Southend-on-Sea Jewish Community

Southend-on-Sea, Essex




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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.

Borough of Southend-on-Sea

The seaside resort of Southend-on-Sea (which also includes the towns of Westcliff-on-Sea and Leigh-on-Sea) is in southeast England, lying on the northern shore of the Thames estuary, and has a population of nearly 160,000.  It was a county borough from 1914, until 1974, when it became a local government district (later borough) of the county of Essex.  In 1998, it became a unitary authority, taking over those responsibilities previously exercised by the county council, and on 1 March 2022 it was granted city status.

The Southend-on-Sea Jewish Community
(including Westcliff-on-Sea and Leigh-on-Sea)

The Southend Jewish community developed at the end of the nineteenth century, primarily from London's East End, many of the Jewish residents settling in Westcliff-on-Sea and Leigh-on-Sea.

Jewish Congregations

The following are the Jewish congregations that exist or existed in Southend-on-Sea:

* An active congregation.


The Southend Orthodox Jewish Cemetery Database


This database, affiliated to JCR-UK, contain records of approximate 2,600 burials, each with a photograph of the headstone, at the Southend Orthodox Jewish Cemetery, Stock Road, Southend-on-Sea, opened 1962 and covering all burials to date.


The All-UK Database


The records in the database associated with Southend-on-Sea include:

  • Burials

    • Southend Jewish Cemetery (Orthodox), 1877 - 2002 (10 records with surname Isaac or Isaacs).

  • UK Jewish Communal Leaders Database - Southend and Westcliff records:

    • JCR-UK Listings (records of 82 individuals - as of the March 2024 update).

  • 1851 Anglo Jewry Database, including Leigh-on-Sea and Rochford (3 miles to the north) (as of the 2016 update):

    • Individuals in the "1851" database who were living in:
      Leigh-on-Sea during the 1810s (4 records), 1820s (15 records) and 1830s (10 records);
      Rochford during the 1770s (1 record), 1780s (1 record), 1800s (1 record), 1820s (2 records) and 1860s (1 record); and
      Southend-on-Sea during the 1790s (1 record).


Bibliography, Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Southend-on-Sea Jewish Community



Community Records

  • Registration District (for BMD): Southend-on-Sea (since 1 July 1939)

    • Previous Registration District:
         Rochford (from 1 July 1837 to 1 July 1939)

    • Any registers would be held by current register office.

    • Register Office website


Other Southend Jewish Institutions & Organisations

Educational & Theological

  • Hebrew and Religious Classes & Talmud Torah see under SWHC

  • Herzlia Day School

Other Institutions & Organisations
(unless otherwise stated, the year founded reflects the year first listed in Jewish Year Books)

  • Association of Jewish Youth (Southend branch) - founded by 1938

  • Benos Zion Society (later Junior (or Young Zionist Society) - founded by 1928

  • Jewish Benevolent Society - founded by 1920

  • Jewish Ladies Guild - founded by 1905

  • Jewish Social, Literary and Dramatic Societies - existed under various names, first founded by 1905

  • Jewish Study Circle - founded by 1928

  • Jewish Youth Centre - affiliated to Southend & Westcliff Hebrew Congregation. It was initially located in the Alexandra Road Synagogue. In 1968, it relocated to the 38 Ceylon Road, when these premises ceased being used as the congregation's second synagogue, and remained there until 2001, when, as a result of reduced numbers,  it again relocated, to the Talmud Torah in the congregation's Finchley Road building.(iv)

  • Ladies Bikur Cholim - founded by 1902

  • Mikveh - situated at 44 Genesta Road, Westcliff-on Sea, SS0 8DA, about three minutes walk from SWHC. First opened in October 1960 through the efforts of Rabbi Pinchas Shebson, refurbished and re-opened in July 1984 and completely rebuilt and re-opened in 2013.(v)

  • Myers Communal Hall, Westcliff - founded by 1972

  • Pursuers of Peace Society - founded by 1912

  • Raymond Home for Aged Jews, 6 Clifton Terrace, Southend - founded by 1972

  • United Zionist Revisionists (Southend branch) - founded by 1949

  • Victoria Oppenheimer Home for the Aged, 1 Cobham Road, Westcliff - founded by 1968

  • Westcliff Eruv

  • WIZO (Southend branch) - founded by 1953

  • Zionist Society (Southend branch) - founded by 1953

SSHC Cemetery Plaque
Cemetery Plaque
© Anne Marcus

Southend Jewish War Memorial
Jewish War Memorial
© Anne Marcus

Southend-on-Sea Jewish Cemetery Information

There are two Jewish burial grounds in Southend:

Southend & Westcliff Jewish Cemetery, Stock Road, Sutton Road, Southend-on-Sea.

Following negotiations between Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation (SWHC), the local Orthodox community, and Southend Borough Council, the Orthodox Jewish cemetery was opened and consecrated at Stock Road, Southend-on-Sea in September 1962. The site initially formed part of the Southend Borough Municipal Cemetery at Sutton Road, but this new exclusive cemetery was fenced off from the general cemetery with its own entrance from Stock Road. The cost of this project, a total of 25,000, was met entirely by members of the SWHC.

The land comprises a large central prayer hall which was gifted by the Feitelson Family, an observation room and a Tahara House. On the site there is also a Memorial to the local Jews who lost their lives in the first and second World Wars. The memorial was unveiled on 11 November 1962 and the service was attended by the Lord Mayor of London. (courtesy Anne Marcus)

See above for the Database, affiliated to JCR-UK, of the burials in this Orthodox Cemetery.

Reform Synagogue Section of the Southend Municipal Cemetery, Sutton Road, Southen-on-Sea.

Opened in about 1980, the section consists of Block LL of the municipal cemetery.

(For some additional information, also see IAJGS Cemetery Project - Southend & Westcliff)


Southend-on-Sea Jewish Population Data



(The Jewish Year Book 1935)



(The Jewish Year Book 1945/6)



(The Jewish Year Book 1951)



(The Jewish Year Book 1954)



(The Jewish Year Book 1968)



(The Jewish Year Book 1974)



(The Jewish Year Book 1987)



(The Jewish Year Book 1990)



(The Jewish Year Book 1992)



(2001 Census results)



(2011 Census results)



(2021 Census results)

*The 2001, 2011 and 2021 census result figures represent those who answered the voluntary question 'What is your religion?' by clicking the category 'Jewish' among the eight check-box options (another of which was 'No religion'). However, between 6.0% to 7.7% of the population nationally did not answer the question and the figure would not have included those who considered themselves Jews by ethnicity but not by religion, and accordingly the actual number of Jews would be higher than the figures shown.


Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

Jewish Congregations in Essex

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 1 August 2009
Data significantly expanded: 28 February 2021
Page most recently amended: 19 April 2024

Research and formatting by David Shulman

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