Merged JW3/LJCC reveals its opening programme


The London Jewish Cultural Centre and JW3 have published their first joint programme since formally merging last month.

Most of the spring events will now take place at JW3's Finchley Road site, although LJCC's premises will remain open until the end of July for a couple of exhibitions and its language courses.

"Everyone is excited about it," said JW3 chairman Michael Goldstein. "We're delighted that Ivy House Music and Dance is moving over, as well as all the LJCC regulars."

The Gefiltefest festival, which previously ran at Ivy House, will be held this autumn at JW3.

LJCC's Fusion programme for youth will reopen at its new venue after Pesach.

It is hoped that weekly visits to JW3 will now top 5,000

"A few weeks ago, we started minibuses to shuttle people from Ivy House [Golders Green] to Finchley Road to encourage people to come to JW3," Mr Goldstein said.

"I hope that the current average of 4,000 visits a week to JW3 will become over 5,000."

Long-standing LJCC tutors such as Hagai Segal, who will be teaching a new course on political cartoons, will strengthen JW3's educational content. Other course topics include Magna Carta, American presidents and the Vatican and the Jews.

One highlight of a broad programme of arts, food and comedy will be a Friday night dinner with some of the cast of the Channel 4 sitcom Friday Night Dinner.

In the run-up to the elections, there will be hustings for the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency at JW3, and for Finchley and Golders Green at Ivy House.

Since merger was first mooted last June, it had been "a long, complicated and sometimes difficult process", Mr Goldstein said. "Unfortunately, we have lost some people along the way. But that is the inevitable outcome of a merger."

There had been fewer redundancies than first feared, because some people had resigned. The operation now had the equivalent of seven more full-time staff than JW3 had pre-merger.

Former LJCC chief executive Louise Jacobs, deputy chairman of the combined enterprise, saw "a very exciting opportunity for both organisations.

"I think we can create some interesting and innovative programming. Most of our teachers have gone over and the feedback from students is good."

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