Southampton Jewish Community

Southampton, Hampshire




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congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.
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City of Southampton

The city of Southampton, with a population of about 220,000, is the major port on the south coast of England, sitting at the northernmost point of Southampton Water, approximately halfway between Portsmouth and Bournemouth. It is a unitary authority lying geographically within the county of Hampshire.  From 1974 to 1996, it formed a district in the administrative county of Hampshire and, prior thereto, it was a county borough in Hampshire.

The Southampton Jewish Community

The earliest Jewish residents are believed to have settled in Southampton as early as 1786, and a congregation may have been formed by 1817. For an brief history of early Jewish settlement in Southampton, see "Southampton" from the Rise of Provincial Jewry by Cecil Roth (1950).

Jewish Congregations

The following are the Jewish congregations that exist or existed in Southampton. In the nineteenth century there were, at one time, two rival Orthodox congregations. The Reform congregation was founded in the 1980s.

* An active congregation.


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Southampton include:

  • UK Jewish Communal Leaders Database

    • 39 Sheffield records (as of 30 September 2021)

  • 1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2016)

    • Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Southampton during the 1780s (1 record), 1790s (1 record), 1800s (4 records), 1810s (9 records); 1820s (15 records), 1830s (22 records), 1840s (30 records), 1850s (61 records), 1860s (49 records), 1870s (32 records), 1880s (26 records), 1890s (8 records), 1900s (2 records) and 1910s (1 record).


On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to the Southampton Jewish Community
or Anglo-Jewry in Southampton


Centres for Research

  • University of Southampton -

    • The Anglo-Jewish Archives, Hartley Library - contains over 850 collections in Anglo-Jewish history, from organisations as well as personal papers of significant individuals, making it one of the most important centres for the study of Anglo Jewry.

    • The Parkes Institute and Library, established by James Parkes, a campaigner against antisemitism. The Institute is the world's oldest and most wide-ranging centre for the study of Jewish/non-Jewish relations. Its collection forms the basis of one of the Hartley Library's special collections.

Notable Jewish Former Residents of Southampton

  • Jewish Mayors of Southampton (or other notable council members)

    • Abraham Abraham, who was elected to the Southampton town council in 1838, being first British Jew to be so elected. However he declined to swear the Christian oath (a requirement until 1845). ("Abraham Abraham: a forgotten politician of mid-nineteenth century Southampton" by Richard Preston in Southampton Local History Forum Journal, no. 22, Spring 2014, pp.3-10);

    • Henry Abraham (b.1824), the son of Abraham Abraham, served as Mayor of Southampton in 1876;

    • Samuel Michael Emanuel (1801-1894) served as Mayor of Southampton in 1865 and in 1866 (portrait);

    • Michael Emanuel, JP (1836-1911), son of Samuel Michael Emanuel, served as Mayor of Southampton in 1895. He also served as warden of the Southampton Hebrew Congregationfor 26 years and was the congregation's president from 1896 until 1911 and its secretary from about 1806 to 1911;

    • Joseph Emanuel Silverman (c.1885-1937) served as Mayor of Southampton in 1925.

  • Barons Swaythling (Swaythling is a suburb of Southampton):

    • Samuel Montagu, 1st Baron Swaythling (1832-1911), philanthropist, Liberal politician and founder of the bank of Samuel Montagu & Co., who established the Federation of Synagogues. He purchased South Stoneham House, Swaythling in 1888 and resided there until his death;

    • Louis Montagu, 2nd Baron Swaythling (1869-1927), a prominent member of the British Jewish community, financier and political activist, who also served as president of the Federation of Synagogue. He lived in Townhill Farm, Southampton, which has been purchased for him by his father Samuel Montagu in 1897;

    • Stuart Albert Montagu, 3rd Baron Swaythling (18981990), although he became a resident in Guernsey, was described in 1983 as a long-standing member of the Southampton Hebrew Congregation:

  • Craig David, MBE (b.1981), singer, songwriter, DJ and record producer, whose mother is Jewish, was born in Southampton.

  • Sir Leon Simon, CB (1881-1965), the son of Rev. Isidore Simon and a leading British Zionist, was born in Southampton. As a British civil servant, he participated in the drafting of the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and later served on the Zionist Commission with Chaim Weizmann and became President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Other Southampton Jewish Institutions & Organisations

Educational & Theological

  • Hebrew & Religious School, previously referred to as Sabbath School (founded by 1874)
    For additional information see details on Southampton Hebrew Congregation homepage.

Other Institutions & Organisations*

  • Jewish Ladies Guild (founded by 1949)

  • Jewish Literary Society (founded 1908)

  • Jewish Social Club (founded by 1935)

  • Jewish Transmigrant Committee (founded by 1922), a branch of the London Jewish Temporary Shelter

  • Ladies Benevolent Society (founded 1917)

  • Naturalisation Society (founded by 1913)

  • Society for the Relief of the Poor (founded by 1874), replaced by Jewish Poor Relief Fund (founded 1876), 18 Bridge Road

  • Southampton & District Jewish Society (founded by 1972)

* As listed in the Jewish Directory of 1874 and the Jewish Year Books from 1896/7.


Community Records


Southampton Jewish Cemetery Information

The are two Jewish cemeteries in Southampton:

  • Common (Old) Cemetery, Jewish Section, Cemetery Road, Southampton.
    Earliest burial in 1854.
    Jewish Heritage Sites Listings:

  • Hollybrook Municipal Cemetery, Jewish Section, Tremona Road, Shirley Warren, Southampton
    Opened in 1971 and currently in use.

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


Southampton Jewish Population Data


75 (estimated)

(C. Roth - The Rise of Provincial Jewry)


25 families

(The Jewish Year Book 1896/97)


20 families

(The Jewish Year Book 1901/02)



(The Jewish Year Book 1910)



(The Jewish Year Book 1922)



(The Jewish Year Book 1946/46)



(The Jewish Year Book 1950)



(The Jewish Year Book 1973)



(The Jewish Year Book 1985)



(The Jewish Year Book 1987)



(The Jewish Year Book 1991)



(The Jewish Year Book 2004)

Jewish Congregations in Hampshire

Jewish Communities of England homepage

Page created: 21 August 2005
Latest revision or update: 29 March 2023

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