© Marcus Roberts


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The press of numbers on the synagogue led to Rabbi Cohen founding a new and larger synagogue in Dover. In 1863 he again approached the Harbour Board for a site to build a new synagogue. Again they obliged the community by providing a new site on Northampton Street. This site was close to the Harbour and sea front and soon was occupied by a Classical style synagogue, designed by William E Williams, which was described in 1868 as 'a pretty little building'. It had colourful stained glass and other decorations and seated 250 people.

The opening ceremonies of the synagogue led to a serious rift between the Canterbury and Dover communities. The Canterbury community felt that too few of their number had been invited to the festivities. Later decisions and events that month led to a poor Jew - apparently one Joseph Abrahams, a visitor from Cardiff - being refused burial at Canterbury and the disgrace of the coffined body being left lying openly in the Whitstable Road for 24 hours before burial.

These unsavoury scenes doubtlessly motivated Rabbi Cohen to petition the Harbour Board for ground to make a Jewish cemetery in Dover. They once again obliged the community and gave a picturesque site at the municipal cemetery at Copt Hill overlooking Dover. The walled cemetery, with its ohel (burial hall), was first used in 1868.

Rabbi Cohen was by this time in the closing stages of his life - one that was cut short by chronic diabetes. It seems that Rabbi H. Neumann was effectively acting as Dover's rabbi on Cohen's behalf by 1862, and that Rabbi Cohen was conducting the less onerous task of Secretary of the congregation.

One of his last official acts in Dover was to lay a foundation stone and to open Ellis House (now West Mount) on the Folkestone Road. This was next to or on the site of Sussex house and was to be the residence of a leading Jewish business man, and Leicestershire colliery owner, Joseph Joel Ellis.

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