Ramsgate Jewish Community

Ramsgate, Thanet, Kent




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Ramsgate Montefiore Mausoleum
Montefiore Mausoleum, Ramsgate
© David Newman 2017

Town of Ramsgate

Ramsgate (population about 38,000) is a coastal resort on the English Channel in southeast England, which was particularly popular among both Jews and non-Jews in the nineteenth century. It is part of the Isle of Thanet, which, although originally separated from the mainland by the Wantsum Channel, is now practically joined to the mainland as a result of the build up of silt and shingle. Ramsgate is in the local government district of Thanet in the county of Kent, formed in 1974 by the merger of the municipal borough of Ramsgate with of the municipal borough of Margate and adjoining areas.

The Ramsgate Jewish Community

Ramsgate’s first recorded Jewish family was that of Isaac Lyon, a silversmith, who first appears in 1786, initially living in the High Street and later at 13 Harbour Street, Ramsgate. This family was followed quickly by Levi Abraham formerly of Portsmouth, a tailor, who had married Elizabeth Moses from a Dover family. He had his shop first at 63 and then at 70 High Street, Ramsgate.1 The earliest recorded circumcision of a Jewish child in Ramsgate was in 1789.2 The Ramsgate Jewish community was significantly enhanced by Sir Moses Montefiore taking up residence there in 1822 and erecting the synagogue in 1833.

Jewish Congregations

The following are the Jewish congregations that exist or existed in Ramsgate:

* An active congregation.



Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Ramsgate include:

  • 1851 Anglo Jewry Database (updated 2016)

    • Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living Ramsgate during the 1790s (3 records), 1800s (1 record), 1810s (1 record); 1820s (1 record), 1830s (13 records), 1840s (20 records), 1850s (35 records), 1860s (15 records), 1870s (16 records), 1880s (19 records), 1890s (9 records), 1900s (9 records) and 1910s (4 records).


Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Ramsgate Jewish Community



Other Ramsgate Jewish Institutions & Organisations
(that had been formed by 1900*)

Educational & Theological

  • Judith Lady Montefiore's Theological College established and endowed by Sir Moses Montefiore in 1866. This institution still exists and continues its work in London. See website  http://www.montefioreendowment.org.uk/.

* As listed in the Jewish Directory of 1874.


Community Records

  • Registration District (for BMD): Kent (since 1 April 2004)

    • Previous Registration Districts:
         Thanet (from 1 July 1937 to to 1 April 1998);
         Thanet with Dover (from 1 April 1998 to 1 April 2004).

    • All registers would now be held by current office.


Ramsgate Jewish Cemetery Information

Prior to the establishment of a cemetery in 1872, Sephardi Jewish residents of Ramsgate were generally buried in the cemeteries in London End Cemeteries and the Ashkanazi used the cemetery in Canterbury.

The following are the Jewish cemeteries used by the Ramsgate Jewish community:

  • Ramsgate Jewish Cemetery, Upper Dumpton Park Road, Ramsgate CT11 7PG. Contains some 400 burials. It was opened in 1872 and extended in 1913. The plot was was purchased by Benjamin Norden and presented to the local Jewish community as a burial ground. It has been administered by the the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation (now the S&P Sephardi Community) of London since 1887.
    The cemetery's prayer hall and section of attached cemetery wall is a Grade II Listed Building, listed from 17 March 2008 (number 1392476). See Historic England Listing & Description.

  • The Reform Hebrew Section of the Margate (St. John's) Cemetery, Manston Road, Margate, used by the Thanet and District Reform Jewish Community since 1986.

  • The Montefiore Mausoleum, next to the Montefiore Synagogue, contains the remains of Sir Moses Montefiore and his wife Lady Judith Montefiore. (circa 1862). It is a Grade II* Listed Building, listed on 13 August 1968 (number 1085375). See Historic England Listing & Description.

(For some additional information, also see IAJGS Cemeteries Project - Ramsgate)


Ramsgate Jewish Population Data



(The Jewish Year Book 1898/99)



(The Jewish Year Book 1900/01)



(The Jewish Year Book 1947)



(The Jewish Year Book 1949)



(The Jewish Year Book 1950)



(The Jewish Year Book 1952)



(The Jewish Year Book 1966)

Footnotes    (returns to main text)

  1. Information extracted from rate books and from ‘THINK and THANK’, published in 1933 to celebrate the first 100 years of the Montefiore Synagogue, curtesy Mark Negin.

  2. Entry number S26 of the Circumcision Register 1765-1818 ascribed to Rabbi Ash of Dover, part of the Susser Archive available on JCR-UK.

Jewish Congregations in Kent

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 2 December 2016
Latest revision or update: 23 March 2023

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