UJS-Hillel is opening a landmark new student centre in London to meet the growing needs of Jewish students.
The centre — a 4,000 sq ft state-of-the-art premises on the corner of Euston Road and Upper Woburn Place — will replace the existing Hillel House site on Endsleigh Street, which has been sold to University College London for an undisclosed sum.
There are around 1,500 Jewish students in London. The new centre, scheduled to open in September, will aim to engage an increasing number of students in communal activities.
Daniel Marcus, chief executive of UJS-Hillel, said: “There is nothing like this in Anglo-Jewry.
“Students have more choice than ever before and UJS-Hillel realised that to meet such needs, a 21st-century student site was imperative.
“It will be a beacon of which the whole Jewish community can be proud.”
The new facility will incorporate a “Wagamama-style” kosher café featuring long benches; meeting rooms with plasma televisions; computer stations and wireless computer zones; study areas; and a chaplain’s office. The dining room will seat 150 people for Friday-night dinners.
Hillel House London’s residential accommodation will remain at the Hendon site in Harmony Way, North London.
The project, a long-term vision of Sir Victor Blank, the UJS-Hillel chair, is part of a wider initiative to remodel and refurbish Jewish student centres across the UK. New sites have been opened in Nottingham, Bristol and Liverpool, with Leeds next on the agenda.
UJS-Hillel will rent the lower-ground level of the building, which also houses the El Al head offices. Part of the money from the sale of the Endsleigh Street site will go towards the rent.