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Synagogue in Sunderland, England



Sunderland was home to a community primarily descended from Lithuanian Jews who immigrated to the area in the mid to late 19th century. The community reached its zenith in the 1960s of around 1,500 and it played an important part in the city helping to found Sunderland University and producing two Mayors.


The art deco Sunderland Synagogue was built in 1928 and achieved Grade 2 listed status in 1999. The community declined as a result of a level of economic decline in the region and the synagogue closed in 2006, falling into private ownership.


The Challenge


Once the building ceased to function as a Synagogue, it has been lying empty and its condition has been deteriorating. Squatters for a time entered the site and it has been subject to some vandalism.


The Plan


Former members of the Sunderland Jewish community have been considering the Synagogue’s future and there are proposals as to what could become of the building if it was to be adapted to serve a new purpose. The idea of undertaking a Feasibility Study to fully explore the options has been put forward.

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