Shul pops up for the Islington crowd

Incorporating a range of facilities, Chabad's premises are temporary but the hope is for a permanent space


Chabad has opened a synagogue and Jewish community space in Islington, filling a gap of more than half-a-century. Fifty people attended Rosh Hashanah services on Sunday at the premises in Upper Street, near Angel tube station. It will also be open on Yom Kippur and Shabbat services are planned.

The shul is described as a “pop-up space” and Chabad Islington’s Rabbi Mendy Korer told the JC: “Indeed for now it is temporary, with thanks to a generous landlord, until we find a benefactor who can ensure our project becomes permanent.”

After the festivals, the space will be open to all with facilities including a café — previewed by Rabbi Korer as “a start-up artisanal bakery and specialty coffee house” — and a kosher food collection point.

“We currently provide a kosher food delivery service called Kosheroo to allow locals to order fresh meat without having to schlep to Golders Green or Stamford Hill. With a central location in Upper Street, we will offer an easy ‘click and collect’ option.”

A Judaica shop and a Jewish art and history exhibition are other intended features.

Rabbi Korer added that “since announcing the opening of the space, the outpouring of excitement and love from the community has been truly moving. It feels like the opportunities are endless. There are many ways to get involved with the project, either by sharing ideas on how the space can be developed or by joining events.”

Among those welcoming the development is David Newman, who said that “as someone who was present at the last Islington service held at Poets Road Synagogue in 1967, [I’m] sending you and your community a heartfelt mazeltov”.

Established in 2011, Chabad Islington runs services, social and cultural activities and events involving the wider community, such as the annual menorah lighting and the Big Jewish Summer Fete.

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