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JW3, also known as Jewish Community Centre London, is an arts, culture and entertainment venue, an educational facility and a social and community hub in north London. It is located at 341–351 Finchley Road, London NW3 6ET and opened on 29 September 2013.[1] "Describing itself as a new postcode for Jewish life", the name "JW3" is a wordplay on its postal address, which is in the NW3 postcode area.[1][2]

Vivien Duffield, whose idea it was, contributed £40m of the project's £50m cost – over the 10 years it took to bring it to reality – through the Clore Duffield Foundation.[1][2] It was inspired by her 2003 visit to the Jewish Community Centre in Manhattan, New York.[1][2]

The 35,000 square foot building,[1] which includes a 270-seat auditorium, a 60-seat cinema, a restaurant and bar, a demonstration kitchen, dance studios, classrooms and medical consultation rooms, was designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands.[2] The JW3 campus sits on half an acre of land and includes the community centre/arts venue, an outdoor piazza and a tower block of apartments and offices.

On 17 September 2014 it was announced that JW3 is to merge with the London Jewish Cultural Centre, based at Ivy House in Golders Green. The combined organisation will be housed at JW3.[3]


JW3's chief executive is Raymond Simonson, former Executive Director of Limmud, who succeeded Nick Viner.[2]

JW3 is run by the Jewish Community Centre for London, a charitable organisation that aims to provide a way into, or back into, active Jewish life for all of London’s Jewish community.

Rooted in Jewish values, the organisation runs a wide programme of events that it launched in 2005. These target all members of the community, irrespective of affiliation or level of observance. Held in various venues across London, the programme aims to be inclusive and is not religious, instead using its events to provide a gateway into Jewish life and foster a cohesive community.[4]


The JCC for London is part of the wider and well established JCC Movement. It started in 1854 when the first Young Men’s Hebrew Association opened its doors in Baltimore, Maryland to offer support for Jewish immigrants, help ensure Jewish continuity, and provide a place for celebration.[5] Similar associations opened soon afterwards, serving as libraries, cultural centres, and settlement houses. JCCs now provide services and programmes that seek to build and strengthen Jewish communal life along with Jewish educational experiences to and for Jews of all ages and orientations.

Currently there are over 1,100 JCCs worldwide, including 300 in North America, 180 in the Former Soviet Union, 70 in Latin America, 50 in Europe, and almost 500 smaller centres in Israel.[6]

Events programme[edit]

JW3 runs a programme of social, cultural and educational events[7] that mix audiences, age groups and content, encouraging experimentation with ideas and attempting to engage people in new issues.

Previous arts and culture events have ranged from modern interpretations of art[8] and music gigs (e.g. an Idan Raichel Project concert)[9] to events such as Kvetch choir (the complaints choir) that encourages people to enjoy their own creativity[10][11] and a singalong with the pensioner pop group "The Zimmers".[12]

Books-based events have included discussions on books related to the community, with guest author appearances, and debates on topics such as "Has the Left Lost its Way?".[13]

Social action events have included Mitzvah Day[14] and events such as an initiative in 2007 to bring together Jewish and Muslim communities.[15]

Sounds Jewish podcast[edit]

JW3's monthly podcast, Sounds Jewish, produced in partnership with The Guardian, is a monthly magazine-style programme hosted by Jason Solomons. Each "episode" is about 30 minutes in length and many of them are featured on The Guardian's podcast homepage.[16]

Mitzvah Day[edit]

JW3 has established an annual volunteering day called "Mitzvah Day".[17] Organising volunteering opportunities that make a difference to the local and London communities, over 1,200 volunteers participated in the 2008 Mitzvah Day.[18] The 2007 Mitzvah Day was also part of the much broader Enterprise Week initiative.[19]


  1. ^ a b c d e Piggott, Mark (29 September 2013). "Jewish Cultural Centre JW3 Opens in London". International Business Times, UK edition. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Wainwright, Oliver (24 September 2013). "JW3: is London's latest cultural centre 'a new postcode for Jewish life'?". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Pollard, Stephen (17 September 2014). "JW3 and LJCC set to unite in historic merger". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  4. ^ The JCC's Vision
  5. ^ "The History of the JCC Movement". About Us. JCCA – Jewish Community Centers of North America. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  6. ^ JCCs of North America
  7. ^ JCC London Events Calendar
  8. ^ "Animation To Bring To Life Chagall Paintings". Totally Jewish. 6 September 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Review: Idan Raichel Project / Noa
  10. ^ Fisher, Neil (9 July 2008). "Chorus of disapproval: the complaints choir". The Times. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  11. ^ Kvetch Choir at JCC London – YouTube
  12. ^ Let’s hear it for the Zimmers singing My Generation, The Times Online
  13. ^ Klug, Brian (5 April 2006). "Has the Left lost its way?". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  14. ^ Marks, Laura (11 September 2008). "Good Deeds Know No Religious Boundaries". Totally Jewish. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  15. ^ Doward, Jamie (18 March 2007). "British Muslims extend a friendly hand to Jews". The Observer. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "Sounds Jewish". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  17. ^ Neuberger, Julia (15 November 2008). "Altruism works". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  18. ^ Mitzvah Day
  19. ^ Are you ready for Enterprise Week?, The Times Online

External links[edit]