Hen­don’s £3m facelift

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY LIFE - BY JAY GRENBY

HEN­DON SYN­A­GOGUE has been given the go-ahead for a £3 mil­lion pur­pose-built com­mu­nity cen­tre in­cor­po­rat­ing the area’s first United Syn­a­gogue-run mikveh.

Barnet Coun­cil plan­ners last week ap­proved the scheme, which will in­volve the de­mo­li­tion of the one-storey build­ing along­side the main shul. In its place, a “vis­ually strik­ing” two-storey bar­rel-shaped ed­i­fice will be erected, fea­tur­ing a cir­cu­lar multi-func­tion hall on the up­per level. The lower floor will ac­com­mo­date a beit hame­drash, smaller halls for meet­ings and dis­cus­sions, cloak­rooms, of­fices, kitchens, and an on-site care­taker’s flat, in ad­di­tion to the mikveh.

“We have been look­ing at var­i­ous op­tions for re­de­vel­op­ment for some years,” Hen­don chair­man Alan Port­noi said: “But we are de­lighted with the scheme we have ar­rived at now, which gives us max­i­mum flex­i­bil­ity and will bet­ter serve the re­quire­ments of our 1,300 mem­bers.”

Hen­don’s prop­erty com­mit­tee has worked closely with ar­chi­tects Far­row Silverton, who also de­signed Mill Hill’s new syn­a­gogue build­ing on which con­struc­tion is due to start later this year.

The hard part would be the fundrais­ing, Mr Port­noi added. “Our prop­erty com­mit­tee be­lieved it would be point­less to em­bark on rais­ing the req­ui­site funds be­fore plans had been ap­proved and po­ten­tial donors could see what they might be get­ting for their money. Now we have con­sent, we can go ahead and form a fundrais­ing com­mit­tee.”

He hoped that “if ev­ery­thing falls into place”, work could be­gin on the scheme in the next 12-to-18 months.

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