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Finding a future for Middle Street Synagogue in Brighton

Middle Street Synagogue, a grade II* listed building opened in 1875, is a jewel-like synagogue in the heart of Brighton.

The synagogue’s stained glass windows, floral column capitals, wrought iron details, and original pews transport the viewer into a 19th century space of worship and contemplation. The interior of the synagogue reflects the history of Brighton’s Jewish community and the commemorative plaques record the synagogue’s links to wider society and the affairs of state via the influential Jewish families that lived and worshipped in the city. The synagogue, its objects, and its archival documents stand as important testimony to Brighton’s 250+ years of Jewish community life.

Regular services in the synagogue ceased in 2004 as a result of reducing attendance and it is now open only for special occasions and group visits. The synagogue is located in the Old Town Conservation Area which has been designated by Historic England as being at risk.

Brighton & Hove Hebrew Congregation (BHHC), the owners of Middle Street synagogue, has commissioned the Foundation for Jewish Heritage to conduct a review process in order to assess what future function Middle Street could serve. A Steering Committee has been formed chaired by Michael Rosehill. Members recently visited the synagogue, guided by BHHC member Howard Hamilton, to see at first hand its current state.

The Steering Committee plans to commission a Feasibility Study to research and evaluate the various options that could bring the building back into regular use and provide a sustainable future.


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