The Friday Photo: Singers Hill Synagogue
I have walked passed this beautiful building on numerous occasions and have kept telling myself I need to document it, and now I have! The Birmingham Hebrew Congregation (Singers Hill) Synagogue is a Grade II listed building built in 1856 by Henry Yeoville Thomason who also designed the Council House. It is the oldest large-scale ‘cathedral synagogue’ still standing in Britain. When it was built, the local press were very impressed with the building calling it ‘a glory to the community and an ornament to the town’ which I certainly agree with.
Birmingham has had a Jewish community since the late 1800s. At the time of the synagogue being built, archives show that the Jewish population in the area was around 700. This rose to around 3,200 in 1900. Although the old Jewish area no longer exists, the Singers Hill Synagogue remains an important part of Birmingham’s Jewish community and can be considered the hub of Jewish worship in the city.