© Marcus Roberts (2004 & 2008 & 2012)


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18th Century Ramsgate

While Montefiori did much to place Ramsgate on the Jewish map, the Ramsgate Jewish community was already established before Sir Moses' arrival. However the provision of a synagogue was to enable a formally organised and expanded community. An examination of the history of the Ramsgate community seems to suggest (though it is difficult to pin down) that even if there were no tensions between the Montefiori Endowment and the rest of the community, there was a divide between the goings on at Hereson and in the rest of the town.

The Ramsgate Jews originally arrived after 1749 when the port was constructed for the Channel Squadron and with the growth of the town as a holiday resort.

The first local Jew is thought to have been Isaac Lyon, a silversmith, who was in residence from about 1786 onwards and he remained there until his death in 1837. He lived in what is now the High Street of Ramsgate. Noah Levi, a watch maker arrived in 1789 and lived in Queen Street.

Levi Abraham of Portsmouth, arrived in 1788 after marrying a Zipporah Moses of Dover. Levi Abraham (b. 1752 at Frankfort-am-Mainz) kept a tailor's shop in town and lived on the present High Street. In the early days Abraham was the de facto leader of the community. His children and descendants were to make good marriages or become notables. His grandson, Michael Henry (1830-75) was to be the Editor of the Jewish Chronicle, a member of Council for Jew's College, as well as the Honorary Secretary for Stepney Jewish schools.

Henry J. Levy, a watch maker, arrived in 1794 and lived at Albion Hill and then later 68 High Street.

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