Brady Maccabi club closure hits Masorti shul

By Marcus Dysch, January 29, 2009

One of the country’s oldest Jewish youth clubs is set to close next month, leaving community groups and a Masorti synagogue temporarily homeless.

Staff at the Brady Maccabi centre in Edgware, north west London, were told only last week that the building would close on February 27.

Two administrators and two youth development workers may lose their jobs, and events scheduled for March are likely to be cancelled.

Brady Maccabi was set up more than 100 years ago, and moved to its current premises in 1979.

It is home to more than a dozen football teams and its facilities include a dance studio, basketball courts, computer room and theatre. It also hosts social events for children up to the age of 14.

The Kol Nefesh Masorti (KNM) community holds weekly Shabbat services at the centre.

KNM convener Mike Fenster said: “We have been holding services in Brady Maccabi’s building for almost nine years. We were told by Brady in a telephone call on Monday that we would have to be out by February 27 and that a letter would follow.

“We are both surprised and disappointed at the lack of notice and absence of any consultation between Brady and KNM. We don’t have another building into which we can just move at a moment’s notice”.

One parent whose children use the centre said: “I understand that with the [facilities offered by] Jewish schools, Jewish youth movements are dying. But there are things the club still offers and yet it is being pulled so quickly.”

Brady Maccabi’s senior citizens’ club meets two afternoons a week and runs entertainment sessions and day trips. Jewish Care and the Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade regularly organise events at the centre.

Maccabi GB chairman Stuart Greenberg said: “Obviously we are terribly sad and it’s with regret we see the club closing. Hopefully when suitable new premises are found in due course the club will reopen.”

He said it was not clear what would happen to the Manor Park Crescent building nor would he elaborate on the reasons for the club’s closure.

Last updated: 11:44am, February 3 2009