The United Synagogue has withdrawn support for its last minyan in Stamford Hill.
But although the final service under US auspices took place this month on the last day of Pesach, the officiating rabbi is trying to maintain the group independently.
US members who belonged to the New Synagogue in Egerton Road continued to pray in the building after its sale to the Bobov Chasidic community in the late 1980s.
Around a year ago, the minyan moved to the premises of Yad Voezer, a local Charedi charity.
The US claims the congregation is no longer viable because fewer than a minyan of those attending are actually US members.
Jonathan Yeshooa, who has helped to keep it going, said, although it attracted some US members, others who attended “did not want to be under the reign of head office”.
But he did not want to comment further beyond suggesting: “There are things happening.”
Rabbi Yisroel Cyprys — who has helped to lead services for the group for around 25 years — said it maintained daily minyanim, both morning and evening, and held a kiddush on Shabbat to “mark our determination to continue as a community.
“We are continuing as a successor community to a synagogue with a rich and glowing past.”
But Norman Bright, 81, who used to attend services, has opted for alternatives. “People like me want to daven US-style. The Chasidim come along and take over.”
Both the US minyan in Finsbury Park and the independent Walford Road Synagogue in Stoke Newington are an hour’s walk away for him — although he can still manage it. “I still do hagbah [lifting the Sefer Torah],” he said. “Not bad for an 81-year-old.”
Another US minyan, serving members of Hackney and East London after the sale of that synagogue, meets further away in the south of the borough.
The US, meanwhile, has ploughed new resources into Hackney, only last month appointing a development worker to, in particular, engage with young millennials who are moving into the area. Rabbi Cyprys said he and other supporters had decided to set up a committee to liaise with the United Synagogue in case the option of returning to the US presented itself.
For the moment, “we encourage people to attend and strengthen our kehillah [community].”
The New was originally founded in the City of London in 1760 and moved to Egerton Road in 1915. Its elegant interior was tastefully renovated by the Bobovs.
Prospective worshippers can contact Rabbi Cyprys on email@example.com.