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Channel Islands, Great Britain

CHANNEL ISLANDS, small archipelago off the coast of Normandy belonging to Great Britain. Jews seem to have lived there in the Middle Ages. A London Jew named Abraham was described in 1277 as being from "La Gelnseye" (Guernsey). The converted Portuguese Jew, Edward *Brampton , was appointed governor of Guernsey in 1482, and a few Jewish traders are recorded there in the second half of the 18th century. However, they did not set up a communal organization. Jews settled in Jersey in the first half of the 19th century. In 1843 J. Wolffson organized a diminutive community in St. Helier (Jersey), which died out in about 1870. Some Polish Jews settled in Jersey in 1892 without reestablishing a community. W.H. Krichefski (1916–74), born in Jersey, was a Jersey senator. The Channel Islands were the only part of Great Britain occupied by the Germans in World War II. It is believed that the small Jewish population was deported to extermination camps; none is believed to have survived. A slight revival of Jewish life took place after World War II and the present-day community was founded in 1962. In 2004 its Jewish population was estimated at about 120.


J.M. Rigg (ed.), Select Pleas of the Exchequer of the Jews (1902), 93; C. Roth, Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), 74–6. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: JYB 2004; D. Fraser, The Jews of the Channel Islands and the Rule of Law, 1940–1945 (2000).

[Cecil Roth]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.