Jewish cultural centre in Golders Green begins an exciting new chapter

The London Jewish Cultural Centre (LJCC) has welcomed a new head with bold plans to put the whole community at its centre.

Louise Jacobs, former deputy chief executive of the centre in North End Road, Golders Green, has become the new chief executive.

She plans to diversify the centre’s programme of events and particularly focus on youth.

She said: “We are at a really interesting stage of growth and development and I’m really thrilled to be involved.

“I want to bring the LCCJ more into the community as a whole. We have so much to offer with the incredible programming and space we have here.”

The centre has just hosted the Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival, and is currently holding an exhibition of community art.

Next year it will open a specialist youth wing and has recently opened a new kitchen to expand its cookery classes and demonstrations.

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Under Mrs Jacobs, the centre will continue to expand on a huge range of classes and events already available including sushi making, philosophy, and languages as well as Jewish history and culture. She said: “We are answering a demand. It’s great to hear students’ suggestions for new ideas and it’s great when they want to take things on themselves.”

Recently students began running a debating club at the centre.

Mrs Jacobs added: “Jewish people used to identify with their culture only through their synagogue or with Israel, but we’re providing a space apart from that where people can feel comfortable, without focusing on Judaism. “Someone may come to the centre to study photography, and later on study Jewish history. That’s the beauty of it.”

Mrs Jacobs worked in financial public relations for 15 years before joining a family investment company when she began studying part time at the LJCC.

She became more involved in the centre, first becoming first cultural programmer and then deputy chief executive before taking up the position of chief executive. She replaces Trudy Gold, who has become executive director of education and holocaust studies.