South Hampstead shul is to undertake a major two-year £17 million rebuilding project that bosses say will “redefine the word synagogue”.

The redevelopment is the biggest project ever taken on by the United Synagogue, and will see a brand new multi-purpose community hall with “significant amounts of flexible social and educational space”.

A spokesman said the new building would be “fit for the 21st century” and would “facilitate a redefinition of the traditional thinking behind the words ‘synagogue’ and ‘community’ within the modern orthodox community”.

The shul’s leaders said the local community, together with the help of “a major donor,” have already raised most of the money, and alternative arrangements for the community’s services have been made until their new home is ready.

Shul chairman David Turner said the aim was to provide “an inclusive and inspirational building for all ages, religious outlooks and abilities,” adding: “It represents a ground-breaking opportunity to redefine a modern orthodox community.”

United Synagogue President Stephen Pack said: “This is a really exciting project which will revolutionise the facilities that are available to the South Hampstead US community and could also change the way our other communities use and think about their own buildings.”