THE CENTRAL SYNAGOGUE.
The great Central Synagogue of the Jews, in Great Portland Street, is a fine specimen of Oriental architecture, with Moorish columns and arches. Our view shows the Ark, which in synagogues is always placed at the end nearest Jerusalem; and for the moment the gold-embroidered curtain which hides it is drawn back Above the Ark are tables of stone, on which the two first words of each of the Ten Commandments are engraved; and through the small circular window, higher still, shines the light that is never allowed to go out. The galleries are occupied by women, the body of the synagogue by men, who, according to Jewish custom, worship with covered heads. This synagogue is one of those under the superintendence of Chief Rabbi Adler.
source: The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896