Calgary woman losing battle to save synagogue
A Calgary woman says she's reached the end of the road in her battle to save one of the city's first synagogues in the community of Mission.
The Sharrey Tzedec Synagogue is slated to be torn down for a new residential development, but some people who wanted to save the building say a piece of the city’s cultural history will be lost forever.
"This is a building of province wide significance," said Irena Karshenbaum. "It's the only example of its kind. Once it is lost, it is lost forever."
The building doesn't have a historical designation from the city, so Calgary's Subdivision and Development Appeal Board denied Karshenbaum's appeal, arguing she couldn't prove she would be negatively affected by the new development — the only grounds for an appeal in this case.
Even a letter from Calgary MP Jason Kenny asking to save the building, couldn't sway the board.
This is a devastating day for heritage in Calgary," Karshenbaum said. "This is a terrible decision that has been made."
Paul Finkleman was married in Sharrey Tzedec, which he says is a place that holds special memories for him.
"This is the chuppah — you get that for the Jewish wedding, it's specially built there," Finkleman said.
Finkleman says the Jewish Historical Society would love to see the building stay, but he and others have made peace with its destruction.
A special ceremony was also held last month, giving members of the community a chance to say goodbye.
Others are hoping the developer might keep part of the building in its future plans.
As it stands now, the developer's plans include a commemorative plaque honouring the synagogue.