Radlett synagogue building for the future

By Jay Grenby, June 14, 2012
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Radlett and Bushey Reform Synagogue has submitted proposals for a £2 million community centre to Hertsmere Borough Council.

The planned building will replace an old hall at the back of the shul’s Watling Street premises, offering additional space for a growing membership.

The synagogue has already engaged in lengthy informal discussions with the local authority, its neighbours and the wider community, so building committee chair Ian Ellis is optimistic of a “positive outcome.

“We expect to hear from Hertsmere in the next few weeks and will then have a better idea of any outstanding issues. We aim to provide a robust response to their questions.”

Numbering in excess of 700 families, Radlett and Bushey is the UK’s fourth largest Reform congregation.
Minister Rabbi Paul Freedman pointed out that “the range of activities in our community means that at times we struggle to fit in our current building. As our community continues to grow, there is so much more we would like to offer.”

The idea is to demolish a hall at the rear of the synagogue and, once the site is excavated, construct a three-storey extension. An atrium will connect the building to the main synagogue.

Mr Ellis said the intention was “to build an active, supportive community. The proposed building will provide the space to meet that aim.”

He expected financial backing “from a broad range of sources”.

Last updated: 4:22pm, June 14 2012