Chatham Memorial Synagogue

Welcome to the web site of the Chatham Memorial Synagogue on

Built in 1869 by Simon Magnus, in memory of his son Lazarus, on the site of an even older Synagogue, it is  the home of  the Jewish community in mid and north Kent.

Chatham Memorial Synagogue is actually located in historic Rochester on the River Medway in the county of Kent, about 35 miles South-east of London and only 35 minutes by high speed train from St Pancras (45 minutes from Victoria).

Rochester, the home of the author Charles Dickens, is a popular tourist destination.

For further information about Rochester, please visit our Historic Rochester page.

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Festival Calendar

The Festival Calendar has been updated to include dates for 2015 and 2016.

New Year Greetings

If you have not yet seen the New Year Greetings list, it can be viewed by clicking here.

Mitzvah Day 16th November 2014

Chatham memorial Synagogue is proud to support this important annual day of social action based on the values of Tikkun Olam, Tzedek and Gemilut Chasadim with tens of thousands of people taking part in projects around the world.

We hope you will want to support this event

For our Mitzvah we have decided to support the Medway Food Bank - Emergency food for people in crisis.

All you have to do is bring vegetarian non-perishable items to Shul the next time you come. Please bring in a sealed package

Any time between now and the 6th November and we will get the foodstuffs delivered to a local distribution centre

For more information visit the Mitzvah Day web site.

Audio Resources and storytelling

To coincide with the recent Arts Festival, David Herling has recorded a series of six audio files of the writing of Bruno Schulz. In the near future he will add more audio resources including his excellent reading of stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer.

Please click here to go to out Audio Resources page.

Hilary Halpern - Joint Life President

The stone consecration for the late Hilary Halpern will take place on Sunday 2 November 2014 at 2:30 pm in the Jewish section of Chatham Cemetery. A well-attended memorial service  took place in the synagogue on Sunday 13 July 2014. The service was conducted by the Revd Malcolm Weisman OBE, Minister for Small Communities and included a special prayer for Hilary by synagogue chairman, Jon Weiner.

Hilary, who died in July 2013, served the community for many years as a former chairman, chairman of trustees and as honorary architect and he will be remembered among other things for his tireless dedication to preserving the fabric of our beautiful historic synagogue.

To read the obituary by Gabriel Lancaster MBE please click here.

Painting © Marissa Mardon - (click on picture to enlarge)

Appeal for a disabled access

Please visit our Appeal page for further details of our appeal for donations to enable us to provide access for our disabled members and visitors to the synagogue.



The chatshulcrew facebook page has been set up for the teenagers and students of the community. We hope they will 'like' the page and then get together to plan the two hours we have left open for them on the 21st September:



A new Jewish arts blog edited by our newsletter editor Jo Freeman is now up an running, though in terms of content it is still in its early stages of development. Please visit out Chatshularts web page which links to the blog.

Continuing the arts theme, we will be holding a two day Arts Festival in September – a showcase for the cultural side of our communities. Visual, Creative, Performance art will be included. This event will be in memory of Hilary Halpern (see below)

Further details will appear on this website shortly.

Friday Evening Services

Friday evening services will be at 6pm, throughout the autumn and winter, until the clock go back in the spring, then at 7pm during the summer

Shabbat information

Details of candle lighting times and the week’s Torah reading can be found on the Shabbat page of the services section of the web site.

Online Donations

It is now possible to make online donations to Chatham Memorial Synagogue via Virgin Money Giving. Due to the high costs of running and maintaining this beautiful synagogue, all donations are gratefully received.

By using this method, the synagogue will be able to automatically take advantage of Gift Aid

If you wish to make a donation please click on the logo on the right.

Prayer Recordings

To help our members and friends who are studying the liturgy and forms of prayer, it is our intention to build up a series of recordings of different prayers, which can be accessed from our Prayer Recordings page.

The initial examples are the Ashkenazi and Sephardi pronunciations of the Mourner’ Kaddish and the Shema.

Facebook and Twitter

Chatham Memorial Synagogue now has a presence on Facebook an Twitter. Please visit our Facebook and Twitter page for more details. The Facebook feed can be slow to load. If it doesn’t load after about a minute, refresh the page.

Contact Details

For further information about the synagogue or the community or to contact us about any topic, please fill in our Contact Form and select the appropriate category. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Site Navigation

Please navigate around the site using the menu on the left hand side of the screen. In particular please visit our This Month page as well as our Services and Events pages for up to date information on what is happening at the synagogue.

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Chatham Memorial Synagogue is a registered charity - No. 800902        Website last updated 30 October 2014