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Excitement for borough’s first new synagogue in 50 years

25 September, 2020 — By by Sam Ferguson

Rabbi Mendy fixes a new sign to the synagogue in Upper Street

A NEW synagogue and Jewish community space has opened in the borough for the first time in almost 50 years.

The pop-up space in Upper Street, near Angel station, has been established by Chabad Islington, a Jewish charity that has been active in the borough since 2011.

Led by Rabbi Mendy and Hadasa Korer, the organisation serves the Jewish community of Islington by hosting educational classes, religious services, social and cultural events, as well as the much-loved annual public events like the Islington Menorah Lighting and the Big Jewish Summer Fete, aimed at promoting community cohesion.

Rabbi Mendy, who was ordained in New York and has worked across the world in community building and outreach, said he was excited by the “endless possibilities” the new space would offer his congregation.

“Since announcing the opening of the space, the outpouring of excitement and love from the community has been truly moving,” he said.

“The location on the bustling Upper Street is phenomenal, it feels like opportunities are endless.

“There are many ways to get involved with the project, either by sharing ideas of how the space can be developed or by joining our events; you can volunteer your time or financially help to make sure the project becomes permanent.”

David Newman OBE, a British-Israeli scholar in political geography and geopolitics, said: “As someone who was present at the last Islington service held at Poets Road synagogue in 1967, I am sending you and your community heartfelt Mazal Tov and Shana Tova.”

The new synagogue will now host religious services to celebrate this year’s Rosh Hashanah (New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).

After the High Holiday season, the space will be open for all to visit and learn more about Judaism.

There will be a Jewish art and history exhibition, café, Judaica shop, as well as a kosher food collection point.

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