the former

Whitehaven Jewish Community

Whitehaven, Cumbria




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

Town of Whitehaven

The town of Whitehaven (population approximately 25,000), is a small port on the coast of North West England. It was a municipal borough in the then county of Cumberland, until 1974, when it was merged with neighbouring districts to form the local government district of Copeland, within the newly created county of Cumbria

Whitehaven Jewish Community

Although there are instances Jews living in Whitehaven from the latter part of the eighteenth century, it was not until 1874 that a congregation was established. However there is very available information about this congregation. The nearest eastablished Jewish community was (until the 1970s) in Barrow-in-Furness, some 45 miles to the south. In 1944, it was reported that a barmitzvah ceremony had taken place in Whitehaven, but this was probably by a family evacuated to the town during World War II.(ii)


Congregation Data


Whitehaven Synagogue



Date Closed:

Not known


Ashkenazi Orthodox (Lithuanian)


None known.


There is no knowledge of the congregation ever employing a resident minister or reader, either full or part time.

Membership Data:

1874 - 11 seatholders (four married and seven single)(iv)

Registration District (BMDs):

Cumbria, since 1 December 2011(v) - Link to Register Office Website

Cemetery Details

There is no Jewish cemetery in Whitehaven.


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Whitehaven include:

1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2016)

Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Whitehaven during the 1830s (3 records).


Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Whitehaven Jewish Community


on third party websites

Notable Jewish Connections with Whitehaven

  • Frank Schon, Baron Schon of Whitehaven, Kt (1912–1995) was an industrialist and life peer, who served as Chairman of the National Research Development Corporation between 1969 and 1979. In March 1939, ten days after the German invasion of Czechoslovakia, Schon escaped to Britain with his wife. He moved to Whitehaven and established Marchon Products, a chemicals firm, which became a leading supplier of detergent base. In 2016 a blue plaque was placed by the Association of Jewish Refugees to mark the family home at Whitehaven.(viii)

  • Sir Nicholas Thomas "Miki" Sekers MBE (born Miklós Szekeres, 1910–1972) was an industrialist who, with his cousin, Tomi de Gara, came to England from Hungary in 1937, and founded Sekers Fabrics at Hensingham, Whitehaven in 1938. He became a major employer and patron of the arts.(ix)


Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) Jewish Chronicle report of 7 January 1944.

  • (iii) Jewish Chronicle report of 6 November 1874.

  • (iv) Jewish Chronicle report of 6 November 1874.

  • (v) Previous registration district: Whitehaven - 1 July 1837 to 1 December 2011. Any registers would now be held by the current register office.

  • (vi) and (vii) Reserved.

  • (viii) Jewish Chronicle obituary of 20 January 1995.

  • (ix) Jewish Chronicle obituary of 14 July 1972

Jewish Congregations in Cumbria

Jewish Communities of England homepage

Page created: 24 February 2013
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 30 July 2021
Latest revision or update: 6 August 2021

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