JCR-UK

the former

Winchester Jewish Community

Winchester, Hampshire

 

 

   


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

City of Winchester

The city of Winchester (population 40,000), the county town of Hampshire in southern England, was the capital of England until the Norman Conquest. It lies on the river Itchen. Winchester is now part of the local government district of the City of Winchester within the administrative county of Hampshire, formed in 1974 when the Winchester was merged with adjoining areas.

Jewish Community

There was a medieval Jewish community in Winchester. However, in the modern era, although there were a small number of Jews in Winchester as early as the mid nineteenth century, the only known organised Jewish community in the city was during World War II, formed primarily by war evacuees, but significantly bolstered by the arrival of US armed forces in the area in 1944. Regular services were held, but no formal synagogue would appear to have been established. 

Congregation Data

Name:

Winchester Jewish Community(ii)

Formation and Address:

The congregation was formed following the evacuation of Aria College from Southsea, Portsmouth, to Tweed House, 100 St Cross Road, Winchester, in September 1939. The College advertised that it would "continue to provide boys with a Public School education with sound religious training and strictly Orthodox Jewish Home life" in Winchester.

In September 1939 the principal of the college, Rabbi Hyman Klein, requested any Jews in Winchester or the immediate neighbourhood to get in touch with him so that services for the High Holidays could be arranged.(iii) Services were held at Aria College from at least 1940(iv) and Aria College remained at Tweed House until at least 1944(v). From 1942, Danemark House at 2 Hyde Street, the home of Rev. M.L. and Mrs. Gordon from Southampton (see below), also hosted communal and cultural activities as well as religious services.(vi)

Date Closed:

Closed in about 1945.

Ritual:

Ashkenazi - Orthodox

Affiliation:

None known.

Ministers:

None known, although Rev. M.L. Gordon, the then minister of Southampton Hebrew Congregation, moved to Winchester in 1942, after his Southampton home was destroyed in an enemy ariel bombardment, and his home at 2 Hyde Street was used for religious, communal and cultural activities.(vi)

Registration District (BMDs):

Hampshire since 1 April 2008(x)  - Link to Register Office website

Cemetery Details

There is no Jewish cemetery in Winchester

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Reserved.

  • (ii) This is the presumed name of the congregation. There is currently no information as to the actual name used.

  • (iii) Jewish Chronicle report of 8 September 1939.

  • (iv) Jewish Chronicle report of 25 October 1940.

  • (v) Jewish Chronicle report of 28 January 1944.

  • (vi) Jewish Chronicle report of 9 October 1942.

  • (vii) to (ix) Reserved.

  • (x) Previous Registration District: Winchester (from 1†July 1837 to 1 April 2008). Any registers would be held by the current register office

 


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Winchester include:

  • 1851 Anglo Jewry Database, (updated 2016)
    Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Winchester during the 1790s (1 record), 1810s (1 record), 1840s (15 records) and 1850s (6 records).

 Licoricia
Statue of Licoricia of Winchester
and her son Asser

Online Articles and Other Material relating to relating to
the Jewish Community in Winchester

on JCR-UK

on Third Party websites

  • https://licoricia.org - the website of The Licoricia of Winchester Appeal, which is a CIO registered charity (number 1174453), whose charitable objects are "to educate the public about Winchesterís medieval Jewish community, its role in society and its royal connections, and to promote religious tolerance and understanding through: the erection in Jewry Street of a statue of one of Winchesterís most prominent medieval Jews, Licoricia of Winchester, the Jewish mother and businesswoman; and the production of appropriate educational materials together with holding other supporting lectures and events".


Other Notable Jewish Connections with Winchester

  • Mrs. Gordon, wife of Rev. M.L. Gordon, maintained a guest house and provided kosher meals at Danemark House, 2 Hyde Street Winchester from 1942 until 1945.

  • Sir Henry of Winchester (13th century) was a Jewish convert to Christianity and baptised in the name of the King Henry III who knighted him. In 1278-9 he was involved in the conviction and execution of a number of Jews for coin clipping and was rewarded by receiving some of their confiscated property.

  • George Jeger MP (1903-1971), born in London, was Labour MP for Winchester 1945-1950. He then served as MP for Goole from 1950 until his death.

  • Rabbi Hyman Klein, MA (Cantab), Principal of Aria College which was evacuated to Winchester during World War II. He arranged a "Talmud by correspondence course" from Winchester during World War II, which reached out to servicemen and others across the UK and abroad and was an aclaimed talmudic scholar.

  • Licoricia of Winchester was a successful female financier in 13th century England. Winchester was her main place of business. She formed a close working relationship with Henry III and Queen Eleanor and relatives. Taxes she paid made a major contribution to the construction costs of Westminster Abbey. She was murdered at her home in Jewry Street, Winchester in 1277. A statue representing Licoricia and her son Asser was unveiled at Jewry Street, Winchester, in February 2022. (Book: Licoricia of Winchester. Power and Prejudice in Medieval England by Rebecca Abrams (2022)).

 
World War II Evacuee Communities

Jewish Congregations in Hampshire

Jewish Communities of England homepage

Page created: 25 February 2006 (but contents lost)
Page recreated: 19 February 2013
Data significantly expanded and notes added: 9 May 2023
Page most recently amended: 10 September 2023

Research by David Shulman, assisted by Steven Jaffe
Formatting by David Shulman


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