US social action champion to quit

November 17, 2011
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Candice Woolfson

Candice Woolfson

The first director of the United Synagogue's social action division Project Chesed, is to leave after eight years at the organisation.

Candice Woolfson, who started at the US with the Community Development group, was credited by US chief executive Jeremy Jacobs with "having placed the Chesed agenda at the forefront of the US strategy for the future".

Ms Woolfson said that taking on the new post of US Chesed director was "close to her heart" and "placed the US firmly on the social action map".

Commenting on her decision to move on, Ms Woolfson said: "It has been an honour to work with the US and in particular my professional and voluntary colleagues. The success achieved in this crucial area is not down to just one person but a whole team of passionate and driven people working together for a common cause.

"For my part, it is lovely to be able to look back on many things that I am proud of in the past eight years. Now I feel that it's a good time to move on to some fresh new challenges."

Ms Woolfson, a mother of three, is a regular speaker at Jewish primary schools, encouraging pupils to take on social action projects.

During her time as Chesed director, the US led a campaign to encourage blood donation, which increased the number of blood donors in the Jewish community by around 20 per cent.

The small social action team also organised the provision of thousands of honey cakes at Rosh Hashanah, 500 food parcels at Pesach, and mishloach manot on Purim for Jewish families living in poverty. Over Pesach, communities are encouraged to donate non-kosher food to homeless shelters, and synagogues set up food collection points.

Ms Woolfson has organised hundreds of toys, pairs of spectacles and food items to be sent to communities in need around the world. She has also overseen US efforts to help synagogues buy ethically sourced goods and cut their carbon footprint.

Mr Jacobs said: "Candice has provided the perfect combination of energy and professionalism to ensure the delivery of this essential aspect of the US's work.

"We are very sad to see Candice leave the US professional staff but she leaves with all our good wishes for the future. Her successes are a great testament to her and will set a very high standard for her successors."

The US will be advertising for a replacement Chesed director.

    Last updated: 11:23am, November 17 2011