Skip to main content



PORTSMOUTH , seaport and naval base in Hampshire, S. England. The Jewish community, perhaps the oldest in continuous existence in England outside London, was founded in 1746 and a cemetery was acquired in 1749. Among early settlers were a family of engravers, a jeweler, navy agents, and small tradesmen. In a boat disaster in 1758 11 Jews were drowned, the only survivor being Samuel Emanuel, ancestor of a family later prominent in civic life. A communal split occurred in 1766 over the recognition of the rabbi of the Great Synagogue or the rabbi of the Hambro' Synagogue as spiritual leader. A reconciliation in 1771 led to reunion of the two groups in 1789. In 1780, the original synagogue was reconstructed and was still in use until 1936, when it was replaced by a new building in Southsea, the residential suburb. Portsmouth's prosperity as a naval and garrison town during the Napoleonic Wars attracted large numbers of Jews, but with the decline of the town after 1815 the community also decreased. A Jewish day school, Aria College, existed in Portsmouth for many years. In 1969 the Jewish population was estimated at 600 (out of a total of 215,000). The only communal institutions apart from the synagogue were the benevolent institution and a Board of Guardians for the poor. In the mid-1990s the Jewish population was estimated at approximately 385. The 2001 British census found 235 declared Jews in Portsmouth.


C. Roth in: jhset, 13 (1936), 157–87; idem, Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), 94–95; Newman, in: jhset, 17 (1953), 251–68; jyb.

[Vivian David Lipman]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Portsmouth." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 15 Aug. 2018 <>.

"Portsmouth." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (August 15, 2018).

"Portsmouth." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved August 15, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.