Rebuilding - Dayeinu? Project
(artists impressions of what the new building design might look like)
FRS plays a vital role in the lives of our community and the wider Barnet and Finchley area but the synagogue buildings are tired and leave much to be desired as part of the street landscape. Our community is thriving and it depends on the buildings to continue hosting the activities that take place day in and day out for nigh on 365 days of the year.
At the end of May, after many design iterations had been considered, the final plans were submitted for planning approval.
The planning application, and the thinking behind the design scheme, has sought to be sensitive to our members and our neighbours. We recognise that, as part of the wider community, it is our responsibility to provide a varied and appropriate range of services within our walls and for those same walls to project externally a warm and inclusive sense of being to all communities in the area and to the London Borough of Barnet.
Why call it the Dayeinu? Project?
The words ring out in the ears of the Jewish people for weeks after seder night, “day dayeinu, day dayeinu, day dayeinu, dayeinu dayeinu.” It would have been enough. But would it really? If we stop the song at any point midway through we change our history forever. Would it really have been enough if God had taken us out of Egypt but not given us the Torah or given us the Torah but not the land of Israel – no but the song ensures that we don’t take any of the developments of Judaism for granted.
That is the message of our Dayeinu project. FRS had spiritual and accessible services but realised it wasn’t enough and employed a Cantor to make sure we could also use music to further the prayer experience. We had opportunities for our children to learn about Judaism but realised it wasn’t enough and created Kochavim as a new approach to learning. Would it be enough to have a good kindergarten? No we have an outstanding kindergarten with dedicated
and loving teachers. But Dayeinu? Is it enough? No.
We want to offer more, offer choice and offer it often and to do this we need a new building. We cannot get complacent and say Dayeinu, we need to be visionary and say together we can do more.
courtyard and play area
New entrance in Granville Road
The building form creates a clearly defined edge to the corner of Montrose Crescent and Fallow Court Avenue. This in turn creates a courtyard garden, which becomes the South-facing children’s play area and provides additional external space for the Synagogue.