Leeds Welfare Board sinks further into the red

By John Fisher, December 10, 2012

Leeds Jewish Welfare Board is facing a six-figure deficit as a result of cuts in statutory funding and massively reduced legacy income.

Reporting on “a tough year” to the LJWB annual meeting, treasurer Martin Lee forecast an increased deficit of over £100,000 for the next accounts. The charity was £59,000 in the red for the year in review.

Mr Lee was grateful for the £600,000 contribution from the local authority but anticipated “a difficult period ahead trying to balance our books”.

Legacies were a key element of income, last year generating £154,000. “However, two-thirds through the present financial year legacy income is only £1,900,” he revealed.

This year’s Rosh Hashanah appeal proceeds of £230,000 were six per cent down on 2011. Income from the annual brochure had fallen by 10 per cent. The bright spot was a 22 per cent rise in investment income to £146,000.

Chief executive Rebecca Weinberg said the charity had to balance the desire to maintain services and traditions while “making the transformation necessary to be effective in a changing world of choking regulations and radical reform. We are the safety net for people who may be at risk.”

To fill gaps in services, LJWB was collaborating with other providers both locally and further afield. “We achieve so much more by working together, which offers welcome extensions to our core work.”

Chairman Edward Ziff said LJWB had to find new supporters and income streams.

“We will remain resolute. We will inspire our generation and we will continue to do what we do best — transforming the lives of people who need our help.”

Board of Deputies senior vice-president Laura Marks was guest speaker, discussing the success of Mitzvah Day, which she founded, and how interfaith work could build bridges.

A presentation was made to retiring trustee and former LJWB president Arnold Reuben, who has been instrumental in many of its major projects.

Last updated: 10:45am, December 10 2012