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Our ten finest shuls

    What does Ramsgate have in common with Bradford, Brighton and Liverpool? They are all sites for historic British synagogues which have just been recognised as part of the cultural heritage of Europe.

    The country's 10 finest synagogues have been nominated as part of a "Jewish route" across Europe – one of seven cultural routes being created across the continent by the Council of Europe.

    Sharman Kadish, director of Jewish Heritage UK, which selected the 10, said: "The British synagogues chosen hold their own against major Jewish landmarks in Europe, amongst them Prague's medieval Altneuschul, Amsterdam's Esnoga and the Ghetto of Venice. Unlike them, our synagogues have remained in use since they were built. They celebrate Jewish continuity as well as our architectural heritage."

    Dr Kadish stressed that the top ten were "not in any particular order. There had to be a geographical spread and there are no 20th century buildings included."

    A leaflet detailing the synagogues produced by Jewish Heritage is downloadable from its website www.jewish-heritage-uk.org

    The Top Ten
    Bevis Marks, London
    New West End, London
    Princes Road, Liverpool
    Middle Street, Brighton
    Montefiore, Ramsgate
    Plymouth, Bradford
    Singers Hill, Birmingham
    Spanish & Portuguese, (now the Manchester Jewish Museum)
    Garnethill, Glasgow

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