Doors open at London's new Jewish community center

Members of the British capital's Jewish community celebrate the launch of the new center, which aims to invigorate Jewish life as well as catering to the local community and other faiths.

JW3 Launch 370 (photo credit: Blake Ezra Photography)
JW3 Launch 370
(photo credit: Blake Ezra Photography)
London’s new Jewish community center held a day of festivities on Sunday to mark its opening.
Events throughout the day included krav maga, a musical puppet show for youngsters and a screening of Woody Allen’s film Midnight in Paris, before a celebratory launch party in the evening, featuring a performance by Israeli band Hadag Nahash.
Launch events are scheduled to continue through Monday, including a playgroup for children, a session on Jewish ethics, a Hebrew calligraphy program and a cookery workshop.
The new center is the brainchild of Dame Vivien Duffield, who was inspired by her visit to similar community centers in the US and gave £25 million to realize the project, the largest ever single donation in the history of the London Jewish community. The center – known as JW3 – is located in the heart of the British capital on Finchley Road.
With the principle of inclusiveness at its heart, the center is modeled on the Jewish community centers in cities across America.
Those centers host an array of events and activities for all ages that invigorate Jewish life, while also catering to the local community and other faiths.
Amenities at JW3 include a 60-seat screening room; a kosher café, bar and restaurant; a multipurpose hall for functions and performances; an arts and crafts studio; dance and rehearsal rooms; meeting rooms; a demonstration kitchen; and a nursery providing 85 places.