Exploring, Learning, Connecting at the London Jewish Cultural Centre
Over 1,700 people each week come through the doors of the London Jewish Cultural Centre (LJCC), London's leading provider of Jewish education and culture. Ivy House, the Centre's home since 2005 and the former home of Prima Ballerina Anna Pavlova, has become the most exciting Jewish space in London. Independent and inclusive, the Centre offers the broadest range of courses, events and leisure activities throughout the year. Jews and non-Jews of all ages and affiliations engage with Jewish life and heritage, in a welcoming, friendly environment. The Centre has earned its reputation for quality and excellence.
With over 80 courses, lectures and seminars to choose from each term, the Centre's educational programme continues to grow in scope and depth, attracting world renowned speakers and academics. The LJCC also encourages people to search farther afield for their roots, with LJCC historians and guides leading professionally organised walks to places of Jewish interest.
At the heart of the LJCC lies its Holocaust and Anti-Racism Education Department, fighting prejudice through education. LJCC initiatives have been teaching children about the Holocaust in schools across the UK for many years, incorporating personal testimony from over 60 Holocaust survivors who work closely with the Centre. The experience of hearing survivors tell their stories in person has proven to be a very powerful tool in influencing young people against prejudice, standing up for the vulnerable and oppressed. Many survivors are now very elderly and some are frail but their commitment to the task never falters.
On 25th January 2011, the LJCC launched a unique new Holocaust education website, www.theholocaustexplained.org,at the Foreign and Commonwealth office with Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education. The new site provides 11-14 year olds with everything they need to know about the Holocaust. Designed and written to support the National Curriculum in an appropriate and accessible way, the site broke new ground in providing young people with online information, timelines, maps, images, a glossary of over 600 words, and, most importantly, film of survivors telling their stories. The site currently receives over 25,000 hits a month. The second phase of development of the site for children at Key Stage 4 was recently launched in November 2012.
Continuing the work with young people, FUSION, the LJCC's innovative youth programme, offers young people engaging ways to develop new skills and express themselves both individually and collectively through a variety of creative group workshops both in-house and at schools across the Greater London area. Programming includes movie making, graffiti, animation, dance, cookery and podcasting, and in Autumn 2012, the new Catherine Lewis Youth Centre opened at Ivy House to house FUSION activities.
Politicians, journalists, musicians, artists, commentators and international celebrities feature regularly at Ivy House, featuring in the LJCC's popular Cultural and Music & Dance seasons. The Hampstead & Highgate Literary Festival, organised and hosted by the Centre each September, has already become an established fixture on London's literary calendar. The 2013 Festival will take place from 15 - 17 September.
In September 2011, the LJCC launched Art House, the first Community Art Fair at Ivy House. Artists from all over the UK, both established and aspiring, were invited to submit pictures for exhibition to a panel of professional critics, artists and art educators. This year, over 300 entries were submitted, and over 100 pictures were chosen to hang in Ivy House.
The London Jewish Cultural Centre is a hive of activity from morning till night - the community's choice - a Centre for Jewish learning, relaxation and enjoyment.