Finnish President Attends Dedication of Helsinki Jewish Center

Finnish President Urho K. Kekkonen was the guest of honor at a ceremony here today dedicating a new $345,000 community center building, to serve this city’s 1,300 Jews. Construction of the new building was made possible with the help of a long-term loan of $45,000 from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, a Finnish Government grant of $15,000, and the gift of the land by the Helsinki municipality. The remainder of the funds were raised locally.

Other notables attending the dedication ceremonies included B. Gusler, United States Ambassador to Finland; Yehuda Golan, Israel’s Minister to Finland; Charles Jordan, overseas director of the JDC; I. Davidkin, president of the Helsinki Jewish community and Dr. Kurt Wilhelm, Chief Rabbi of Stockholm.

Built after many years of delay, due to difficulties in solving the formidable financial problem, the new structure brings together under one roof various facilities, including a kindergarten, a nine-room school, a penthouse home for the aged, community offices and a ritual bath. The building also contains a bomb shelter in the basement.

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