The Great approaches its 140th anniversary

December 29, 2017 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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2018 marks the 140th anniversary of the consecration of  Sydney’s The Great Synagogue, which took place on 4 March 1878.

Sydney’s Great Synagogue was designed by Thomas Rowe in 1875 and built in 1878. It is acknowledged as one of Sydney’s most beautiful heritage buildings. The Great Synagogue has remained the Jewish cathedral of Sydney, though today high-rise buildings on either side tend to squash its exterior majesty. 

Larger, stronger, younger. As The Great Synagogue enters its 140th year it will be celebrating its heritage and preparing for an exciting future.

The Great is the Mother Congregation of Australian Jewry, and almost every Jewish family in Sydney has some connection to the Synagogue. Its building is recognised as one of the most beautiful Jewish places of worship in the world. It is a warm and intimate home for a lively community, in which everyone matters.

With over 120 new members in the last two and a half years, new programs for toddlers, children, young adults and older members, a beautiful service representing the best of Modern Orthodoxy, tradition, evolution and inclusivity, and a young and forward-thinking leadership The Great Synagogue is facing its fifteenth decade with confidence.

To mark this major year The Great Synagogue will be hosting a series of special events. The celebrations commence with the official birthday service of the Synagogue on Saturday 3 March, 2018. The Synagogue has invited its members, and the broader community, to celebrate this milestone with dignitaries from Federal, State and Local Government. The key-note speaker will be announced closer to the date.

Commenting on the anniversary year, the President of The Great, Justice Stephen Rothman AM, remarked, “much of the recent success is due to the effort of the Chief Minister, appointed just two years ago, who has already impressed as one of the best Rabbis ever appointed to The Great.  The growing move of the Jewish community closer to the centre of Sydney and The Great’s advocacy of modern, intelligent Orthodox Judaism points to a bright future. We are building the financial security which will create a vibrant centre for Sydney Jewry for the next 140 years and beyond.”

The Chief Minister of The Great Synagogue, Rabbi Dr Benjamin Elton said “I am looking forward to welcoming members and friends to these special occasions. The service on 3 March is going to be an outstanding occasion, when we will celebrate our community, our history, but most importantly our future. Join us!’’


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