A star attraction in Conservative leader David Cameron helped Jewish Care to raise a record £3.6 million from its annual dinner at Grosvenor House in London’s Mayfair on Monday night.
The total raised by the 1,150 guests outstripped last year’s proceeds by £100,000, to the delight of campaign chairman Steven Lewis. “The ability of our supporters to be so generous in recognising how vital our work is, in what is clearly a very tough year, was truly outstanding,” he said.
“We did not imagine that we would be able to exceed the amount we raised last year, as many people’s circumstances are so different. I think it is truly a testament to just how charitable our community is.”
Mr Cameron, who was delayed by the vote for a new Speaker in the Commons, paid tribute to the charity’s achievements and influence.
“I believe the work of Jewish Care is of profound importance not only because of what it achieves day to day, but also because of what it represents. This has been going on for more than 150 years, since the formation of the Jewish Board of Guardians for the Relief of the Poor. ”
He also spoke movingly about his late son, confiding: “For the time we had with Ivan, we wanted to make sure he was the centre of our family life. My experience makes me hugely optimistic about the way in which families, voluntary organisations and the state can work together to care for the needy in our community. Jewish Care even cares for the carers.”
Jewish Care president Lord Levy led a presentation involving nine staff and four long-term volunteers. A film about four people whose lives had been changed by the charity was screened and there was a surprise performance by pop star James Morrison.