There has been a Jewish presence in Brighton since 1766. We know this because Israel Samuel married in London on 31st December the same year and gave his address as 22 East Street, Brighton.
The publication of an anthology of the Brighton and Hove Jewish Community (published in 2016 to celebrate the 250th anniversary) led to a great deal of interest about Samuel and the Jewish history of the area. Readers wanted to add information not in the book. An idea was born. Why not put the Anthology online and let people add their own stories?
The Sussex Branch of the Jewish Historical Society of England worked tirelessly with local web designers Surface Impression to create a website that made that dream a reality. Today, for the first time, local people can add their story to the record. Unlike other social history sites, Our Jewish Story will use the skills of professional historians to maintain the academic standards of the published content.
Another unique feature of the site is that it brings together important archives of Jewish interest such as The Keep, the Sussex Jewish News journal and the Centre for German-Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex.
The success of this local initiative will hopefully lead Our Jewish Story expanding to other parts of the country and becoming a national resource.