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Jewish Communal Centre in London Opened: Absence of Communal Centre in World-kehillah Like Ours Long

No scheme in recent years has met with such whole-hearted approval, and called forth such widespread enthusiasm throughout the metropolis and beyond as the Jewish Communal Centre, the Chief Rabbi, Dr. J. H. Hertz, said, when he consecrated this evening the Jewish Communal Hall in London, erected at a cost of £75,000 to house the principal institutions in Anglo-Jewry, Jews’ College, the United Synagogue, the Jewish memorial Council, the Board of Deputies, the Anglo-Jewish Association, the Jewish Religious Education Board, the Education Aid Society, the Union of Jewish Women, the Jewish Health Organisation, the B’nai B’rith, the Jewish Students’ Common Room, and a Jewish Museum.

The building was formally declared open by Mr. Lionel de Rothschild, President of the United Synagogue, who also unveiled a portrait of the late Sir Adolph Tuck, who devoted his life to Jews’ College and Jewish religious education, and Mrs. Lionel de Rothschild unveiled a portrait of the late Mrs. J. H. Hertz.

Both the leaders and the rank and file of our institutions warmly welcomed the idea, the Chief Rabbi went on, and looked forward with eagerness to its speedy realisation. And to-day, when we are assembled to consecrate this magnificent edifice to its high purposes, a feeling of exultation animates us, and we repeat the Hallel words: “This is the day the Lord hath made; we will be glad and rejoice thereon”.

The absence of a Communal centre in a world-Kehillah like ours had long been a cause of astonishment to many. That reproach is now rolled away. Thanks to the vision of the Chairman of Jews’ College, the leadership of the President of the United Synagogue and the energy of the Chairman of the Jewish Memorial Council, London, too, is now in possession of a central home for its main religious, educational and social endeavours; a Home worthy of the mother community of Greater Britain. The opening of this central home is not only a landmark in the history of Metropolitan Jewry, but a manifestation of its resolve to continue on the lines of its best traditions.

More and more we have come to see that without unity the ship of Anglo-Jewry would not be able to weather the storms that are threatening and will for many a year continue to threaten its existence. Fragments might survive here and there, but they would be fragments of a wreck; scattered planks and spars, instead of a noble vessel carrying all its valuable treasure to its Divine destination. Viewed in this light, the establishment

of a Jewish Communal centre fills us with hope and encouragement. In the very nature of things it will tend to focus all institutions dwelling under its roof towards one goal, and prove a unifying and strengthening influence. The centre thus stands forth as a symbol of unity in Communal endeavour.

Mr. Lionel de Rothschild in declaring the building open said that £75,000 had been spent on the building, to which Jews’ College provided £20,000; the United Synagogue £10,000; the Rose Hertz Memorial Committee £1,800, and they had had to borrow £43,200. If we cannot come out with an appeal immediately, he said, we hope that generous donors will come forward.

Mr. de Rothschild paid tribute to the many who had helped, particularly the family of the late Sir Adolph Tuck, Sir Robert Waley Cohen, Sir Edward Stern, Mr. B. Fersht, and Mrs. Cecil Roth.

Sir Reginald Tuck returned thanks for the tribute paid to the work and memory of his late father. We are proud to think, he said, that this spacious hall (the Adolph Tuck Hall) will always bear his name; we are happy to know that his protrait will hang upon these walls and we are inspired by the belief that Jews’ College will never cease to remember him. If he could have been asked in what manner his communal labours might fittingly be commemorated he would have said that he preferred to be thought of with affection within the precincts of Jews’ College. In a life devoted to work of many kinds, both public and private, it can be said that his chief love was Jews’ College.

Mrs. Lionel de Rothschild unveiled the portrait of the late Mrs. Hertz in the Rose Hertz Hall.

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