Wessex Liberal Jewish Community

Bournemouth and Poole, Dorset




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Congregation Data


Wessex Liberal Jewish Community(i)

Hebrew Name:

Adat Chaverim - (Community of Friends)(ii)

Former Names:

Southern Jewish Community (from February 2010 until about August 2010(iii))

Southern Reform Community (From October 2009 until February 2010(iv) )


Services held at various venues, usually in Bournemouth or Poole, Dorset.(vii)

The Congregation initially met in the Dorset Fire Service Christchurch station.

Current Status:



The Congregation began as a breakaway group from Bournemouth Reform Synagogue in September/October 2009.

See Press Reports 2009-2010 for a brief history of the formation of the congregation.


Liberal / Progressive


The congregation has been a constituent community of Liberal Judaism from Autumn 2010. (However, it had previously been in discussion about joining the Movement for Reform Judaism.)(viii)



(To view a short profile of the minister - hold the cursor over his name.)

Rabbi Dr. René Pfertzel - visiting rabbi (one weekend per month) from 2014 until 2023(xi)

Rabbi Dr. Miri Lawrence - visiting rabbi 2023 until present - July 2023(xii)

Membership Data:

National Reports and Surveys

2016 - listed as having 50 to 99 members (by household)(xiv)

Charitable Status:

The congregation is a registered charity (no. 1160082), registered on 22 January 2015. The governing document is the congregation's constitution of 11 December 2011, as amended 2 January 2016.(xv)

Registration Districts:

Bournemouth  (since 1 October 1932)(xvi)  - Link to Register Office website

Poole  (since 1 July 1837)  - Link to Register Office website

Cemetery Information:

The congregation is one of only a few Liberal congregations that are members of the Jewish Joint Burial Society (JJBS).

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (i) This name was adopted in about August 2010, appearing in a press report (Jewish Chronicle) of 2 September 2010. However, in press report (Jewish Chronicle) of 1 July 2010, the previous name was still in use.

  • (ii) Congregation's website, accessed 2 May 2019.

  • (iii) This name was adopted to comply with a request from the Movement for Reform Judaism, who felt that the previous name, having ‘Reform’ in it, might lead people to think we are already affiliated to the Reform movement, with whom it was then in discussion. Press report (Jewish Chronicle) of 11 February 2010.

  • (iv) This name was adopted in October 2009. Press report (Jewish Chronicle) of 2 October 2009.

  • (v) and (vi) Reserved.

  • (vii) Congregation's website, accessed July 2017.

  • (viii) See press reports (Jewish Chronicle) of 11 February 2010, 1 July 2010 and 2 September 2010.

  • (ix) and (x) Reserved.

  • (xi) Communication from the congregation.

  • (xii) Wessex Jewish News, Spring 2023.

  • (xiii) Reserved.

  • (xiv) Report on Synagogue Membership in the United Kingdom in 2016, published by the Institute of Jewish Policy Research (JPR) on behalf of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and which can be viewed on the website of JPR. Click HERE for link to the report.

  • (xv) Charity Commission website, in beta development, and Open Charities website, both accessed 16 July 2019.

  • (xvi) For previous registration districts, see on Bournemouth Home Page. Any registers would now be held by current register office.


On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to this Congregation

On JCR-UK website


Bournemouth Jewish Community home page

List of Liberal Judaism Congregations

List of Member Synagogues of the Jewish Joint Burial Society

Jewish Congregations in Dorset

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 5 December 2011
Page most recently amended: 10 July 2023

Research and formatting by David Shulman

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