Cambridge Jewish Community

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire




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congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.
NOTE: We are not the official website for this community.

City of Cambridge

The university city of Cambridge, situated in the east of England on the river Cam, has a population of over 100,000. It was a municipal borough until 1974, when it became a local government district of the administrative county of Cambridgeshire.

The Cambridge Jewish Community

There had been a medieval Jewish community in Cambridge. Jews had began to resettle in Cambridge by the mid-eighteenth century and the town is believed to have had an organised community by 1774. However, the community did not continue long into the nineteenth century and was defunct by the 1830s. It was then re-established in the 1840s. In 1899 the students of the University took over running of the Synagogue from the residents.

Jewish Congregations

The following are the Jewish congregations that existed in Cambridge:

* An active congregation.


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Cambridge include:

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

    • Individuals the "1851" database who who were living in Cambridge during the 1790s (8 records), 1800s (11 records), 1810s (8 records); 1820s (4 records), 1830s (6 records), 1840s (13 records), 1850s (25 records), 1860s (3 records), 1870s (9 records), 1880s (4 records), 1890s (3 records) and 1900s (2 records).

  • UK Jewish Communal Leaders Database - Cambridge records:

    • JCR-UK Listings and others (records of 157 individuals - as of the March 2024 update).


Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Cambridge Jewish Community


on third party's website

  • Jewish Encyclopaedia article on Cambridge by Joseph Jacobs and Francis L. Cohen, c-1906.

  • A short history of Cambridge Jewry on the Cambridge Traditional Jewish Congregation website.

  • CTJC Magazine (approximately 40 bulletins dated from September 2008) on the Cambridge Traditional Jewish Congregation website.

Some Notable Jewish Connections with Cambridge

  • Celebrated Cambridge academics and alumni include:

    • Selig Brodetsky (1988-1954), Russian-born mathematician, who served as a member of the World Zionist Executive, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and the second president of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge.

    • Sacha Baron Cohen (b. 1971), British television personality, comedian, actor, writer and producer, was a graduate Christ's College, Cambridge

    • Joseph Crool (1760–1829), Hungarian-born British scholar and writer who taught Hebrew to members of Cambridge University. He was opposed to Jewish emancipation, fearing that it would lead to assimilation.

    • Stephen Fry (b. 1957), British actor, broadcaster, comedian and writer, was a graduate of Queen's College, Cambridge.

    • Edwin Samuel Montagu (1879-1924), British politician and Liberal Member of Parliament, who served as Secretary of State for India (1917-1922), was a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge.

    • Herchel Smith (1925-2001), an Anglo-American organic chemist and philanthropist, whose discoveries included the key inventions underlying oral and injectable contraceptives, was a graduate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

    • Rachel Hannah Weisz (b. 1970), British born actress, was a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge.

  • Rabbinical Figures who were residents or students in Cambridge include:

    • Rabbi Isaac Abendana taught Hebrew and rabbinics at Cambridge University in the 1680s, although he was not a formal member of university staff, as such a position at the time was banned to Jews.

    • Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks gained a first-class honours degree (MA) in Philosophy from Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge.

    • Rabbi Norman Solomon, of Liverpool and Hampstead Synagogue, was a graduate of St. John's College, Cambridge.


Other Jewish Institutions & Organisations in Cambridge

Cambridge Jewish Residents Association

CIRA was established in 1940 following the influx many Jews into Cambridge as evacuees from London or as refugees from Nazi Europe. With the establishment in Cambridge of organised Orthodox and Reform congregations in the early 1980s, the CJRA has today assumed a role as an umbrella group for the whole Cambridge Jewish community, concentrating on social, educational, cultural and welfare activities with less emphasis on religious activities.(xxi)

Cambridge Jewish Residents Association is a registered charity (number 1187648), registered on 29 January 2020 (following an earlier registration, number 289724 registered on 25 September 1984, which was removed on 23 May 2022). The objects of the charity are (1) The advancement of the Jewish faith for the benefit of those inhabitants of the area, in particularly but not exclusively through holding religious services; providing education in the Jewish culture and through the provision of burial in accordance with Jewish rites for the benefit of those inhabitants of the area of benefit being persons of the Jewish faith. (2) The relief from need, poverty, sickness and distress of Jewish persons and others resident in the area of benefit, including making grants to Jewish charities.(xxii)
Website: https://cambridgejewishresidents.org

Cambridge Jewish Cultural Association is an offshoot of the CJRA.
The CJRA administers the Oxford Chevrah Kadishah (Jewish Burial Society).

