Clapton Federation Synagogue

(Sha'are Shomayim)

Clapton, London E5




Page created: 24 December 2014
Latest revision or update: 28 December 2014

Press Report relating to the Clapton Federation Synagogue


Hackney Gazette, 9 August 2006

Syngled out

Clapton Synagogue lies in ruins, the latest casualty of a developer's feeding frenzy which now passes for regeneration in the borough of Hackney.

The synagogue, which features in Nikolaus Pevsner's famous work of reference for architectural historians "The Buildings of England", was a locally listed building and was being considered by English Heritage for national listing.

Built in 1931, the only London example of the work of architect Marcus Glass, the building was a lasting testament to the Jewish families who contributed to the beautiful decoration of its interior.

In the surrounding streets lived many Jewish families, some of whom were to go on to make a major impact on the life of the nation. Amongst them were Sir Jack Cohen, the founder of Tesco, and Harold Pinter, the world famous dramatist.

Now the building has been razed to the ground. Where are the synagogue's library of valuable books rescued from the Nazi book burnings? Where are the stained glass windows, chandeliers, and the ornate and wonderful Ark. All torn out by an owner eager to profit from building another mediocre multi-storey block of flats.

The demolition of Clapton Synagogue heralds the beginning of what threatens to be Hackney's Olympic legacy - the destruction of identity and character and the eradication of community heritage.

Julia Lafferty
Ickburgh Road, E5

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