Pinner Synagogue 75th Anniversary Exhibition
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Thursday 6th October 2016

Personal family history was uncovered and the past was remembered and revered as more than 250 people, young and old, visited Pinner Synagogue’s 75th anniversary exhibition earlier this month.

Curated to commemorate and celebrate the community, its people, events and milestones, the pop-up exhibition featured stories, photographs, recordings, memorabilia and more; taking visitors on a journey from 1941 – when founders and brothers Harry and Myer Lipman moved to the area – through to the present day.

An opening ceremony on 18th September included speeches from two members of the community whose year of birth mirrors that of the Cecil Park synagogue, while congregants past and present, local dignitaries and former and current Rabbinical leaders paid tribute to the milestone anniversary.

Across the ten days that followed, visitors included pupils from Moriah Jewish Day School, The Pinner Historical Society and members of local churches and mosques.  

With traditional historical artefacts alongside a number of interactive and multimedia exhibits, it was both informative and nostalgic and extremely well received by all. The exhibition also depicted the synagogue in the context of the local area, with an illustration of the new entrance to the building, completed in June this year, superimposed on a view of the same site as it was in 1915.

Another notable exhibit was from one member’s mother and aunt, who were evacuated to Pinner during World War II and who shared their stories and photos, including one of them wearing their gasmasks.

In the early days of the community, services took place in members' homes or at Vagabonds Hall before the current site was acquired in 1950. The building on the site, a Baptist Chapel, was consecrated as Pinner and District Synagogue a year later with the existing building unveiled in 1981.

Curator Rosalyn Sober was delighted with the feedback.

“It was our aim to create an interesting and enjoyable visit for children and adults,” she explained.

“We have had an overwhelming and amazing response from our community and beyond and thus believe this to have been an appropriate and welcomed celebration of our 75 years of religious and communal life, which perfectly illustrated the continuing strength and interactive commitment of our membership.”

Visitor Jonathan Mindell was equally enamoured by the exhibition, which will now be archived and indexed for future reference.

“I was actually astounded at what I saw,” he admitted.

“This was such an incredible achievement and such a professional record of our communal history, beautifully displayed and thoughtfully executed.  It was both interesting and enjoyable to walk through the exhibition and be carried through time via the brilliant displays and artefacts.”