Jewish Heritage Casework Policy

The Principles that guide our Casework Committee

1. Casework will have a key role in the undertakings of Jewish Heritage UK.

2. In its casework Jewish Heritage will  aim to achieve the protection, conservation, and appreciation of buildings, structures, facilities, artefacts and designs of merit, which are within the architectural  and cultural heritage of Anglo-Jewry, of all architectural and design styles, from ancient buildings through to the present day.

3. Jewish Heritage will adopt a conservation-led approach to its casework.

4. Jewish Heritage will only intervene in any situation where there is dispute or conflict regarding the appropriate treatment of a Jewish community heritage asset in order to secure the proper protection and conservation of that asset for the public benefit, and not to support any particular party to that dispute.

5. Jewish Heritage will seek to secure the long term and sustainable future for the buildings with which it is concerned. (In the majority of cases this future will need to be an economically viable one, without public subsidy.) In pursuing this objective Jewish Heritage  recognises the following principles:

  • Firstly, any scheme must be compatible with the proper protection and preservation of the special architectural interest and quality of the building.
  • Secondly, sustainable future use will often involve a building ceasing to be used for purposes connected with the Jewish Community.
  • Thirdly, use of a redundant synagogue as a place of worship by other faith communities may sometimes be the preferred option for new use.

6. Jewish Heritage recognises that there are sometimes conflicts between the desire to reinstate the original architectural form or design intention of a building and its objective of retaining historic fabric. In these circumstances a balanced appraisal of the merits of the case will be made. Original documentary evidence of the design or appearance of the building will be drawn upon to inform the decision-making process or conservation philosophy.

7. In general, Jewish Heritage will strive to ensure the retention of the original physical fabric of a building. We support the principles of respecting “consecutive authenticity” and of “conservative repair”.  We however recognise that there will be a need to draw a balance when deciding how best to upgrade a building to meet modern health and safety, access, and environmental requirements.

8. Jewish Heritage will always endeavour to make well-argued, consistent recommendations both for proposals for new Listings and for Casework decisions.

9. Jewish Heritage  will not expect to comment on all cases brought to its attention, but will concentrate its efforts on those:

  • most likely to result in the loss or irretrievable damage of a building deemed important to its remit
  • where it considers its intervention and advice will bring greatest benefit to the protection of the heritage asset
  • where a wider issue of policy is at stake

10. Jewish Heritage will aim to generate positive publicity through its Casework in the printed and broadcast media and on-line.

11. Where possible Jewish Heritage will support and make common cause with national amenity societies, local amenity groups, or other responsible organisations who are engaged in endeavouring to secure the protection and conservation of a Jewish community heritage asset.


Adopted at a meeting of the Trustees of Jewish Heritage UK on 14th November  2007