More than 150 past and present members of Birmingham Central Synagogue attended a commemorative service to bid farewell to the existing shul before the community moves to its new £1 million premises in early August.
Totteridge-based Adam Cohen, who was barmitzvah in the shul some 40 years ago, returned to Birmingham for the Shabbat and led the Musaf service. His father Leo is a volunteer in the Central office.
Former president Leonard Jacobs addressed the congregation on the history of the shul.
Current president Geoffrey Clements welcomed the many ex-Brummies who had returned to their native city for the service.
“After six years of hard work, the vision that the executive and council had in embarking on this redevelopment has finally come to fruition,” he said.
“We now have a modern building, fit for purpose, which will also be a great facility for the Birmingham Jewish community. But buildings are not what is important — it is the people, the community who will occupy them, that matters.”
Speaking afterwards, Rabbi Chanan Atlas said: “The move of the congregation from its old building to a fit-for-purpose shul attests to the vision of its leaders and the commitment of its membership. Our old building had served us well over the past 50 years and it’s now time for opening a new, exciting chapter.”
The Central has converted its Malcolm Locker Hall into a shul for its 200 members.
To fund the redevelopment, the existing synagogue building in Pershore Road has been sold to a care home developer.