100-YEAR-OLD East End synagogue is to refurbish a disused
ladies gallery thanks to an £8,000 grant.
Federation-affiliated Congregation of Jacob in Commercial
Road has received the grant from the United States-based Jewish
Heritage Grant Program, which is part of the World Monuments
Fund. It will be used to repair the walls and balcony in the
ladies' gallery and to repair the fire doors and electrical
Gold, the restoration project manager, told CC: "The
gallery hasn't been used for around 40 years. Women sit downstairs
behind a mechitzah (screen). The repairs will bring
our 100-year old building up to modern standards. Then we
can start work on other parts.
original congregation consisted largely of immigrants from
Poland and Lithuania. Today the community includes Jews from
India and Germany, as well as some who were born in the East
End and still live locally.
synagogue has already undergone some work including repair
of the floor, bimah and pews and new paintwork. Mr Gold said
they were still looking for a further £30,000 to complete
synagogue is in an area that was the heart of London's Jewish
population in the early years of the last century. Thanks
to a regeneration in the last decade, the 1904-founded shul
now has around 150 members, including many young professionals
who live in the area.