The Queen sends her ‘best wishes’ to United Synagogue ahead of 150th anniversary
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The Queen sends her ‘best wishes’ to United Synagogue ahead of 150th anniversary

She wished the movement led by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis a 'most successful and enjoyable year celebrating the significant milestone'

The Queen at United Synagogue's centenary in 1970 (Credit: United Synagogue)
The Queen at United Synagogue's centenary in 1970 (Credit: United Synagogue)

Queen Elizabeth II has sent her “best wishes” to United Synagogue as the movement marks 150 years since its founding.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis held a reception in the House of Commons on Wednesday evening to mark the anniversary.

Parliamentarians spotted at the event included Conservative MPs Oliver Dowden and Mike Freer and the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Monroe Palmer.

The denomination, which now counts some 50,000 members, was established in 1870 when five Ashkenazi synagogues merged to become United Synagogue.

The Queen wished members a “most successful and enjoyable year celebrating the significant milestone” in a letter to the synagogue movement’s president Michael Goldstein last month.

The Duke of Edinburgh at the centenary celebration (Credit: United Synagogue)

She attended the United Synagogue’s centenary gala dinner at the Dorchester Hotel in 1970 aged 43, joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, then 48.

The monarch did not attend Wednesday’s ceremony, but said in her letter she was “interested” to learn a series of events had been planned to mark the milestone.

The message, written by her private secretary, was a reply to another letter written by to the synagogue’s president in December about the upcoming anniversary.

“Permit me to wish you many more years of good health and to end with a short line of blessing from our Prayer for the Royal family, said by British Jews every single week in our synagogues: ‘May the Supreme King of Kings in His mercy, preserve the Queen in His mercy, guard her and deliver her from all trouble and sorrow’,” Goldstein wrote.

In turn, the Queen expressed gratitude for the “kind sentiments expressed” by Goldstein, as well as “the assurance of your prayers.”

The Queen at the centenary (Credit: United Synagogue)
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