One of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious synagogues has begun merger talks to stem its dwindling membership.
The Great Synagogue in Sydney’s central business district is in discussions with Mizrachi Synagogue in Bondi Beach, where the majority of the city’s 40,000 Jews live.
Consecrated in 1878, the Byzantine-style building is one of the most-visited public buildings in the city, and is described as “the mother congregation of the Australian Jewry.” The congregation formed in 1828, but most Jews have since moved away from the city center.
Both boards have provisionally approved the merger, but their congregations have yet to vote on it.
The Great Synagogue has many distinguished members, including New South Wales Chief Justice James Spigelman, a cousin of Pultizer Prize-winning artist Art Spiegelman, and Eric Roozendaal, the New South Wales roads minister.