Latest News from the world of Jewish Heritage
The North of England dominates Jewish Heritage's Sites At Risk List published this week.
Four synagogues in the North are included in this year's 'bottom ten' sites. They are Sunderland's Ryhope Road, Liverpool’s Greenbank Drive Synagogue, Blackpool Synagogue, Leamington Road and Higher Crumpsall Synagogue in Manchester, the only one that is still in use. All Listed Buildings, these synagogues are already on the English Heritage Heritage At Risk Register (HAR). They all date from the early twentieth century, having opened before the Second World War. The fifth selected most At Risk synagogue is a Listed 19th century building in the West Midlands town of Coventry, whilst all five cemeteries highlighted are situated in or north of Birmingham.
Jewish Heritage's Director Dr Sharman Kadish commented 'Ourselves being based in the North, here in Manchester, we are acutely aware of the effects of the current economic downturn. There is no doubt that the Recession is affecting the north of the country much more than the south. There is simply more money around in London and the South East. This imbalance of resources affects us and all heritage organisations now seeking to protect important sites for the benefit of future generations'.
The publication of the Jewish Heritage At Risk List coincides with our annual Bedek HaBayit Shabbat Restoration Sabbath that falls on Shabbat Shekalim , Saturday 9th February in the religious calendar. Congregants are reminded by their Rabbis in their sermons of the importance of maintaining the synagogue building and keeping burial grounds neat and tidy. In ancient times Jews donated Half a Shekel for the upkeep of the Bet HaMikdash – the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in order to pay “the carpenters and the builders…the masons and the hewers of stone ….to repair the breaches of the House of the Lord”, as is described in the week’s synagogue readings from the Torah and the Book of Kings.
JEWISH HERITAGE’S TEN MOST AT RISK JEWISH SITES ARE:-
Blackpool Synagogue, Leamington Road
R.B Mather 1914-16 Grade II
English Heritage HAR Closed
Coventry Synagogue, Barras Lane
Thomas Naden 1870 Grade II Closed
Liverpool, Greenbank Drive Synagogue
Ernest Alfred Shennan 1936-7 Grade II*
English Heritage HAR. Closed
Manchester, Higher Crumpsall Synagogue
Pendleton & Dickinson 1928-9 Grade II
English Heritage HAR
Sunderland Synagogue, Ryhope Road
Marcus K Glass 1928 Grade II
English Heritage HAR Closed
Birmingham, Betholom Row, Islington Road (1823)
Glasgow, Craigton Cemetery, Jewish Section (1880)
Liverpool, Green Lane Jewish Cemetery, Tuebrook (1839)
Manchester, Prestwich Village Cemetery (1841)
Sunderland, Ayres Quay (ca. 1780)
For more information on all these, and other sites, go to the 'Sites At Risk' pages of this website.