Past Officers of the CJRA(xxiii)


1946-1948 - Dr. L.J. Harris(xxiv)

1948-1949 - Dr. D. Tabor(xxv)

1949-1953 - Dr. L.J. Harris(xxiv)

1953-1956 - Dr. D. Tabor(xxv)

1956-1978 - no data

1978-1979 - Rabbi Dr. Nicholas R.M de Lange

1979-1980 - Dr. D. Pearl

1981-1984 - Mrs. E. Shepherd

1984-1985 - Dr. D. Abulafia

1985-1988 - Mrs. L. Klug

1988-1993 - Mrs. T. Bleehen


1945-1946 - C. Fox

1946-1949 - R.J. Loewe

1949-1952 - I. Sofier

1952-1956 - Dr. F. Ursell

Hon. Secretaries

1945-1946 - Mrs. H.H. Loewe

1946-1949 - Mrs. R. Richards

1949-1952 - Dr. D. Tabor(xxv)

1952-1954 - Miss Anna Sunderland

1954-1957 - C. Goldwater

1957-1958 - Mrs. F. Houston

1958-1959 - Mrs. A. Korner

1959-1961 - L. Tabizel

1961-1966 - Mrs. Rattner

1966-1974 - M. Porter

1974-1977 - S. Simons

1977-1979 - S. Romm

1979-1980 - Mrs. S. Blaukoft

1980-1981 - Mrs. Valerie Chazan

1981-1982 - Dr. Anna Sapir

Cambridge University Jewish Society

The CUJS, formed in 1937 by the merger of the Cambridge Hebrew Congregation, The Schechter Society (founded 1902 to communicate the work of Rabbi Dr. Solomon Schechter at Cambridge), the Oxford Zionist Society and the Oxford branch of the Anglo-Jewish Association,(xxvi) is one of the largest societies at Cambridge University. The Society provides a space to all Jewish students, regardless of your affiliation, background or level of religious observance and runs Shabbat services in the Synagogue during term-time.
Website: https://www.cujs.org

Click here the list of rabbis who have served as Chaplain to the Univertiy's Jewish students

Past Officers of the CUJS(xxiii)


1950-1951 - Miss A. Lee (Newham Coll.)

1951-1954 - M. Reston

1954-1955 - A.P. Samuel

1955-1956 - V. Kelly

1956-1964 - no data

1964-1965 - J. Littman

1965-1969 - Miss A. Gottleib

1969-1970 - N. Brownstein

1970-1971 - A. Doran, Snr.

1971-1972 - M. Leibling

1972-1973 - R. Hasset

1973-1975 - L. Moss

1977-1981 - J.A. Rosen (Clare Coll.)

1981-1982 - S.D. Rosen (Pembroke Coll.)

1982-1984 - B. Shaw (Downing Coll.)

1984-1985 - E. Sacks (Caius Coll.)

1985-1986 - E. Goodman (Queen's Coll.)

1986-1987 - Miss J. Ebner (Homerton Coll.)

1987-1988 - P. Spencer

1988-1990 - M. Pearlman

Senior Treasurers

1948-1949 - C. Dombe

1949-1956 - Dr. D. Tabor

1956-1964 - no data

1964-1977 - B. Landy


Hon. Secretaries

1949-1950 - Miss A. Lee (Newham Coll.)

1950-1951 - S.R. Periera (Sidney Sussex Coll.)

1951-1954 - G. Goodhart (Downing Coll.)

