Questions over West London Synagogue finances

By Simon Rocker, September 21, 2010

Leaders of the UK’s flagship Reform congregation, the West London Synagogue, are investigating possible financial regularities of more than £100,000.

Losses of £144,000 have already been identified for last year, according to the newly available accounts– but the final total could be higher.

The accounts describe the amount involved as “significant” but say it would not be possible to fully quantify “until the investigation work is completed”.

West London’s trustees intend to “pursue vigorously full recovery of any losses that have been incurred”, they state.

Members were recently notified by chairman Jonathan Lass that the possible irregularities “appear to go back several years”.

He wrote that while the trustees would like to advise members fully about the situation, “we are legally obliged not to comment or provide detailed information at this stage, since this could prejudice the synagogue’s position”.

He added: “We can say that the matter has been dealt with swiftly and all appropriate steps have been taken to safeguard and protect the synagogue’s financial interests. We have advised the relevant authorities and our professional advisers.”

The possible irregularities contributed to the synagogue’s deficit of £543,000 for 2009 which also took into account redundancy payments, uncollected subscriptions and a shortfall in donations because of the financial climate.

Last updated: 3:04pm, September 21 2010