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Author maps 800 years of Jewish history in Royal Borough

Author maps 800 years of Jewish history in Royal Borough

Luke Matthews

Author maps 800 years of Jewish history in Royal Borough

A comprehensive history of Jewish life in the Royal Borough has been painstakingly mapped by Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain.

The author has been piecing together 'Royal Jews,' which centres around Maidenhead but covers the wider county, for about 25 years.

What started out as a 25-page leaflet grew to become a 395-page guide spanning more than 800 years.

"I thought there was just a very small history and that it would be nice to record it," said the 58-year-old.

"The more I delved into it the further back it went."

The Pinkneys Green resident discovered that although Maidenhead Synagogue was founded in 1940, local Jewish life can be traced back to Isaac of Windsor in 1279.

"I read dozens and dozens, probably 250 books on local history, getting a flavour of the area and I interviewed local people.

"The Maidenhead Advertiser has been a great source of information.

"I sat on it and made notes here and there and just threw it all into a file. Four or five ago I thought I better put it all together.

"It's been hard work but really good fun."

Rabbi Romain, who is Minister of Maidenhead Synagogue, studied history at University College London and wanted a project which allowed him to delve into 'his own back yard'.

The father-of-four, who was awarded an MBE in 2003, will give a talk on the subject at Maidenhead Heritage Centre in Park Street on Thursday, November 14, at 12.45pm.

Email admin@maidenheadsynagogue.org.uk or call 01628 673012 to order 'Royal Jews.'

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