SYNAGOGUE’S £4M REBUILD
A £4 MILLION improvements programme at Alyth Synagogue in Golders Green has been approved by Barnet councillors.
The plans allow for the retention of the core of the original 1930s building — home to a Reform community of 3,300 — although there will be enhancements to acoustics. Also retained will be the synagogue kindergarten, rated outstanding by Ofsted last year. The rest of the premises will be remodelled and updated.
There will be a second dedicated prayer space and a two-storey extension will contain a new entrance and reception area. Flexible, multi-use spaces will accommodate youth and educational activities and meetings. A community kitchen is among other features.
“Our vision for the renewed building is to create a fully accessible, beautiful and spiritual space,” said Noeleen Cohen, Alyth’s chair, who is fronting the project with vice-chair Russell Baum. “We aim for the building to be completed by the start of 2020.”
Just over £500,000 towards the project has been pledged from members. The hope is that two-thirds of the total outlay will be raised by the summer of 2018, when construction work is expected to begin.
“We are aiming for the whole community to be involved in the project,” said Alyth’s Rabbi Mark Goldsmith.
“Money has come in from everything from supper quizzes to sponsored walks. We are not a gala dinner kind of community. We are hoping to build up the money in £10,000 blocks.”
Many Alyth families are the third or fourth generation to be involved in the shul and, said Rabbi Goldsmith, saw the redevelopment as a commitment to the next generation.
An artist’s view of the remodelled buildings