Chabad opens pop-up shul in Islington for High Holy Days

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Chabad opens pop-up shul in Islington for High Holy Days

Synagogue space on Upper Street near Angel will be open for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur prayers

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

Chabad Islington has taken a dramatic step and has opened a pop-up synagogue space on the main artery road, Upper Street, just near Angel tube station.

The initiative opened last week, in time to hold socially distanced Rosh Hashana services, and will be open next week for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur prayers. 

It is the first Jewish community space in Islington for more than half a century after the closure of Poets’ Road in 1967. British-Israeli academic Professor David Newman, who was present at the last service in Poets’ Road, sent congratulations to the new community. 

Chabad Islington has been running in the borough since 2011, serving young professionals primarily and young families. Led by Rabbi Mendy Korer and his wifeHadasa, it hosts educational classes, religious services, social and cultural events, as well as two annual public events: the Islington menorah lighting, frequently attended by local MP Jeremy Corbyn, and the Big Jewish Summer Fete, aimed at promoting community cohesion in the borough. 

After Succot, the space will be open for all to visit and learn more about Judaism. There will be a Jewish art and history exhibition, cafe, Judaica shop, as well as a kosher food collection point.

Rabbi Korer said: “Since announcing the opening of the space, the outpouring of excitement and love from the community has been truly moving. The location on bustling Upper Street is phenomenal, it feels like opportunities are endless. There are many ways to get involved with the project, either by sharing ideas of how the space can be developed or by joining our events; you can volunteer your time or financially help to make sure the project becomes permanent.”

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