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Birmingham Jewish community is one of the oldest in the provinces, dating from 1730, if not earlier, as its manufacturing attracted early Jewish settlers. In the Anglo-Jewish economy, Birmingham’s position was similar to a port, a centre from which Jewish pedlars covered the surrounding country week by week, returning to their homes for the Sabbath. The first synagogue of which there is any record was in The Froggery in 1780. However, there was a Jewish cemetery in the same neighbourhood in 1730, and Moses Aaron is said to have been born in Birmingham in 1718. The history of the Birmingham community has been investigated by the Birmingham Jewish History Research Group under the leadership of the late Zoë Josephs.

For more information, please contact the Representative Council of Birmingham and West Midland Jewry, Singers Hill, Ellis Street, B1 1HL; Telephone: 0121 643 2688; Email: jewishbirmingham@talktalk.net; Website: http://www.brijnet.org/birmingham/communaldetails.html.

Birmingham is only 20 miles from Stratford upon Avon the birthplace of William Shakespeare.


There were Jews settled in and around Coventry from at least 1755. The watch-making industry was instrumental in the growth of the community in the late 1800s. The synagogue on Barras Lane was built in 1870 but has now become integrated into The Solihull and District Hebrew Congregation

Email: rabbi@solihullshul.org Website: www.solihullshul.org

Coventry Reform Jewish Community started in 1993. Telephone: 02476 672 027; Email: ros.johnson@gmail.com.

Please click the link for directions to the City of Coventry Stadium in Coventry (just to the east of Birmingham), which will host Olympic football matches from 25th July until 9th August.


The Glasgow Jewish community was founded in 1823, although there are records of Jewish activity in the city for many years prior to that. The first Jewish cemetery was opened in the prestigious Glasgow Necropolis in 1831 and the community was housed in a variety of synagogues in the city centre for many years. The community grew in the 1870s and the Garnethill Synagogue, the oldest Jewish building in Scotland and home of the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre, was opened in 1879. At the same time, Jews began settling in the Gorbals district, just south of the River Clyde, where there was a substantial Jewish community with many synagogues and Jewish shops with communal institutions until the 1950s. None of these now remain. In more recent years, the community has been centred in the southern suburbs such as Giffnock and Newton Mearns, where most Jewish institutions are now situated.

For more information, please contact the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council, 222 Fenwick Road, Giffnock, G46 6UE; Telephone: 0141 577 8200; Email: office@glasgowjewishrepcouncil.org; Website: www.glasgowjewishrepcouncil.org.

Please click the link for directions to Hampden Park stadium, which  will host Olympic football matches from 25th July until 3rd August.


Jews settled in Cardiff about the year 1787. The present community was founded in 1840. For more information, please contact the South Wales Jewish Representative Council, 141 Carisbrooke Way, Cardiff, CF23 9HU; Telephone: 029 2048 8198.

Please click on the link for directions to the Millennium Stadium, which will host Olympic football matches from 25th July until 10th August.


The Manchester community of nearly 30,000 Jews is the second-largest in the UK and, in contrast to other communities outside London, is still growing. In 1865 there were 4,500 Jewish Mancunians. The rapid and great increase came between 1883 and 1905, a consequence of the intensified persecution of the Jews in Russia.

Newcomers to England in the 18th Century were encouraged by their co-religionists in London to go farther afield. This they did, generally financed by their long-settled fellow Jews in London, as pedlars in the countryside. As these newcomers prospered, they settled in the ports, for their part sending out a wave of later arrivals similarly supplied with small stocks to peddle in the inland towns and villages. This new wave ultimately settled down, but for the most part in the interior of the country. Thus was laid the foundation of the Jewish community of Manchester.

The middle of the 1780s saw the first signs of an organised community when two pedlar brothers, Jacob and Lemon Nathan, opened small shops in the centre of Manchester. In 1794, a plot for Jewish burials was rented just outside the city, and in 1796 a large warehouse was hired for public worship. This period coincided with Manchester’ development as a major centre of industry and commerce, and Manchester Jewry steadily increased in number, attracting many enterprising settlers, including merchants and men of substance from the European mainland. Among these was Nathan Mayer Rothschild, the first of that family to settle in England.

A later influx was from North Africa and the Levant, lands closely connected with the cotton industry, of which Manchester was then the centre. This was the origin of the Sephardi community, still prominent in Manchester today. The last two decades of the 19th Century saw the mass immigration to Manchester of Easter-European Jews, fleeing from poverty and persecution. By the end of the century, Manchester had the largest Jewish population in the provinces, reaching a peak of 35,000 just before the First World War.

For more information, please contact the Jewish Representative Council of Manchester and Region, Jewish Community Centre, Bury Old Road, M7 4QY; Telephone: 0161 720 8721; Email: office@jewishmanchester.org; Website: www.jewishmanchester.org.

Please click on the link for directions to Old Trafford stadium, which will host Olympic football matches from 26th July until 7th August. For directions, visit


The community was established in the 1820s, when services were held and a Shochet employed. A cemetery was acquired in 1831. Jews, however, have been resident in Newcastle since before 1775. In the Middle Ages, Jews are known to have been living in Newcastle in 1176.

For more information, please contact the Representative Council of North-East Jewry, Email: repcouncilpresident@northeastjewish.co.uk.

Please click on the link for directions to St. James’ Park Stadium, which will host Olympic football matches from 26th July until 4th August.


The Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation was established in 1905 and met in the Assembly Rooms, where the Bournemouth Pavilion now stands. A synagogue, built in Wootton Gardens in 1911, was rebuilt in 1961 to seat some 950 congregants. The Menorah Suite was added in 1974, and a mikvah in 1976.

Bournemouth Reform Synagogue was started by a small band of enthusiasts in 1947. Ten years later, the congregation was large enough to build the present synagogue building at 53 Christchurch Road. It was extended in 1980 and now has a membership of over 700, with a voluntary mixed choir, an active Cheder, and many social activities. It is host to the Jewish Day Centre every Monday.

Chabad Lubavitch has been an integral part of the Bournemouth Jewish community for the past twenty years. In 2009, they opened their million-pound centre which houses a shul, a library, classrooms and catering facilities. They have Shabbos and weekday minyanim and hold numerous events throughout the year.

Bournemouth is the religious and social centre for the fast-growing community in Dorset, West Hampshire and Wiltshire. For more information, please contact the Bournemouth and District Representative Council, Tel: 01202 557 748.

Bournemouth Jewish Representative Council (BJRC) represents the Jewish community in Bournemouth.

Please click on the link for directions to Weymouth and Portland (just along the south coast to the west of Bournemouth), which will host the Olympic and Paralympic sailing competitions from 29th July until 11th August and 31st August until 5th September respectively.


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