Portsmouth Jewry
in Victorian Britain




Extract from papers on
Provincial Jewry in Victorian Britain

Papers prepared by Dr. (later Prof.) Aubrey Newman for a conference at University College, London, convened on 6 July 1975 by the Jewish Historical Society of England
(Reproduced here with Prof. Newman's kind consent)

Paper first published on JCR-UK: 10 December 2015
Latest revision: 11 December 2016

PORTSMOUTH (Hampshire)

(For the Community's early history, see "Portsmouth" in Cecil Roth's "The Rise of Provincial Jewry", 1950)

Published Data

A  -  The Portsmouth community, established in the eighteenth century, continues to be flourishing at the beginning of the nineteenth. In 1845, it had 22 Ba'ale Batim and 20 seatholders, and in 1851 there were 160 appropriated seats. On census Shabbat [1851] there were 35 attenders at the service. In 1850 there was founded a Literary Society which met weekly in the Synagogue Hall, on Saturday afternoons. There was a weekly lecture which once a month dealt with subjects of Jewish history or literature. There was a Library and a reading room open on Friday evenings, and the subscription was 6d. a month.


Synagogue, Queen Street, Portsea. Founded 1747. Has seat accommodation for 200 persons.

Aria College, St. George's Square. Opened January 1874. 'The training and maintenance of young men as Jewish divines on orthodox Judaical principles.' Founded in accordance with the will of he late Lewis Aria. There are at presents 4 students resident in the institution.

Portsea Hebrew Educational classes, established 1862.

Portsmouth and Portsea Hebrew Benevolent Institution. Founded 1804. Object, the weekly relief of the poor, resident in the Borough for at least five years. Number of subscribers about 50, Income for the year 1872 142. 6s. 2d. Expenditure for the year 1872 100. 1s. 3d.

Ladies Benevolent Society, established about 1770. For granting medical attention and allowances during week of mourning. etc.

Jewish Almshouses. For providing an asylum for the resident Jewish poor of Portsmouth. Built by the Congregation, 1857.


500 Jewish residents.  1900 3 marriages, 6 deaths.

Synagogue, Queen Street, founded 5507. Seatholders 117. Income 972. 5s. 1d. expenditure 834. 3s. 6d.

Hebrew Benevolent Institution. Founded 1804. Relief of resident poor. Number of subscribers about 50, Income 100, expenditure 80. Administrative expenses 3. There were nine persons relieved during the past year, the conditions of relief being twelve months residence. Election takes place at the meeting of subscribers.

Hebrew Educational Classes (founded 1856). THe cholars number 92 (54 boys and 38 girls).

There are three Kosher restaurants.

Choverei Zion (established 1898). The members number 35.

Chevra Bikur Cholim (established 1897). To visit the sick and relieve the poor. The members number 64.

[A - Primarily from The Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), by Cecil Roth]
[a - The Jewish Directory for 1874, by Asher I. Myers]
[b - Jewish Year Book]


Board of Deputies returns

  births marriages burials seatholders


5 (3M)






























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