History of the Jews in Jersey

The history of the Jews in Jersey dates back to at least the 1790s.[1] There was a community in Jersey from the 1840s. The Jersey Old Hebrew Congregation was founded in 1843 and closed around 1870.[2]

There are currently about 85 Jews living in Jersey, although the number is shrinking.[3]

World War Two

Enemy aliens, people born in a country with which Britain was at war, were restricted from entering Britain without a permit.[4]:23 Accordingly a few of Jewish faith became trapped in Jersey when the islands were occupied. In addition, a few locals decided to remain in Jersey rather than evacuate in June 1940.

Following the invasion of 1940, Jersey was forced to pass laws by the German occupiers, requiring the identification of Jews. All non Jersey and British foreigners (Aliens) had already been required to register with the police, but the records did not mention their faith. An advertisement appeared in the newspaper in October 1941 calling on all Jews to identify themselves.[5] The Germans issued identity cards to everyone, which listed their nationality and faith.

"Jews", under the Nazi definition, identified on Jersey:

The following were shipped out of Jersey in February 1943, following a report by Dr. Casper dated 17 June 1942, and sent to Lager Compiègne in France:

The camps in Laufen and Biberach were civilian camps containing many Channel Island civilians.

Nathan Davidson was admitted to the mental hospital in February 1943 and died in 1944.[5]


After the war, there was a revival of Jewish life in Jersey, founded in 1961 with its synagogue opened in 1972, is located in Saint Brélade.[7]

As of 2004, Jewish population was estimated at about 120.[8] There are currently about 85 Jews living in Jersey, although this number is declining.[3]

See also


  1. Shulman, David. "JCR-UK: The Channel Islands Jewish Community". JCR-UK. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  2. "JCR-UK: Jersey Old Hebrew Congregation (Synagogue closed) Channel Islands". jewishgen.org.
  3. 1 2 "Jersey's Jewish community is 'in decline'". BBC News Jersey. BBC. 15 August 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  4. Hinsley, F. H. & C. A. G. Simkins. British Intelligence in the Second World War: Volume 4, Security and Counter-Intelligence. Cambridge University Press, 1990. ISBN 9780521394093.
  5. 1 2 "War-in-the-Channel-Islands" (PDF).
  6. Fraser, David. The Jews Of The Channel Islands And The Rule Of Law, 1940-1945:. Sussex Academic Press, 2000. ISBN 9781903900284.
  7. "JCR-UK: Jersey Jewish Congregation (Synagogue, active) Channel Islands". jewishgen.org.
  8. "CHANNEL ISLANDS". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
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