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New End Theatre Becomes Hampstead Village's First Ever Synagogue

April 25, 2012

A new synagogue has opened in Hampstead in what was previously the New End Theatre.

Called The Village Shul in New End, the old playhouse has been gutted with the theatre seats removed and replaced with a plush boutique prayer house - complete with bonsai trees and comfy chairs. 

The bar area upstairs remains but now it is packed out on Friday nights after Rabbi Yisroel Weisz has delivered his service. For the last four years Rabbi Weisz and his wife Devorah Leah have relied on the willingness of the congregation to host meetings in their homes.

The Village Shul is being described as a boutique synagogue and the average age of the congregation is mid 30s and for religious festivals The Village Shul pulls in crowds of 150 people with standing room only in the prayer hall.

The synagogue was funded by donations from Hampstead's Jewish community and others further afield. "The Village Shul is a very welcome addition to Hampstead," says Gary Sammons, manager at the Hampstead branch of lettings agent Edmund Cude. "We have a large Jewish community in the area so this synagogue will be very well used by current and future residents." 

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