Wembley United Synagogue is set to vacate its building after more than 60 years, as it confirmed the purchase of a new property.
The community, which was established 92 years ago, confirmed plans to move to a new site within two years, with its financial representative having delivered the “very good news” to members earlier in November.
The synagogue’s “best option”, as outlined in its annual report included the selling “of the entire synagogue site” and “out of the proceeds of the sale, find another site nearby for a smallish synagogue”. The report said it is “something like two years away from completing the downsizing.”
Writing to members on 12 November, Charles Vites, Financial Representative of Wembley United Synagogue, confirmed the purchase of a new building, and said “If all goes well, we should be able to move into the new shul in 2022.”
He told Jewish: “We have purchased a site near our synagogue which we will develop into a small shul, in our own good time.
“Earlier this month I wrote to all members of Wembley Synagogue and they are aware of our plans. When the time is right, we will sell the present site. However, we confidently expect to be here at the next High Holidays and later.
“We are in no hurry. We are fortunate to have the time and resources to get this right. We are confident that Wembley Synagogue will be around for a very long time to come yet. As long as there remain Jews who wish to pray in Wembley, we will be there for them.”
This comes after Noam Primary School’s lease for Wembley shul’s building came to an end in December 2019, meaning it lost “a source of rental income” which had “immediate financial implications”. Wembley has been declining in congregation size for years as families move to growing communities such as Borehamwood, Stanmore and Edgware.
Rabbi Shlomo Odze, the United Synagogue’s Community Development Manager, said: “We have been delighted to support the Wembley community to explore possibilities for their new home and help them purchase a new building which we know will be more comfortable and more suitable for their needs.
“The United Synagogue will continue to provide services for the community in the area for many years to come. We wish the community well as they embark on the development project and will be with them every step of the way.”
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