Current synagogue consecrated in 1936
The Thicket, Elm Grove
Southsea, Hants P05 2AA
Tel: 023 9282 1494
Portsmouth & Southsea Synagogue was established in 1780 and is one of the oldest Synagogues in Britain.
In spite of our paucity of numbers, the Jewish community has made a substantial contribution to Portsmouth’s civic life. From 1832 to 1858 the Jews campaigned for full civil rights in Britain: during all that time, the Mayor and Corporation of Portsmouth were their constant champions. Mayor Edward Carter petitioned Parliament to enfranchise Jews in 1836; Lord John Russell repeated the request in 1847, and Viscount Monck, MP for Portsmouth, in 1852. Three of the 14 city councillors in 1849 were Jews: David Levey, John Edwards and Moses Solomon. Emmanuel Emmanuel and Abraham Leon Emmanuel (unrelated), and father and son Harry and Richard Sotnick have all served as Lord Mayors of Portsmouth. Alderman Joseph Davidson, amongst others, remembered the success he found in this city with generosity.
From the Portsmouth website “Star & Crescent“:-
Today, the 270-year-old graveyard on Fawcett Road is the only obvious trace of Portsmouth’s oldest and arguably most influential ethnic minority: the Jews. In 1749, the Portsmouth and Southsea Hebrew Congregation was founded, followed by the building in 1780 of the synagogue at White’s Row (now Curzon Howe Road). During the Napoleonic Wars (1803-15), large numbers of Jewish businesspeople came to Portsmouth to lend money and sell clothes, watches, jewellery and silver trinkets to soldiers and sailors. By the end of the wars, Portsmouth was home to one of the four major British-Jewish populations outside of London.