Synagogue returning to CBD


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Synagogue returning to CBD
Synagogue returning to CBD

Synagogue returning to CBD

The Adelaide Hebrew Congregation (AHC) is making an exciting move back to the Central Business District (CBD) after 35 years in suburban Glenside. The decision to relocate to the CBD was made in response to several factors, including the need for a smaller space that better accommodates the current number of worshippers and the opportunity to address access issues for shule-goers. The move signifies a return to the congregation’s original roots in the CBD, where their first synagogue was built in 1848.

The new premises, located on Grote Street, offer several advantages for the congregation. It is conveniently situated just over one kilometre from Adelaide’s residential zones, making it a reasonable walking distance for most congregants. Additionally, the CBD location is advantageous for Adelaide visitors staying in the city center who wish to participate in services.

The AHC president, Warren Bund, explained that downsizing has been a topic of discussion among the membership for the past few years. Over 90% of the congregation has expressed support for the move. The decision was also influenced by the potential increase in the Jewish population due to major national high-tech manufacturing initiatives, such as the submarines project, coming to Adelaide. AHC anticipates a growing Israeli membership as a result.

The move to the CBD not only addresses the pressing needs of the congregation but also sparks a sense of historical significance. The original AHC, prior to its move to Glenside, had been the longest continuously used synagogue in the southern hemisphere. The return to the CBD signifies a reconnection to the congregation’s early history and the reclaiming of their presence in the heart of the city.

Proceeds from the sale of the Glenside property have been utilized in the purchase of the new premises and other carefully chosen investments. Although initial attempts to co-locate premises with Beit Shalom, the Progressive congregation, were unsuccessful, the AHC remains enthusiastic about their future in the CBD.

With the upcoming refurbishment of the former Adelaide Trades Hall on Grote Street, the AHC is looking forward to creating a new home for their congregation. The move is scheduled to align with the celebration of Chanukah or take place in early 2024.

As the AHC returns to the CBD, the congregation is embracing a new chapter in their history. With a more suitable space and a convenient location, they aim to provide a welcoming environment for worship and community engagement. The synagogue’s return to the heart of Adelaide signifies a vibrant and resilient Jewish community and reinforces the importance of preserving historical connections while adapting to the needs of the present.

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