Storm hits shul, care home

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community News - L E ON S Y MONS AND J UDI T H HAY­MAN

A GROUP of pen­sion­ers at­tend­ing a day cen­tre at Rich­mond Syn­a­gogue es­caped in­jury when a tree was blown over and crashed down into the syn­a­gogue dur­ing last Thurs­day’s storms.

Those inside were shocked but un­scathed, but the syn­a­gogue build­ing suf­fered thou­sands of pounds’ worth of dam­age as the tree fell through the roof and wrecked its kitchen, which was re­mod­elled only last year. The syn­a­gogue was de­clared un­fit for use and the Shab­bat ser­vice was held in a private home.

Stella Abra­hams, who was inside the build­ing at the time, said: “We heard the tree com­ing in and all the bricks came on top. My friend, He­len Fire­man, heard the glass com­ing down and just got out of the way in time. Then we all went out­side and the roof came down.”

Syn­a­gogue pres­i­dent Richard Savinson saw the tree fall­ing as he ar­rived at the syn­a­gogue. “I was driv­ing through the gate and I saw it come down from the gar­den of neigh­bour­ing flats. Ev­ery­body was shaken up, the women in par­tic­u­lar.”

Chair­man Leonard Ma­grill said: “If we can get the build­ing weather-proof, we hope to be back this week­end, though I don’t know if we will have any heat­ing.”

In Manch­ester, for­mer King David Schools’ head Eric Wil­son, 72, was driv­ing when a large tree crashed down in front of his car. He was un­hurt, but the road was blocked and traf­fic had to be di­rected around it. A shaken Mr Wil­son told the JC: “I don’t know how the tree missed the car in front.”

Nightin­gale, the South-West Lon­don res­i­den­tial home, also suf­fered dam­age when a 40 ft-tall tree in the gar­den was one of four up­rooted by the storms. Two smaller trees blocked the front drive.

As­sis­tant di­rec­tor Paul Joseph said: “We were very lucky there was no dam­age. The tree was a horn­beam, quite rare, and very old. We will take ad­vice as to what we can do to fill the gap as it pro­vided the res­i­dents with good shade on hot sum­mer days.”

There was a tem­po­rary break in the Edg­ware eruv as some of the links be­tween poles were blown down but re­pairs were made in time for Shab­bat.

The tree that came crash­ing down on Rich­mond Syn­a­gogue in last Thurs­day’s storms

Photo: Abi Ma­grill

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