Members approve £6 million upgrade for Golders Green shul

Building work on the Alyth Reform revamp is set to start later this year, providing a raft of new and improved facilities


Alyth Reform members have overwhelmingly approved plans for a £5.8 million redevelopment of the shul’s Golders Green premises.

Details of the plans were outlined at a digital meeting for the community of 1,500 households and 3,500 people, which has maintained its steady growth during the pandemic, particularly among young families. Around 170 people voted.

The project will see the site’s Leo Baeck wing demolished and replaced by a bespoke new building. There will also be improved acoustics and updated features, plus provision for multi-use spaces.

In addition, Alyth’s Rabbi Josh Levy said “we’re making sure that the whole building is accessible to those with limited mobility”.

The Covid crisis had highlighted the importance of outside space and good ventilation. “Our main prayer space doesn’t have great ventilation,” the rabbi acknowledged, a deficiency the upgrade would rectify

More than half the funding has been raised and the shul is taking out a loan to enable building work to start, hopefully later this year with completion around spring 2023.

“A pledge of £1m from one of our families has been transformative in enabling us to move ahead with the project and ensuring that we can be ambitious in our planning,” he said.

The shul leadership was committed to activities remaining on site during building work and was engaging with project managers to ensure that happened. For example, the kindergarten would carry on as normal.

Meanwhile, Alyth will reopen for “limited in person services from Shabbat”, particularly to allow bar- or batmitzvah services.

“As we can reopen more, we will do so in a gradual way,” Rabbi Levy added. “We want to get back to normal by summer.”

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