As the Jewish community prepares to celebrate Chanukah, The King has visited JW3, a Jewish community centre that is open to all faiths and acts as a hub for the arts, culture, social action and learning in North London.
Founded by Dame Vivien Duffield DBE, JW3 opened in October 2013 with a vision of a vibrant, diverse, unified British-Jewish community, inspired by and engaged with Jewish arts, culture, learning and life.
During the visit, His Majesty learnt about the centre’s work by hearing from young people taking part in the programmes offered by JW3, and met volunteers who dedicate their time to delivering activities on site.
As part of the visit, The King also attended JW3’s annual pre-Chanukah reception for Holocaust survivors who attend the centre regularly for social and education programmes.
On arrival at JW3, His Majesty met students from a local school as they wrap gifts to be donated by JW3 volunteers within the surrounding community for both Chanukah and Christmas.
The King will then meet students taking part in a Hair and Beauty Therapy BTEC class as part of the centre’s Gateways programme, a unique education and vocational scheme that supports vulnerable young people at risk.
In the JW3 kitchen, His Majesty met volunteers who were preparing and packaging meals to be distributed through the centre’s food bank programme. In 2020, JW3 opened a food bank for people across Camden and has delivered the equivalent of 275,000 meals to date.
Currently, JW3 provides approximately 200 bags of essentials a week and over 2,200 meals for local residents in need. This quantity is increased around special times of the year such as Chanukah and Christmas, to ensure that no families go without food.
The King then joined a pre-Chanukah reception that was hosted on site for Holocaust survivors, which is held at JW3 every year in the run-up to Chanukah.
Following this, His Majesty unveiled a commemorative plaque on departure, before visiting another of the centre’s social action partnerships, The Bike Project, which collects donations of second-hand bikes, before refurbishing and donating them to refugees and asylum seekers around London to enable easy and affordable travel around the city.