When William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066 he brought his Jews, his hunting dogs and his rabbits as personal assets. Between then and the expulsion of the Jews in 1290 the thriving community of Jews in Kingston underwrote such projects as the maintenance of the local church , the building of the Lovekyn Chapel, which still stands, and the maintenance of the local town school, later refounded by Queen Elizabeth 1 as Kingston Grammar School.
Jews were again present in Kingston in the 19thand early 20thcenturies, meeting for services in homes and later the community brought their own house in Catherine Road. The group disintegrated during the war years, and after the war services were only held on High Holydays in the local Assembly Rooms until our present synagogue was built in 1954.
Kingston, Surbiton and District Synagogue was then affiliated to the United Synagogue A thriving and vibrant community flourished from that time, with a cheder of over 100 pupils in the 1960s. Numbers are considerably lower now.
We recently celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of the Synagogue, with a special dinner for 140 guests. The Chief Rabbi and five Rabbis who had officiated over the years in Kingston attended. KS&DS became a constituent member of the United Synagogue in 2018. The reputation of Kingston as a friendly and welcoming community continues to this day.