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Windfall for investors in Iraqi communal centre

Taken from the Jewish Chronicle, March 11, 2005.

Donors who gave £1000 to open an Iraqi Jewish centre 35 years ago, will each receive £35,000 following the sale and closure of the centre.
The building - The Gardenia Community Centre in Russell road Kensington- was purchased and fitted out for £19,000 in 1969 following the arrival in the UK of large numbers of Iraqi Jews who fled show-trials and assassinations.
The centre was sold in 1977 for £91,000 and a second building in the same road was purchased in 1981 for f75,000.
It is now being sold to property developers for £1.5 million and each of the original donors will receive £135,000.
A further 15 people who gave a half-share of £2,500 to refurbish the second building will each receive £17,500
One of the original investors is Naim Dangoor, now 90, who came to the UK from Baghdad in 1964. He told CC: "The investors thought it was a donation and didn't expect to get anything. There are a number of widows who will find the money very useful".
Explaining why the building was being sold, he said: A whole generation has passed and [Iraqi Jews] have integrated into the community so there is no need to have a centre.



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