Support Us - Extra Info
The Stern Hall which is heavily used by members and non members alike has undergone a huge refurbishment and in September 2014, it was re-launched as 33 Seymour Place. Thanks to the support of a group of donors, we now have a new decorated, fully functional room with air conditioning, new lighting and restored flooring. The toilets on that side of the site have been completely replaced and we now have the benefit of an income generating room that generations will benefit from for years to come. We refurbished the lobby at 33 Seymour Place and the floors in the Samson Family Concourse and Goldsmid Hall and a combination of generous donations from Reserved Seat holders and one of the High Holy Day Appeals has enabled us to restore almost all the seats in the Sanctuary to their original condition. Not only do they look wonderful but they are also a pleasure to sit on! I am delighted to say that this project will be completed in 2015 along with the redecoration of the Goldsmid Hall and the vestibule outside the Sanctuary.
The grant of a long lease to Halcyon School in 2014 was a great win-win for both them and West London Synagogue. The Halcyon lent us the funds, interest free, to move our administration offices into new accommodation above the Goldsmid Hall and then to completely refurbish the Leo Baeck Wing. This loan will be repaid by a reduction in the full market rent over the first nine years of their lease. The new state of the art classrooms are available to our adults in the evenings and our children and Cheder on the weekends. It has truly transformed the appearance of the building. As from September 2015, Halcyon will have a long lease on additional space at WLS – the remaining floor of the Leo Baeck wing that used to comprise the Bob Shafritz library and the second floor of the Stern Hall block which used to be occupied by the Beginnings Nursery. Again, we will have the use of this space on evenings and weekends. With the proceeds of the 175th Gala Dinner the library will be relocated to a completely refurbished Council Room which will also be available as a beautiful room for private functions and synagogue events.
Thanks to a truly wonderful legacy from the late Tibor Bolcskei, by end 2015 we will also have updated the sound and remote viewing system in the Sanctuary so you will be able to hear sermons even more clearly!! We will have improved the sound system in the Stern Hall and updated the audio visual equipment in the Room of Prayer where the Kol Noah film evenings have been such a success. That legacy will also enable us to restore four more of the magnificent stained glass windows in the Sanctuary following a gift that had already enabled us to repair the largest of those windows. Finally, we have taken out a long term loan to pay for the much needed replacement of our 30 year old boilers before they completely collapsed on us!
We have broken the back of a lot of what is required but the challenges continue and, as we celebrate our 175th year in 2015, we continue to strive to improve and develop the site to ensure a lasting legacy for generations to come. Can I take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported us in all these endeavours and say that, if you would like to make a contribution to this important work, please contact me or call Kathryn Forro on 020 7535 0259.