Charity

Charity shops are feeling the pinch

By Robyn Rosen, September 17, 2009

Educational charity Ort has closed its only fundraising store as reduced donations, high rents and cash-strapped customers have taken their toll on Jewish charity shops.

Ort’s Finchley shop was shut down because of rising rent. “It was never really making that much money,” explained British Ort chairman Simon Alberga.

“We had a disagreement with the landlord over what the rent should be and have been planning the closure since then. In the current environment, it’s not the best time to relocate.”

More..

Dream team are taking on Jordan

By Chloe Markowicz, September 10, 2009

Three Essex women are among a group of five trekking through the Jordanian desert to raise funds for a charity working to grant the wishes of children with serious illness or disabilities.

The women include Avril Mills, who founded The Dream Factory after her nine-year-old son Oliver died from leukaemia 10 years ago. The others are Hayley Bloom and Melanie Brown.

Ms Mills had been inspired by Oliver’s delight when she helped him realise his dream of meeting EastEnders stars Ross Kemp, Martine McCutcheon and Sid Owen.

More..

Hard-up students aided

By Chloe Markowicz, September 10, 2009

A charity supporting Jewish students in financial difficulty has made a record number of disbursements this year as the recession bites.

The Finnart House School Trust has awarded scholarships totalling over £180,000 to 30 students starting at universities including Oxford, Manchester and UCL this autumn.

Clerk to the trustees Peter Shaw said that although the awards were based on need, students had to prove they were capable of completing their degrees.

More..

Hulks make an incredible splash

By Robyn Rosen, September 10, 2009

An investment banker made a splash at the weekend by going out in green body paint and ripped clothes to row 22 miles for charity dressed as the Incredible Hulk.

Dan Shooter, 30, steered his team to a respectable showing in the Great River Race from London Docklands to Ham in Richmond, finishing in two hours 42 minutes.

Mr Shooter, who had rowed only once before, was joined by former Watford Grammar School pals Anthony Flaum and Alec Parkinson and eight friends from his Nottingham University days.

More..

Jewish aid to Pakistan breaks down barriers

By Simon Rocker, September 10, 2009

A charity’s aid work in Pakistan helped to create a more positive image of Judaism, according to a report published this week.

It cites World Jewish Relief as an example of what religious organisations can achieve in providing help overseas.

Authors Edward Kessler and Miriam Arkush, who produced Keeping Faith in Development for the Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths in Cambridge, recommend that faith-based organisations should do more to collaborate over international development to foster inter-religious understanding.

More..

War on Want is cleared by charity watchdog

By Marcus Dysch, September 10, 2009

The Charity Commission has cleared War on Want of wrongdoing after the anti-poverty charity hosted an event which accused Israel of human rights abuses and called for a worldwide boycott of the Jewish state.

Zionist Federation president Eric Moonman, who had complained to the commission about WoW’s actions, will now put together a panel of academics to scrutinise the commission’s work.

The commission said this week it was satisfied that the anti-poverty group had worked within the rules and not breached charitable guidelines by hosting the event.

More..

Taking the plinth for charity

By Robyn Rosen, August 13, 2009

A London teacher is using her hour on Antony Gormley’s Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square to raise money for a charity launched in memory of a young Jewish leukaemia sufferer.

During her time on the plinth next Wednesday, Liz Mendes will release balloons sponsored by viewers of her donation website.

More..

Cancer charity is building up its caseload

By Robyn Rosen, August 13, 2009

At a time when many organisations are having to cut back, Chai Cancer Care is defying the recession by starting building work on a £1 million extension to its Hendon headquarters.

The expansion project will give Chai more space for its extensive range of services for Jewish cancer patients and their family and friends. It will further allow the charity to increase the number of people it sees each week from 350 to 450. With satellite services in Redbridge, south London and Manchester, Chai will be reaching a weekly audience of 500 when the extension opens next Pesach.

More..

Date turns sour for Sex and the City star Kristin Davis

By Marcus Dysch, August 13, 2009

Playing the role of Charlotte in Sex and the City, Kristin Davis’s biggest concern was finding Mr Right. But this week she found herself at the centre of a bigger problem — an international row over West Bank settlements.

Ms Davis, whose character in the TV series converted to Judaism to marry lawyer Harry Goldenblatt, has worked as a goodwill ambassador for Oxfam since 2005, visiting HIV and Aids projects in Mozambique, Uganda and South Africa.

More..

Regulator considers War on Want complaint

By Marcus Dysch, August 6, 2009

The Charity Commission has confirmed it is considering a complaint from the World Jewish Congress about the actions of anti-poverty charity War on Want.

WJC president Ronald Lauder wrote to the Commission last month after WoW called for a worldwide boycott of Israel.

A Commission spokeswoman said it was “considering the contents” of the letter. However, the representative could not say when the matter would be resolved or what action could be taken.

More..