Two Jewish community projects were given a boost on Tuesday night as they both won unanimous approval and planning permission from Barnet Council.
Rabbi Naftali Schiff’s ambitious plan for a communal hub in Brent Street, Hendon, was successful and will mean the demolition — and eventual replacement — of the current Post Office.
The Jewish Futures group, which will build a four-storey building with a museum, a gift shop and cafe, has a legal obligation to find a new site in Brent Street for the Post Office, though its agent, giving evidence to the councillors, admitted no new site had yet been found.
But she said the current Post Office would not close until a new operation was up and running. The Jewish Futures group says it will be open to all sections of the community. Its new centre will have a maximum capacity of 300, but no parking space has been allocated within the new building.
In Finchley, meanwhile, there was joy as Finchley Progressive Synagogue got the green light from Barnet’s Planning Committee to go ahead with “environmental retrofit” plans to improve its building. Richard Allen Greene, chair of the synagogue’s building committee, said costs would not be known as it had been impossible to ask for tenders from builders until planning permission was received.
But, he said: “FPS will be 70 in 2023. It’s my hope that in Rosh Hashanah of that year we can open the doors of the improved synagogue and say, this building will take us into the next generation”.
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