Photo of Shul by Catherine Yass (2000)

Hebrew - Congregation of Jacob
The Congregation of Jacob Synagogue
incorporating
cheva yisroel
Chevra Yisroel & Bicur Cholim & Stetziver Synagogue
351-353 Commercial Road, London, E1 2PS
Tel: 020 7790 2874
- Fax: 0871 661 6774
Over 100 years of service to our community - Founded 5663-1903
Using modern technology to bring old tradition to your home

Photo (Left): Catherine Yass (2000) - Image (Right): Shul Pinkas (1903)

Image by Shul Pinkas (1903) Beis Hay

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Jewish Cronicle LogoJewish Chronicle - No 7002 -
4 July 2003 - 4 Tammuz 5763

Chief Rabbi praises Eastenders

Appeal for help at shul centenary celebration

WHITECHAPEL
Gaby Wine


AN URGENT appeal was made this week for the community to ensure the survival of a 100-year-old East End synagogue.

Founded in Johnson Street in 1903, Kehillas Ya'akov moved to Commercial Road in 1921 and is today one of the last four functioning synagogues in the East End.

It recently underwent major renovations, but the independant synagogue is still in need of about £8,000 to complete its ladies' gallery.

Speaking at the centenery celebrations on Monday, vice-chair David Russell said:"That we are all here this evening is a testament to our will to survive, but we will not survive much longer without support."

He called on charities which were supporting dwindling communities in Eastern Europe to "look at what needs to be done at home."

Mr Russell, 25, from leeds, said friends were often surprised by his interest in the synagogue.

Speaking after the servicem he said: "It is a remarkable community, made up of remarkable individuals. Jews in the East End are a different breed. They are less materialistic and have a strong sense of community."

The original congregation consisted largely of immigrants from Poland and Lithuania. Today the community includes Jews from India and Germany, as well as some who were born in the East End and still live locally.

Cheif Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks, who addressed the 150 guests, paid tribute to the spirit of the East End, home to his immigrant grandparents.

"My booba came from Russia and in a quiet way she ran half the neighbourhood. If you had a problem, she would fix it... She was a wonderful, typical figure of the East End. Physically, they were poor. Spiritually, they were true aristocrates," he said.

Warden David Brandes appealed for people to attend Shabbat and High Holyday services. He said the synagogue was building links with other faith communities - and with other synagogues - but he added: "Eastenders don't need any formal connection. We work like menschen."

Among guests were sisters Eleanor Taylor and Naomi Cohen, whose father, the late Reverend Morris Zlotsky, was minister at the synagogue for 40 years. Mrs Taylor, who lives in Borehamwood, said: "They have done a fantastic job in renovating the synagogue. It is brilliant that it is being kept alive."

Other guests included Federation of Synagogues president Alan Finlay; the Bishop of Stepney, Stephen Oliver; the deputy mayor of Tower Hamlets, Councillor Manir Uddin Ahmad; and police chief, Commander Mark Simmons.

 

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