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Merger Vote Results

September 25, 2016

Earlier today, Sunday 25th September, members of Woodford Liberal Synagogue voted either by post, proxy or in person at an extraordinary general meeting on a motion to dissolve the existing community in favour of forming a new community with Bet Tikvah. At the same time, members of Bet Tikvah Synagogue voted on a similar motion at their own extraordinary general meeting. The results of both votes were announced at the end of the meetings, they have been sent to WLS members by email and letters will also be sent to members – the text of email/letter is reproduced below:

Dear Members and Friends

I am writing to confirm the results of the separate votes today by the members of Woodford Liberal Synagogue and Bet Tikvah Synagogue.

The requisite majority of the members of BOTH synagogues HAVE VOTED IN FAVOUR of forming a new community together. Consequently, Woodford Liberal Synagogue and Bet Tikvah Synagogue will, in due course, dissolve and we will unite as single community from 1 January 2017.The details of today’s vote was as follows:

No. of votes to form a new community (excluding void/spoiled ballot papers) No. of votes to continue as separate communities  (excluding void/spoiled ballot papers)
Woodford Liberal Synagogue 129 votes (81%)*

* 75% required under WLS’s constitution

30 votes (19%)
Bet Tikvah
128 votes (86%)*

* 66.67% required under BT’s constitution

20 votes (14%)

For those of you who voted in favour of forming a new community, thank you for supporting the recommendation of your rabbi and synagogue council. Your decision means that we are about to start an exciting new chapter for all liberal Jews in East London and West Essex. We will be one of the largest Liberal communities in the country led by two highly respected rabbis and I genuinely believe that ‘the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts’.

To those members who voted to remain independent, I would like to reach out and ask you to give the unification of the two communities a chance to develop and find its way over the next few years. The opinions of all our members remain important to us.

We welcome contributions from all members of the new community, starting with suggestions for the name.

There is much work for us to do to prepare for 1 January 2017, more of which you hear about in regular updates from the MPMC, the first of which we aim to publish in the next 7 days.

This has, ultimately, been a rewarding process with an outcome which I believe will mean your synagogue will be stronger and more secure, but without losing the identity and values which we have developed and cherished at Woodford over many years.This decision should also allow us, as we should do at this time of year, to focus our attention on the High Holy Days.

It will be a very special New Year.  Shana Tovah.

Jonny Hurst, Chair

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