A royal occasion for Jewish Care centre in Stepney

23 Jan 2019

HRH, The Duchess of Cornwall visited Jewish Care’s Brenner Centre, located at Stepney Jewish Community Centre at Raine House, today to mark the centre’s 80th anniversary.

She met and chatted to the centres members and later joined them on the dance floor where she linked arms and danced to Chava Negila.

The centre has been at the heart of East London's Jewish community since it was opened by Queen Mary in 1938. The centre offers a warm, relaxed and caring environment, where older people living in the area can meet up with old friends and make new ones.  It is the only remaining Jewish service left in the area today, which is quite a change from 50 years ago, when the East End was the focus of a lively and bustling Jewish community.

92-year-old Lilian Lebby has been visiting the centre since the day it opened told the Duchess; “This place saves my life – it’s my life line”.

On meeting her centre member Marion Davies said; “I am so full of emotion meeting you, I could cry but my eye liner will run”. She spoke to the Duchess about how the centre saves lives; “it’s like my family”.

Lord Levy, Jewish Care’s President thanked The Duchess for coming saying; “What a fantastic occasion. We are so proud of this centre. For you to be here today is so special. The warmth you have showed to each of our ‘21-year-old’ members here today is tremendous. Thank you on behalf of all of us”.

The Duchess spoke briefly before taking to the dance floor saying; “This is one of the most uplifting centres I have ever been to. It is so important to have places like this”.

Photography by Sam Churchill