Boris Johnson at sell-out Wizo event

Boris Johnson with Loraine Warren, New York Times journalist Isabel Kershner and Wizo’s Michele Vogel

Boris Johnson with Loraine Warren, New York Times journalist Isabel Kershner and Wizo’s Michele Vogel

London mayor Boris Johnson expressed his admiration of Israel to a sell-out audience of 350 Wizo supporters in central London on Tuesday night.

At a dinner raising more than £300,000 to refurbish the Pheobe Welcome Leon Day Care Centre for vulnerable families in Jerusalem, Mr Johnson said: "There are many things I admire profoundly about Israel. Its amazing 'can do' spirit, its high tech industry, its incredible entrepreneurial flair, its avocados and its talented entrants to the Eurovision Song Contest.

"There is one import from Israel I think we can do without," he added jokingly - "its their system of proportional representation and coalition government".

Praising dinner guests for their charitable work, he said his audience appreciated two things: "The importance of giving but also the symmetrical importance of wealth creation.

"We know there is someone today in an Israeli science class coming up with how to fly a plane through a cloud of volcanic ash or how to cap an eruption of oil.

"All the wealth creators and givers, you will have our full support in City Hall."

Wizo UK chair Loraine Warren announced its intention to dedicate a room in one of its centres in memory of Lady Jakobovits, who was its honorary vice-president. Executive member Betty Crystal was honoured for 60 years of service.

"Betty is often referred to as the fairy queen of all fundraisers having taught and encouraged generations of Wizo women to follow in her footsteps," Ms Warren said. "There are so many people who have benefited from her passion for Wizo and whose lives she has influenced and changed for the better."

    Last updated: 2:06pm, May 13 2010