CHATHAM, seaport in Kent, England. A Jewish community was established there in the middle of the 18th century, composed largely of hawkers who traded with the sailors; many of them later became licensed navy agents. The first synagogue was erected c. 1760. In 1870 a new synagogue was built in memory of Captain Lazarus Simon Magnus by his father, in the gothic ecclesiastical style. The cemetery, going back to 1797 or earlier, is adjacent to the synagogue and contains a number of interesting Hebrew inscriptions. In 1968 the Jewish population of Chatham (with *Rochester) was approximately 150. In the mid-1990s the Jewish population numbered approximately 100, and was estimated at about 50 in 2004.
C. Roth, Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), 49–51. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: JYB, 2004. Under 'CHATHAM': M. Jolles, The Chatham Hebrew Society Synagogue Ledger, 1836–1865 (2000); M. Jolles, Samuel Isaac, Saul Isaac and Nathaniel Isaacs (1998).
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.