Eastbourne Hebrew Congregation

Eastbourne, East Sussex




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Eastbourne Synagogue
Former Eastbourne Synagogue, Susan's Road
courtesy Steven Jaffe 2024

Eastbourne Hebrew Congregation logo

Congregation Data


Eastbourne Hebrew Congregation


Since 2021, services have been held at a "convenient location", details of which can be obtained from the congregation's secretary.(ii)

Previous Address:

From 1918 until 2021, the congregation's synagogue was at 22 Susan's Road (just off Seaside Road), Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 3HA(iii), until

Initially, in 1918, rooms at 22 Susan's Road were leased (to George Marks, Paul Panto and Henry Dawson on behalf of the congregation) for use as a synagogue.(iv)

In 1922, the entire three-story building was purchased for £1200 - £150 of which was paid in cash, the remainder guaranteed by four benefactors. The services took place upstairs on cinema style tip-up seats, with loose chairs in the ladies' gallery on the top floor.(v)

In 2001, the synagogue was moved to the ground floor of the building with seating for the ladies at the rear. Later, there was still separate seating for men, to the front and right, and for women, to the left, with three rows at the back reserved for those who wish to sit together.(vi)

 In 2021, the synagogue building was sold.

Current Status:


Date Formed:

The congregation was formed by 1918, when premises in Susan's Road were first leased.(ix)

However, after the Dunkirk evacuation in June 1940, much of Eastbourne was evacuated, except for local inhabitants, and the synagogue was closed for several months. Upon its re-opening, attendances were significantly boosted by locally stationed Jewish servicemen, both British and American.(x)


The congregation was established as Orthodox Ashkenazi congregation, and still remains so, with services being conducted in a traditional style, although this is somewhat relaxed with a "heimische approach to services".(xi)


The congregation is unaffiliated but probably still under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi.

Congregation's website:


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

Rev. Chaim Zack
Rev. & Mrs. Chaim Zack, c. 1988
courtesy Eastbourne Hebrew Congregation

Rev. W. Jacobs - from 1918 until 1922(xv)

Rev. Louis Wolfe - from 1922 until 1946(xvi)

Rev. Chaim H. Zack -from 1946 until 1997(xvii)

Lay Officers:

Unless where otherwise stated, the data on the lay officers of the congregation has been extracted Jewish Year Book listings.(xx)


about 1918 - Mr. Hyam(xxi)

at least 1946 to at least 1956 - Paul Panto(xxii)

about 1978 - Isaac Panto(xxiii), (xxii)


about 1918 - George Marks(xxiv) 

at least 1946 to at least 1956 - S. Marks



1949-1951 - D. KoffmanE.P. Mishon

1951-1952 - E.P. MishonIsaac Panto(xxii)

1952-1956 - E.P. MishonJ. Steinfield

Hon. Secretaries

1922-1924 - H. Ososki

1924-1927 - D. Weinberg

1927-1928 - H. Ososki

1928-1929 - R. Rayne

1929-1938 - Isaac Panto(xxii), (xxv)

1938-1946 - no data(xxv)

1946-1952 - Isaac Panto(xxii), (xxv)

1952-1974 - E.P. Mishon

1974-1989 - B Finkel

Membership Data:

Jewish Chronicle Reports

1978 - 55 family members(xxviii)

National Reports and Surveys(xxix)

1977 - 34 male (or household) members and 15 female members

1983 - 34 male (or household) members and 15 female members

1990 - 30 members (comprising 20 households and 10 individual female members)

1996 - 56 members (comprising 22 households, 5 individual male members and 29 individual female members)

2010 report, based on 2005 data - listed as under 50 members (by household)

2016 - listed as under 50 members (by household)

Charitable Status:

No registration found.

Registration District

East Sussex(xxx) (since 1 May 2008) - Link to Register Office website.

Burial Arrangements:

The congregation was granted a Jewish Section at the Eastbourne Municipal Cemetery in 1930.(xxxi) For details, see Eastbourne Cemetery Information on the Eastbourne home page.

Until 1930, burials of deceased members generally took place in Brighton.

The original upstairs prayer room at the
former synagogue 
courtesy Estbourne Hebrew Congregation

Images from the former Eastbourne Synagogue
courtesy Steven Jaffe, 2024

Other Eastbourne Institutions connected to the Congregation

Educational & Theological

  • Hebrew and Religious Classes


  • Jewish Literary and Social Society (founded by 1923)(xxxiv)

  • Ladies Guilds (founded by 1947)(xxxv)


Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) and (ii) Reserved.

  • (ii) The congregation's website, accessed 7 September 2023.

