Canvey Island Jewish Community

including the former

Canvey Island Hebrew Comgregation

Canvey Island, Essex




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Town of Canvey Island

Canvey Island is a town on an island of the same name in the Thames estuary in southeast England, having a population of about 40,000. It is within the borough of Castle Point in the county of Essex. Castle Point was formed as a local government district in 1974 by the merger of the urban districts of Canvey Island and Benfleet.

Canvey Island Jewish Community

For much of the twentieth century Canvey Island was a popular resort for holidaymakers and day trippers, many of them Jewish residents of the East End of London. There was a Jewish congregation on Canvey Island in existence for a few years in the 1930s. In February 1953, it was reported that there were some 16 to 20 Jewish families living on Canvey Island, of whom about eight Jewish families were re-housed temporarily at Westcliff (some of them being maintained by the local congregation), as a result of the low-lying island being struck by a severe flood, causing the death of 58 people.(ii)

In 2016, a new Jewish community was established on the island, when a pioneer group of six Ultra-Orthodox families from the Satmar Chasidic sect moved into the area from the Stamford Hill area of North London, approximately one-hour's drive away.

Data on 1930s Jewish Congregation


Canvey Island Hebrew Congregation.(iii)


No synagogue building.(iv)


In November 1935, it was reported that:(v)

"Some nine or ten years ago, Mr. A. Rosenthal and Mr. [Maurice] Schifren, with Mr. [Maurice] Hartfield (who has since died), started to hold services on New Year and the Day of Atonement at "Goldina", [Shell Beach Road,] Mr. Rosenthal's bungalow on the sea-front.  Since then, the Jewish Community on Canvey has steadily grown, until this year it was found possible not only to hold, for the first time, services on the High Festivals, but also seriously to contemplate forming a permanent Congregation and, ultimately the building of a Synagogue."

The congregation was formally founded in 1935.(vi) There were, however, no reports of a synagogue being built.(ix)


Although the congregation was only listed in a single Jewish Year Book,(x) indicating that it only lasted until 1936, it is understood that home services at 'Goldie' continued for a number of years.(xi)


Ashkenazi Orthodox.


None known


President - I. Flitterman;       Treasurer - I. Sugar;       Hon. Secretary - A. Barnett


Data on Current Jewish Community


The Jewish Congregation of Canvey Island(xx)


Canvey Island Jewish Centre, which is situated at the former Castle View School, Meppel Avenue, Canvey Island, SS8 9RZ, and which was purchased for the community on 24 March 2016.(xxi) The synagogue services are held in the former assembly hall of the school.

One of the buildings, used as the Luzern Yeshiva, was severely damaged by a fire during Chanukka 2019(xxii) and there are plans for the building to be replaced with a new structure, consisting of a kitchen and bedrooms on the ground floor, with classrooms and a religious hall on the first floor.(xxiii)

In April 2021, there was a proposal to build an additional small synagogue in the garden of a house on Furtherwick Road, for use on Sabbath and Festivals by the the elderly, disabled and parents of young children who find it difficult to make a lengthy walk to the synagogue on Meppel Avenue.(xxiv)

Date Founded:

The community began in May 2016, when six pioneer families moved to Canvey Island from Stamford Hill at the same time.(xxvii)

Current Status:

By 2020, the community already consisted of some 500 people (80 families).(xxviii)

Ritual and Affiliation:

The community is Ashkenazi Orthodox, consisting almost entirely of young Satmar Chassidim.

As such, it is presumably associated with the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (UOHC) or, at least, the Adath Yisroel Burial Society.

Spiritual Leader:

The community had not yet appointed its own rabbi or minister, although several members of the community are reported to have semicha.

Charitable and Legal Status:

A number of charities have recently been established to further the interest of the new Jewish Community on Canvey Island.  These include:(xxix)

Beis Hamedrash Canvey, registered charity number 1198799, standard registration registered on 3 May 2022.

