Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has praised the new JW3, calling it, like the mezuzah he was affixing at the venue, “glorious on the outside, magnificent on the inside”.
Rabbi Mirvis blessed the mezuzah, designed by renowned sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor, at a ceremony on Tuesday evening.
He said it was a “great, wonderful and historic event for the Jewish community”, and lauded Dame Vivien Duffield, the driving force behind the centre, as a “remarkable person, a truly outstanding role model”. He went on to compare her to God creating the world, saying that she, like God in a midrash, ignored those who argued over whether it was a good idea, and just got on with it.
Sir Anish explained that his stain- less-steel mezuzah took the form of a star of David with a twist.
He said: “It sits on the threshold and I hope it bodes well for all who pass.”
When asked whether he would give workshops at the newly opened centre, he said: “Why not?”
Also attending was Baroness Neuberger, who said she was “bowled over”, while cookery writer Claudia Roden praised the food at the JW3 restaurant, Zest.