Golders Green Synagogue held a special reception on Sunday May 15 to dedicate its newly renovated programming and social spaces to the memory of two former stalwarts of the community, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks zt”l and Jonathan Davies z”l.
Rabbi Sacks was the community’s rabbi between 1978 and 1982 and returned to Golders Green with Lady Elaine after his retirement in 2013. Lady Elaine continues to be a cherished member of the community. Jonathan Davies was the community’s financial representative for many years and gave countless hours of his time to the community’s great benefit. Following his passing in 2021, Jonathan left a generous legacy to the community, which helped to kickstart the building project.
The opening of the new programming and social spaces is the culmination of an ambitious building project to completely restore and refurbish the dilapidated Grade II Listed building and create brand new spaces at the rear of the upstairs gallery and to accommodate a growing membership and youth provision needs. The community raised £270,000 for the project through generous donations and legacies.
The reception was attended by Lady Elaine Sacks and Neil Davies, brother of Jonathan Davies, as well as members of the Shul leadership and community. Mezuzot were installed by Rabbi Dr Harvey Belovski, senior rabbi of the community, and Naomi Verber, who designed and led the building and renovation project.
The Rabbi Lord Sacks Atrium and the Jonathan Davies Room will be put to immediate use for children’s programmes on Shabbat and Yom Tov. This unique, beautiful space will also be available in due course for other events and function hire.
I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to complete this ambitious renovation project, which has completely transformed our tired and dilapidated Grade II Listed building into a sanctuary of great beauty and splendour. Dedicating some of our new space to Rabbi Lord Sacks and Jonathan Davies has brought extra meaning to the project, enabling us to recognise their extraordinary contribution to our community over many years
It was a great privilege to place mezuzot on the entrances to our new spaces, dedicated to the memories of my teacher Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, an outstanding leader of our community and world Jewry and our former treasurer and loyal servant of our community, Jonathan Davies. These new spaces, together with the striking redecoration throughout the building, enhance the community’s provision and contribute to its multi-faceted role at the heart of Golders Green.