New Redbridge synagogue following Clayhall and Newbury Park merger
PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 December 2014 | UPDATED: 13:16 29 December 2014
A new synagogue will be formed at the turn of year to streamline resources of two Redbridge synagogues located just two and a half miles apart.
Merger talks between Newbury Park Synagogue and Clayhall Synagogue began two years ago because of demographic changes to the Jewish population in the surrounding area.
Rabbi Nissan Wilson, minster of Clayhall, will be senior rabbi of the new synagogue at the Clayhall shul site at the Redbridge Jewish Centre.
“It emerged that we would be a lot stronger if we merged,” said Rabbi Wilson. “The changing demographics means that people do not live in the same areas that they used to live.
“Areas grow out and some communities shrink and when you put that together it is clear the communities need to become one.”
Rev Gary Newman, minister of Newbury Park, will become the minister responsible for the community’s welfare.
The membership of the new Redbridge United Synagogue will be around 1,400 people.
“This merger allows us to pull the resources together,” added Rabbi Wilson.
“Everyone is excited about the move. We are looking forward to it.”
Rabbi Wilson believes that most of the members will only live between “one and two miles” from Redbridge United Synagogue, in Woodford Bridge Road, Redbridge.
When the two synagogues merge on Thursday January 1, both boards of management will be dissolved.
The executive officers of both will form the new board of management with members of the two existing boards forming a consultation group.
This the second merger announced in a month after it was announced Wanstead and Woodford Synagogue, in Churchfields, South Woodford, and Waltham Forest Hebrew Congregation, in Walthamstow, will come together as another united synagogue community.
The name of the synagogue is yet to be decided.
Chair of Wanstead & Woodford United Synagogue, Sally Caplan, said: “The boards of both synagogues look forward to combining their strengths to make a new and vibrant synagogue.”
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