Friends honoured

A new gymnasium —named in honour of two former active youth members in Kenton — is the centrepiece of a £70,000 refurbishment programme which will act as “a community hub” for north-west London Jews.

Kulanu, formerly the Kenton Youth Centre, celebrated the completion of six months of refurbishments on Tuesday with a reception which was attended by Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, and over 100 others, and included the unveiling of a state-of-the art gymnasium, and sports facilities including a full-size snooker table and table tennis tables.

The two-floor building, which has been installed with new lights and electrics, includes office spaces for Jewish organisations, a boardroom and a function room.

David Judah, chairman of the Kenton Youth Aid Trust which raised money for the project, was instrumental in the decision to “rebrand the centre” two years ago which marked a shift in focus towards “an all-encompassing community facility”.

Mr Judah said: “There’s no such building in north-west London which can offer the range of activities we are offering. “

Ian Pearlman, who helped to raise £12,000 towards the refurbishment, was in attendance to see the unveiling of the gymnasium in honour of his brother Gary and Gary’s friend Paul Rubenstein, who died in a car accident 28 years ago.

Mr Pearlman said: “Myself and my brother Lawrence played football with Gary and Paul in this building, and this is a wonderful tribute to the role they played including their youth leadership in the Kenton community.

“It’s great that people can play five-a-side football and use the leisure facilities.

“This is a fitting legacy for Paul and my brother. It’s fantastic that their contribution hasn’t been forgotten.”

    Last updated: 4:25pm, July 22 2009