Central Synagogue, Sydney

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Central Synagogue
Central Synagogue, Sydney Logo.gif
Basic information
LocationAustralia Sydney, Australia
AffiliationOrthodox Judaism
StatusActive
LeadershipRabbi Levi Wolff
Websitehttp://www.centralsynagogue.com.au
Architectural description
Architectural typeSynagogue
Completed1998
Specifications
Capacity4000
 
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Central Synagogue
Central Synagogue, Sydney Logo.gif
Basic information
LocationAustralia Sydney, Australia
AffiliationOrthodox Judaism
StatusActive
LeadershipRabbi Levi Wolff
Websitehttp://www.centralsynagogue.com.au
Architectural description
Architectural typeSynagogue
Completed1998
Specifications
Capacity4000

The Central Synagogue of Bondi Junction, Sydney is the largest synagogue in the Southern hemisphere[1] and has the largest Jewish congregation in Australasia.[2] It is located in Bon Accord Avenue and extends back to Kenilworth Street. It was constructed at it's present location in 1960 after originally being located in Paddington and then Bondi. It was burned down in 1994 by a devastating fire caused by an electrical fault. The synagogue was rebuilt and reopened in 1998. [3] Hineni is the official youth movement of Central Synagogue.[4]

Building[edit]

The core synagogue is a two-level atrium. An oculus in the ceiling floods the room with natural lighting. Centrally located on the first floor directly beneath the oculus, the bimah and aron kodesh are positioned in a direct line with Jerusalem. Imported Jerusalem stone adorns the aron kodesh and features prominently throughout the synagogue. Four large windows designed by Australian artist Janet Laurence feature forty-nine veils of glass. Each window represents one of Four Worlds of Kabbalah and the number forty-nine is symbolic of the highest level of spirituality in Judaism. The colours of the windows symbolise the sephirot.[5]

The greater synagogue complex includes multiple halls and rooms, including:

History[edit]

The Central Synagogue was formed as the Surry Hills congregation in 1912 with the aim of introducing Eastern European custom into Sydney, and to arrest the drift from Judaism.[6] The Bondi-Waverley congregation, established in 1918, and merged with that of Surry Hills in March 1921, to form the Eastern Suburbs Central Synagogue at Bondi Junction. The Central Synagogue was firstly an endeavour to provide more accommodation for worship in the Eastern Suburbs, but also, at least initially, intended to provide a less anglicised environment than that found at the Great Synagogue.[7] The foundation stone was laid by the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire, Dr J. H. Hertz.[8][9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Home
  2. ^ http://www.jewishliving.com.au/jewish-resources/find-synagogue/#sthash.etl0ecse.dpbs
  3. ^ http://www.centralsynagogue.com.au/About-Us/About-Us
  4. ^ http://www.centralsynagogue.com.au/What-s-On/Groups/Hineni/About-Hineni
  5. ^ http://www.centralsynagogue.com.au/About-Us/About-Us
  6. ^ Suzanne D. Rutland -The Jews in Australia 2005 Page 31 "The Central Synagogue was formed in 1912 with the aim of introducing the Polish minhag (custom) into Sydney,"
  7. ^ The Great Synagogue: A History of Sydney's Big Shule - Page 38 Raymond Apple, Great Synagogue (Sydney, N.S.W.) - 2008 "The Eastern Suburbs Central Synagogue was seen both as an endeavour to provide more synagogue accommodation and a reaction against the anglicised nature of the Great Synagogue. Its main concern was to arrest the drift from Judaism and ...
  8. ^ The Australian encyclopaedia: Volume 1 1958 "During his term a number of synagogues were built in Sydney, the main one being the Central Synagogue (Bondi Junction), whose foundation stone was laid by the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire, Dr JH Hertz, in April 1921."
  9. ^ Sydney's Jewish community: materials for a post-War (II) history, Hans Kimmel, Joseph Staedter - 1955 "Israel Brodie, lay the foundation stone of the new Central Synagogue to be built at Bon Accord Avenue, Bondi Junction. With a silver trowel, the Rabbi performed the ceremony then recited the appropriate prayer after reading the ..."
  10. ^ Israel, the Diaspora, and Jewish identity - Page 266 Danny Ben-Moshe, Zohar Segev - 2007 "In the 1960s, Netzer, the international Zionist youth movement of Reform Judaism, was founded in Australia, ... Commencing in 1975 as a local synagogue youth group connected with Central Synagogue in Sydney, in recent years it has ..."

Coordinates: 33°53′24″S 151°15′25″E / 33.890109°S 151.256855°E / -33.890109; 151.256855