Founded in 1957 and worshipping since 1960 within the splendid surroundings of Kent House, Westminster Synagogue celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007, a significant landmark in the life of any community.
The three rabbis who have led the community since its inception - Harold Reinhart, Albert Friedlander and Thomas Salamon - have all remained true to the spirit and passion of Westminster Synagogue's unique founding principles. The Synagogue offers a wonderful combination of the traditional and the progressive. It is a warm, welcoming independent community which is committed to the well-being of its members and their families.
The Sanctuary in which we are sitting is the spiritual heart of the Synagogue and it occupies the former ballroom and music rooms of one of the more remarkable historical buildings in London. Downstairs, the Reinhart Library and the Friedlander Room provide further space for meditation, learning or communal gathering, while extensive educational facilities in the lower ground floor areas of the building have ensured a new vibrancy for the Synagogue, as generations of children and young adults become part of the regenerated Westminster Synagogue story.
The Synagogue also houses the New Exhibition of the Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust on the third floor of Kent House which was launched in September 2008. In the 45 years which have passed since the scrolls reached Westminster Synagogue, visitors from many parts of the world have come to see them and some to witness the work of restoration in progress. Jews and non-Jews alike, including parties from schools and other institutions, have been deeply moved by the human tragedy implicit in what they have seen and by the scope and importance of the project and now delight in its updated story.