Independent shul members visit US graffiti attack synagogue in solidarity on Shabbat

Belsize Square and South Hampstead's congregations met a week after an unidentified vandal daubed '9/11' on locations across North London


Dozens of members of a North London progressive synagogue visited a neighbouring United shul this Shabbat in solidarity after last month's graffiti incident.

South Hampstead Synagogue was among several locations daubed with a reference to "9/11" last weekend. Police are investigating the graffiti, which included a Star of David at other locations.

Members at the Masorti-style Belsize Square Synagogue stopped their service after the Torah reading and walked the 20-minute distance to South Hampstead, where congregants were in middle of the Musaf Amidah repetition.

The offer to combine services was made by Belsize rabbi Stuart Altshuler.

One witness said the two congregations “joined in the singing of Ein Keiloheinu and Adon Olam, albeit to slightly different tunes.”

A police van accompanied the Belsize Square congregants on their one-mile walk.

Sir Keir Starmer, the local Labour MP, and Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl were among those who took part.

The was not the first time the two synagogues, which are a mile apart, have cooperated: Rabbi Eli Levin said members of his South Hampstead congregation used Belsize Square’s hall for their daily minyan while their own synagogue was being rebuilt.

Last weekend’s graffiti was removed by council works on Sunday.

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