From the President's Chair: March – April 2016 – Norwich Hebrew …
These last few months have seen a lot of behind the scenes activity at NHC. Nick Simons and I have been busy with developing ideas for our refurbishment and many of you will already know that we have attracted a grant of 50,000 from The Town Close Estate Charity, for which we are immensely grateful. I have written officially, on behalf of us all, to thank them.
We have several other applications awaiting consideration within Norwich, and are also applying further afield to several national Jewish charities.
Whilst we have not yet finalized our architectural plans, our aim is to provide NHC with a modern, attractive and inviting communal hall and flexible space to meet a wide range of needs. In addition to the requirements of our congregation we are mindful of the need for Jewish education locally, of both Jewish and non Jewish children and adults. I am sure you will agree that such interfaith education is crucial for the furtherance of religious tolerance and essential at times of increasing world conflict.
Our vision is to try and ensure a fit for purpose location for Jewish practice and heritage in Norwich for future generations. Within the project we seek to provide a library and exhibition space with the idea of having a permanent exhibition on the history of Jewish Norwich. We aim to have changeable displays to reflect our festivals, holidays and other events.
We will upgrade the front entrance, improve security and ensure disabled access and facilities. Of course our heating and lighting needs improvement as well. You may have other ideas and I would be delighted to hear from you if so!
Full details of our project can be found on our newly updated website, www.norwichsynagogue.org.uk.
A huge thanks to Nick and his daughter Amy, our resident IT officer, for the hard work which has gone into developing this interactive resource. Do have a look at it if you have access to a computer. You will see on the website that what started out as a simple wish to modernize our tired and outdated communal hall and to provide adapted facilities for disabled congregants and visitors has turned into a much larger and more costly project than initially planned.
We have been encouraged to develop our vision by members of the local Funders Forum who also feel we should undertake this work to ensure that the building remains suitable for the long term. We have split the proposed work into two phases, with Phase 1 being the bulk of the work on the communal hall, toilets and access, and Phase 2 the refurbishment of the synagogue (carpets etc.), security and the car park. Nick Simons has been carefully saving from our subscriptions and other monies over these last 10 years or so and we now have a good amount of NHC money to put towards the project.
Our target is to raise about 400,000. We would be delighted to receive pledges from you for any amount, large or small towards our project. Do email Nick if you personally feel able to help at all, or if you know of any potential benefactors we could approach: [email protected].
I am seeking your ideas for a name for our project.
At the moment we are calling it the Norfolk and Norwich Jewish Community Centre Project (NNJCP) but that is a bit of a mouthful. Just the Norwich Jewish Community Centre (NJC)? What thoughts do you have?
Please email me on [email protected] if you have any ideas for a name or anything else related to the project you would like to share or comment on.
Other news is that we are having a Kabbalat Shabbat service and Friday night supper in the shul on Friday 11th March. Please let me know by phone or email if you are able to join us for supper, everyone is welcome. This will be a simple fish meal and there will be no charge.
Contributions of salads or fruit for dessert will be welcomed as will any financial donation you wish to make. The Saturday morning service in shul that day will be a Liberal batmitzvah taken by the Liberal Rabbi Leah Jordan, and will include the Liberal congregation. Of course any NHC member is welcome to attend.
The NHC service that week will be held at Jonathan Dangour s house, 377 Unthank Road, NR4 7QG. Thank you to Jonathan for this kind offer. He does ask that those who come, please do not park on the grass verge.
I look forward to hearing from you.