Since the museum opened in 1985 it has informed the wider Irish community in Ireland and thousands of visitors from around the world about the Irish Jewish experience and Jewish cultural history. It has welcomed large numbers of school groups to explore history and religion from another perspective and has served as a beacon for cultural diversity.
The museum has reached a point where substantial redevelopment is required to meet exacting museum standards of exhibition, security, the basic facilities of a cultural institution including disability access, and to present itself in a more modern light.
While it is imperative to preserve the synagogue (dating back over a century) and the unique atmosphere of the museum, there is an urgent need for upgrading, improving and expanding the premises. Additional space is needed to store, maintain, conserve, enhance and extend the museum collection and to provide a library resource centre with educational and research facilities. Further exhibition space and an area dedicated to the promotion of Holocaust education and awareness is a necessity.
The plan is to demolish and incorporate the adjoining derelict building, no. 5 Walworth Road, the freehold of which has been vested in the museum. It is intended to provide for the preservation and upgrading of the old synagogue and museum in no’s 3 & 4, with a new entrance atrium in number 5, accommodating a security lobby, traffic circulation to all the museum’s various functions with a new staircase and exhibition space in number 3 – 5. Crucially, there will be space allotted for archival and artefact storage.
The preserved restored and upgraded synagogue and exhibition, including the old kitchen, will have an atrium at the rear with access to an external garden and link up with the new space in no. 5. The new plan incorporates wheel-chair access and provision for additional emergency exit at the rear through the garden.
An impressive panel of engineers, quantity surveyors and architects has been consulted and advised on the planned project for the future of the museum. We look forward to working with all interested parties to ensure the sustainability of the museum and we welcome your support.