Charity

Givers happily take the bait

By Alex Kasriel, October 8, 2009

Although Jews are supposed to give at least one-tenth of their income to charity, Institute of Jewish Policy Research figures suggest that 20-to-30-somethings are less likely to do so than their parents.

To counteract this, the Charities Advisory Trust, headed by Dame Hilary Blume, ran an event in Mayfair to inspire young professionals to become philanthropists.

Called Happy Givers — because giving promotes a sense of well-being — it featured representatives of four charities who tried to persuade the 40-strong crowd to part with their cash.

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Skeet gets a facelift

October 8, 2009

Kent-based kosher residential facility Skeet Hill House has reopened following a £1.5 million upgrade funded by communal donations.

Head teachers and youth organisation leaders were among the 70 guests at a reception to mark the refurbishment.

Skeet is administered by the Bradians Trust, whose chairman Michael Black thanked donors, particularly the Jewish Youth Fund.

Sandra Waldman was recently appointed manager of Skeet and bookings are already being accepted for 2011.

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Party pledges on elderly 'don't add up'

By Robyn Rosen, October 8, 2009

Welfare charities fear that both Gordon Brown and David Cameron will not be able to deliver on their parties’ pledges to supply care for the elderly.

In his party conference address, Mr Brown offered support to those with the greatest needs, noting: “Today more and more people see their parents and grandparents suffering from conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia. And for too many families, the challenge of coping with the heartbreak is made worse by the costs of getting support.

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Postal strikes hit New Year charity appeals

By Robyn Rosen, September 24, 2009

Communal charities have blamed postal strikes in the capital for reduced donations to their Rosh Hashanah appeals.

Organisations large and small report that appeal letters have not reached their destinations. Supporters are worried that donations have got lost in the post.

Wizo executive director Alison Rosen said that its appeal for children at risk had been badly affected by the strike action.

“We’re very concerned our appeal has not reached everybody it was meant to. We haven’t had the volume of post back that we expected.

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Charities struggle to feed Israel's poor

By Ben Lynfield, September 18, 2009

As Rosh Hashanah approaches, Israeli charities are buckling under the strain of providing for growing numbers of needy people, while their own resources are dwindling because of the country’s economic downturn.

“It’s very difficult for those of us who are holding the front,” said Shlomit Shulov-Barkan, deputy director of the Meir Panim soup kitchen network. It has been forced to lay off more than 40 of its 120 employees in the past six months due to declining donations, most of which come from Israelis.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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