|It’s been a long time in the making, but it’s finally happening: the Muswell Hill Synagogue Building Project is going ahead!
Over the past few months our team of professionals has been busy preparing a detailed pack of information to send out to contractors as the basis for them to tender. Architectural drawings, structural specifications, details of fixtures and fittings – it’s all in there. As you read this, contractors will have received the pack and will be preparing their estimates ready for us to review in the middle of March. We are planning for the physical work to then commence June.
We wrote in our update in December (available here) that we would be back in the New Year with more about how you can help on the fundraising side. It’s now that time. We are grateful to the hundred plus families within the community who have pledged £600,000 of funds between them. But we would like to raise more.
It’s an ambitious project. As well as refurbishing the main shul, our plans encompass an elegant new Beit Hamidrash; a modern commercial-grade kitchen; and a vibrant function hall. Underpinning all of this, the core fabric of the building including ventilation, heating and lighting will be upgraded. Remember, the United Synagogue is still contributing but it means raising more from the community.
In addition, to make this a truly communal effort, it would be great to have more families contribute and our target on that front is 200 – fully half of the membership of the shul.
To that end, we are grateful that a group of anonymous donors have come forward to pledge an additional £50,000 to match-fund new donations. Any member who hasn’t yet pledged can do so knowing that their donation will go twice as far. In fact, with Gift Aid, every £1,000 pledged could be worth £2,500 to the shul. Donations can even be paid over a three year period. All donors will also have their names inscribed on a communal donor board which will be installed in the newly refurbished lobby as a lasting symbol of our communal spirit.
Just getting to this stage has been a huge effort and there are so many people to thank. We hope you will be able to add your support through a financial contribution. We know it may feel strange talking about a building few of us have visited in months, but the prospect of coming together as a community once again in a fresher, updated building is very exciting.
Over the next few weeks someone from the shul will reach out to talk to you about a donation. If you’re happy to pledge straight away, that’s great; the form is here. We hope that you will respond generously. Thank you.