150 Years of the Central Synagogue
When Jews left the City and the East End of London to live in the West End, they needed a Synagogue and started a branch of the Great Synagogue in 1855. From this came the Central Synagogue in Hallam Street in 1870. It was one of the founding houses of worship of the United Synagogue and destined to become one of the oldest Synagogues in the country. Both the Central and the Great Synagogue were destroyed in the Blitz in 1941. The Great Synagogue was not rebuilt, but the Central was reconstructed in 1958, becoming the foremost Synagogue in London, and has now been in existence for over 150 years.
Over the years it was fortunate enough to have great ministers like Aaron Levy Green, Michael Adler and Cyril Shine, beside outstanding chazans like Aaron Stoutzker and Simon Hass. The Rothschilds were part of its history and the Wolfson family were wardens for many years. A Synagogue needs a lot of support, and families like the Freedmans, the Taylors, the Diamonds and the Peltzs devoted time and finance to creating new facilities, looking after the congregation’s children and supporting the community’s charities.
The book records events like Michael Adler’s time as a chaplain to the forces in the First World War, the Midnight Hass service, and the continuity of weekday morning and evening services, which have been available to members, visitors and tourists throughout its long history.
The history of the Central Synagogue is also a fascinating record of London Jewry.
256 pages 45 black and white illustrations paperback