Canvey Talmudic Congregation Limited, registered charity number 1198864, registered on 6 May 2022, and which is also a private charitable company limited by guarantee without share capital (company number 13382902) incorporated on 7 May 2021.

Canvey Kehilla Ltd., registered charity number 1201990, registered on 17 February 2023, and which is also a private charitable company limited by guarantee without share capital (company number 14171098) incorporated on 14 June 2022.

Canvey Jewish Trust Ltd., registered charity number 1195064, registered on 6 July 2021, and which is also a private charitable company limited by guarantee without share capital (company number 11746003) incorporated on 2 January 2019.

Hatzola Canvey Ltd., registered charity number 1203224, registered on 24 May 2023, and which is also a private charitable company limited by guarantee without share capital (company number 12008843) incorporated on 21 May 2019.



Online Articles, Videos, Bibliography and Other Material
relating to the Canvey Island Jewish Community

Third Party Articles and Videos

Some Notable Jewish Connections with Canvey Island

  • Councillor Sidney Alterman served as Chairman of Canvey Island Urban District Council in 1963/64. (Photographs on CanveyIsland.org website.)

  • Peter Greenbaum (1946-2020), known professionally as Peter Green, was a singer-songwriter and guitarist and the founder of Fleetwood Mac. At the time of his death he was living on Canvey Island.

  • Maurice Hartman (c.1859-1932), local parish councillor, was an early property developer on Canvey Island. (Obituary and "Memories" by his grandson, on CanveyIsland.org website.)


Community Records

Registration District (BMD):

  • Essex (since 1 February 2010)

    • Previous registration districts: Rochford from 1 July 1837 to 1 April 1974; Southend-on-Sea from 1 April 1974 to 1 April 1998; and Castle Point & Rochford from 1 April 1998 to 1 February 2010.

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

  • Link to Register Office website


Jewish Cemetery Information

There is no Jewish Cemetery on Canvey Island


Canvey Island Jewish Population


16-20 familes

(Jewish Chronicle, 13 February 1953)



(2011 Census - Borough of Castle Point)



(2021 census - Borough of Castle Point)


Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) Jewish Chronicle report of 13 February 1953.

  • (iii) Name listed in Jewish Year Books 1936.

  • (iv) No address listed in Jewish Year Books.

  • (v) Jewish Chronicle report of 8 November 1935.

  • (vi) Jewish Year Book 1936, the only edition in which the congregation was listed, which stated that the congregation had been established in 1935.

  • (vii) and (viii) Reserved.

  • (ix) J Trail - Canvey Island - History by Anne Marcus.

  • (x) Listed solely Jewish Year Book 1936.

  • (xi) J Trail - Canvey Island - History by Anne Marcus.

  • (xii) Named as office holders in the Jewish Chronicle of 8 November 1935 and listed in the Jewish Year Book 1936.

  • (xiii) to (xix) Reserved.

  • (xx) Page 3 of Report by Shlomit Flint Ashery.

  • (xxi) Item 3, page 3 of Report by Shlomit Flint Ashery.

  • (xxii) Times of Israel report "London-area yeshiva burns down on first night of Hanukkah" of 23 December 2019.

  • (xxiii) Southend Echo report "Canvey Jewish school plans replacement after huge blaze" of 20 July 2022.

  • (xxiv) Jewish News report "Canvey Island Charedi community leaders criticised over shul garden plan" of 20 April 2021.

  • (xxv) and (xxvi) Reserved.

  • (xxvii) Item 3, page 4 of Report by Shlomit Flint Ashery.

  • (xxviii) Essex Live report "How 500 Haredi Jews moved from London to Canvey Island and made it their home" of 13 August 2020.

  • (xxix) Company House and Charity Commission websites, accessed January 2024. Clicking on the charity number and company number will take you, respectively, to the charity's registration and the company's registration on the respective websites.

Jewish Congregations in Essex

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 10 August 2017
Data expanded and notes added: 28 January 2024
Page most recently amended: 5 February 2024

Research by David Shulman. assisted by Steven Jaffe
Formatting by David Shulman

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