AN EXAMINATION OF STAKEHOLDER INVOLVEMENT IN THE CONSERVATION OF TWO HISTORIC TORONTO SYNAGOGUES
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Type of Work174 p.
ProgramMA in Historic Preservation
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SubjectsAt-risk religious buildings
Historic Toronto synagogues
Stakeholder analysis techniques
Historic preservation -- Theses
This thesis postulates that stakeholders of underused historic religious structures are found among the following four groups: current and former congregants; the local neighbors; community organizations, whether cultural, religious or heritage; and public officials, both local and provincial. The thesis further asks: Are some stakeholders more important than others in determining the future of these at-risk buildings? For this thesis I examine the conservation of two historic Toronto synagogues, the Beach Hebrew Institute, and the Rodfei Sholem Anshei Kiev (commonly called the Kiever), during the 1970s and 1980s, and the involvement of multiple stakeholders in their continued existence. Using archival data, supplemented with stakeholder interviews where possible, I explore the application of strategic management concepts to an analysis of stakeholder involvement in heritage conservation. I also present a subjective assessment of the changing relative status (crowd, subjects, context setters, and players) of stakeholders over a twenty year period. My research identified a core group of long-time members that was strongly motivated to retain the property. But, in both cases, the congregation needed help to undertake urgent repairs and upgrades to its building. There were other stakeholders who played a role in ensuring that the properties continue to be functioning synagogues in 2016: congregants, neighbors, community organizations and public officials. Stakeholders differ in two significant characteristics, namely, interest and power. Not all stakeholders were equal, nor did their interest and power remain static over time. Stakeholder engagement is a dynamic process, influenced by each other’s actions, as well as the overall process.