London's East End Synagogues, cemeteries and more......

My personal journey through the Jewish East End of London

Memories of the Great Synagogue, Dukes Place - a correspondent writes:

I have fond memories the Great synagogue in Dukes Place from my time as a barmitzvah student in the late 1950's. I used to attend the temporary building at the back of what was left of the original Shul. The Chazan, Reverend Forscher, taught me my barmitzvah in his flat that was still standing in the old building. I then read my portion in Adler Street on Saturday 13th February 1960. Every Yom Kippur reminds me of the special gift Rev. Forscher gave to each child still in Shul at the end, a bar of Kit Kat, although I can't remember how many children were left. Lovely memories.

The plaque high up on a wall in Duke's Place that marks the site of the Great Synagogue

Phil's note:

The Great Synagogue was built between 1788 and 1790, and was the third synagogue to be built on the Dukes Place site.  This building was destroyed by German bombing in 1941.  In 1943, a temporary structure was erected on the site and used until 26 October 1958. Thereafter, until 1977 the few remaining congregants worshipped in a room in Adler Street, London E1. In Israel Zangwill’s humorous chronicle of East End life, ‘Children of the Ghetto’, his characters refer to the synagogue as Duke’s Plaizer shool, and to be a seat holder there conferred great status on its occupant.

website copyright of Philip Walker