Aberdeen’s synagogue risks closure over costly flooding repair bill

A synagogue faces potential closure due to devastating flood damage.

The Aberdeen Synagogue and Jewish Community Centre in Dee Street has had to temporarily close its doors for the first time since 1945 due to severe flooding.

The place of worship, which is the UK’s most northerly synagogue, was hit with water damage two weeks ago due to the leak from a broken washing machine.

Synagogue members have now set up a national appeal to help raise £10,000 towards the estimated £30,000 cost of repairs.

Mark Taylor, president of the synagogue, spoke of the community’s shock.

He said: “While this is a devastating blow, if the community can raise enough funds to help dry out the building and refurbish the communal hall then we can keep the community together and rebuild in the years to come.”

Mr Taylor added that if the money is not raised the synagogue could face closure.

Services and events have been held elsewhere while it has been out of action, with support from other churches and the YMCA.

But the group has had to cancel numerous events due to its reliance on temporary accommodation.

Renovation of the city centre building got under way two years ago and had been nearing completion at the time of the flooding incident.

Due to the extent of the damage, it is estimated repairs will cost £30,000, and the insurance is only likely to cover a proportion of that sum.

City councillor Alan Donnelly, pictured inset, who represents the Torry and Ferryhill ward and had visited the synagogue just before the flooding, said: “My thou-ghts are with the community. I give them my best wishes and hope that they can get through this difficult time”.

Aberdeen Friends of Israel said: “We would urge people from all communities to donate to show solidarity and support.”

To donate, members of the public can visit www.asjcc.org.uk