Challenges facing Small Communities


If you are an embryonic new community the challenges are more than outweighed by enthusiasm and optimism.

But when a modestly sized community is static or declining there are many issues which can be a struggle to address.

In 2003, at the inaugural meeting of the Jewish Small Communities group in Southport, the Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, stated that the typical life of a Jewish community was 60 years before its population moved on.
So these problems are not new, and will be repeated from community to community.


  • Religious leader /people to lead services
  • Minyan
  • Building maintenance
  • Kosher food
  • Social events
  • Families and Children
  • Education
  • Burials / Chevrah Kadisha – view Case Studies »
  • Support for elderly who wish to maintain a Jewish environment
  • Cultural awareness of social services

How do you start to approach these issues?

Ultimately each community will be faced with and approach each challenge according to local need.
However, two things will help to lessen the burden of what would be an up hill struggle…

  1. An established channel to feed resources from larger communities
  2. A self help network for small communities to share experiences and solutions
Small Communities List
Small Communities meeting St Annes
Small Communities meeting St Annes


  1. I am not a member of a small community but as a journalist I do meet Jews in small communities-I was in Swansea in August where they had no minyan-sadly most small communities has a fragile infrastructure e.g. education for adults and teens, kosher food cultural activities-if they combine e.g Nottingham and Derby something can be done and also connect with university students the temptation to marry outside the Jewish community following university is very attractive-I have many examples

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