South Bucks Jewish Community

Amersham, Buckinghamshire





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Congregation Data


South Bucks Jewish Community (SBJC)

Name Former

South Bucks Liberal Jewish Community (until about 1992)(i)


Services are, or were in about 2001, held in Zion Hall, Red Lion Street. Previously services were generally held in The Friends Meeting House, Whielden Street, Amersham, Bucks, from about 1992.(ii)
(Previously held at Chesham High School, Chesham, Bucks.)

Current Status:


Date Formed:

Formed in about 1986(iii), although there was an earlier group in the 1970s, centred in Little Chalfont, known as the New Bucks Group, affiliated to the Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue.


Liberal (Progressive)


A constituent community of Liberal Judaism (formerly Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues)




(To view a short profile of a rabbi, hold the cursor over his or her name.)

Rabbi Harry Martin Jacobi - from about 1990 until about 1995 (post-retirement) (but see footnote)(iv)

Rabbi Rachel Benjamin - from about 2006 until about December 2015 and again on a temporary basis from 1 April 2020 to September 2020.(v)

Rabbi Charley Baginsky - from May 2016 until 1 April 2020.(vi)

Rabbi Neil Janes - from November 2020.(vii)

Membership Data

National Reports and Surveys (ix)

1990 - 29 members (comprising 25 households, 1 individual male and 3 individual female members)

1996 - 37 members (households)

2010 - listed as having 50 to 99 members (by household)

2016 - listed as having 100 to 199 members (by household)

Congregation's Annual Reports(x)

2011 - 187

2012 - 194

2013 - 193 (in addition to 11 friends)

2014 - 207 (in addition to 9 friends)

2015 - 223 (including friends and affiliated members)

2016 - 205 (including friends andaffiliated members)(x)

Membership of the congregation is spread over a relatively wide area, including Amersham, Chesham, Beaconsfield and Gerrard Cross (all in Buckinghamshire), as well as Berkhamsted and Tring (both in Hertfordshire).(xi)

Charitable Status:

The congregation is a registered charity (no. 1098078), registered on 18 June 2001. The governing document is the congregation's constitution dated 29 November 1989, as amended 24 June 1990.(xii)

Registration District (BMD):

Buckinghamshire (since 1 July 2007)(xiii) - office situated in Aylesbury, Bucks - link to Register Office website.


There is no Jewish cemetery in Buckinghamshire. However, the congregation would appear to have some arrangement with the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St Johns Wood for the use of their section of the Edgwarebury Cemetery, Edgware.(xiv) see Cemeteries of Liberal Judaism

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) This was the name listed in Jewish Year Books until 1992.

  • (ii) The Zion Hall address is given in an article entitled "Keeping the faith in a Liberal way" in Bucks Free Press dated 15 February 2001. The Friends Meeting Hall address is noted Jewish Year Books from 1993 through 2000.

  • (iii) Based upon the congregation being first listed in Jewish Year Book 1987.

  • (iv) The dates of service of Rabbi Jacobi are not totally clear. The dates given here (1990-1995) appear in the Tribute to Rabbi Jacobi on Liberal Judaism's website, However is "Who's Who" entries in Jewish Year Books from 1998 through 2002, he is stated to be the then current minister of the congregation.

  • (v) Based upon Rabbi Benjamin's profile formerly on LJS website (accessed 1 May 2018), Liberal Judaism report of 11 January 2016 of Rabbi Benjamin's farewell to the community (after "nine years") and upon listing in Jewish Year Books from 2010. Her return to the congregation is for a six month period during the secondment of Rabbi Baginsky to Liberal Judaism Chief Executive (see below).

  • (vi) Congregation's website, last accessed 23 July 2019. On 1 April 2020, Rabbi Baginsky was seconded to Liberal Judaism for six months after the chief executive and senior rabbi stepped down.

  • (vii) News Report from Liberal Judaism "Rabbi Neil Janes joins South Bucks Jewish Community", dated 10 September 2020.

  • (viii) Reserved.

  • (ix) Reports on synagogue membership in the United Kingdom, published by or on behalf of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and which can be viewed on the website of the Institute of Jewish Policy Research. Click HERE for links to the various reports.

  • (x) Congregation's 2016 Annual Reports for 2013, 2014 and 2016, filed with Charities Commission, see below.

  • (xi) Congregation's website, accessed 30 July 2018.

  • (xii) Charity Commission website, in beta development, accessed 30 July 2018.

  • (xiii) For list of previous registration districts, see Chiltern Jewish Community home page. Any registers would now be held by current register office.

  • (xiv) In the listing of the congregation in Jewish Year Books, and elsewhere, there is referemce to this cemetery.


On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to this Congregation

Amersham & Chesham Jewish Community home page

List of Liberal Judaism Congregations

Jewish Congregations in Buckinghamshire

Jewish Congregations in Greater London and its Outskirts home page

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 1 March 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes added: 30 July 2018
Latest revision or update: 13 October 2020

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