History

History

The Synagogue, affectionately called Marble Arch, is officially known as the Western Marble Arch Synagogue and came into existence as a result of the successful merger between the Western Synagogue (founded in 1761) and the Marble Arch Synagogue (founded in 1957).

The Western Synagogue, one of the first Ashkenazi Synagogues in the country, was the first to be established outside the City of London in Westminster and was originally known as the Westminster Synagogue. It was the first London Synagogue to preach sermons in English. Whilst adhering to strict orthodox principles, The Western Synagogue had always maintained an attitude of religious tolerance to individuals and had upheld its tradition of administrative independence for well over two hundred years.

The Marble Arch Synagogue came into existence in 1957 under the auspices of the United Synagogue to replace the Great Synagogue which was destroyed by enemy action during the 2nd World War.

The merger in 1991 of these two great central London Synagogues, one being an Independent Synagogue and one being a part of the United Synagogue, was the first of its kind to have taken place in this country. The two former congregations have happily blended together into a unified and dynamic community with a membership catering for all age groups.

A brief chronology: