Ealing Liberal Synagogue has been gifted a £400,000 legacy from two elderly congregants from Chicago.
Rabbi Janet Burden, who is also from Chicago, befriended the couple, whose legacy has proven a major shot in the arm for the shul, which locals have described as “a bit of a tin shack”.
The astonishing £400,000 gift is being used to renovate the synagogue, with suggestions that work will incorporate a nursery, which is currently run out of the shul premises by the local Sikh community.
Burden refused to comment, but Rabbi Danny Rich, the Senior Rabbi and Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism, said: “Legacies are so important for all Jewish communal organisations. Being remembered in someone’s will can help a synagogue to improve its facilities for members, develop new outreach and educational initiatives and support our young people.
“A legacy truly allows the memory of those who have died to be a blessing with practical implications for the Jewish community.”