Harlow Jewish Community

Harlow, Essex




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Town of Harlow

Harlow, a new town, established in Essex in Southeast England in the late 1940's, has a population of about 80,000.  It was an urban district until 1974, when it became a local government district of the county of Essex.

The Jewish Community

Only one Jewish congregation is known to have existed in Harlow, the Harlow Jewish Community, a Reform congregation.

Congregation Data


Harlow Jewish Community


Harberts Road, Hare Street, CM19 4DT(ii)

Current Status:


Date Formed:





It would appear that the congregation became as a member of the Associated Synagogues of Great Britain (ASGB) by 1956.(iv) ASGB subsequently became the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain and is today the Movement for Reform Judaism, of which the congregation is a constituent synagogue.



(To view a short profile of a minister who also served other UK congregations - name in blue - hold the cursor over his name.)

Rabbi Maurice Arnold Michaels - dates uncertain(vi)

Rabbi Michael Pertz - from about 2002 until 2005(vii)

Rabbi Irit Shillor - from October 2005 until present (September 2019)(viii)

Membership Data:

National Reports and Surveys(ix)

1977 - 40 male (or household) members

1983 - 41 male (or household) members and estimated 41 female members

1990 - 76 members (comprising 55 households, 8 individual male and 13 individual female members)

1996 - 115 members (246 households)

2010 - listed as having 100 to 199 members (by household)

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

Charitable Status:

No information found as to registered charity status (as of 17 September 2019).

Cemetery & Burial Information:

There in no Jewish cemetery in Harlow.

However, the congregation is a member synagogue of the Jewish Joint Burial Society (JJBS), through which the congregation's members participate in a burial scheme, with burial rights at the Western Cemetery, Cheshunt.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) This was also the address under which the congregation was listed in Jewish Year Books from 1969.

  • (iii) Congregation's website, accessed 17 September 2019.

  • (iv) Based upon the congregation first being listed as a member of the Reform movement in Jewish Year Book 1957. However, Tradition and Change - A History of the Reform Movement in Britain 1840-1995 (1995) by A.J. Kershen and Rabbi Jonathan A. Romain, p.358, states that the congregation joined the Reform movement in 1960, akthough this would appear to be an error..

  • (v) Reserved.

  • (vi) Source to be added. Rabbi Michaels is not listed as minister of the congregation in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (vii) Based upon Rabbi Pertz's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 2003 through 2009 and the appointment of his successor in January 2016. There were no ministers listed for the congregation in Jewish Year Books prior to 2003, although in the 2003 edition a Rabbi J. Newman was referred to as rabbi emeritus.

  • (viii) Based upon Rabbi Shillor's LinkIn account and the congregation's website, accessed 17 September 2019, where she is still named as minister. Jerusalem-born Rabbi Shillor was ordained at Leo Baeck College, London in 2002.

  • (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.


Community Records

Registration District (BMD):

  • Essex (since 1 February 2010)

    •  Previous Registration Districts:
         Epping - from 1 July 1937 to 1 April 1974;
         Harlow - 1 April 1974 to 1 February 2010.

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

  • Link to Register Office website

  • Group for Marriage Certification: West London Synagogue


Harlow Jewish Population


45 families

(The Jewish Year Book 1985)



(The Jewish Year Book 1991)

List of Reform Judaism Congregations

Jewish Congregations in Essex

Jewish Communities in Greater London and its Outskirts

List of Member Synagogues of the Jewish Joint Burial Society

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 2 February 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 17 September 2019
Latest revision or update: 20 November 2019

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