Charles and Camilla to open Krakow centre

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are to open a new Jewish community centre in the Polish town of Krakow that has been funded and built by World Jewish Relief.

The April 29 ceremony will be the culmination of a £700,000 project that started when the Prince visited the town in 2002 and came back determined to help the remnants of its ageing Jewish population.

His aides were put in touch with the WJR, based in Camden, North London. Discussions with the Prince produced a plan to build a community centre that would serve both the elderly and a growing population of younger Poles who were beginning to rediscover their Jewish roots.

The seal was set on the partnership of Prince Charles and the charity when the Prince decided to put some of his own money into the project.

WJR chair Nigel Layton said: “We are honoured and delighted that the royal couple will be joining us for this momentous occasion and we are grateful to them for their wonderful support of WJR throughout this project.”

The centre will provide facilities across three-and-a-half floors. It will include day care for the elderly, multi-function rooms that can be used for both small and large events, state-of-the-art computer facilities including an internet café and much more.

It has been built in the grounds of the Tempel synagogue, a cathedral shul which has itself undergone renovation, along with much of the town’s Jewish quarter of Kazimierz.

The project will be the second community centre completed by the charity. In 2004, under its “Our Town” banner, WJR opened a community centre in Zaporozhe in the Ukraine with a second in the planning stage. Prince Charles has been guest of honour at two WJR annual dinners, in 2003 and again last year.

    Last updated: 3:11pm, June 8 2008