Thursday, 28 August 2014

Jewish cemetery marks decline

North Staffordshire Jewish cemetery

One surprising aspect of north Staffordshire Jewish population statistics is that the number of Jewish families in the area has reduced from 200 to 20 in just fifty years - an decline of ninety per cent!
The reason is hard to pin down, but it could be that many of those 200 families were twentieth century refugees, and so they have just moved on again.  The community tries to be active nevertheless.

The grand old synagogue has had to be sold, and a tiny little new synagogue was built by the already established cemetery instead.  The cemetery is gated off, but has a solemn air.

2 comments:

  1. Very quiet, and different from other cemeteries. I researched funeral rites in the community for a novel; the contrast between graves in a northern climate and those in Israel is quite stark.

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  2. Interesting, and somewhat familiar. The Jewish community in the North Coast town where I grew up (Olympia WA USA) also maintains a neat and well-maintained little cemetery, part of a much larger complex made up of Masonic, Catholic, pioneer, Japanese, military, and "no preference" cemeteries. (That's America for you: suburbs to the end.) I uploaded a short piece on the Jewish graveyard and community here:

    http://rustyring.blogspot.com/2013/08/ww-jewish-cemetery.html

    Thanks for the interesting post!

    Robin
    Rusty Ring: Reflections of an Old-Timey Hermit

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