In 1943 a handful of families, looking for an alternative to Orthodox Judaism, started holding services in each other's homes. Following the ideals of the founders of the Liberal Jewish movement, they were determined to build a community of like-minded Jews - people who were looking for a form of their religion that was meaningful and relevant to 20th century Britain and one that provided equal status for men and women in synagogue life.
The present site was acquired in 1954; the original house, later named Richard Michael House, is now used as administrative offices, by the Religion School and other Synagogue groups. What was the large garden is the site of the Schindler Hall and provides High Holyday seating for 450 congregants and for 160 at sit-down functions.
In 1989, we opened our purpose-built Synagogue, situated alongside the house. 160 congregants can pray in this beautiful and tranquil sanctuary. The whole self-contained complex serves the needs of some 850 members and their children, with a wide range of religious and secular activities. Now in its eighth decade, Southgate Progressive Synagogue continues to develop as a warm and friendly community and we aim to make everyone feel very welcome.
Southgate Progressive Synagogue is an active constituent of Liberal Judaism and is represented on the Board of Deputies of British Jews. The Synagogue is a supporter of the Leo Baeck College - Centre for Jewish Education, in Finchley.