AJR Paul Balint Centre

Following the closure of the AJR Centre at the end of 2014, AJR members will now meet at the Sobell Centre, based at Amélie House, 221 Golders Green Road, London NW11 9DQ.

It was with great sadness that the AJR Centre, which met at Belsize Square Synagogue, closed at the end of 2013. Regrettably, despite the best efforts of our dedicated staff and a widening and interesting programme, we were unable to attract a greater audience from amongst our membership. Click here to read an article about the farewell party and to see some pictures.

Sadly, the number of members who attended the Centre had dwindled since we relocated to the Synagogue from Cleve Road in January 2012 to the point that it became very difficult to justify maintaining the service. It is a great shame that more of our members were unable to benefit from the camaraderie and warmth and the unique setting that the AJR Centre offered since its opening in 1987.

However, AJR members are strongly encouraged to come along to the Community Centre, formerly the Sobell Centre, that meets in the new Jewish Care building, Amelie House, in Golders Green. The Community Centre organises many of the same activities, including arts and crafts, a discussion group, painting, exercise classes and a music group, that we offered at Belsize Square and serves freshly prepared hot and cold, non-meat, cooked lunches. Although we have lost the identity of the AJR Centre, we very much hope that our members can feel at home at the Community Centre.

We are mindful that some members might have some difficulty with making the move to the new Centre but, as we have always done, will continue to do everything possible to help make the transition as smooth as possible. We will arrange for a member of staff to initially accompany members and help make the move.

As we have done for members coming to Belsize Square, and before that to Cleve Road, we will continue to transport members to and from the Community Centre for two days a week, and for members who were regular attenders at the AJR Centre we will contribute to any additional costs for them to participate in the new setting.

With the closure of the Centre, we recall the foresight and endeavour of our late President and former Treasurer, Ludwig Spiro, in paving the way for the creation of the AJR Centre as well as the generosity of Dr Paul Balint for his donation to finance the project.

All involved, including our loyal and hard working staff, have played a decisive role to establish and provide a wonderful service to a remarkable community of people that will be fondly remembered and always have a place in our hearts.

Click here to read the announcement made on Wednesday 15 June 2011 advising that the AJR Centre was re-launched at the Belsize Square Synagogue in January 2012. 

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