Sephardic Jewery

Bevis Marks Synagogue, in the City of London,  was opened in 1701.  Its community was Jews with Portuguese and Spanish heritage who had forceably converted to Christianity under  the 1478 Spanish Inquisition,  the alternative being expulsion from those countries by 1492. They were welcomed to England by Oliver Cromwell in 1655 and the community prospered under the following reign of Charles II   [In 1662 Charles had married Portugal’s Catherine of Braganza  – see post here] .  A building plot was obtained in 1699 and the synagogue opened in 1701. The excellent  Bevis Marks website has a full  explanation.

The historic culture of Bevis Marks has followed the Sephardic (‘Spanish’) Jewish tradition. With the new influx of people from Eastern Europe into the City of London the congregation now includes a growing number of Ashkenazims.

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Bevis Marks Synagogue. Exterior.

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The synagogue is a listed building and remains virtually unaltered since its construction.

The British Library has some spectacular sacred texts produced in Portugal in the period up to 1492.  The British Library website explains well.

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