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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
15th August 1992 Martha Blackburn, Canada newspaper publisher (London Free Press), dies
15th August 1973 David Storey's Cromwell, premieres in London
15th August 1968 Pirate Radio Free London, begins transmitting
15th August 1961 Matt Johnson, lead singer of The The, was born in London.
15th August 1950 Princess Anne, was born in St James Palace, London.
15th August 1946 Comedy actor and presenter Tony Robinson was born in Homerton, London.
15th August 1928 Born today: Nicolas Roeg, London England, cinematographer/director (Aria, Eureka)
15th August 1875 Composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was born in London.
15th August 1858 Childrens author Edith Nesbit was born in Kennington, London.
The Congregation of Jacob
The UK's first Mizrachi Synagogue
Location: 351-353 Commercial Road, E1 2PS
Description: Founded by Morris Koenigsberg and Abraham Schwalbe in 1903, this was the UK's first Mizrachi Synagogue and remarkably 'The Congregation of Jacob' is one of three East End synagogues still attending its congregation.
Before occupying the present premises in 1921 the first generation of immigrant Polish, Lithuanian and Russian Orthodox Jews from small shtetls such as Stetziver, Kalisz and Vikaviskis, likely met in Mr Koenigsburg's family home near here on Commercial Road.
Previously the building was a cobblers, transformed in the 1920s by Lewis Solomon & Son, honorary architects to the Federation of Synagogues, to feature high sweeping balconies and side benches gathered around a central space for worship. The building features a striking black Star of David atop the apex of the roof.
While the synagogue is affiliated to three burial societies, Federation, Adath and Chesed Ve'emeth, it takes pride in its independence, being as it is owned and managed by members of the community.
A 2002 English Heritage Report stated that Kehillas Ya'akov is a remarkable survival... and is all the more exceptional for continuing in use as a synagogue.
The members are currently engaged in a regeneration project, which involves not only the restoration of their building to its original beauty, but also a welcoming spirit inviting all who come to take part in their community.