Building starts on Masorti's £4m shul


Work began this week on a £4 million building for the New North London Masorti Synagogue — almost a year after the ground-breaking ceremony at the community’s base at the Sternberg Centre site in Finchley.

Congregants will still be able to attend services and other activities in the shul’s existing premises during the works. However, they are being warned to watch out for extra-deep bore holes, drilled to accommodate a ground-source heat pump, which will help reduce CO2 emissions by up to 20 per cent.

“We are fortunate that the installation of this renewable energy source has earned us a £30,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund in conjunction with the Building Research Establishment,” NNLS executive director Claire Mandel said.

This, together with a lower-than-expected tender from the builders and a crop of new pledges and donations, has pleased NNLS treasurer Bernard Manson, who is “thrilled by the commitment and generosity of our members”. Meanwhile, the remaining funding gap will be slashed by a surcharge of £70 per adult on membership fees from next month, a move agreed at an EGM. The shul says that “in recognition of this extra burden, we are holding underlying fees flat this year”.

As well as a synagogue, the new building will house classrooms for the community’s Gan Alon nursery, a functions kitchen and shul offices. The hope is for completion by the end of 2010.

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