Frequently Asked Questions

Contacting a Synagogue:

JSCN lists as many small UK synagogues as we can find.
Use our listings to find the details and contact them directly.
The contact details are as up to date as we can make them, but we cannot guarantee them.

Tracing your Family:

· Records of Births Deaths and Marriages are kept by the local Registrar (of the County Council area they occurred in).

· Additional records of Jewish Marriages and Deaths will also be kept by the synagogue responsible.

· The Office of the Chief Rabbi keeps further copies of Marriage Ketubahs, for ceremonies conducted in a large number of Ashkenazi congregations.

· Try consulting the official UK Government National Archive UK Census Online for years from 1841 to 1911.

The Jewish Genealogy Society is a key organisation to contact. Its aims are…To encourage genealogical research * To promote the preservation of Jewish genealogical records and resources * To share information amongst members The Society is open to all interested in Jewish genealogy


Details of Marriages:

The Jewish Marriage Certificate – the Katubah – may hold the details you want. Older ones may be written entirely in Hebrew. A local synagogue might be able to help you get a translation.

If you haven’t got a copy of the Ketubah another copy will be held on record by the synagogue responsible for conducting he ceremony.

Confirmation of where the marriage took place can be gained by obtaining a copy of the Civil Marriage Certificate from the Registrar of the County Borough or City where the ceremony took place.

Contact the synagogue where your relation was married, they should have records of all marriages conducted there.
Many synagogues amalgamate over the years, but its likely that the records will have been inherited by a synagogue nearby.

If the synagogue records have been lost you can contact the Office of the Chief Rabbi, in London.
They hold records from all synagogues associated with the United Synagogues.
This will cover a very large number of UK synagogues, but not all.

Office of the Chief Rabbi, 305 Ballards Lane, London, N12 8GB, UK
Enquiries: +44 (0)20 8343 6301


Local synagogues will keep records of where individuals are buried in the cemetery associated with that synagogue.
Where a synagogue has closed or amalgamated another synagogue will have been entrusted with the records.

Converting to Judaism:

Orthodox Judaism
Conversions are rare. The only body in the UK which will oversee and authorise a conversion is the London Beth Din.
If you are lucky to be considered an acceptable candidate, it can take a minimum of 3 years and possibly considerably longer to complete the process.

Reform / Liberal / Progressive Judaism
Here the path to conversion is more accepting. However this form of conversion is not recognised by any Orthodox authority.

READ MORE about Converting to Judaism

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