The recession

Plea to save Charedi sites

By Robyn Rosen, October 1, 2009

Charedi community leaders have warned that some longstanding institutions, including mikvehs, charities and schools are “suffering dire financial deficits” as the recession takes its toll.

The Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations has sent out an urgent appeal to the strictly Orthodox community as a “wake-up call” to help organisations “on the verge of bankruptcy”.

Chanoch Kesselman, executive co-ordinator at the union, said: “Most of the hardship experienced by these institutions is because of the recession, coupled with the increase in expenses.”

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Interview: James Wolfensohn

By Simon Round, September 24, 2009

James Wolfensohn is not a typical investment banker. After all, how many in his profession have dedicated their career to redistributing the world’s wealth from the rich to the poor.

Wolfensohn has. In his decade as president of the World Bank he was able to indulge his passion for development. It was a decade in which several hundred million people were taken out of poverty — a very small first step to righting the world’s imbalances.

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Recession hits World Jewish Relief

By Leon Symons, September 3, 2009

World Jewish Relief, Anglo-Jewry’s main international relief charity, has been forced to cut some of its budgets in eastern Europe by 15 per cent because of the recession.

While none of its current or future projects have been dramatically affected, the charity has trimmed the amount it contributes to organisations such as the American Joint Distribution Committee, which undertakes day-to-day work in WJR’s three community centres in Poland and the Ukraine.

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Chief plans broadcast on crunch

By Robyn Rosen, September 3, 2009

The credit crunch will be the focus of the Chief Rabbi’s Rosh Hashanah broadcast this year.

In his annual New Year message, to be aired on Monday, September 14, Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks speaks to financial experts on whether faith can help us out of the recession.

Entitled A More Gracious Life, the programme will feature an interview with the BBC’s economics editor, Robert Peston, to discuss why the markets failed and what we have learned since the downturn.

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Israel’s economy recovering

By Simon Griver in Jerusalem, August 27, 2009

The Bank of Israel has raised interest rates from 0.5 per cent to 0.75 per cent, becoming the first central bank in the developed world to push up interest rates since the credit crunch began.

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer said he does not expect others to follow his lead.

“Interest rates in the world’s leading economies will remain unchanged until the end of 2009 and maybe mid-2010. In contrast to Israel, those countries have low inflation.”

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Company withdraws "Rothschild" leaflet

By Leon Symons, July 1, 2009

A financial offer e-mailed to 80,000 people has been withdrawn by the company that published it after a complaint about the way it referred to the Rothschild banking family.

The offer, distributed by Fleet Street Publications, referred to the 239-year-old “Rothschild Recession Code” with a history of the family inferring that it secretly controlled world finance.

The idea behind the e-mail shot was to offer investors the chance to buy the same shares as the Rothschilds.

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Recession-hit UK families plead for Israel tour grants

By James Martin, June 25, 2009

One-in-five families planning to send their children on Reform Judaism Israel tours and UK summer camps are applying for bursaries as the credit crunch bites.

Such is the demand for financial assistance that the Movement for Reform Judaism has launched an appeal to raise £10,000 for additional financial assistance.

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Cash crisis crippling US schools

By Gary Rosenblatt, May 21, 2009

Jewish day schools, found to be the most effective means of maintaining affiliation among young people in an increasingly assimilated American community, are in serious economic crisis.

Two burning questions are emerging: Can they survive? And who cares?

There are about 200,000 youngsters attending some 700 day schools and yeshivot in the US, about 80 per cent of which offer an Orthodox curriculum.

Ten per cent are Conservative schools, eight per cent are “community”, or non-denominational, and the rest are Reform.

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Going back in time to deal with recession

By Ben Jaglom, May 7, 2009

As a response to the recession, Reform Judaism has instigated Living in the age of Anxiety, a series examining the issue through Jewish teachings.

The course launched with a lecture on leadership at the Sternberg Centre in Finchley by Reform chief executive Rabbi Shoshana Boyd Gelfand. The series was inspired by David Karat, who explained: “I have been working in finance for 30 years and I find that every day there is new information on the economic crisis that most people struggle to absorb.

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Jerusalem: Yad Vashem cash woe

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 22, 2009

Holocaust research and commemoration programmes have been hit by the global recession and Israel’s security problems.

Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, which opened a new $50m museum four years ago, has been forced to freeze some of its main programmes. Among them was an initiative to collect the names of all the Jews murdered in the Holocaust — with 3.5 million gathered so far; to record survivors’ testimonies; and to compile an encyclopedia of Jewish communities.

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