Astounding giving

Too often, our community is forced to focus on doom and gloom. Sometimes it is what politicians have or haven't done; sometimes it is the seemingly inexorable rise in antisemitism. But we should always remember another perspective on our lives: a perspective that was demonstrated on Monday at Jewish Care's annual dinner.

Almost 1000 guests came together with one purpose: to give their money away. So much is raised at this dinner every year that the sheer scale of generosity involved can sometimes be taken for granted. But to raise £3.7 million in one night is simply astounding. Not of course that it is just one dinner. Even on the most conservative estimate, Jewish charities have an annual income of around £750 million.

As a community, we are quite remarkable, and unique, in the scale of our generosity. No other group in the UK comes close in terms of charitable giving. And not just high rollers. Whatever our income, we give. It defines us as Jews. Yes, Anglo-Jewry faces all sorts of challenges: political, demographic and institutional. But we ought, every so often, to remind ourselves of the good things.

    Last updated: 10:52am, June 23 2011