City of London to facilitate easier Sabbath observation

Planning permission has been approved today to establish a new ‘Eruv’ on behalf of the Bevis Marks Synagogue, enabling the City of London’s Jewish community to more easily practice observance of the Sabbath.

The new Eruv will be of great benefit to Sabbath observant people in the local area. An ‘Eruv’ symbolically extends the private domain of Jewish households into public space. Within the Eruv, certain activities that are normally forbidden for practicing Jews on the Sabbath, are allowed.

The Eruv boundary will extend over various Locations in The City of London:

  • Riverside Footpath Underneath Blackfriars Road Bridge;
  • Ludgate Hill Junction with Ludgate Circus;
  • Holborn Viaduct and Holborn Circus;
  • Farringdon Street Junction With Charterhouse; and
  • Goswell Road Junction with Baltic Street.

It is estimated that in excess of 500 local practicing Jews, who comprise the various synagogue communities located within the new Eruv, will benefit. This figure excludes the greater number of visitors and tourists from all over the world who will be hugely encouraged to visit the City for a weekend break or longer.

Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee, Shravan Joshi, said:

“The City is a melting pot of different nationalities and backgrounds, so I’m delighted that we have approved this application which will enable our Jewish community, as well as visitors and tourists, to more easily practice their faith.

“Recognising the huge contribution the Jewish community make to the City of London, it will also support our Destination City vision to make the Square Mile a seven-day-a-week visitor destination for everyone, no matter their faith.”

Rabbi Shalom Morris of the Bevis Marks Synagogue, said:

“Bevis Marks Synagogue, built in 1701, is the oldest synagogue in the UK, and it is the only synagogue in Europe to have held continuous worship for over three centuries.

“The ‘eruv’ will assist us in ensuring that this continuity is maintained, and reflects our encouraging collaboration with the City of London to protect Bevis Marks Synagogue more broadly.

“We look forward to similar planning approvals from Islington and Hackney to proceed with establishing the ‘eruv’.”