A LONG-AWAITED centre for religious Jewish people has been described as a "dream come true".

The head office of the Chabad Lubavitch Centre was opened in Imperial Avenue, Ilford, last Wednesday (September 27).

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis was the guest of honour and thanked the ongoing drive and enthusiasm to ensure the centre is successful.

He "captivated" the audience with a poignant message about the importance of Chabad and praised its leaders, Rabbi Aryeh and Deborah Sufrin.

Rabbi Sufrin said: "This has been a fantastic day for everyone involved, a dream come true.

"A project like this takes friends and partners and I’m delighted that we secured friends over many years who appreciate and value the vision of Chabad across Essex who have partnered with us to make this new centre a reality."

The centre was overflowing with the large audience of invited guests including Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Linda Huggett and Ilford North MP Wes Streeting MP.

The new centre operates as the head office of Chabad North East London and Essex and its Gants Hill Branch, named as Doris Schpiro House, after the grandmother of Andrea and Jonathan Dennis and family to whom we are so very grateful for having kick started the financial side of this project.