the former

Taunton Jewish Community

Taunton, Somerset




JCR-UK is a genealogical and historical website covering all Jewish communities and
congregations throughout the British Isles and Gibraltar, both past and present.

Town of Taunton

Taunton, a market town with a population of some 65,000 situated on the river Tone, is the county town of Somerset in South East England. It was a municipal borough until 1974, when it merged with neighbouring districts to form the local government district of Taunton Deane, remaining within the county of Somerset and being granted borough status in 1975. In 2019, Taunton Deane merged with the adjoining local government district of West Somerset to form the local government district of Somerset West and Taunton, still within the county of Somerset. In 2023, there was yet another merger, when Somerset West and Taunton merged with the three other local government districts in central and southern Somerset to form the unitary authority of the Somerset Council (only the two northern distrcts of Somerset remaining outside the new authority).

Taunton Jewish Community

A small Jewish community developed in Taunton early in World War II, comprised largely of evacuees from heavily populated areas, but it appears to have become defunct sometime prior to the end of the War.

Congregation Data


Taunton Jewish Community

Formation and Final Status:

The community was founded by at least 1940 and a Jewish Communal Organisation was formed in June 1941 with a view to becoming a United Synagogue Membership Group (which apparently did not transpire). The community ceased to exist prior to the end of World War II(ii)


A meeting to establish a communal organisation in 1941, was held in the Scout Hut.(iii)


Orthodox - Ashkenazi


Rev. L. Dimpson, BA - minister from 1940 until 1941(iv)

Lay Officers:

The following were the committee members in June 1941:(v)

President: Levay Lawrence; Vice President: W. Selby; Treasurer: M. Michaels

Ladies Guild:

A Ladies Guild wasformed in June 1941 with the following officers:(v)

President: Mrs. Michaels;   Secretary: Mrs. Leibling

Registration District (BMDs):

Somerset (since 1 January 2008)(vii) - Link to Register Office Website.


There is no Jewish cemetery in Taunton.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) The Jewish Chronicle report of 27 June 1941 read as follows:
    "TAUNTON - At a recent meeting of Jewish residents in Taunton, held at the Scouts Hall, with Mr. A. Levay Lawrence in the chair, a Jewish Communal Organisation was formed for Taunton with a view to its becoming eventually a Group Congregation under the United Synagogue scheme. A Committee was elected with Messrs. Levay Lawrence as President; W. Selby, Vice President; M. Michaels, Treasurer; and the Rev. L. Dimpson, Secretary. A Ladies' Guild was also formed with Mrs. Michaels, as Chairman and Mrs. Leibling as Secretary."

  • (iii) The press report in footnote (ii).

  • (iv) Rev. Dimpson left Taunton in 1941. He is mentioned in the press report in footnote (ii).

  • (v) The press report in footnote (ii).

  • (vi) and (vii Reserved.

  • (vii) Previous Registration Districts:  Taunton - from 1 July 1837 to 1 April 1974; Taunton Deane - from 1 April 1974 to 1 April 1996; Taunton - from 1 April 1996 to 1 January 2008 Any registers would now be held by the current register office.

World War II Evacuee Communities

Jewish Congregations in Somerset

Jewish Communities of England home page

Page created: 18 April 2024
Page most recently amended: 23 May 2024

Research and formatting by David Shulman

Explanation of Terms   |   About JCR-UK  |   JCR-UK home page

Contact JCR-UK Webmaster:

JGSGB  JewishGen

Terms and Conditions, Licenses and Restrictions for the use of this website:

This website is owned by JewishGen and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain. All material found herein is owned by or licensed to us. You may view, download, and print material from this site only for your own personal use. You may not post material from this site on another website without our consent. You may not transmit or distribute material from this website to others. You may not use this website or information found at this site for any commercial purpose.

Copyright © 2002 - 2024 JCR-UK. All Rights Reserved