‘It was not ever viable’

The decision to shelve plans for the full redevelopment of the JCC’s site has led to fresh questions as to whether a new building is necessary at all.

Walter Goldsmith, vice-president of the Jewish Music Institute and chair of the Simcha on the Square festival, is among those who believe that the JCC should remain a “virtual” centre, organising events in different venues.

He said: “Their programming seems to be very good and well-supported. I don’t see why they need a building.”

Allan Morgenthau, vice-president of the London Jewish Cultural Centre, which opened its own premises in Golders Green, North-West London in 2005, said the JCC had done “some brilliant programming, They have put a fresh dynamic into the cultural scene and everyone has benefited from it.”

But, he added, “If they have done so well with virtual programming, it questions the need for London to have another physical building.”

LJCC chief executive Trudy Gold said it “would have cost a phenomenal amount to run” and she had never believed it viable.

    Last updated: 3:54pm, March 2 2009