the former

Newmarket Jewish Community





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Town of Newmarket

The market town of Newmarket, with a population of about 16,000, in eastern England, forms an enclave of the county of Suffolk almost completely surrounded by the county of Cambridgeshire. It is situated about 14 west of Bury St Edmunds and about 14 miles northeast of Cambridge. It is considered the birthplace and global centre of thoroughbred horse racing.

Newmarket was an urban district (formed in 1894) in the county of West Suffolk. In 1974, it merged with neighbouring areas to form the Forest Heath District within the county of Suffolk (the respective counties of West and East Suffolk having merged at the same time). A further merger took place in 2019, when Forest Heath merged with St Edmundsbury to become the District of West Suffolk, administered from Bury St. Edmunds, still within the county of Suffolk.

Jewish Community

It is believed that there was a medieval Jewish community in Newmarket, about which little is known. However, there was a significant medieval Jewish community in neighboring Bury St Edmunds, which suffered massacres and expulsion at the end of the twelfth century.

There is no knowledge of any organised Jewish community in Newmarket in modern times, except that early in World War II, a number of Jewish refugees were housed in Newmarket and evacuee and refugee children were billeted in or around Newmarket, for whom services were held.

Congregation Data

Services and Formation:

The Jewish Chronicle, 6 October 1939
Through the kindness of Canon T. R. Browne, of All Saints Church, and with the co-operation of Mr. N. M. Gibbons, Headmaster of the Central Foundation School, London, and the teachers of the Buxton Street and Hoxton House schools, services for 150 evacuees and refugees were held on the Holydays in All Saints Church Hall, Newmarket. Some of the boys attended from neighbouring villages, and the services were conducted by Messrs. S.A. Schiff and S. Fishman and organised by Mr. J. Cherns. The Chief Rabbi's Joint Emergency Committee and Mr. I. Fishman were most helpful with advice; they provided the necessary funds and prayer-books. Arrangements have been made to hold Sabbath services and Hebrew Classes and for the supply of Kasher food. A marked feature has been the hospitality and good-fellowship of the Newmarket folk towards the evacuees.


The Jewish Chronicle, 10 November 1939
FAKENHAM (Norfolk)
The boys of the Central Foundation School, London, have been re-evacuated to Fakenham, Norfolk, after spending some time at Newmarket. Last Sabbath morning a service was held in the Church Hall, by permission of Dr. Morrison, and was conducted by S. Fishman and S. Stemler. A talk on Rabbi Akiba and Bar Cocliba followed. In the afternoon, a discussion on Zionism was opened by Mr. Levine. The boys are in need of the loan of a Sefer Torah. Communications should be addressed to S. Fishman, The Red House, Nelson Road, Fakenham.


Orthodox - Ashkenazi

Hebrew Class for Girls:

A Hebrew Class for Girls was held at Rigfield, St Mary's Square, Newmarket from about 1939, the teacher being a Miss Lubinsk.(i)


There is no Jewish cemetery in Newmarket. The nearest Jewish cemeteries are in Cambridge.


Online Articles and Other Material
relating to the Jews in Newmarket

on Third Party Websites

Notable Jewish Connections with Newmarket

  • In 1899 Sir Ernest Cassell (1852-1921) bought a racing establishment and home at Newmarket called Moulton Paddocks which he greatly extended. In 1922 the property was bought from the Cassell estate by Solomon Barnato Joel (1865-1931) who made his fortune in connection with diamonds in South Africa. Following Solomon Joel's death at Newmarket in 1931, the Newmarket estate was inherited by Solomon's son, Dudley Joel MP (1904-41). The house at Moulton Paddocks fell into disrepair following Dudley's death on active service during World War II and was demolished by 1950. The Joel Stakes at Newmarket Racehorse is named after Solomon Joel.

  • In 1925 Sir Ellice Victor Sassoon, 3rd Baronet (1881-1961) bought the Woodditton stud in Cambridgeshire close to Newmarket and renamed it Eve Stud (from his first names Ellice Victor Elias). It remained in the family ownership until 1970. (A history of Woodditton Stud on the Darley website.)

  • In the late 1850s, the Palace House Stable in the heart of Newmarket was sold by the Crown to Mayer de Rothschild (1818-1874) and for the next fifty years it was the racing headquarters of the English branch of the Rothschild family. On Mayer's death, the Palace House estate was inherited by his nephew, Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917), who made it his Newmarket home. On Leopold's death, the Palace House estate passed to his son, Anthony de Rothschild (1887-1961). During World War II, Anthony committed significant resources to assist Jewish refugees, a number of whom were housed in Palace House during the war. Upon Anthony's death, ownership of the Palace House estate passed briefly to his son Sir Evelyn de Rothschild (1931-2022) until sold in the mid 1960s. (Palace House, Newmarket on the Rothschild Archives website.)

  • In 1968, Louis Freedman CBE (1917-1998), property developer and investor, chairman of Land Securities, who served on the UK's race relations board, purchased Beech House stud at Newmarket from Lady Sassoon.

Notes & Sources
( returns to text above)

  • (i) Listed in Jewish Year Book 1940.

World War II Evacuee Communities

Jewish Congregations in Suffolk

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 29 June 2023
Page most recently amended: 10 September 2023

Research by David Shulman and Steven Jaffe
Formatting by David Shulman

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