the former

Ipswich Jewish Community

and Old Hebrew Congregation

Ipswich, Suffolk




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

Town of Ipswich

The town of Ipswich, with a population of about 120,000, is situated on the estuary of the river Orwell in East Anglia. It was a county borough until 1974, when it became a local government district of the administrative county of Suffolk.

The Ipswich Jewish Community

There was a medieval Jewish community in Ipswich.

In modern times, by the 1790s there was a synagogue, sometimes referred to as the Ipswich Old Hebrew Congregation, and a cemetery was purchased in 1796. By the late nineteenth century the community had disappeared.

In recent years a Liberal Jewish congregation has been formed, now known as the Suffolk Liberal Jewish Community (dealt with separately).

Congregation Data


Ipswich Synagogue or Ipswich Old Hebrew Congregation(iv)


A "neat and commodious synagogue", able to hold "no more than one hundred persons",(v) was erected in 1795 between 73 and 75 Rope Lane (or Rope Walk)(vi) through the efforts of Simon Hyam and Lazarus Levy.(vii) The foundation stone was laid on 18 August 1792.(viii)

Previously, from about 1730, in a room hired in St. Clements.(xi)




The community had become defunct by 1870s(xiii) and the synagogue, which had fallen out of use by 1867, was demolished in 1877.(xiv)


Ashkenazi Orthodox


The congregation was an unaffiliated congregation under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi.


Rev. Isaac Titterman - shochet in 1780s(xvii)

Rev. Harris Isaacs - reader, shochet and headmaster from 1817 until at least the 1850s(xviii)

Lay Officers:(xix)

President - S. Samuels - 1840s

President - Moses Levy -1854

Membership Data:


1845 - 5 ba'alai batim and 3 seatholders (Chief Rabbi's Questionnaire)

Number of Seatholders - Board of Deputies Returns

1852 - 8 seatholders

1859 - 5 seatholders

Registration District:

Suffolk, since 2 November 2010(xx) - Link to Register Office website


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Ipswich include:

  • 1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2016)

    • Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Ipswich during the 1770s (1 record), 1780s (2 records), 1790s (11 records), 1800s (10 records), 1810s (20 records); 1820s (24 records), 1830s (18 records), 1840s (11 records), 1850s (27 records), 1860s (10 records), 1870s (6 records), 1880s (5 records) and 1900s (1 record).


Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Ipswich Jewish Community


World War II Jewish Connections with Ipswich

(courtesy Steven Jaffe)

Although there was no wartime Jewish evacuee community in Ipswich, the following Jewish associations with the town are of note:

  • Barham House, at Claydon, near Ipswich (and frequently called the Ipswich camp), became a "clearing house" for hundreds of kindertransport children following the closure of the Dovercourt camp at Harwich in 1939. The camp was organised by the Movement for the Care of Children from Germany. A synagogue at Barham House held daily services for Orthodox children, conducted by a rabbi from Germany, Rev. Martin Norden.(xxv)

  • 1944 Ipswich Passover seder and services - Over 500 American and British troops were entertained at the Central Boys' School, Ipswich, kindly lent by the Ipswich Education Committee. Mr. and Mrs. S. Sacker acted as host and hostess and the service was conducted by Chaplains Fierman, Downey, and Lewis.(xxvi)


Other Ipswich Jewish Institutions & Organisations


  • Jewish School -
    Conducted by Rev. Harris Isaac in mid nineteenth century (see under Rev. Isaacs above).


Ipswich Jewish Cemetery Information


The following are the Jewish cemeteries that existed in Ipswich:

  • Salthouse Lane Jews' Burial Ground, off Star Lane, Ipswich IP4 IBP.
    Acquired on a 999 year lease from 27 September 1796, the oldest legible headstone dates from 1803. It closed in 1854. About 35 headstones. Administered by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
    The walls enclosing the Cemetery are a Listed Building, Grade II, listed from 11 August 2008 (number 1392713). View Description on Historic England website.

  • Ipswich Old Cemetery, Jewish Section, Cemetery Lane, Ipswich.
    In use from 1855. Latest burial 1985. There are, according to local authorty records, about 30 burials, but only about 15 are visible.
    The Cemetery is a Grade II* Registered Park and Garden (number 1001572), designated on 17 December 2002. View description on Historic England website.

(For additional information, see IAJGS Cemetery Project - Ipswich)


Ipswich Jewish Population Data






(Provincial Jewry in Victorian Britain)


70 (est.)



Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) to (iii) Reserved.

  • (iv) This is a presumed name. There is currently no evidence how the congregation styled itself.

  • (v) "Ipswich" from The Rise of Provincial Jewry by Cecil Roth, 1950.

  • (vi) The Jewish Year Book 1940, p.231, where Ipswich was listed as an extinct community, refers to the former synagogue being in Rope Walk. However both Roth (see above) and the Paper on Ipswich by Harry Levine, give the street name as Rope Lane. The street numbers come from Jewish Heritage of Britain and Ireland by Sharman Kadesh, p.137.

  • (vii) "Ipswich" from The Rise of Provincial Jewry by Cecil Roth, 1950.

  • (viii) "Ipswich" from The Rise of Provincial Jewry by Cecil Roth, 1950, quoting Clark's History of Ipswich, 1830, pp. 319-320.

  • (ix) and (x) Reserved.

  • (xi) "Ipswich" from The Rise of Provincial Jewry by Cecil Roth, 1950.

  • (xii) "Ipswich" from The Rise of Provincial Jewry by Cecil Roth, 1950.

  • (xiii) The community was not listed in the Jewish Directory for 1874 by Asher I. Myers.

  • (xiv) Jewish Heritage of Britain and Ireland by Sharman Kadesh, p.138.

  • (xv) and (xvi) Reserved.

  • (xvii) Rev. Titterman was the son of Sarah Lyons (1703-1808). ("Ipswich" from The Rise of Provincial Jewry by Cecil Roth, 1950.)

  • (xviii) The Jewish Chronicle of 22 April 1842 (p. 138) reported:"IPSWICH. - At a meeting of the congregation of this city, held last week, Mr. S. Samuel in the chair, the Rev. Harris Isaacs announced that influenced by the persuasion of his friends, he had abandoned his intention of going to reside in the Holy Land. This intelligence was received with acclamations, and the Rev. Gentleman will consequently continue to fill the office of reader and to conduct his school." According to Roth, Rev. Isaacs had "Hazan and Shochet since 1817". To view a short profile of Rev. Isaacs, hold the cursor over his name.

  • (xix) Mentioned in "Ipswich" from The Rise of Provincial Jewry by Cecil Roth, 1950.

  • (xx) Previous Registration Districts: Ipswich - from 1 July 1837 to 2 November 2020. All registers would now be held by the current office.

  • (xxi) to (xx1v) Reserved.

  • (xxv) Jewish Chronicle reports of 12 January 1940 and 26 January 1940.

  • (xxvi) Jewish Chronicle report of 21 April 1944.

Jewish Congregations in Suffolk

Jewish Communities of England homepage

Page created: 14 November 2005
Data significantly expanded and notes added: 24 May 2023
Page most recently amended: 23 June 2023

Research and formatting by David Shulman

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