THE combination of a steadily growing congregation, and a shortage of indoor space in its one-storey synagogue built in 1960, has led Cremorne Shule to find a solution in the form of a $478,000 building upgrade.
Its recently lodged development application to North Sydney Council proposes an 80 square metre mezzanine level in the rear of the building, to be used for child-minding during regular services, small group bible study classes, and a library.
Other upgrade features include a stairwell and a lift, improved existing and new fire exits, an additional storage area on the ground floor, and a larger kitchen.
The shule’s rabbi, Chaim Koncepolski, told The AJN last week, “We’ve been planning this for a long time, because we don’t have much space for supervised children’s activities and also for classes.
“Our shule is basically just one big room, and while we’ve managed to squeeze the most out of it, this upgrade project, by creating an extra new space, will make such a difference.
“It will be a quantitative shift for our community, and a much-needed one.”
According to documents within the development application, noise levels from activities in the new mezzanine level “will be minimal”, and by maintaining the existing type of building, and its current limited use, the proposal “will continue to maintain acoustic and privacy amenities to the nearby residential neighbourhood”.
It will also “have a positive social effect in the area, by providing additional and safer community facilities to the local Orthodox Jewish community”.
Rabbi Koncepolski said while a government grant will be applied for, the shule is already committed to delivering the upgrade.
“We are very lucky that our shule has dedicated and talented board members managing its finances, enabling projects like this to be carried out,” he said.
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