Kent Liberal Jewish Community

& the Jewish Community of Maidstone

Maidstone, Kent




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

Maidstone, situated on the river Medway about 30 miles from London, is the county town of Kent in southeast England. The present boundaries date back to 1974, when the local government district (now borough) of Maidstone was formed, within the county of Kent, by the merger of the then municipal borough of Maidstone, the Maidstone rural district and adjoining areas.

Jewish Community

Although there are records of Jewish residents of Maidstone from as early as the first half of the nineteenth century, it appears that no formal congregation was ever established until the formation of a Liberal congregation in the 1990s.

Congregation Data


Kent Liberal Jewish Community - Ohel Rachel, from 2011(i)

Former Name:

Kent Liberal Jewish Community


The congregation generally meets at various venues in central Maidstone.

Current Status:


Date Founded:



Liberal / Progressive


A constituent community of Liberal Judaism (formerly Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues, ULPS) from about 2004, having previously been an associate community.




None Listed

Membership Data:

National Reports and Surveys:(v)

1996 - 35 members (comprising 25 households, 6 individual male and 4 individual female members)

2010 & 2016 - listed as having under 50 members (by household)

Charitable Status:

The congregation is a registered charity (no. 1109044), Kent Liberal Jewish Community - Ohel Rachel, registered on 14 April 2005. The governing document is the congregation's constitution adopted 22 May 2004, as amended 19 March 2005 and 11 June 2011.(vi)

Registration District:

Kent since 1 April 2003(vii) - link to register office website

Cemetery Information:

There is no Jewish cemetery in Maidstone. Members of the Congregation may have joined the Liberal Judaism Burial Scheme with the right of burial in one of the Liberal Judaism cemeteries (Edgwarebury or Cheshunt), although the cost of a funeral is not covered. Alternatively, there is a specifically Jewish Section to Chatham municipal cemetery, which is only about ten miles away.(viii)

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) The renaming of the congregation to include the addition of "Ohel Rachel" (Hebrew for "Rachelís tent") took place in 2011, to honour the memory of the former chairman and founder member, Hazel Bishop, who died in February 2011 and whose Hebrew name was Rachel (Congregation's website).

  • (ii) Reserved.

  • (iii) Congregation's website, last accessed 21 July 2019.

  • (iv) Reserved.

  • (v) 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.

  • (vi) Charities Commission's website (in beta trial stage) and open charities website, both accessed 21†July 2019.

  • (vii) The former Registration District for Maidstone was Maidstone, from 1†July 1837 until 1†April 2003. Any registers would now be held by current register office, which is situated in Tunbridge Wells.

  • (viii) Congregation's website, last accessed 12 July 2017.


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Maidstone include:

1851 Anglo Jewry Database  (updated 2016)

Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Maidstone during the 1830s (4 records), 1840s (10 records), 1850s (13 records), 1860s (1 record), 1870s (2 records), 1880s (3 records) and 1900s (1 record).



On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to this Congregation

List of Liberal Judaism Congregations

Jewish Congregations in Kent

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 10 February 2006
Latest revision or update: 4 August 2019

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