In Wembley, apart from the world renowned Football and International Sports stadium where Chelsea beat Manchester United by one goal to nil at the first FA Cup Final since it reopened in March 2007, there were four separate Jewish Communities, each with its own Synagogue. Two are Sephardi, One Spanish & Portuguese in Forty Avenue, the other newer community "Neve Shalom" in Preston Road North of the Tube station is more North African and with Jews from Baghdad. Another community in Forty Avenue is Ashkenazi Orthodox and has been in existence for more than 80 years. It is a constituent of the United Synagogue comprising some 35 Synagogues mainly within the greater London area.
The remaining synagogue now known as Harrow & Wembley Progressive Synagogue (HWPS) was also in Preston Road North of the Tube station belonging to the Liberal & Progressive movement broadly similar more to the Reform than the Conservative movement in the United States. At the end of June 2011 HWPS sold its old building at 326 Preston Road and moved to a dedicated sanctuary and offices at 39 Bessborough Road, Harrow.
The new minister at the United Synagogue Rabbi Simon Harris started in July 2007 and the Induction Service for him by the Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathon Sacks was held on 16 March 2008. Rev. Anthony Wolfson ended his tenure of more than 20 years as Chazan on 31 July 2011. The menorah facing Forty Avenue was shining for the first time during Chanukah 5766 December 2005 in loving memory of David Deyong, a generous donation of the Salamon family.
In 1998 the United
Synagogue celebrated 70 years as a community and 40 years since the Shul
was built and opened in 1958. In June 1999 a Sefer Torah (Scroll of the Law)
was acquired through the generous donations of the community and consecrated
with a procession along the streets of Wembley.
In 1998 the United Synagogue celebrated 70 years as a community and 40 years since the Shul was built and opened in 1958. In June 1999 a Sefer Torah (Scroll of the Law) was acquired through the generous donations of the community and consecrated with a procession along the streets of Wembley.
The stained glass window above the Aron Kodesh (Holy Ark) has become the symbol of this synagogue and the central part of it depicting the Scroll of the Law and the two Tablets of Stone decorates the mantel covering the communal Sefer Torah.
The communities were served for 35 years by a kosher deli and butcher, "Kelmans" which provided a wide range of Kosher and some Kosher for Passover delicatessen products, but this branch closed on 31st March 2014. Kelmans Deli established another branch in High Road Bushey a few years ago forseeing the change in demography in Wembley Kenton and Kingsbury. There remains just a bakery, "Parkway Pattiseries", as on 13 July 2012 a minimarket "Day 1" - name changed from "Harry's Superstore" (formerly Leslies Delicatessen) ceased providing a limited range of Kosher items. These shops are all in Preston Road. There is a new Jewish primary school within the United Synagogue and another in nearby Kingsbury as mentioned above. The largest Jewish Secondary School in Europe, JFS (formerly Jews Free School) is situated close by in Kingsbury since it moved in 2002 from Camden. There are two similarly sized Ashkenazi Orthodox communities at Kenton and Kingsbury within two miles say three kilometers. About five miles say 8 kilometers away are Golders Green, Edgware and Hendon, areas rich in Synagogues, Book Shops, Yeshivot, Kosher Eating places and foodshops.
If you click here you should be hearing a Lewandowski version of "Adon Olam" which is believed to be based on a Spanish 13 or 14 Century melody not usually heard in the Orthodox Ashkenazi or Sephardi shuls (synagogues) in Wembley.