Doctor’s site is a tonic for shul

By Jay Grenby, August 13, 2009

The independent Edgware Sephardi Congregation has approved a proposal to convert a former doctor’s surgery in Edgwarebury Lane into a synagogue — its first permanent home in its 15-year existence.

Members’ backing of the plan at an EGM was the final stage of a process which began 18 months ago when the 50-family congregation decided that their rented Hale Lane meeting place was unsuitable on grounds of space and access.

A generous private loan enabled the community to purchase the vacant surgery in the face of stiff competition.

In April, Barnet Council granted planning permission for the conversion of the premises.

Minister Rabbi Israel Melul was among around 60 people at the AGM who unanimously backed the scheme outlined by shul chair Sidney Cuby. It involves the construction of a three-storey synagogue, comprising a main floor, an upstairs ladies’ gallery and a further floor dedicated to children’s services and smaller communal functions.

“The kehillah has already raised £100,000 and we now need to raise a further £300,000 or so to get the project under way,” Mr Cuby said. “Once the holiday period is over, our fundraising committee will begin to organise appeals to members and friends. Subject to satisfactory funding arrangements being in place, builders may be able to begin the conversion later this year.”

Members are already using the Edgwarebury Lane premises for daily weekday services.

Last updated: 10:31am, August 13 2009