Shul members back Redbridge merger plan

Amalgamated congregation will be biggest in the area


Ilford and Redbridge United synagogues have voted overwhelmingly to merge to form a congregation of 2,000 members.

The proposed union, which will be up for approval at the United Synagogue council next month, is the most significant consolidation in an area which has seen several synagogue mergers in recent times.

Redbridge Synagogue is itself the result of a merger four years ago between two US communities, Clayhall and Newbury Park.

If the plan is agreed by the US council, the new community is likely to come into being next May and a competition will be held to find a name. It will be housed on Ilford’s Beehive Lane premises.

In a joint statement after Tuesday evening’s votes, Ilford chairman Malcolm Nathan and his Redbridge counterpart Mike Callaghan said they were delighted the merger proposal had received such strong support.

“As we said when we began the consultation, through a single, merged community we will be able to continue the high level of pastoral care for which our communities are rightly known. But it will also enable us to provide better facilities in a dedicated and refurbished building for services and activities.”

Welcoming the move, United Synagogue president Michael Goldstein said it would produce one of the movement’s largest congregations. “This is an extremely exciting development. Ilford and Redbridge United synagogues have, together with the United Synagogue, developed a plan which is viable, financially sound and provides significant benefit for both communities.”

Woodford Forest United Synagogue in East London was formed a few years ago from the merger of Wanstead and Woodford United Synagogue and the independent Waltham Forest community.

On the Progressive front, the Woodford Liberal and Bet Tikvah communities amalgamated this year, creating the East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue.

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