200 people enjoyed a United Synagogue reception in the Houses of Parliament last night. The event was hosted by Rabbi Lord Sacks in the Terrace Pavilion to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of the United Synagogue. The organisation was formed through an Act of Parliament in 1870, a copy of which was on display.

All the Chairs of United Synagogue shuls were invited to attend the evening to thank them for their hard work running their communities.

United Synagogue Trustee Claire Lemer compered the evening, and opened the event with a speech about the US’ rich history and its exciting plans for the coming year. This was followed by speeches from Emeritus Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and Chief Rabbi Mirvis.

The Chief Rabbi offered a prayer of thanks for the 150 years of the United Synagogue and prayed that the US should only go from strength to strength. He also praised Rabbi Sacks for being an extraordinary ambassador for Judaism and the Jewish people.

Rabbi Sacks taught an idea in the Talmud that matching couples is as difficult as splitting the Red Sea. If getting people together is hard, Rabbi Sacks said, think how difficult it must have been to get five shuls together to found the US in 1870!

Claire Lemer said: “There can be no more fitting place to host a reception for the United Synagogue’s 150th anniversary than in the very place we were founded back in 1870. As the Chief Rabbi said last night, to know where you’re going, you have to know where you came from. This was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our past and ensure a golden future. We thank Rabbi Lord Sacks for hosting us and were humbled that both he and the Chief Rabbi addressed us.”