Manchester Reform shul members vote to continue merger process

An amalgamation of the Sha'arei Shalom and Jackson's Row congregations would create one of the largest Reform communities outside London


A potential merger between two Manchester Reform congregations moved a step closer when members of both shuls voted overwhelmingly at the weekend for talks to continue.

The Manchester Reform and Sha’arei Shalom congregations balloted their members simultaneously at separate meetings.

At Manchester Reform’s AGM, the vote to continue the discussions was passed with a 70 per cent majority. The “yes” vote was 94 per cent at Sha’arei Shalom.

Naomi Ward, who stood down as chair of Manchester Reform, was “absolutely thrilled that both communities have shown the sense and insight to move us closer together. I see only good things in our shared future.”

Sha’arei Shalom chair Marissa Goldstone said that “representatives from both synagogues will now start to work on a proposal that is acceptable to both communities. We encourage our members to get involved with the discussions.”

With a history spanning 165 years, Manchester Reform Synagogue, also known as Jackson’s Row, is the second oldest Reform congregation in the UK. Sha’arei Shalom, otherwise known as North Manchester Reform, was founded in 1977.

Talks to explore closer co-operation began earlier this year. A merger would create one of the larger Reform communities outside London with more than 800 members.

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