Norwich Liberal Jewish Community

(formerly the Progressive Jewish Community of East Anglia)

Norwich, Norfolk





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Congregation Data


Norwich Liberal Jewish Community (NLJC)

Name Former

Progressive Jewish Community of East Anglia, until August 2013 (ii)


Services held at the Old Meeting House, Colegate, Norwich. (iii)

Current Status:


Date Formed:

The community held initial meetings and services in 1989, after notices had been placed in local newspapers by the Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues (now known as Liberal Judaism), who wished to ascertain whether there were sufficient people living in East Anglia who wished to form a liberal/progressive Jewish community based in Norwich.(iv)

The first meeting of the steering committee was held on 11 January 1990 and the community's first annual meeting was held in March 1991.(iv)


Liberal (Progressive)


A constituent community of Liberal Judaism (formerly Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues) from 1991.




(To view a short profile of a minister whose name appers in blue - hold the cursor over his or her name.)

Rabbi Melinda Carr - from about 2000 to about 2003(vi)

Rabbi Rachel Benjamin - from 2003 until 2009(vii)

Rabbi Stephen Howard - from 2010 until 2012(viii)

Rabbi Leah Jordan (part-time) - from 2013 to July 2018(ix)

Rabbi Cantor Gershon Silins (part-time) - 2019(x)

Rabbi Anna Wolfson (then known as Posner) (part-time) - 2020 to 2021(xi)

Student Rabbi Hannah Marije Altorf - from January 2022 to present (May 2023)(xii)

Membership Data

National Reports and Surveys(xv)

1996 - 35 members (comprising 25 households, 2 individual male and 8 Individual female members)

2010 - listed as having 50 to 99 members (by household)

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

Charitable Status:

The congregation is a registered charity (no. 1053565), registered on 7 March 1996. The governing document is the congregation's constitution dated 11 March 1991, as subsequently amended.(xvi)

Registration District (BMD):

Norwich (since 1 July 1837) - Link to Register Office website (records currently held by Norfolk County Council).


The congregations shares with the Norwich Hebrew Congregation the Jewish section attached to the Earlham Road Cemetery. The congregation occasionally uses a very small Jewish section which exists in the municipal cemetery in Caister, just north of Great Yarmouth.(xvii)

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

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

  • (iii) Jewish Year Books 2000 through 2015 (last publication).

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

  • (v) Reserved.

  • (vi) Based on Rabbi Carr's listing as minister of the congregation in Jewish Year Books 2001 through 2003. Transgender Rabbi Carr later became Rabbi Indigo Jonah Raphael.

  • (vii) Photo Gallery on the congregation's website, last accessed 18 November 2019. Rabbi Benjamin is not listed as a minister of this congregation in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (viii) Photo Gallery on the congregation's website, last accessed 18 November 2019. Rabbi Howard is not listed as a minister of this congregation in any Jewish Year Book.

  • (ix) Jewish Chronicle article on Norwich Jewish Community dated 30 July 2015, Photo Gallery on the congregation's website, last accessed 18 November 2019, and Liberal Judaism's news report on Rabbi Jordan leaving dated 12 July 2018.

  • (x) Congregation's website, accessed 24 July 2019. Rabbi Silins is an ordained cantor (since about 1990) and an ordained rabbi (since July 2019).

  • (xi) Congregation's website, accessed 6 January 2021 and and the website of the Mosaic Jewish Community, accessed 14 May 2023.

  • (xii) Congregation's website, accessed 15 May 2023.

  • (xiii) and (xiv) Reserved.

  • (xv) 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.

  • (xvi) Charity Commission website, in beta development, and Open Charities website, both accessed 24 July 2019.

  • (xii) Congregation's website, accessed 24 July 2019.

Norwich Jewish Community home page

List of Liberal Judaism Congregations

Jewish Congregations in Norfolk

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 2 March 2004
Data significantly expanded and notes added: 24 July 2019
Latest revision or update: 15 May 2023

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