Hendon’s £3m facelift

By Jay Grenby, April 11, 2008
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Hendon Synagogue has been given the go-ahead for a £3 million purpose-built community centre incorporating the area’s first United Synagogue-run mikveh.

Barnet Council planners last week approved the scheme, which will involve the demolition of the one-storey building alongside the main shul. In its place, a “visually striking” two-storey barrel-shaped edifice will be erected, featuring a circular multi-function hall on the upper level. The lower floor will accommodate a beit hamedrash, smaller halls for meetings and discussions, cloakrooms, offices, kitchens, and an on-site caretaker’s flat, in addition to the mikveh.

“We have been looking at various options for redevelopment for some years,” Hendon chairman Alan Portnoi said: “But we are delighted with the scheme we have arrived at now, which gives us maximum flexibility and will better serve the requirements of our 1,300 members.”

Hendon’s property committee has worked closely with architects Farrow Silverton, who also designed Mill Hill’s new synagogue building on which construction is due to start later this year.

The hard part would be the fundraising, Mr Portnoi added. “Our property committee believed it would be pointless to embark on raising the requisite funds before plans had been approved and potential donors could see what they might be getting for their money. Now we have consent, we can go ahead and form a fundraising committee.”

He hoped that “if everything falls into place”, work could begin on the scheme in the next 12-to-18 months.

    Last updated: 4:08pm, July 3 2009