1954-1955 - A.J. Priestley

1955-1956 - A.J. CohenS. Simons

1956-1957 - C.D. MorrisA. Sperber

1957-1958 - D.M. BlackburnA.P. Naftalin

1958-1959 - L. LovitchA. Ziderman

1959-1960 - Miss R. NebarroA.V. Jayson

1960-1961 - A.J. ClassH. Heyerhoff

1963-1964 - Miss J. Glass (Newham Coll.)

Other Miscellaneous Cambridge Institions

  • Friends of Hebrew University, formed by 1945.(xxx)

  • Women's Zionist Society, formed by 1945.(xxxi)

  • Israel Society, formed by 1961.(xxxii)

  • Jewish Ladies Guild, formed by 1966.(xxxiii)

  • League of Jewish Women, formed by 1977.(xxxiv)


Community Records

  • Registration District (for BMD): Cambridgeshire (since 1 October 2007).

    • Previous Registration Districts
         Cambridge (from 1 July 1837 to 1 April 1935);
         Cambridgeshire (from 1 April 1935 to 1 April 1935);
         Cambridge (1 April 1935 to 1 October 2007).

    • Any registers would now be held by current register office, which is situated in Huntingdon.

    • Link to Register Office website



Cambridge Jewish Cemeteries Information

Cambridge has (or had) the following Jewish cemeteries:

  • Newmarket Road Cemetery, Jewish Section. This (together with the Jewish Section at the new Dry Drayton Cemetery) is the cemetery of the Jewish orthodox congregation. The cemetery was established in 1941 by the Cambridge Jewish Residents Association, who administer the Chevra Kaddishah for the cemetery.

  • Newmarket Road Cemetery, Reform Jewish Section, established in 1984

  • There are also a number of American Jewish servicemen buried in the American War Cemetery, Madingley Road, just outside Cambridge.

  • (There was also a medieval Jewish Cemetery in use from after 1177 until 1290.)

(For additional information, see IAJGS Cemeteries Project - Cambridge)


Cambridge Jewish Population Data

(excluding student population)



(The Jewish Year Book 1896/7)



(The Jewish Year Book 1898/9)



(The Jewish Year Book 1900/1



(The Jewish Year Book 1909)



(The Jewish Year Book 1912)



(The Jewish Year Book 1914)



(The Jewish Year Book 1951)



(The Jewish Year Book 1972)



(The Jewish Year Book 1991)


over 1,000

(The Jewish Year Book 2001)



(The Jewish Year Book 2005)



(The Jewish Year Book 2012)


Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  •  (i) to (xx) Reserved.

  •  (xxi) CJRA website.

  •  (xxii) Charities Commission website.

  •  (xxiii) Data extracted from Jewish Year Book listings. Where a person is first listed in a year book as holding a particular office, it has been assumed that his or her term of office commenced in the year of publication of the relevant year book and that he or she continued in office until the commencement of office of his or her successor, unless the office was vacant. During this period, year books were published according to the Gregorian year, being published generally towards the end of the year prior to the year appearing in the title of the year book. For example, if an officer is listed in Jewish Year Books 1984 through 1986, it is assumed that he or she commenced office in 1983 and continued in office until 1986. However, it should be noted that this is only an assumption and, accordingly, the actual years of office may differ somewhat from those shown here.

  •  (xxiv) Dr. L.J. Harris was listed as hon. president in the Jewish Year Books 1954 through 1956. Thereafter executive officers were no longer listed until the 1970s.

  •  (xxv) Dr. Tabor was listed as S. Tabor and T. Tabor, respectively, in Jewish Year Books 1949 and 1954 but as D. Tabor elsewhere, which is believed to be his correct initial.

  •  (xxvi) Jewish Year Book 1938.

  •  (xxvii) to (xxix) Reserved.

  •  (xxx) First listed in the Jewish Year Book 1945/6.

  •  (xxxi) First listed in the Jewish Year Book 1945/6.

  •  (xxii) First listed in Jewish Year Book 1962.

  •  (xxiii) First listed in Jewish Year Book 1967.

  •  (xxiv) First listed in Jewish Year Book 1978.

Jewish Congregations in Cambridgeshire

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 21 August 2005
Page significantly expanded and notes added: 12 October 2023
Page most recently amended: 17 April 2024

Research and formatting by David Shulman

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