Fundraiser af­ter syn­a­gogue dam­aged in ‘flood’

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS -

The UK’s most northerly syn­a­gogue has closed its doors for the first time since it opened 72 years ago af­ter a wash­ing ma­chine flood.

The Jewish com­mu­nity of Aberdeen has had to hold its ser­vices else­where for the past two weeks af­ter the in­ci­dent, which took place in the com­mu­nity hall above the small ground-level syn­a­gogue on Dee Street, ripped a hole through the re­li­gious build­ing’s roof.

Mark Tay­lor, the pres­i­dent of the Aberdeen Syn­a­gogue and Jewish Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, said al­though he hasn’t heard back from his in­sur­ance com­pany, it was es­ti­mated that fix­ing the prob­lem would cost thou­sands of pounds.

The set­back fol­lowed a £35,000, two-year project to mod­ernise the 19th­cen­tury, B-listed prop­erty, and will mean 30 prac­ti­tion­ers of the Jewish faith in Aberdeen who use the syn­a­gogue will be dis­placed un­til at least De­cem­ber.

To pay the re­pair bill, Mr Tay­lor has launched a fundraiser, ap­peal­ing for help from the north-east com­mu­nity and other syn­a­gogues across the coun­try. He said: “The wash­ing ma­chine in the com­mu­nity hall de­cided to break on us on the 28th of last month.

“It poured wa­ter out on to the floor of the com­mu­nity hall for an hour, and even­tu­ally the wa­ter burst through into the syn­a­gogue be­low. Af­ter that, it flowed into the flat un­der­neath the syn­a­gogue, mean­ing we need ex­ten­sive re­pairs on three parts of the build­ing.

“The in­sur­ance will cover some of the work, but not all of it, so we don’t know ex­actly how much we will need yet. But we’ve started a fundrais­ing ap­peal to try and soften the blow.

“All of our main cap­i­tal re­serves have been spent on the re­fur­bish­ment over the past two years and, to top it all off, Septem­ber is when the Jewish high hol­i­days like the New Year and Yom Kip­pur take place, so this flood re­ally couldn’t have hap­pened at a worse time.

“One of our mem­bers has a house in the cen­tre of town, so we’ll use that for some hol­i­days, and a cou­ple of churches have been kind and have of­fered us rooms for Fri­day night ser­vices.”

To do­nate to the cause, visit

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