Two Redbridge synagogues to vote on potential unification

PUBLISHED: 17:04 12 September 2016 | UPDATED: 17:46 12 September 2016

The Bet Tikvah Synagogue in Perrymans Farm Road Newbury Park

The Bet Tikvah Synagogue in Perrymans Farm Road Newbury Park


Members of two Jewish communities face a vote on whether or not to join their two congregations later this month.

Rabbis and officers of the Bet Tikvah synagogue, Perrymans Farm Road, Newbury Park, and the Woodford Liberal Synagogue, Marlborough Road, South Woodford, have been discussing plans to unite for the past 18 months.

Members of both congregations will now vote on whether or not to accept the proposal, on September 25.

Woodford Liberal Synagogue chairman Jonny Hurst explained: “If approved, this will not be an acquisition, nor would one community be taking over the other: if the members agree we will dissolve the existing communities in favour of forming a new vibrant and dynamic Liberal Jewish community.”

He added: “We know that forming a new community will bring its own challenges, but I am confident that, together, in a vibrant and supportive environment, we can build on our combined strengths and further develop our services.”

Bet Tikvah chairman Gary Freedman also hopes members of his synagogue will back the proposal.

“What we’re doing is looking into the future and trying to make sure we’re prepared,” he told the Recorder.

“We’re forming a new community because none of us are getting any younger and we think it’s going to be better to be one congregation of 600 people instead of two congregations of 300 people.”

But the move has faced opposition from some, which Mr Freedman said he totally understood.

“For many, this synagogue has been their second home for almost 40 years, but both synagogues would keep their own buildings until we found a new home.

“This decision isn’t really about us, it’s about the future.”

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