  • (iii) This has been the address given for the congregation since it was first listed in Jewish Year Books in 1921. However, in the editions from 1926 until 1940, it was shown as 22 and 23 Susans Road and in the editions following World War II (from 1947) until 1994 it was shown as 22/24 Susans Road.

  • (iv) Jewish Chronicle of 10 November 1978 - Community Profile of Eastbourne Hebrew Congregation.

  • (v) History on the congregation's website, accessed 19 September 2021.

  • (vi) Jewish Chronicle of 10 November 1978 - Community Profile of Eastbourne Hebrew Congregation and the congregation's website, last accessed on 15 September 2021.

  • (vii) and (viii) Reserved.

  • (ix) The congregation was not, however. listed in Jewish Year Books until 1921.

  • (x) History on the congregation's website, accessed 19 September 2021. However, the congregation was not listed in the first Jewish Year Book following World War II cessation of publication (the 1945/6 edition).

  • (xi) The congregation's website, last accessed 15 September 2021.

  • (xii) to (xiv) Reserved.

  • (xv) On 13 December 1918 the Jewish Chronicle referred to the newly elected minister of Eastbourne, the Rev. W Jacobs, and on 6 January 1922 still placed him in Eastbourne but his successor was already in place later that year. He is not listed at the congregation in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (xvi) Includes the period during World War II, when the synagogue was closed. Jewish Chronicle report of 1922 placed Rev. Wolfe in Eastbourne and on 10 January 1947 it reported that, as a mark of appreciation of his 25 years' service as minister to the congregation, he was presented with a gold watch and chain. The new minister the Rev, C. H. Zack. formerly of Liverpool, was present at the ceremony. Rev. Wolfe is listed a minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1923 through 1940 and in 1947,

  • (xvii) Jewish Chronicle reports of 10 January 1947 (Rev. C. H. Zack. referred to as the new minster), 19 November 1986 (Many tributes were paid to the Rev. Chaim Zack to mark his 40 years as minister of the congregation), and 30 July 1999 (Eastbourne has been without a minister since the Rev. Chaim Zack retired, after 51 years, in 1997). Rev. Zack is listed as the minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books from 1948 through 1998.

  • (xviii) and (xix) Reserved.

  • (xx) Where a person is first listed in a year book as holding a particular office, it has been assumed that his term of office commenced in the year of publication of the relevant year book and that he continued in office until the commencement of office of his successor, unless the office was vacant. From 1909, year books were published according to the Gregorian year, being published generally towards the end of the year prior to the year appearing in the title of the year book. For example, if an officer is listed in Jewish Year Books 1949 through 1954, it is assumed that he commenced office in 1948 and continued in office until 1954. However, it should be noted that this is only an assumption and, accordingly, his actual years of office may differ somewhat from those shown here. The congregation was not listed or Jewish Year Books were not published from 1939 to 1946. There were no Jewish Year Book listings of officers of this congregation, other than the secretary, prior to 1947 or subsequent to 1956.

  • (xxi) Mr. Hyam was the congregation's first president, Jewish Chronicle Community Profile of the congregation of 10 November 1978.

  • (xxii) Paul Panto and Isaac Panto were brothers.

  • (xxiii) Isaac Panto was the congregation's president in 1978, Jewish Chronicle Community Profile of the congregation of 10 November 1978.

  • (xxiv) George Marks was the congregation's first treasurer, Jewish Chronicle Community Profile of the congregation of 10 November 1978.

  • (xxv) Although there is no data for the years 1938 through 1946, it is likely that Isaac Panto served as hon. secretary during this period as he held such post both prior to 1938 and after 1946.

  • (xxvi) and (xxvii) Reserved.

  • (xxviii) Jewish Chronicle Community Profile of the congregation, 10 November 1978

  • (xxix) Reports on synagogue membership in the United Kingdom, published by or on behalf of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and which can be viewed on the website of the Institute of Jewish Policy Research. Click HERE for links to the various reports.

  • (xxx) The former Registration District was Eastbourne from 1 July 1837 to 1 May 2008. Any registers would now be held by the current register office.

  • (xxxi) History on the congregation's website, accessed 19 September 2021.

  • (xxxii) and (xxxiii) Reserved.

  • (xxxiv) First listed in Jewish Year Book 1924.

  • (xxxv) First listed in Jewish Year Book 1948.

Eastbourne Jewish Community home page

Jewish Congregations in East Sussex

Jewish Communities of England homepage

Page created: 22 February 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 10 September 2021
Page most recently amended: 14 July 2024

Research by David Shulman, assisted by Steven Jaffe
Formatting by David Shulman

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