Declining demand forces the closure of Hull’s welfare home

By Marcus Dysch, April 16, 2013

Rising costs and diminishing community numbers have forced the closure of Hull’s Jewish care home for the elderly.

Run by Hull Jewish Community Care, Menorah House had operated as east Yorkshire’s only strictly kosher care facility since 1957 and provided accommodation for up to 25 residents.

But following a decline in the number of Jewish pensioners living at the home and a substantial increase in the costs of staffing, food and maintenance, committee members took the decision to sell up.

“It is sad to see it go,” said former chairman Michael Bott.“Menorah House had a long and successful history, catering for many members of our community over the years. Some time ago we realised that with our diminishing community Menorah House could remain viable only if it were to take in non-Jewish residents to fill the empty rooms.

“This change took place and enabled us to continue for a while. We soon found we were losing money and our reserves were depleting rapidly. In spite of several efforts to improve our resources, the trustees failed to find a solution.”

Despite donations from community members, Charity Commission rules meant HJCC had no option but to sell before the home became insolvent.

Following local newspaper coverage of the home’s plight, a couple bought it and will run it as a non-Jewish home.

“The transfer was not without a multitude of technical problems, which had to be faced by chairman Harold Flasher,” Dr Bott added. “Over the months of negotiations he spent many hours in meetings with social services, solicitors, the prospective buyers, staff and other trustees. Hull Jewish Community Care continues. It needs support and still has useful functions to perform.”

Proceeds from the sale will be used by HJCC to support elderly and infirm Jewish community members in the future. It is anticipated that anyone requiring kosher residential or nursing care will go to Donisthorpe Hall — home to more than 180 Jewish elderly in Leeds.

Last updated: 12:10pm, April 16 2013