Scottish queer-friendly Jewish community wants to use an abandoned former Orthodox synagogue


(JTA) — A Scottish-Jewish Liberal congregation with many members who are queer is seeking the reopening of an abandoned synagogue that was built in 1926 for Orthodox worshippers from Eastern Europe.

The BBC reported Friday on the push to reopen the Langside Synagogue by Irn-Ju, a Jewish collective based in Scotland in the north of the United Kingdom that represents multiple Liberal denominations.

The group, which says it attracts dozens of participants for some of its activities, has emerged in recent years as attendance at the synagogue they wish to inhabit dwindled, forcing it to close in 2014. It was sold to private owners, who were not named.

There is “a resurgent Jewish community in Glasgow and in Govanhill that needs a space,” Joe Isaac, a member of the group told BBC. The group’s members, who Isaac said now host religious ceremonies in their homes, are “dying for a permanent site” like the synagogue, “one that is beautiful like that and made for a Jewish community.”

An open letter to the synagogue owners asking for it to be reopened had more than 800 signatures, the report said.

The group wrote that “Langside Synagogue is under threat: private property developers are trying to turn it into flats.”

The building does not appear to be listed for preservation, but the Foundation for Jewish Heritage deems it to have a “regional” significance level of 2 out of 4.

The BBC article included neither a reaction from the owners nor from local authorities.

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