Come the spring, members of Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue will be able to enjoy a cappuccino and latte within its walls.
Building has begun on a multi-purpose room whose primary use, explained Rabbi Aaron Goldstein, “will be a café open to members and their friends”.
It would be a place for senior citizens to socialise and where “they can have good-quality coffee, as people now demand.
“We are right next to the Metropolitan Line and we have kids in several schools up the line. So it will also be a space for teenagers to come after school and an opportunity for rabbis to provide programming for them.”
The café is further aimed at parents of pupils at the cheder — which runs on a Saturday morning, as in a number of other Liberal congregations.
“Some parents stay for services,” Rabbi Goldstein said, “but others drop their kids off and run. We want to encourage them to remain within the building rather than go off for a coffee in the high street.
“We hope parents will have a coffee and occasionally come in to experience a service, even if they don’t do so normally.”
The initiative was “about providing as many open doors as possible,” Rabbi Goldstein added. The room would additionally serve as a library and a second sanctuary, like “the smaller, winter synagogue which many synagogues in Europe had”.