Manchester shul seeks home for historic items


South Manchester's sephardi community is giving away the antique contents of a synagogue which is to be demolished.

Didsbury's Shaare Zedek Synagogue, which was sold to pay for a newly built synagogue closer to congregants who now live in Hale, is to be demolished in January. Antique furnishing from the 1920s building are being offered, including a large aron kodesh (ark), period light fittings and oak furniture. Wooden pews to seat 200 people have already been donated to Hillock Hebrew Congregation in Bury, whose own pews were in urgent need of replacement.

The synagogue was closed earlier this year after being amalgamated with the Shaare Hayim synagogue just a few metres away following a drift of members away from the area. The congregation is to begin the construction of a satellite shul in Hale for a third of its 700 members who now live there.

Synagogue council chairman Anthony Sultan said the sale of the one-acre plot was "conditional on the granting of planning permission for the redevelopment for detached and semi-detached homes. Planning permission was granted at the end of November. The land will be released to developers at the end of January once the contents of the synagogue have been dismantled."

Clive Weller, president of Hillock, said: "We are delighted to be able to re-use these historic items, which have added to the beauty of our shul."

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