New hub in Temple Fortune offers support for families in need
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New hub in Temple Fortune offers support for families in need

London Jewish Family Centre offers family support, children's therapy, single parents, parents with autistic children or on child protection plans; those struggling with stress or cash issues

The Kushner family at the opening of the Children's Therapy Room in memory of Hayley Kushner
The Kushner family at the opening of the Children's Therapy Room in memory of Hayley Kushner

A complex for struggling Jewish familes has opened a new centre to meet the demand created by a crisis in support for them.

The 23-year-old London Jewish Family Centre (LJFC) has opened a new and expanded facility in Temple Fortune, and is spearheading a campaign to help.

Its new hub was officially opened on Tuesday 17 May at The Old Sorting Office, St Georges Road, in the presence of the Mayor of Barnet, Cllr Alison Cornelius.

The launch gave staff the opportunity to showcase its Family Support Services, and for the dedication of the Children’s Therapy Room by the Kushner family in memory of Hayley Kushner.

Cllr Alison Cornelius at the opening

A climbing wall and new play equipment was dedicated by the Freilich Family in memory of a beloved grandmother, Mindi Smith.

A statement from the centre said: “There is a huge crisis facing Jewish families in the UK, with over 250 families needing access to essential services including advocacy with the police for victims of domestic abuse, supervised contact handover for children of divorced parents and social services intervention for urgent crisis.

“There is also a core need for a culturally-appropriate place for children to meet with friends, get support for single mothers and mothers with autistic children or who are on child protection plans; families where parents are struggling with mental and emotional health and financial issues.”

Sandy Weinbaum, founder and director of the LJFC said: “The centre has reached a watershed moment where the community can see and understand the scope of the Family Support Services run by the Centre. We are grateful for peoples’ support, and your donations are helping save lives.

“Many families want a culturally-appropriate place to come and meet their friends.

“The recent closure of social service facilities and shortage of social workers has magnified the need for help with some of the most at-risk family situations in the UK’s Jewish community. We are here to help.

“We are launching the Centre’s crowdfunding campaign which will take place at the end June, to help continue and grow these essential services. Right now there is no government funding, and our services are run entirely on donations. We would like to raise £200,000 to allow these services to continue and provide essential help to Jewish families in London who face incredibly great challenges.”

In addition, the centre is looking to spread awareness of its other services, which include adult and child Therapy; emotional support; advocacy with social services, the police and schools; court mandated contact and handover facilities and legal advocacy. All of this has increased in the wake of covid and beyond.

The matching funds campaign is on the 26-27 June. Donate on those dates at www.charityextra.com/ljfc . Donations are always welcome on https://www.ljfc.com/donate.

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