URGENT appeal was made this week for the community to ensure
the survival of a 100-year-old East End synagogue.
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.
recently underwent major renovations, but the independant
synagogue is still in need of about £8,000 to complete
its ladies' gallery.
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."
called on charities which were supporting dwindling communities
in Eastern Europe to "look at what needs to be done at
Russell, 25, from leeds, said friends were often surprised
by his interest in the synagogue.
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."
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.
Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks, who addressed the 150 guests, paid
tribute to the spirit of the East End, home to his immigrant
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,"
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."
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."
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.