Ilford and Redbridge United Synagogues are to merge from May next year after their 2,000 members voted overwhelmingly to approve the plans on Tuesday.
The two Essex shuls began consulting last month and leadership teams said they had been left “extremely excited” by unexpectedly strong support this week, to create one of the biggest United Synagogue communities in the country.
Redbridge is itself a result of the merger of Clayhall and Newbury Park synagogues in 2015, and its members will now move over to Ilford’s Beehive Lane building, described as “1960s Cathedral style,” which will be refurbished. The combined shul will operate under a new name, with a competition to decide what that will be.
“This is an extremely exciting development,” said United Synagogue president Michael Goldstein. “They have developed a plan which is viable, financially sound and provides significant benefit for both communities.”
Ilford’s chair Malcolm Nathan said both executive teams had worked hard to get the details in-place, saying the new shul “will still be able to continue the high level of pastoral care for which our communities are rightly known, but it will also enable us to provide better facilities in a dedicated and refurbished building”.
The United Synagogue Council meet next month to rubber-stamp the deal, with the shuls’ leaders suggesting the new community begin life on 21 May.
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