Rare lots auctioned to buy new cemetery land for Belsize Square Synagogue

Some of the volunteers who organised the 'Night of Promises,' Belsize Square Synagogue Auction,pictu

Some of the volunteers who organised the 'Night of Promises,' Belsize Square Synagogue Auction,pictured Dilys Tausz,Steven Bruck & Deborah Blackburn - Credit: Nigel Sutton

A private performance by Zippos Circus or a dedication in a children’s book by a well known author are just some of the lots on offer at an auction to raise money so Belsize Square Synagogue can buy new cemetery land.

Money raised at the glitzy auction - which will be catered by a MasterChef winner - will go towards the purchase of new cemetery land for the synagogue and the Rays of Sunshine Charity, which helps children who are seriously ill go on holiday.

Tom Nathan, who is chairman of the auction committee and organised more than 100 donations, said: “Some of these things at the auction, money can’t buy.”

Also on offer is work experience in law, medicine or PR, a pretzel a day for a year and tickets to watch an Eric Clapton concert from the Royal Box.

“The biggest ticket item is the circus, which is worth £1800, and you can have one performance, or you can split it into smaller performances for weddings or bar-mitzvahs,” said Mr Nathan.

“And then people in the community have also donated things like baking a cake, or doing babysitting.”

All items will be open for bidding online a week before the auction on Friday (February 1), and a former Sotheby’s auctioneer will be selling off the most valuable of items at the dinner.

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The organisers hope to raise more than £18,000, most of which will be used to pay back the urgent purchase of land at Edgwarebury Cemetery.

The new land near the graveyard in Edgware will provide enough space for another 80 years.

Steven Bruck, who is former chairman of the synagogue and was instrumental in arranging the purchase, said that the new space will provide a peaceful and tranquil place for family members to be buried.

“A synagogue or church is there for all the landmark occasions,” he said.

“Although the cemetery is here for the sorrowful times, we want something that brings contentment in a place where families can visit the graves.

“It brings it back to the community.”

He added: “My father was buried in the cemetery. He was a refugee from Nazi Germany so for me it was quite important.

“His mother died in Auschwitz and had no grave.

“There’s a whole history of the desecration of graves, so for us as a community, it is important to be buried in peace and tranquillity.”

To see the brochure and find out how to place a bid go to www.nightofpromises.co.uk