King’s University College at The University of Western Ontario dedicated its new Broughdale Hall today – formerly the Hebrew Day School – in an interfaith celebration that included London’s Jewish community, staff and students of the London Community Hebrew Day School and representatives of the Centre for Catholic-Jewish Learning at King’s.
The newly renovated building, which will house student classrooms and offices for college staff and faculty, was purchased by King’s when the Hebrew Day School, adjacent to King’s, moved to a new location in 2007.
“Our new college building has its roots in our local Jewish history just as our Catholic faith is grounded in our Jewish roots,” says Gerry Killan, Principal of King’s. “We will continue the tradition of this place; to inspire growth, learning and scholastic excellence in our students in the same spirit that former teachers inspired thousands of children here.”
The dedication celebration was officiated by King’s Chaplain Reverend Michael Béchard and Rabbi Ammos Chorny of Or Shalom Synagogue, who together serve as co-chairs of the Centre for Catholic-Jewish Learning at King’s. The children’s choir from the London Community Hebrew Day School performed at the ceremony.
“It is the sound of children’s voices raised in song that reminds us how blessed we are to share fundamental values of community,” says Rabbi Chorny. “We are very pleased that this building that served so many children in our community through the years will continue to be a place of teaching and learning for our young people.”
In 2006 the University of King’s College established the Centre for Catholic-Jewish Learning, the first in Canada, to foster and nurture the existing relationship between Jews and Catholics in London through education, scholarship and community outreach.
“We are here today as two communities of faith; celebrating one another, with one another,” says Rev. Béchard. “It is in the spirit of King’s and based on the founding principles of the Centre for Catholic-Jewish Learning that we dedicate Broughdale Hall.”
In recognition of its sensitivity to the architectural and historical features in the renovations to the building, King’s received a Heritage Award by the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (London Region Branch) and the Heritage London Foundation earlier this year. The building is being designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.