The New London Synagogue in St John’s Wood launched its jubilee celebrations on Sunday with a civic service incorporating the induction of chazan, Cantor Jason Green.
Fifty years ago, the former St John’s Wood United Synagogue — built in 1882 and once the seat of the Chief Rabbinate — was waiting to be torn down by developers. But it was rescued by supporters of Rabbi Louis Jacobs, after his ejection from the United Synagogue for his theological views, to serve as their new home. Founded as an independent Orthodox congregation, the New London eventually became the mother ship of Masorti, which now spans 13 communities.
Originally from Connecticut, Cantor Green arrived from Canada for last year’s High Holy-Days. Trained at the London School of Jewish Studies, and by British tutors abroad, he is schooled in minhag Anglia, the liturgical traditions of the United Synagogue.
Highlighting the synagogue’s achievements, Masorti senior rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg said it had led “to a mood in Anglo-Jewry which is more open, more ready for debate”.