WJR makes £2m eastern promise

October 6, 2011
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James Libson (centre) at a ceremony during a WJR mission to Ukraine, where some of the money will be going

James Libson (centre) at a ceremony during a WJR mission to Ukraine, where some of the money will be going

James Libson has launched his chairmanship of World Jewish Relief by announcing a £2.2 welfare commitment over three years for Jews in Ukraine and Moldova who fled Nazi persecution.

The project is in response to recent changes in eligibility criteria for Claims Conference assistance, which have resulted in some refugees from Nazism no longer qualifying for support.

WJR intends to plug the gap, providing essential food, medicines and clothing to more than 1,500 people living in poverty.

Funding will come from the sale of assets of the Otto Schiff Housing Association, originally known as the Central British Fund, which rescued Jews from Nazi Germany.

Revealing the scheme, Mr Libson said he could take no credit for the many months of planning, citing the contribution of his predecessor, Nigel Layton.

"WJR already helps thousands of people, but we still have so much to do. In the 21st century, it is shocking that so many around the world continue to live in such staggering poverty. I'm looking forward to working with WJR's board and fantastic staff and volunteers to build on the charity's ground-breaking work."

Executive partner at law firm Mishcon de Reya, Mr Libson has been involved in WJR for a number of years, as well as in the Jewish Leadership Council.

Mr Layton said it had been a privilege to chair WJR and work with so many inspirational people.

"My great uncle was one of the founders of WJR, so the charity holds a place close to my heart.

"I know that I will continue to be actively involved."

    Last updated: 1:38pm, October 6 2011