Cockfosters and New Southgate United synagogue (CNSS) has officially opened both its Shabbat-compliant lift, and refurbished Maurice Tillkoff Hall in a project costing close to £170,000.
With more than 160 people in attendance, the unveiling was one of the biggest events for the shul since the Covid pandemic.
Guests included the Worshipful Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Alison Moore, and deputy Mayor of Enfield, Cllr Suna Hurman.
Head of the refurbishment committee Marilyn Doff explained the full history of the project before United Synagogue president Michael Goldstein delivered a short address, noting the role of women as leaders of the community. He then cut the ceremonial ribbon to declare the lift and refurbished hall officially open.
Funds were raised through a number of means, including a grant from the United Synagogue, a sponsored walk by the Rabbi and members of the community, a Charity Extra matched funding campaign, and National Lottery funding.
Attendee and CNSS member Myrna Sass said: “I would like to say thank you to Marilyn and her committee for all their hard work and splendid efforts in management and completion of the lift and the communal hall. It’s a pleasure now to come to the shul on a Shabbat and Yom Tov for services without having to struggle to ascend and descend the staircase. I now feel much more part of the congregation.”
Marilyn Doff, from the organising committee said: “What a superb finale to a 4-year project! Please G-d the community should share many more events and smachot together in our beautifully refurbished hall, now accessible to everyone, for many years to come.”
Rabbi Shindler of CNSS, said: “I am delighted that we were finally able to acknowledge all the effort and generosity of those that brought the hall refurbishment and new lift into a reality. This achievement is really just the start of a clear and articulated vision for a very bright tomorrow for Cockfosters and New Southgate Synagogue.”
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