Woodside Park is looking to join the eruv club

By Jay Grenby, December 29, 2010

Woodside Park Synagogue is putting the finishing touches to its plans for an eruv, which it intends to submit to Barnet Council in early spring.

The move follows community and general public consultation meetings. If approved, the eruv will cover four square miles, taking in Whetstone, Oakleigh Park and Totteridge, as well parts of Finchley.

It will abut the existing North-West London eruv, as well as the eruvim planned by the Barnet and Mill Hill communities, creating a large area enabling the Shabbat-observant to push prams or wheelchairs and carry certain items.

Woodside Park chair Gary Simon said: "It is part of our thinking to allow 'free transfer' between the various eruvim. We are moving in tandem with Barnet Synagogue, while Mill Hill are a little further advanced than we are in the process."

Although the project has been on the agenda for some time, it has gathered momentum since the arrival of Rabbi Pinchas Hackenbroch. "We are one of the fastest-growing shuls in the United Synagogue," Mr Simon pointed out. "We believe that the sustainability of the shul in the long term depends on our having an eruv, which will be to the benefit of the entire community."

He is not expecting significant opposition, particularly as Barnet Council is familiar with the eruv concept, having approved other applications. Much of the preparatory work, such as consultation with the local authority and Transport for London, has already been completed.

Last updated: 2:49pm, December 29 2010