Jewish trusts top UK charities list

More than a fifth of the 100 top-spending family trusts in Britain are of Jewish origin, according to a new study published this week.

The research, Family Foundation Philanthropy 2009, compares the philanthropic scene in four countries — the UK, the US, Italy and Germany — and is sponsored by the Pears Foundation, which itself appears at number 41 on the UK list with grants of £4.4 million in 2007.

Its author, Cathy Pharoah, of London’s Cass Business School, notes that Jewish trusts have “particularly helped to shape the UK family foundation world”.

Charles Keidan, director of the Pears Foundation, said: “This reflects the extraordinary contribution of the Jewish community to UK society through its philanthropic endeavours.”

An increasing number of trusts are being established by Muslims, with Hindu and Buddhist foundations also emerging.

The leading Jewish-founded trust is the Wolfson Foundation, ranked at number five on the UK list, which handed out £35.5 million in 2007, including £500,000 to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital and £250,000 to Tel Aviv’s Bar-Ilan University in Israel. At number seven, the Paul Hamlyn Trust distributed more than £19 million in 2007.

Several strictly Orthodox charities come in the top 40: the Gertner Charitable Trust, ranked 17 with grants of £8.1 million; Cosmon (Belz) Ltd, 22nd with £7 million; the Freshwaters’ Mayfair Charities Ltd, 24th with £6.5 million; and the Keren Association, 33rd, with £5.5 million.

Also in the leading 40 are the Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust, 26th with £6.3 million, followed in 27th place by the Clore Duffield Foundation with £6 million.

    Last updated: 3:32pm, January 5 2011