Chief Rabbi thanks City of London for support saving Bevis Marks from skyscraper bid
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Chief Rabbi thanks City of London for support saving Bevis Marks from skyscraper bid

Marking the United Synagogue’s 150th anniversary, he reflected on the “rich history” for the community in the square mile dating back hundreds of years.

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

Chief Rabbi Mirvis thanked the City of London for its help defending Britain’s oldest synagogue after it was “threatened by skyscrapers”.

Marking the United Synagogue’s 150th anniversary, he reflected on the “rich history” for the community in the square mile dating back hundreds of years.

This comes after plans for a 48-storey tower next to the historic Bevis Marks Synagogue, the oldest operational shul in Europe, were rejected after more than a thousand objections. Campaigners feared it could spell the end of its services, because it would block all natural light.

Speaking at a Chanukah reception at Guildhall in Moorgate, Chief Rabbi Mirvis said “one of the great shamashim [servants] has been the City of London, hosting here within this square mile, so much of our Jewish life in the city.

“And just one small example of this has been the recent occasions in which you have given support to the Bevis Marks synagogue… the longest continuous synagogue operating in Europe… threatened by skyscrapers which were to have been built alongside it, we very much appreciate the support that you have given.”

Chief Rabbi lights a menorah which was made in England in the 18th century and was used in the Hambro’ Synagogue, one of the United Synagogue’s founding shuls. Credit: Paul Lang Photography

Rabbi Mirvis thanked it for hosting the event and “giving recognition” for the United Synagogue’s 150th anniversary, saying the movement began with “five original synagogues, starting out in a humble fashion”, including three in the City.

He then lit the menorah for the second night of the festival, using a chanukiah from the Hambro synagogue dating back to the 18th century, before the Wolfson Hillel children’s choir sang Chanukah songs.

Chief Rabbi, Vincent Keaveny (The Lord Mayor), Michael Goldstein (President of the United Synagogue) Credit: Paul Lang Photography

During the event, United Synagogue President Michael Goldstein touched upon the movement’s growth “despite the pandemic”, saying it had welcomed “over 1,000 new members this year including more than 200 under-30s.” He also paid tribute to the “hundreds of our cherished members” lost to the virus.

Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Vincent Keaveny, reflected on the history of Jews in the City, saying: “It was here that British Jews could first hold public office”, and that the “London Metropolitan Archives holds over 58 collections celebrating Jewish communal life, dating all the way back to 1591.”

Woolfson Hillel Jewish Primary School choir together with the Chief Rabbi, Lord Mayor, Michael Goldstein and flanked by City of London Aldermen Credit: Paul Lang Photography
Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments