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Jews in England Celebrate 250th Anniversary of House of Worship

The 250th anniversary of the consecration of the Bevis Marks Sephardic synagogue was celebrated at a special service here yesterday, with the Duke of Edinburgh, Israeli Minister Eliahu Elath and representatives of all churches and of many Jewish organizations present.

The synagogue was built in 1699 by Joseph Avis, a Quaker, who, finding that it cost him less to build it than he had anticipated, returned the difference to the congregation with the explanation that he refused to make a profit on the construction of a house of worship. Many members of the Bevis Marks congregation today are descendants of a small band of Jewish merchants who received permission from Oliver Cromwell in 1656 to settle in Britain. The synagogue is now officially listed as an ancient monument of Great Britain.