Prince Charles takes tea with WJR supporters

By Jessica Elgot, June 14, 2012
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Prince Charles meets WJR chair James Libson

Prince Charles meets WJR chair James Libson

LEADERS and key funders of World Jewish Relief enjoyed an intimate kosher afternoon tea with the Prince of Wales at Clarence House on Wednesday to celebrate the Prince’s role in its Ukrainian livelihood development programme.

In the morning room and library of his official residence, surrounded by photographs of generations of the royal family, the Prince discussed WJR’s work with 80 staff and supporters.

Prince Charles is a patron of the Ukrainian programme, helping Jews in poverty to develop the skills needed to get into work. It also starts job centres and provides access to child-care.

A long-time supporter of the charity, he opened the WJR-funded Jewish Community Centre in Krakow in 2008.
Arriving at the reception, the Prince was greeted by WJR chair James Libson, former chair Nigel Layton and chief executive Paul Anticoni. Mr Libson thanked the royal for his “steadfast support of our community”.

Mr Layton said Prince Charles was keen to know “if the projects were working well, whether we were getting people into work. He likes to be kept informed.” WJR trustee Linda Rosenblatt added: “The Prince knew a number of people here personally. He asked after their families, their work. He was extremely engaged and good at stimulating conversation.”

Her husband Harvey, chair of Nightingale, reminisced with the Prince about his visit to the south London home to open a dementia wing.

Guests included Express newspaper boss Richard Desmond and representatives from the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Foundation, which backs the programme in the Ukraine.

The Prince joked with Mr Anticoni, WJR head of programming Stacey Swimer, and supporters Irving and Gillian Carter about a recent newspaper article about “talking” to plants to help them grow.

“He was absolutely charming,” Mrs Carter said.

Prince Charles also chatted to Sir Maurice and Lady Irene Hatter, supporters of WJR and World Ort. Lady Hatter said: “He asked us how often we visit the projects in Eastern Europe and we told him about an Ort school we are hoping to open in six months in Kishinev, Moldova. He was very interested.”

Last updated: 4:25pm, June 14 2012