SOS: Save our (flooded) sy­n­a­gogue


AN EMER­GENCY ap­peal for funds is to be launched by the Aberdeen com­mu­nity, which has been forced out of its home by se­vere flood­ing.

The con­gre­ga­tion of barely two dozen is reel­ing from the fi­nan­cial and lo­gis­ti­cal im­pact of the wa­ter dam­age to its four-floor build­ing in Dee Street.

Its com­mit­tee met on Sun­day to dis­cuss the way for­ward. The shul’s Debby Tay­lor said there had been “heart­felt dis­cus­sion over the pros and cons of the op­tions avail­able”. One was to “walk away from the build­ing — and ef­fec­tively the com­mu­nity”.

In the event, it was unan­i­mously agreed to con­tinue, although Shab­bat ser­vices have been can­celled un­til fur­ther no­tice.

Key to its fu­ture will be the ap­peal, sup­ported by the Scot­tish Coun­cil of Jewish Com­mu­ni­ties, Glas­gow Jewish Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Coun­cil, Ed­in­burgh He­brew Con­gre­ga­tion, the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Lead­er­ship Coun­cil. In the mean­time, the shul’s web­site ( has a PayPal link for do­na­tions.

The com­mu­nity still does not know the amount it will have to find to­wards re­pairs to its premises, which had been up­graded be­fore the flood­ing.

But it has re­ceived no­tice from the loss ad­jus­tor that the in­surer will cover only two-thirds of the cost.

“We are wait­ing for the in­sur­ance com­pany con­trac­tor who in­spected the build­ing last week to send quotes for work to the in­sur­ance com­pany,” Mrs Tay­lor re­ported. “We have or­gan­ised quotes for re­plac­ing the floor cov­er­ings.”

Although the shul is “vig­or­ously chal­leng­ing the in­sur­ance com­pany as to why they claim we are not fully cov­ered, this will not dis­tract us from get­ting the build­ing fixed, which is the pri­or­ity.

“We are also seek­ing in­sur­ance cover for use of the scrolls out­side the sy­n­a­gogue build­ing as our cur­rent in­sur­ance only cov­ers them for use in­side.”

It is in the process of fi­nal­is­ing ar­range­ments for premises for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kip­pur ser­vices.

“We have re­ceived won­der­ful sup­port from the lo­cal churches and the mosque,” Mrs Tay­lor added.

Lo­cal back­ing was also ev­i­dent when the Lord Provost of Aberdeen was among the 40 peo­ple who at­tended its con­tri­bu­tion to the Scot­tish her­itage pro­gramme, Doors Open Days.

Orig­i­nally meant to be held in the sy­n­a­gogue, it was re­lo­cated to a lo­cal ho­tel. Just over £200 was raised on the day.

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