Survey: A strong giving impulse


By Simon Rocker, January 30, 2014

The charitable instinct remains strong among British Jews with 93 per cent having made a donation over the previous year.

But 45 per cent gave priority to non-Jewish charities, compared with 37 who gave more to Jewish charities.

A quarter of contributors gave only to non-Jewish charities, while eight per cent restricted their donations to Jewish causes.

Around two in five gave less than £100: around the same proportion between £100 to £500: just under one in three over £500 and three per cent, more than £10,000.

Nearly half of those in the larger income bracket (£110,000 plus) gave at least £2,000 to charity. And the biggest donors — those giving more than £500 to charity in all — tend to prioritise Jewish causes.

Around a third of givers — 34 per cent — choose UK Jewish charities as their priority: 29 per cent general UK charities; 12 per cent overseas aid, and nine per cent, Israel.

There is little difference in preferences among age groups — younger Jews tend to give less than older. but usually have less disposable income.

Religious affiliation has a significant effect, however, with Orthodox and Charedi donors far more likely to support Jewish causes than secular and cultural, who prefer more general charities.

Men are more likely to support Jewish causes (40 per cent) than women (30 per cent).


The figures exclude synagogue membership subscriptions, which are technically charitable: and voluntary contributions for Jewish studies in Jewish schools. So families could be giving a lot more to sustain Jewish communal life than might first appear.

The one in 11 who are prioritisig Israel charities marks a drop from the 1996 survey, when one in eight respondents put Israel first.

“Is charitable giving among Jews as high as can reasonably be expected?”

That is a question the survey raises but does not answer.

Last updated: 1:26pm, January 30 2014