22nd August 2020

Environment Consultation opened to list Langside Synagogue

Environment Consultation opened to list Langside Synagogue

Environment

environment The outside of the synagogue

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Langside synagogue is a rare example of a purpose-built synagogue in Scotland

A consultation has been launched to list one of Glasgow’s oldest synagogues.

The Langside Synagogue in Govanhill was built in 1927 to serve the growing Jewish population at that time, but closed six years ago.

There have been calls to reopen the synagogue to serve a newly resurgent Jewish community in the area.

The consultation, which is open until Friday 28 August, asks whether the synagogue should be category C-listed.

Langside Synagogue has been under threat of development since it closed in 2014.

Beth Frieden, from Shawlands near Govanhill, said: “Langside Synagogue would be my local shul if it were still operating today, and I would love to see it restored.”

She added: “My family were Jews from Eastern Europe, and I love that apparently this shul is like synagogues there. My daughter is growing up Jewish in Shawlands, but without a local synagogue.”

The consultation from Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is the latest attempt to save the building, which it says is “of significant social historical interest for what it can tell us about the Jewish Community in Glasgow in the early 20th Century.”

A category C-listed building is one which has a “special architectural or historic interest which are representative examples of a period, style or type.”

It does not prevent a building from being developed or demolished, but it does offer more protection.

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Govanhill’s Jewish community hold services outside the synagogue and in their homes

Langside Synagogue is one of only two Eastern European-style synagogues in the UK.

It has a “traditional immigrant shul interior” with decorative details, woodcarving and wall-painting in a folk-art style that was similar to synagogues in Poland, Ukraine, and Romania, according to the South Glasgow Heritage Environment Trust.

HES notes it is “amongst the earlier surviving examples of its rare building type in Scotland.”

Jewish groups in Govanhill have also called for the reopening of the synagogue, as they are forced to perform religious ceremonies in their homes.

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Only a small number of synagogues dating to the interwar period survive in Glasgow

Luke, who is Jewish and lives in Govanhill, said: “Losing Langside Synagogue would be a tragedy that I worry many non-Jewish people fail to see.”

They added: “It is not only a historical building but a symbol of the area’s cultural heritage.”

A proposed new Jewish café in Govanhill has also reached its fundraising target and is expected to open later this year.

Pink Peacock café would be one of only a handful of kosher cafés and restaurants in Glasgow and the only one in Govanhill.

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