The S&P Sephardi Community – originally founded as The Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation of London – was founded in 1657 as a consequence of the famous petition to Cromwell in 1656. Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel from Amsterdam and six Jews living in London (ostensibly as Catholics) sought permission from the Lord Protector to worship freely and to acquire land for a cemetery. In response, they received a verbal guarantee and Jews were able to profess their faith openly for the first time since their expulsion by Edward I in 1290.
The first Synagogue, in a rented building in Creechurch Lane in the City of London, was replaced half a century later by the fine Synagogue of Bevis Marks nearby (opened in 1701 and still in regular use). The congregation began to grow steadily with 400 souls recorded in the 1680s.
The community has since grown quite considerably with Synagogues in Bevis Marks, Lauderdale Road and Wembley as well as many sister and affiliated Synagogues within the Sephardi Community. We have a wide range of programming and activities open to all.