Croydon Federation Synagogue

With its warm and friendly atmosphere this is the longest established Jewish community in South London, founded in 1909 but now housed in a modern, single storey, purpose built building.

Beautiful stained glass windows were saved from previous synagogue structures that existed within the Croydon area, they are now framed and back-lit within the new property which is located on the outskirts of the parklands of Shirley Oaks Village. The green lands to front and sides provide a tranquil location that few Shuls in the UK are lucky enough to enjoy, with parakeets in the trees and even the occasional deer joining the other local wildlife.

The community are blessed in having the wonderful Rabbi Natan Asmoucha leading their religious pursuits, including the weekly Friday evening and Shabbat morning services. Rabbi Asmoucha has mixed roots, both Sephardi and Ashkenazi; a well known picture of him was taken during his time in Bulawayo (2003-2007) where as a Rabbi in Zimbabwe he was photographed walking, unprotected, alongside three lions in Antelope Park; an area of safety for the big cats!

There is an infectious strong bond in this small community that is experienced in all their activities, which include; Friday night dinners, courses in Hebrew reading, a regular Sunday Club, BBQ’s , guest speakers and a popular annual quiz supper etc. Another thing enjoyed by the Croydon community is it’s close relationship with some of the other Shuls in South London, together they provide each other with a network of even wider events.

Kosher food is available in part from some of the larger local supermarkets, but many families have it delivered, whilst others hop onto the Croydon – Wimbledon Tram where Chabad have a Kosher Shop. Of course Croydon is well connected in other ways with direct Thameslink trains both south to Brighton and also directly connecting it to North London via the City ( London Bridge in 14 minutes ) onto West Hampstead and Mill Hill etc.

This relaxed community has members with numerous hobbies ranging from history and art to sport; so visitors with all interests, whether speaking English, Ivrit or Yiddish, whether eating meat or a vegan diets are all made to feel very welcome (visits are by prior arrangement). For those who may be considering relocating to the area ; the Shul are delighted to be able to arrange for you to meet local families.

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