Abramovich man funds school
Eugene Shvidler (right) watching Chelsea with Roman Abramovich
A Russian oil billionaire who is a close confidant of Roman Abramovich has been revealed as the primary donor for the £4.2 million rebuilding project at Edgware Jewish Primary School.
EJPS is acknowledging Eugene Shvidler's generosity by changing its name next year to the Beit Shvidler Primary School.
A regular at Chelsea games, Mr Shvidler has backed Jewish schools in Moscow and New York and is also involved in the Ir David Foundation for the preservation of the Old City of Jerusalem.
However, the London-based businessman has not previously contributed to a community project in the UK.
Dalya Levine, six, at play at EJPS
He was approached at the suggestion of a governor in December 2009 and visited the school before offering his support.
EJPS has been operating from temporary premises while its Hale Lane property is rebuilt with state-of-the-art features.
Governors' chair Eddy Breuer-Weil said the ambitious project would not have been possible without the help of Mr Shvidler, the trustees and the Jewish Secondary School Movement. "We are truly grateful for their support," he said. "The generous funding that we have received from near and far is an amazing example of the community coming together."