When David Terret, fundraiser at Nightingale Hammerson, was asked to source a Chanukiah for the Residents of the newly developed Hammerson House, Wohl Campus, he decided to scroll the internet to search for one. However, the cost of a Chanukiah was more than his budget could afford. He had a brain wave: “It suddenly occurred to me to ask Newton Mearns, my old family shul in Glasgow if they could help us”.
After over 70 years of serving the Glasgow community of Newton Mearns, the shul was closing its doors and merging with Giffnock. The large and majestic Chanukiah was gifted to Newton Mearns after the closure of another shul in Glasgow. Some members believe it was Queen’s Park, David’s great grandparents’ shul. Others believe it was Netherlee and Clarkston, David’s grandparents shul. Now the Chanukiah could begin its final journey to London and bring Chanukah to life for the Residents of Hammerson House.
For David, the journey of 850 miles in two days to transport the Chanukiah was full of emotions. His family had been members of the Newton Mearns shul for over 50 years. He celebrated his Bar Mitzvah there, and has memories of Chanukah parties and other many happy occasions.
“I grew up in the Newton Mearns shul community and it felt very special driving up to Glasgow to collect the Chanukiah and bring it back to the Home I now work in as a fundraiser. All the memories came flooding back. I am so thrilled to have it here in Hammerson House”.
This beautiful gift from the Newton Mearns synagogue will be put to good use to celebrate Chanukah in its new home this weekend. Nightingale Hammerson provides compassionate residential, nursing, dementia and palliative care in North and South London.