Although Jews are supposed to give at least one-tenth of their income to charity, Institute of Jewish Policy Research figures suggest that 20-to-30-somethings are less likely to do so than their parents.
To counteract this, the Charities Advisory Trust, headed by Dame Hilary Blume, ran an event in Mayfair to inspire young professionals to become philanthropists.
Called Happy Givers — because giving promotes a sense of well-being — it featured representatives of four charities who tried to persuade the 40-strong crowd to part with their cash.
Hosts Tracy-Ann Oberman and Ivor Baddiel introduced the charities, which included Orphans of Rwanda, supporting promising students, and the New North London Synagogue drop-in centre for destitute asylum seekers. The others were Point Blank, setting up artistic projects between Israelis and Palestinians, and Ikamva Labantu, sponsoring community projects in South African townships.
Guests paid £20 to take part — half of which could go towards a pledge — and were expected to donate at least £100 to one or more of the causes. After the presentations, and questions, the audience shouted out their pledges.
Close on £10,000 was donated, which “definitely exceeded our hopes as to how much we could raise”, said steering group member David Russell.