Charities on the home front smash their targets

Recent fundraisers have shown that the community stands firmly behind its domestic support services


Kisharon Langdon celebrate their fundraising success after their Top of the World campaign raised over £2 million

According to recent findings by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, 84 per cent of British Jews say that donating to charity is important to their Jewish identity, and the enormous success of the latest fundraising efforts by a plethora of UK Jewish charities has been a testament to the endurance of our community’s values during a difficult moment in our history.

Kisharon Langdon, a charity supporting children and adults with learning disabilities and autistic people, raised £2.2 million through its latest On Top of the World campaign, its first match fundraiser with Charity Extra since the merger of Kisharon and Langdon. Charity heads said that the campaign aimed to address the “persistent underfunding” of adult social care support, which the charity said, had been exacerbated by global events.

“This is a significant boost for everyone involved as we tackle the remaining challenges of securing the outstanding balance of our £4 million funding gap, along with addressing the indirect consequences of ongoing world events on the charity,” said chief executive Richard Franklin. “However, if ever there was proof positive that united we stand and we are indeed better as one community, this outstandingly successful fundraiser is it.”

Aish UK’s Proudly JewAish campaign –From Crisis to Connection –  raised £2.4 million, enabling the charity to “continue its vital work responding to crisis with connection and helping young Jews today feel proudly JewAish,” said Rabbi Naftali Schiff, CEO of Aish UK and Jewish Futures. "The stark reality is that if organisations like Aish UK are not fully supported and empowered today, thousands of young Jews across the UK will simply drift away from any meaningful affiliation and identification.”

Jewish Women’s Aid exceeded their fundraising target during their recent campaign. “At a time when the community is rightly focusing on Israel, we are even more thankful for our recent successful fundraising campaign,” said Ruth Wagner, director of business services at JWA, which raised over £500,000 during their 36-hour match funding campaign, titled Protect All Jewish Women From Abuse. 

The money will go toward its specialist service dedicated to helping Jewish women and children affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence. “We are here to protect all Jewish women from abuse, and the community has stood by us, which will enable us to continue our vital work,” Wagner said.

University Jewish Chaplaincy's Crisis on Campus online crowdfunding campaign also surpassed the charity’s fundraising goals, raising over £800,000 from over 3,000 donors, some based in student hubs in Nottingham and Scotland, as well as overseas.

Charity heads said the money would be used to bolster Jewish Chaplaincy services “amidst growing challenges on campuses” and demonstrated “an overwhelming show of solidarity and commitment to student welfare”.

The initiative, led by 142 dedicated "Champions" across the UK, was launched in response to the increasing need for support services for students combating antisemitism and anti-Zionism on campuses, which has risen significantly post October 7.

University Jewish Chaplaincy CEO, Sophie Dunoff, said: "Chaplains have been going above and beyond to support students, and this campaign is a reflection of the community's deep respect and recognition of the indispensable role Chaplaincy plays in students' lives. It's a powerful endorsement of our work and the impact we have."

The money raised will go towards providing guidance, support and community engagement to Jewish students on campus.

Last month, a World Jewish Relief fundraising dinner raised £1.8 million for essential humanitarian support around the world, a large portion of which will go towards impoverished Jewish communities around eastern Europe, including Ukraine.

Over the last year, WJR has assisted over 270,000 people inside Ukraine through 27 local partner organisations and supported over 20,000 Ukrainian refugees, including thousands in the UK.

During the fundraising dinner, WJR Chair Maurice Helfgott spoke about the heartbreak both in Israel and across the international Jewish community since October 7 and emphasised the special importance of charitable giving during such difficult times.

“It is right to find the space in our heads and our hearts to be there for others... because it reflects our fundamental values,” said Helfgott. “It is the right thing to do, and it is the Jewish thing to do.”

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