Birmingham Central Synagogue

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The new Birmingham Central Synagogue at 4 Speedwell Road

Birmingham Central Synagogue is an Orthodox synagogue situated in Edgbaston, Birmingham, England.

History[edit]

The Ashkenazi Orthodox community was established in a private house in Belgrave Road in 1883 before moving to Wrottesley Street in 1900 and then to Bristol Street in 1928, taking over a former Methodist Hall. In 1961 a small group of dedicated, hard working individuals acquired the large plot of land upon which a synagogue, hall and classrooms were built at 133 Pershore Road (52°27′43″N 1°54′09″W / 52.46182°N 1.90237°W / 52.46182; -1.90237). The ground breaking ceremony took place in July 1958. Construction of the 1960s building took place between 1959 and 1961.

As of October 2013 the old building is being demolished

Sale and Redevelopment[edit]

The congregation voted to sell the Pershore Road shul in 2010.[1] For the next few years they had to wait to get planning permission from both Birmingham City Council and Calthorpe Estates.

Redevelopment of the Malcolm Locker Hall into the new synagogue began in January 2013.[2] Work was completed in July 2013, with the handover taking place in August 2013.[3]

Of the 42 etched glass windows in the old building, only 6 could be saved (and were installed in the new shul). The other 36 were to be sold (some broke when they were removed).[4]

From August 2013 the old building was in the hands of the developers, who had to first remove asbestos. The old shul building was completely demolished during October 2013. The developers Seddon will build a 70-bed care home for Gracewell Healthcare on the former synagogue site.[5]

Demolition of the old synagogue in October 2013

Current synagogue[edit]

The new synagogue at 4 Speedwell Road is adjacent to the Pershore Road building. Services began in August 2013. By September, the new ark was installed in time for the High Holy Days. The new Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis consecrated the new building by unveiling a plaque on Sunday 13 October 2013.

Rabbi Chanan Atlas was appointed minister of the shul in early 2012 taking over from Rabbi Shlomo Odze.[6] It has been announced that Rabbi Atlas and his family will be leaving Birmingham, to take up a new position in Manchester. The shul has started to look for a new Rabbi.[7]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 52°27′43″N 1°54′10″W / 52.46194°N 1.90275°W / 52.46194; -1.90275