When a faulty washing machine caused a major flood at Aberdeen Synagogue last summer, leaders of the UK’s most northerly congregation were in despair. Not only was the shul left without a home — its insurance did not cover the repairs.
But with significant support from the local non-Jewish community, the emergency appeal has now topped £21,000, more than double its target.
It will enable the shul — which has a core membership of 40 — also to upgrade its windows, flooring and the community kitchen.
“It will make the building more modern,” said synagogue president Mark Taylor. “We had originally planned to do the windows over a couple of years. The flooring was worn out and the kitchen facilities are 35 years old and well past their sell-by date.”
The nearby Bon Accord Shopping Centre has provided a space for Shabbat services and storage and the shul’s Chanukah party was hosted by Summerhall Parish Church.
It is hoped the Dee Street shul building will reopen in March with a party to thank contributors, with invitations also extended to representatives of other Scottish congregations.
Mr Taylor has been overwhelmed by the support and financial backing from non-Jews, some of whom have Jewish heritage. One Aberdeen businessman had been “incredibly generous”. There have also been donations from Israel, America, Canada and from throughout the UK.
It is hoped the property’s basement flat will soon be ready to rent, generating further revenue.