Mazel tov! The synagogue in Plymouth, England has celebrated its 250th birthday. Founded in 1762, it is the oldest functioning Ashkenazic synagogue in the English-speaking world.
Writes the London Jewish Chronicle:
Its special anniversary celebrations on Sunday marked the community’s biggest day for a quarter of a century – since the service to mark the 225th year. […]
The moving anniversary service opened with Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks heading a procession of community leaders carrying Sifrei Torah around the decorative wooden bimah, still adorned by its 1762 brass candlesticks.
Elkan Levy, a regular visiting minister to Plymouth, led the davening, with the Chief Rabbi reciting the shul’s unique prayer for the Royal Family before giving his sermon in front of the Baroque ark – the only surviving one of its type in the country.
Lord Sacks described the building as “an architectural gem” and urged British Jews to visit. It was “deeply moving” that the anniversary should coincide with the Queen’s diamond jubilee.