WA Jewish Community and Holocaust Education Centre update

November 16, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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A special meeting of the Jewish Community Council of WA was held at Perth’s Jewish Centre to inform communal organisations about the new Jewish Community and Holocaust Education Centre (JCHEC).

Marc Adonis, Tony Tate, Sol Majteles, President Holocaust Institute of WA, Simon Millman MLA, member for Mt Lawley, Ben Wyatt MLA, WA Treasurer, Ian Green, Justine Shabarnee, President Maccabi WA, Malcolm Lemer, President Jewish Community Centre, John Schaffer, Jonathan Silbert, David Karotkin, Project Architect. Photo Aug 2020

The audience included representatives from most if not all communal organisations.

The meeting chaired by JCCWA President Joan Hillman.

The Chairman of the committee overseeing the development, Tony Tatebtold the meeting about the history of the current building, the course of events that led to the decision to replace it, and the Federal and State Government grants to help fund a new building. He went on to explain the need for the new building to be self-supporting and the reasons behind the decision to establish a daycare centre to help achieve that end.

As part of his role as the Project Manager Jonathon Silbert took the opportunity to provide the community further detail on all aspects of the new building. With the aid of the most up to date plans he then outlined what the new building comprised, and then answered questions from the floor.   The current plans are continuing to evolve to allow for changes to meet the needs of existing users and communal groups.  Consultations are continuing and the Project Architect, David Karotkin, is responding promptly to each request.

Mr Silbert explained some vital information regarding the new building including:

  • An expected opening of the new building in the first half of 2023.
  • Room will be left on the side next to the Maurice Zeffert Home for future expansion.
  • The ground floor will comprise a multi-purpose function room capable of holding 150 guests – banquet-style with access to the Breckler Gardens a lecture theatre with retractable tiered seating for 100 people that can be opened up to the multi-purpose function room and add an additional 50 to 70 guests in banquet-style seating, an adjoining warming kitchen, numerous program rooms and youth meeting rooms, a multi-purpose activity space with access to the Breckler Gardens, a room for a counsellor for use by Menora Charity Fund/JewishCare, and numerous furniture and equipment store rooms.
  • The first floor is accessible by stairs and a lift and will comprise one person and two person offices and open plan workstations, meeting rooms, a breakout space/waiting areas, and storage areas.
  • There will be layered access control throughout to maximise security both externally and internally.
  • A café accessible to the public to attract passing trade. There will be no access control for entry into the café but it will be protected externally by bollards. There will be no access to the main building from the café.
  • As part of the consultation process with prospective tenants and users, the provision of toilets with universal access (for wheelchairs) and general toilets will be built to a standard in excess of normal building code requirements.
  • The Holocaust Education Centre on the ground floor will be at the front of the building. Consultants for the design of the interior are yet to be chosen.

Mr Silbert said the childcare centre will not be funded through money given for the JCHEC.  Maccabi WA will be granting a ground lease to a prospective lessee to build the childcare centre which in turn will be sublet to a child care entity that will fit out and run it. The ground lessee and sublessee are yet to be selected.  Rental paid by the sublessee to the lessee will be shared between the lessee, Maccabi WA and the JCHEC.  Based on commercial rates Maccabi and JCHEC will share in the annual income provided by the ground lease

Plans for the relocation of current tenants of the Jewish Centre have not been decided, but it is likely that an open plan temporary building will be erected in the vicinity of the Gordon Bloomfield Hall to house organisations involved.

Mr Silbert said that fundraising for the JCHEC will be delayed until the end of the first quarter or beginning of the second quarter of 2021 so as not to conflict with fundraising being conducted by other communal organisations at the moment.

In conclusion Mr Silbert praised the long-term management of the Jewish Centre Committee and management which over a long period of time had worked incredibly hard to keep the building operating. He said that without an existing Jewish Centre it would have been difficult to approach Governments to obtain funds.

The meeting concluded with thanks by JCCWA Immediate Past-President David Denver to the main speakers for detail of the new JCHEC provided, and the audience for their attendance.

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