||... for the government of the Bayswater Synagogue. (The joint property of the Great and New Synagogues). Consecrated A. M. 5623...
The City Synagogues - Sephardi and Ashkenazi alike - refused for a long time to countenance the formation of any fresh place of worship outside the traditional area. This was by no means due, as might be imagined at the first glance, to obscurantism. The older Congregations were situated in the centre of the neighbourhood of close Jewish settlement. They had on their shoulders the burden of the support of the poor and of the multifarious charitable organisations. Were the wealthier members living further west to secede and form their own religious organisation, the burden on those who remained would be overwhelming; and the latter fought the idea tooth and nail.
A breach in the traditional organisation was, however, effected when, in 1841, the Reform Synagogue was opened (it may be noted that the original dispute was due almost to geographical as to theoretical considerations). This threatened to be a powerful counter-attraction to members of the City Synagogues who lived in the vicinity, and had hitherto, dutifully trudged each Sabbath to Duke's Place or Great St. Helen's. In 1848, accordingly, the Great Synagogue determined to establish a subsidiary place of worship near Oxford Circus for the benefit of those of its members who resided locally, and after preliminaries there was opened in Great Portland Street, in 1855, the precursor of the present Central Synagogue, dedicated in 1870.
This, however, was not sufficient to meet all requirements. The westward drift from the City continued; and quite a large Jewish settlement had by now grown up in what was then the new suburb of Bayswater, for whom the Sabbath walk to Great Portland Street was no negligible matter. They comprised many members not only of the Great, but also of the New Synagogue. The latter body had been invited to collaborate in the establishment of the Great Portland Street Branch Congregation, but for various reasons (mainly financial) had been unable to participate in the scheme. On 11th July, 1860, a preliminary meeting of residents in the Bayswater district was held in the house of Mr. Lawrence Levy at 100, Westbourne Terrace, and agreement was reached as to the desirability of establishing a new Synagogue in the locality. There was general reluctance however to set up an Independent Congregation. Negotiations were accordingly opened with the Great and New Synagogues with a view to making the new place of worship a branch of both of these communities, in the same manner as the Great Portland Street Congregation had been of the former alone. After several meetings and conferences it was resolved that "a Synagogue be established, and that it be a branch of the Great and New Synagogues under the religious direction of the Chief Rabbi."
It was further agreed that on condition that an equal amount was raised locally, each of the City Synagogues should make a grant of £1,500 towards the ground, building and furniture of the proposed Synagogue, which should be the property of the two parent bodies in equal moieties. Members of other recognised Synagogues contributing to the maintenance of the Chief Rabbi's Fund should be allowed, with the consent of their respective Synagogues, to rent seats in the new place of worship, though any voluntary offering which they might make would be applied to the Synagogue of which they were members.