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Welcome to the Cambridge Jewish Residents Association website

Jews have lived in Cambridge from as early as the 13th century. The population disappeared on the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290, but scholars and students returned to work and study at the University from the mid 1650s when Oliver Cromwell allowed Jews to return to England. During the Second World War, many Jews came to Cambridge as evacuees from London or as refugees from Nazi Europe, and the need arose for Jewish burial in Cambridge. The Cambridge Jewish Residents Association (CJRA) came into being in 1940 in order to provide this service and to cater for the religious and secular needs of the whole Jewish community. With the establishment of Beth Shalom Reform Synagogue (BSRS) and the Cambridge Traditional Jewish Congregation (CTJC) in the early 1980s, the CJRA has assumed a role as an umbrella organization with less emphasis on religious activities.   

The CJRA welcomes all Jews who live in or near Cambridge, irrespective of their Jewish religious affiliation.  It promotes religious, cultural, educational, social activities and administers the Chevrah Kadishah (Burial Society).  The CJRA also aims to provide a network of welfare and support for the entire local Jewish community. Non-Jewish partners are welcome to join in all activities and attend religious services, but they cannot become full members of the CJRA.

The CJRA is a representative body for Jews in Cambridge. It provides links with other Jewish communities and groups, and has national affiliations with the Board of Deputies of British Jews.  It is a member of the Cambridge Ethnic Forum and the East of England Faiths Communities.  

Religious Services

All CJRA members have the right to attend religious services held in the Synagogue (The Jewish Students Centre) Thompsons Lane where the services at present are orthodox. The synagogue is owned by the Cambridge University Jewish Students (CUJS) to whom the CJRA gives financial assistance. In the vacations, the services are organised by the Cambridge Traditional Jewish Congregation.

The CJRA has on long term loan from Westminster Synagogue one of the Czech Memorial Scrolls (from Pardubice, circa 1850). It is presently used by Beth Shalom Reform Synagogue, Auckland Road, Cambridge CB5 8DW.  

For information on traditional synagogue services contact:  Cambridge Traditional Jewish Congregation.

For information about Reform services organised by Beth Shalom Reform Synagogue (BSRS) contact:

Cultural, Educational and Social Programme

CJRA supports a wide range of cultural, educational and social events and activities in Cambridge.

We have a regular varied programme of evening talks that take place on Wednesday evenings in term time.

Childrens Education is catered for by the following

Chabad: e-mail:


The CJRA provides for the welfare needs of the community, especially, the elderly.

The Cambridge Jewish Cultural Association (CJCA) arranges monthly meetings on a Monday afternoon in which a variety of programmes are provided. These include talks, debates, festival celebrations and an outing during the summer months.

The CJRA together with BSRS and CTJC with the assistance of Jewish Care founded, in 1997, the Cambridge Jewish Community Support (CJCS) to provide for more individual needs for those living in the Cambridge area regardless of any synagogue affiliation. The CJCS also coordinates hospital visiting and prayers.


The CJRA sends free to all members a regular magazine, which contains details of all religious services (Traditional/Orthodox services are currently held at Thompsons Lane Synagogue and Reform services at Beth Shalom Reform Synagogue), clubs, events, activities and community news of all the groups in Cambridge, as well as articles.

Burial Society

Membership of the CJRA provides the right to burial in the Cambridge Burial Grounds belonging to our Chevra Kadisha (Burial Society).   This is in the Jewish section of the City of Cambridge Cemetery in Newmarket Road and the new Cemetery at Dry Drayton.  The burial service is conducted according to Orthodox rites. Please note that membership does not include the cost of the burial.

Data Protection Policy - click here

Constitution - to download pdf click here

Other Jewish Links

Cambridge Jewish community life is served by many interest groups, charities and clubs including the following.

BTS - British Technion Society
Hosts various events to collects funds to support the Technion in Israel.

Woolf Institute
Studies relations among Jews, Christians and Muslims.

CMHS - Centre for Modern Hebrew Studies
A department of Cambridge University which welcomes residents to lectures by visiting lecturers, Hebrew classes and the Israeli film club.

MDA - Magen David Adom
This fund raising/social organization holds an annual garden party, musical and other events for the emergency medical organization of Israel.

Cambridge University Jewish Society
The Jewish Students Organization.

Cambridge University Chabad Society
Caters for all Jewish Students.

Cambridge University Jewish Studies
The Cambridge University Faculty of Divinity