Photo of Shul by Catherine Yass (2000)

Hebrew - Congregation of Jacob
The Congregation of Jacob Synagogue
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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Registerd as a Charity in the UK.
Reg No. is: X20677

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Jewish Cronicle LogoJewish Chronicle - No 7168 -
8 September 2006 - 15 Ellul 5766

In Search of the New Cool Shul

The Saatchi Synagogue, once renowned for its celebrity-studded Friday Nights and iconoclastic services, has moved from hip Maida Vale and membership is down. So who are the new contenders for the 'cool' crown? Daniella Peled investigates

Congregation of Jacob

Congregation of JacobIf you are seeking cutting-edge cool, far away from the mainstream North London circuit, Congregation of Jacob is where it's at. This traditional, independent Orthodox gem, in the old Jewish heartland of Stepney, has been given a fresh lease of life by an influx of creative professionals moving back to the newly fashionable East End.

"We've changed from being an elderly community with an average age of 70 to being quite a lot younger, " says David Brandes, an Eastender born-and-bred who is the synagogues minister, warden and trustee.

Past events have included a lightbox installation by Turner Prize-nominated local artist Catherine Yass, an interfaith children's klezmer workshop with a member of Oi Va Voi, and legendary Purim parties.

Established in 1903 (the present building dates from 1923), membership ranges from veteran congregates - the oldest in his 90s - to filmmakers, artists and fashion designers from the Docklands, Bethnal Green and achingly hip Shorditch. There is no regular Rabbi, and the Shul is owned, managed and maintained by the members.

"A lot of people from very diverse backgrounds help with the running of the Shul and bring their talents," adds Mr Brandes "We're very unpredictable, in a nice way."

Dress code: Jeans and T-shirts
Spiritual quota: Heart warming
Networking factor: Perfect place to find a website designer
Kiddush conversation: Property developers ruining the East End; the latest Jewdas party; organic vegetable boxes
Baby-Buggy count: The odd baby sling



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