Standing up to save Highams Park

By Simon Rocker, May 3, 2012

One of the United Synagogue's smallest communities, Highams Park and Chingford, will live to pray another day after staving off closure.

A motion to shut the doors of the 200-member east London synagogue had been tabled at an emergency meeting called last month by the previous board.

"Everyone was against it," said new chairman Stan Cordell.

"They asked whether anyone was prepared to be o


Heritage expert urges rethink on repairs VAT

By Simon Rocker, May 3, 2012

Jewish heritage activist Dr Sharman Kadish has called on the government to rethink plans to withdraw VAT exemption on repairs to listed buildings, claiming it would hinder the preservation of old synagogues.

She said the measure would have "a detrimental effect on historic synagogues - and churches - which want to improve their facilities by installing toilets, kitchens and disability access, w


Jewish rebirth in Swiss city of Basel

By Jennifer Lipman, April 19, 2012

A synagogue has been dedicated in Basel for the first time in more than 80 years.

The Feldinger Chabad Jewish Centre, located on the site of a former non-kosher butcher, is the first new synagogue in the Swiss city since 1929.

Rabbis and government officials were present at the opening ceremony.


Building to shul target

March 15, 2012

Cambridge professors and students were among the 140 guests at a dinner at the historic Great Hall at St John's College in aid of the Beth Shalom Reform Synagogue building project.

Organiser, Professor Fiona Karet Frankl, was delighted by the support for Saturday's event, "which has raised well over £30,000 towards our goal.


London's biggest synagogue 'for sale'

By Simon Rocker, March 8, 2012

Members of Finchley Synagogue may have been shocked to see emails and notices posted yesterday to announce their building was up for sale.

The fastest-growing congregation in the United Synagogue would be the last anyone would imagine be on the move.


Stamford Hill shul is 'blocking the sunlight' of local residents

By Jessica Elgot, January 19, 2012

Hackney Council claims that a strictly Orthodox synagogue, built without planning permission in Stamford Hill, is "blocking the sunlight" of nearby families and says its extension must be demolished.

The synagogue, in Bethune Road, was served with an enforcement notice and given three months to demolish an extension and turn the building back into a family home.


Sandys Row is fully restored to its former glory

By Jessica Elgot, January 12, 2012

An historic east London congregation is looking to the future after extensive synagogue restorations.

Grade II-listed Sandys Row in Spitalfields has spent £400,000 on repairs to its leaky roof, rotting windows and Huguenot plastering.

The Heritage Lottery Fund contributed £250,000 to the restoration project.

Now the synagogue intends to continue to fundraise in order to transform its la


Manchester eruv hit by 'racist' objections

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 16, 2011

The final hurdle to achieving planning permission for the north Manchester eruv has been hit by a "racist" objection from Salford residents who have also argued on human rights, conservation and religious grounds, as well as concerns for bats.


Shul treasure trove goes under hammer

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 11, 2011

Manchester's Great, New and Central Synagogue has raised £60,000 from the sale of antique Judaica silverware that had been kept in storage.


New York education in Finchley synagogue

October 27, 2011

Four students from New York’s Yeshiva University presented 10 learning events for women at Finchley Synagogue over the Simchat Torah weekend.

Chavi Becker, Kira Joel, Shlomit Cohen and Derora Tropp also led the women’s dancing in synagogue during the festival.

The well-attended activities ranged from interactive Torah study to learning-based afternoon teas in members’ homes.