Marks, was MP for the Isle of Thanet and proprietor and editor of the Financial News.[2]


Marks died at his home in Maidenhead on 3 May 1909[2] and was buried at Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.[1]


Marks published four volumes of sermons (1851–85) and The Law is Light, a course of lectures on the Mosaic Law (1854). He contributed to a biography of Sir Francis Goldsmid (1879) and to Smith's Bible Dictionary.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "MARKS Rev. Prof David Woolf [David b Benjamin Ze'ev] 1811 - 1909". Cemetery Scribes. 22 August 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Epstein, M; revised by Black, Gerry (May 2006) [2004]. "Marks, David Woolf (1811–1909)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Wyman, Jessica. "West London Synagogue of British Jews". JCR-UK. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 

Further reading[edit]