Margate community comes together to try and buy back historic synagogue – In Your Area

Posted By on December 5, 2020

By Katie Boyden

The Cliftonville synagogue on Godwin Road in Margate, Kent is 91-years-old and plays a huge part in the community's Jewish history.

However, it is set to go under the hammer at Savills in London on December 16 and local residents fear they could lose the building.

So, Save Our Shoul - a group made up of Margate-based artists and educators of Jewish heritage - has launched a fundraising campaign in a bid to buy back the building.

They need to raise 300,000.

The historic building is no longer used as a place of worship, but it's still an important landmark.

A spokesman for Save Our Shoul said: "Now that the Margate Synagogue has ceased to function as a place of worship, we want to prevent it from being snapped up for commercial use and instead, for it to become an inclusive arts and cultural space for the entire local community - a cultural hub which reflects the diversity of Cliftonville's residents, whilst also celebrating and retaining the integrity of the building's Jewish origins.

"There is no multi-arts space of this of this scale in the Thanet area - the nearest is in Canterbury, Whitstable or in Folkestone.

"We want the repurposed space to bring people together to enjoy music, theatre and dance performances, exhibitions and film screenings, food events and workshops. Above all, it will be a place which reflects the diverse roots of the area's residents."

The campaign to save the synagogue has received celebrity endorsement from the likes of actor Miriam Margolyes, musician Imogen Heap, and Oscar-award winning graphic designer and filmmaker Arnold Schwartzman OBE.

Mr Shhwartzman said: "Today I find that at my ripe age of 85 I'm perhaps one of the oldest surviving members of Margate's past thriving Jewish community, an age just a few years short of the laying of the building's foundation stone in 1928.

"With the recent knowledge that the building is to be sold the very institution where my late father was honorary treasurer I feel compelled to champion the efforts being made to assist in procuring the structure for a much needed l

To support the fundraising appeal, visit crowdfunder.co.uk/save-our-shul-margate.

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Margate community comes together to try and buy back historic synagogue - In Your Area

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