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We have told you the story of our synagogoue, but why have one?  Why was one built, as one of the first acts of the Jews who came to Portsmouth?  To answer this question you need to ask  why have a synagogoue?     

Visitors are always very welcome. 
The photographs below provide a taste of the architecture and of gifts made by members of the community

chagal tapestries and windows

bimah.jpg (9219 bytes)

from_above.jpg (6849 bytes)

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gate.jpg (7841 bytes)

gate_name.jpg (8360 bytes)

information required about synagogue gates

synagogue name at top of gates


seal.gif (8218 bytes)                

coat_of_arms_bevel.jpg (5479 bytes)

The seal used on Congregations stationery.  The seal was reported to have been originally cut by Benjamin Levi, engraver, who was the singnator to the lease of the congregation's first burial ground on 6th December 1749.  (Dr Aubrey Weinberg, Introduction)

Over the years, the Jews of Portsmouth developed an intimate relationship with the city of their adoption. This relationship was apparent when the first permanent synagogue was established in 1700 and was symbolised by the installation of the Hanoverian coat of arms set up in the synagogue around that time. Royal arms had been introduced into English churches when the monarch became head of the church in 1536. Most of these were destroyed during Queen Mary’s reign and the reintroduction of coats of arms came after the establishment of the Commonwealth. The practice was made compulsory in 1660 although falling into disuse during the nineteenth century[96]. Unlike the coats of arms erected in churches which were mostly of wood, the Portsmouth arms in the synagogue were in cast metal and have been dated as around 1780. No association can be found with any royal visitors to the synagogue at that time or any other time and it can only be speculated that the arms were installed, as Roth surmised, without any recorded ceremonials, either in keeping with the local practice of Anglican churches or as a demonstration of loyalty by local Jewish subject  (Dr Aubrey Weinberg (other forms of civic involvement )
(see also References - 97)