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4 January 2022

Our Top 10 Highlights of 2021

It’s safe to say that although many of us might be looking forward to saying goodbye to 2021, it’s always worth taking the time to reflect and celebrate all we’ve been able to achieve in a time that has presented challenge after challenge.

Despite the obstacles 2021 has given us, we’re so thrilled with the year we’ve had and how our Brighton & Hove Jewish community development has progressed, and have narrowed down our top 10 moments. We’re also very grateful for the fantastic and supportive community we’ve grown on the way, so a big thank you all for coming along with us on the journey. We can’t wait to see what 2022 will bring.
1. Our Topping Out Ceremony
We Topped Out in 2021! ​​On 1 July we were joined by Hove MP Peter Kyle and local Jewish community leaders to celebrate reaching the highest point in our build with a celebratory ceremony hosted by our contractors at Osborne. Watch our Topping Out Ceremony video for all the highlights from the day.
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2. Launching Sapphire Hove Homes
This autumn we created a fantastic residential website and brochure to spread the word of the 45 stunning new build homes available to purchase or rent on our site. Have a look around our website for exclusive details. Know anyone looking to move to Brighton & Hove? Download a brochure today.
3. Brighton Jewish Walking Tours
We held 18 in-person and online events in 2021, including book clubs, a series of eco-themed events for children and families, and even a virtual speaker panel for International Women’s Day. But a particular highlight was the launch of our Jewish Walking Tours of Brighton, led by Dr Geoffrey Mead. We were joined by over 60 people last year who walked through Brighton to discover 250 years of Jewish history in the city. Keep an eye on our What’s On to book on our next tour.
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4. Announcing Our Chef Yanir Mrejen
We’re counting down the days until we open the doors to our fully kosher community hub later this year, and we were delighted to share that Israeli Chef Yanir Mrejen will lead our catering team. An outstanding and imaginative chef, Yanir has worked in top international restaurants alongside world-renowned chefs. Read our interview to find out about his experiences training under Gordon Ramsey and for a sneak peek into the delicious menu we have to look forward to at our kosher bistro restaurant.
5. Installing our Colourful Hoardings
Just before the end of the year, we installed these colourful hoardings (billboards) in front of our site on New Church Road, Hove. We hope this will be a great way to share the message of what we're building with the local community. If you live nearby, please do have a walk by and tell us what you think! Visit our hoardings.
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6. Reaching Construction Milestones
In 2021 our construction team at Osborne and BLB Surveyors did a fantastic job in progressing the build of our Jewish community hub, despite the challenges. Their top highlights have been: Completing the reinforced concrete frame for the East and West Blocks, progressing the facades to all upper floors (all now virtually watertight!), completing the roof and external cladding to the Mews Houses, and finishing the internal partitions, floor screeds and installation of Photovoltaic Panels in the Mews Houses and East Block. On the electrical side, the team successfully installed a new substation and the incoming electrical supply on-site, plus most of the Mechanical and Electrical Services plant in the basement. The first fixing of Mechanical and Electrical Services installation is almost complete in the Mews Houses and the East Block homes. Amazing!
7. Commissioning Iconic Glasswork
We were thrilled to commission the British-Israeli Sculptor, Jeremy Langford, to design the colourful architectural glass features for the main entrances to our Jewish community hub. Jeremy is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost architectural glass artists, ​​with work including the monumental glass installations at the Kotel in Jerusalem. We’re so excited to have him on board.
8. Restoring BHHC’s Synagogue Pews
The Brighton & Hove Hebrew Congregation (BHHC) have been located at 29-31 New Church Road, Hove for six decades and as part of the regeneration of this site, BHHC will now have a stunning new Synagogue and a beautiful modern Mikvah when we open this year. To carry their history into this new home, the original shul pews are currently being repurposed at joinery works in Lewes. Read more.
9. Designing our Blue Terracotta Screen
The new BHHC Synagogue has been designed with a vision of creating a peaceful, spiritual oasis filled with natural light. The signature feature of the shul will be a beautiful blue glazed terracotta screen, and we're so excited that sample terracotta tubes have now been ordered from Italy so work can start early this year. We can’t wait to see the results!
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10. Jewish Press Coverage
We were particularly grateful for the coverage we’ve received from UK Jewish press during 2021 which has helped us spread the word of our Brighton Jewish community project with the national Jewish community. You can read their recent coverage around our visit from Labour leaders during the 2021 conference in Brighton in the Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News online.