A WALK through nearly 4,000 years of Jewish history has been opened by the Prime Minister.

A new installation highlighting the history of the Jewish people was opened today (Sunday) by Theresa May at the Maidenhead Synagogue, Ray Park Road.

The 50-yard stretch of paving located outside the main entrance marks the key moments of the religion's long history. Rabbi Johnathan Romain guided the Prime Minister down the path, telling her she was about to witness "4,000 years of Jewish history in ten minutes."

Starting off in 1,800 BC with Abraham, Mr Romain said: "We don't know how Abraham first discovered God - but there is a legend that he first worshipped the sun, until the clouds covered it up. Then he decided the clouds must be more powerful - so he worshipped the clouds. But then the wind blew them away – and he finally realised there was one, universal, truth."

The path then continued on to Egypt, Israel, and Babylon, with a choir and a musician singing songs relevant to each event - with the help of the large crowd, that included members of the local Christian and Islamic clergy and school RE teachers.

The path then forked, with Mr Romain explaining to the prime minister how this represented the divergence between the Ashkenazi and the Sephardi Jews. A 90-second play recounted the history of the Khazar Kingdom, the only Jewish kingdom to exist outside of Israel, before the tour lead into more modern developments.

One of the penultimate stones marks the Holocaust, with Mr Romain explaining: "From 1939, six million Jews died - that's one in three Jews worldwide. Although there was enormous tragedy, there were stories of heroism and courage too.

"Many Jews fled the persecution, and ended up in Maidenhead, and the Maidenhead Synagogue was founded. Although many left after the war, enough remained to keep the community - and the Synagogue - going.

Leading on to the next stone, Mr Romain said: "Two thousand years of exile ended with the founding of Israel. But as important as Israel is, Maidenhead is our home."

The final stone marks the founding of Grenfell Lodge, the new home for the Synagogue, in 2001.

Mrs May, prior to cutting the ribbon, said: "This will be a wonderful place for people to come and learn about the history of the Jewish people. I am glad to see people representing multiple faiths here today - Maidenhead is a town where people learn from each other, and respect each other."

Speaking to the Observer about national concerns over levels of anti-Semitism, Mrs May said: "Sadly, reports show that it is on the rise – and that's why its so important we all come together to help fight it. There should be no place for anti-Semitism in this country."