Emanuel Progress Report

March 21, 2012 by Community Editor
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In 2010 Sydney’s Emanuel Synagogue obtained development consent for a major redevelopment of its Woollahra site, including the creation of a new second sanctuary, preschool, education spaces, and an administration and office building, all surrounded by beautiful and flexible outdoor spaces.

President Rodney Brender reports on progress

The Synagogue launched the fundraising for this project at the 2011 High Holy Days, which consists of tax deductible donations and “seat sales”. The community has responded generously so far. We are thrilled to announce that we are more than half way to our target.

The main sanctuary is not being replaced or extensively renovated. However new, comfortable, seats have been selected, ordered and will be in place for the High Holy Days this year. Seats are available for purchase, and current seatholders have priority until 31 May 2012. Membership fees are unaffected by the decision about whether to purchase seats. There will be plenty of unallocated seating for all members attending the High Holy Days.

Contingent on continued strong support from all members in the next few months, the board has decided to commence retaining the professional consultants and contractors necessary to head towards commencement of construction in early 2013. The board wishes to emphasise that each step of the way will be subject to available funds, so we reiterate that the decision to proceed will be reviewed regularly and the project remains dependent on that continued support.

The first phase of the redevelopment will affect the rear of the site, including demolition of parts of the Preschool. It is expected that the construction will take at least 12 months. During the construction period the Preschool and its staff will continue to provide its superb educational programme to our children. The Synagogue and the Preschool stand as one to achieve this outcome and have been working together to ensure the best possible outcome for the Preschool during the construction period and beyond. The Preschool will continue to operate on the synagogue site (in a portion which will not be affected by this first phase of the construction) during the construction period.

It is intended that the main sanctuary and the Neuweg sanctuary, as well as the office, will also continue to operate as usual during the first phase of construction.

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