Exploring, Learning, Connecting at
the London Jewish Cultural Centre
Each week, 1,700 - 2,000 people come through the doors of Ivy House, the London Jewish Cultural Centre's (LJCC), home since 2005. The LJCC, London's leading provider of Jewish education and culture have made Ivy House, formerly home to Prima Ballerina Anna Pavlova, a vibrant cultural hub with a reputation for quality and excellence. Independent and inclusive, the Centre has offered the broadest range of courses, events and leisure activities throughout the year. Jews and non-Jews of all ages and affiliations have been engaging with Jewish life and heritage, in a welcoming, friendly environment.
Recently, it was announced that in the next 12 months LJCC will merge its operation with JW3, London's Jewish Community Centre, and move into their modern, custom built space in Finchley Road. The integration of LJCC knowledge and expertise with JW3's space, facilities and programmes will provide London Jewry with even more outstanding opportunities to learn and enjoy Jewish life. Until the merger is complete it will be 'business as usual' at Ivy House with a full range of courses, events and activities continuing until the end of August 2015.
With over 80 courses, lectures and seminars to choose from each term, the LJCC'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.
In 2013, the LJCC and Holocaust Education Trust reconfigured both organisations' schools provision. HET now facilitate the schools programme while the LJCC offers a full cultural programme to the survivors at Ivy House.
The LJCC also works extensively in Eastern Europe and China. Recent seminars with journalists across Eastern Europe on the responsibility of the media to fight racism have attracted the attention of the FCO and been mentioned in Parliament. In China, in July 2013, the LJCC taught the 1,000th Chinese student about the Holocaust.
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 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 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 2014 Festival will take place from 14th - 16th 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 250 entries were submitted, and over 110 pictures were chosen to hang in Ivy House.
The London Jewish Cultural Centre has made Ivy House a hive of activity from morning till night - the community's choice - a Centre for Jewish learning, relaxation and enjoyment. We look forward to continuing that heritage at JW3.
Louise Jacobs, Chief Executive
Michael Marx, Chairman