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 (asjcc.org.uk) 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.