Sarah Brown welcomed four bar- and batmitzvah celebrants to 10 Downing Street to mark the formal launch of a UJIA scheme to encourage teenage philanthropy.
Gabi Mendelsohn, Ella Krikler, Jake Libson and Sally Patterson are among the first participants in myfund, promoting charitable giving within the Jewish or wider community. Also present was Jacob Harris, who will be signing up next year.
The idea is to deposit money into an account on the youngster’s bar\batmitzvah. UJIA will match the initial deposit to a maximum of £250 and the account holder, family and friends can add further funds until they are 18. The teenagers will be able to write myfund cheques and will receive regular statements. They can support up to three charities and UJIA will split its contribution likewise.
Mrs Brown hoped the venture would be a springboard for charitable giving and praised the innovative structure of the scheme. She is aware and supportive of UJIA’s work among the young, having met members of an Israel Experience tour in Jerusalem last year.
Thirty teenagers have already signed up to the scheme and are supporting charities including Chai Cancer Care, the NSPCC and Water Aid.
Sally Patterson said she was supporting Camp Simcha, “which helps children with very bad illnesses. My little cousin has a problem with his brain and I went and saw the Camp Simcha holiday club. It was so wonderful and the children were having such a good time that I decided to support them.”