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Today, Edgware is known for its thriving Jewish Community with an abundance of places of worship, a Mikvah, Jewish schools, kosher shops and restaurants as well as having an Eruv. But just over eighty years ago Edgware was an emergent community.
In 1924 the Northern Line was extended from Golders Green to Edgware and with that extension and the development of new housing, the first Jews moved into Edgware. In 1927, the Barnett family moved here and searched for other orthodox Jews in the area. As a result, the Edgware Hebrew Congregation was started. Initially services were held in members’ houses; however, bigger premises were soon needed and the growing community moved into Lodge House on the corner of Canons Park and the High Street. The community continued to grow and in 1934, aided by a gift of land in Mowbray Road from a local property developer, a synagogue was built and consecrated on 2 September 1934, 27 Sivan, 5694. The community continued to use Mowbray Road (where the present Rosh Pinah Early Years’ Center is located) until the move, in 1957, into the present premises on the Edgware Way.
The need for spiritual guidance and education was recognized by the founders of the community and in 1931 an advertisement was placed in the Jewish Chronicle for a Hebrew teacher. Reverend Saul Amias, a graduate of Jews’ College, was appointed. Apart from a break during the war years when Rev Amias became a Forces’ Chaplain, he served the community until his retirement on 1 March 1975, 18 Adar 5735. Under his guidance, Edgware became a thriving community and Rosh Pinah School was established by him. Upon his retirement, the community appointed Rabbi Cyril Harris as minister and he remained with the community until 1979. In 1981 Rabbi, Benjamin Rabinowitz, was inducted by the then Chief Rabbi, Lord Jakobovits. The Rabbonim of the community were all ably assisted by Chazanim starting with Rev. Fagan and including Rev. Asher Hainowitz, Rev. Zev Toren, Chazan Yossi Malovany FRCM, Rev. Stephen Robins and Shimon Cramer.
Edgware Synagogue’s members play a pivotal role in all aspects of Jewish life. There are always shiurim and classes for Jewish education and learning. The welfare of the community’s members was – and is – paramount and today is organised by the team of volunteers called Edgware Community Cares. Women contributed to communal life via the Ladies Guild which today continues to serve the community and has also evolved into interest groups such as the Reading and Craft circles. The children and youth have over the past decades been served by a variety of movements based in the Synagogue premises including B.A., The Jewish Lads Brigade, Brownies and Guides, Scouts, Maccabi and BBYO.
Edgware United at the beginning of the twenty first century is continuing to evolve as a center for Jewish worship, life and learning. In January 2007 Rabbi Rabinowitz retired from Edgware.
On the 13th January 2008 Rabbi Lister took up the position of Rabbi for Edgware United Synagogue.
Special thanks to the late Joe Perlmutter for providing an in-depth history from which this extract was taken.
Come along to hear Guest Speaker, Tony Bernstein, speak on the topic “Elie Weisel – Why I Write”. Entrance £3 to be paid at the door on the night. Pre-Booking Essential by clicking here