Bournemouth & Poole Jewish Community





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Town of Bournemouth

Bournemouth, a seaside resort on England's southern coast, has a population of about 160,000. Until 1974, it was a county borough in the county of Hampshire. In the local government reforms of 1974, it became a local government district of the administrative county of Dorset.  In 1997, it became a unitary authority, remaining within Dorset for ceremonial purposes and in 2019, it joined with Poole and the district Christchurch to form the unitary authority of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole remaining within the ceremonial county of Dorset. Bournemouth is twinned with the Israel coastal city of Natanya.

Town of Poole

Poole, a coastal town lying just to the east of Bournemouth, has a population of about 135,000. It was a municipal borough in the county of Dorset, until 1974, when it became a local government district, still within the administrative county of Dorset.  In 1997, it became a unitary authority and in 2019, it joined with Bournemouth and the district Christchurch to form the unitary authority of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole remaining within the county of Dorset for ceremonial purposes.

The Jewish Community

The Bournemouth Jewish community dates back to about 1905, and is one of the larger communities in the UK, partly due to its appeal as a retirement resort.  The town was also very popular as a Jewish holiday resort and, at one time, boasted quite a number of kosher hotels, of which only one remains (see Bournemouth Jewish Hotels Consigned to History as Normandie Battles On).  A number of Jews also now live in Poole, which forms single conurbation with Bournemouth.

Jewish Congregations

The following are the Jewish congregations that exist or existed in Bournemouth:

* an active congregation


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Bournemouth and Poole include:

  • Burials

    • Boscombe Cemetery, Bournemouth, 1911 - 1998 (716 records*);

    • Kinson Cemetery, Bournemouth,  1955 - 2005 (867 records*);

    • Throop Cemetery, Bournemouth,  1996 - 2001 (77 records*).
      *A search in the database may also reveal duplicates of these records on the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Register (JOWBR).

  • UK Jewish Communal Leaders Database - Bournemouth records:

    • JCR-UK Listings (records of 106 individuals - as of the March 2024 update).

  • 1851 Anglo Jewry Database (as of the 2016 update):

    • Individuals in the "1851" database who were living in:
      Bournemouth during the 1870s (1 record), 1880s (2 records), 1890s (1 record), 1900s (5 records) and 1910s (5 records); and
      Poole during the 1760s (1 record), 1770s (1 record), 1780s (1 record), 1790s (3 records), 1800s (3 records), 1810s (4 records) and 1820s (4 records).


Online Articles, Bibliography and Other Material
relating to the Jewish Community in Bournemouth and Elsewhere in Dorset


On Third Party websites

Notable Jewish Connections with Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

  • Jewish Former Residents connected the Arts, Entertainment or the Media:

    • Natalie Clein, OBE, British classical cellist, and her sister, Louisa Clein, British actress, known for portraying the role of Maya Stepney in the ITV soap opera "Emmerdale", were both born in Poole .

    • Sir Paul Fox CBE (b. 1925), the Controller of BBC1 between 1967 and 1973, was born in Bournemouth.

    • Max Harris (1918-2004), a British film and television composer and arranger, was born in Bournemouth.

    • Juliette Kaplan (1939-2019), British actress, most famous for playing the role of Pearl Sibshaw in the BBC comedy "Last of the Summer Wine' was born in Bournemouth.

  • Sir Oliver Letwin PC FRSA (b. 1956), who is Jewish, was Conservative MP for West Dorset from 1997 to 2019 and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from 2014 to 2016.

  • Jewish Mayors of Bournemouth:

    • Louis Victor Barney, in 1959/60.

    • Michael Filer, in 1984/5, and his wife, Anne Filer, in 2007/8 and 2023/4.

    • Barry Goldbart, in 2010/1.

    • Ben Grower, in 2000/1.

    • Pamela Harris, in 1995/6

    • Dr Gabriel Vivian Jaffe (1923-2016), in 1977/8.

    • Lawrence Williams, in 2017/8.

  • Jewish Mayor of Christchurch:

    • Barrington Myers, in 1962/3.

  • Jewish Mayor of Poole:

    • Elias (Charles) Van Raalte (d.1908), in 1903/4. He was the owner of Brownsea Castle and island, situated at Poole Harbour.

  • The Royal Naval Cordite Factory, at Holton Heath, Dorset, (about six miles west of Poole) is where Dr. Chaim Weizmann (later the first President of the State of Israel) developed the industrial process of bacterial fermentation in the production of explosives. This gave valuable assistance to the British munitions industry, then (1916) in dire need of acetone (a vital ingredient of cordite).


Other Bournemouth & Poole Jewish Institutions & Organisations

Educational & Theological

  • Bournemouth Jewish Day School (Scopus)

  • Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation Religious Classes (founded by 1906)

Other Institutions & Organisations

  • Chevra Kadisha (founded by 1925)

  • Home for Aged (Hanah Levy House) (founded by 1990)

  • Jewish Ladies Guild (founded by 1923)

  • Jewish Welfare Society (founded by1950)

  • Maurice Isaac Narsden & Bournemouth Hebrew Philanthropic Society (founded by 1925, previously Bournemouth Philanthropic Society, founded by 1914)

  • Social & Literary Society (founded 1911)

  • Zionist Society (founded by 1928)

  • Women's Zionist Society (founded by 1939)



Registration Districts (for BMD)

For Bournemouth:

  • Bournemouth (since 1 October 1932)

    • Previous Registration Districts:
         Christchurch (from 1 July 1937 to 1 July 1925); and
         Bournemouth & Christchurch (1 July 1925 to 1 October 1932).

    • Any registers would now be held by the current register office.

    • Register Office website

For Poole:


Bournemouth Jewish Cemeteries Information

 Bournemouth has the Jewish cemeteries listed below. See above for a search of the database relating to these cemeteries.

  • Bournemouth East (Boscombe) Cemetery, Jewish Section, Gloucester Road, Boscombe.
    Burials from 1908. Orthodox. Closed, except for reserved plots for old established members of the Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation.

  • Kinson Cemetery, Jewish Sections, South Kinson Drive, Bournemouth:

    • Reform Plots - Opened in 1948, used by the Bournemouth Reform Synagogue.

    • Orthodox Plots - Opened 1953, used by Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation. Generally full.

  • Throop Cemetery, Broadway Lane, Throop
    Acquired 1996 by the Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation and currently in use.

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


Bournemouth Jewish Population Data



(The Jewish Year Book 1945/46)



(The Jewish Year Book 1951)



(The Jewish Year Book 1963)



(The Jewish Year Book 1964)



(The Jewish Year Book 1967)



(The Jewish Year Book 1975)



(The Jewish Year Book 1987)



(The Jewish Year Book 1991)



(2001 census results)



(2011 Census results)



(2021 Census results for unitary authority of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole)

*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.

Jewish Congregations in Dorset

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 21 August 2005
Page most recently amendede: 28 March 2024

Research and formatting by David Shulman

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