Plea to Mayor to help in bid to restore ancient synagogue

THE boss of a charity which wants to develop a disused synagogue in London’s East End into a museum of immigration has called for a meeting with the Mayor of London. She wants just 30 minutes to brief Boris Johnson about the plans to develop the terraced building in Spitalfields

By Julia Gregory

THE woman who heads a charity which wants to develop a disused synagogue in London’s East End into a museum of immigration has called for a meeting with the Mayor of London.

She wants just 30 minutes to brief Boris Johnson about the plans to develop the terraced building in Spitalfields.

Susie Symes, who chairs the 19 Princelet Street’ charity, is urging the mayor’s backing and also wants aid from the London Development Agency.

It is extremely frustrating that what we have here in the East End is unique,” she said.


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“The mayor would be amazed how tourists come to visit us. David Bowie came in after seeing us on the website and he rang up his friend Tracey Emin and asked her to visit it with him.”

The Georgian building off Brick Lane is fragile, so visitors have to be limited. Campaigners need £3 million for restoration.

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The disused synagogue, which closed in the early 1960s as the East End’s large Jewish community began moving away, is now known internationally and even has school groups from abroad.

“All I want is to walk across Tower Bridge to City Hall and have half-an-hour with the mayor and make sure he is properly briefed,” added Ms Symes.

The credit crunch might hit the coffers, she fears. She waits to hear if City companies which were making commitments of cash are still able to.

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