IT was a landmark evening for Bury Hebrew Congregation, when it celebrated its 50th anniversary with a visit from British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.

Around 300 people attended a special Maariv evening service of celebration on Saturday, which was held at the synagogue in Sunny Bank Road, Unsworth.

Chief Rabbi Mirvis addressed the synagogue, spoke to individual members and, after the service, unveiled a plaque to commemorate his visit.

Michael Rappaport, an administrator for the synagogue, said: “It was an absolutely fantastic evening.

“Everybody who visited was inspired by Rabbi Mirvis. He met as many people as possible and we were delighted to spend time with him.

“There are people who had never had this opportunity before, so it was special for them.”

Various founder members of the synagogue attended the service, along with synagogues from the borough of Bury, the police and the leader of Bury Council leader, Cllr Mike Connolly.

There were also representatives of different religious faiths at the event.

Mr Rappaport said: “It’s always important for us to engage with the whole community. We were very encouraged by how many people attended the service.”

Cantor Modi Spitzer and Rabbi Yanki Prijs conducted the service.

Synagogue Chairman Ian Joseph made a welcome address, followed by Minister Rabbi Singer.

The Bury Hebrew Congregation serves the Orthodox Jewish community in the Unsworth and Sunnybank district of Bury.