More than £1 million towards UJIA programmes in the UK and Israel was raised in total from dinners in Manchester and Leeds.
The Manchester dinner at Hilton Deansgate was sold out with the 550 guests contributing £850,000-plus to the charity’s coffers, up almost £30,000 on last year’s proceeds.
UJIA Manchester chair Nici Wertheim told them of efforts to meet “the ever-growing needs of our community in the UK and our responsibility to strengthen the communities in the north of Israel”.
She also announced that Alan Hodari would become the new dinner chair, succeeding Joel Rosenblatt, who in three years has significantly grown attendance.
Guest speaker Brigadier General (Res) Eival Gilady discussed his background — he is the son of victims of Nazi persecution — his long IDF career and his chairmanship of the UJIA-supported Western Galilee College, where 46 per cent of students are Arab Israelis. He also gave a strategic overview of the Middle East situation.
Entertainment was from American comedian Elon Gold.
The Leeds dinner attracted 200 guests, was addressed by Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev and raised upwards of £250,000.