Cheers for Mayor as dinner raises £5 million

The London Mayor spoke of his admiration for Jewish Care, and Jewish philanthropy in general.


Sadiq Khan took the Jewish Care vote with an impassioned speech to Monday’s campaign dinner, which raised more than £5 million.

In an address punctuated by bursts of loud applause from the 1,000-plus guests at Grosvenor House in central London, the London Mayor articulated his admiration of the charity and Jewish philanthropy in general.

But speaking afterwards, he expressed concern over the impact of Brexit on Jewish Care and other welfare providers who rely significantly on overseas staff.

Having toured Jewish Care’s Golders Green campus in April 2016, Mr Khan said he had seen first-hand “the great work the charity does. For a fraction of a second, it did occur to me that I should invest in my future and convert to Judaism.”

The “remarkable” services he witnessed represented “the values that are rooted in your religion. As a community, you care for one another, you look out for one another, something that is an inspiration to us all. This is evident in Jewish Care’s army of dedicated volunteers, many here this evening, who do such amazing work.

“As in my religion, charity and giving, or tzedakah, lies at the heart of Judaism. We share the belief that kindness and charity can only benefit those most in need.”

Mr Khan later told the JC that Jewish Care offered lessons to the wider market, the first being “how they can provide value for money from the philanthropy given by members of the Jewish community. Secondly a sense of community. Jewish Care is what it says on the tin, which is really really important.

“Looking after your own” was part of the Jewish ethos, whether at home or in residential accommodation, understanding and respecting religious and cultural sensibilities in all cases.

“I’ve met three ladies who’ve got to have their batmitzvah at an older age thanks to Jewish Care — how great is that?”

However, Brexit would present a significant challenge. “When you look at some of the staff who work in Jewish Care, they are from all different backgrounds, all ethnicities, all races, all parts of the world.

“There aren’t people in this country who are skilled up to the jobs. Even if we skill up our youngsters and they want to do these jobs, there will still be a skills deficit in social care.”

An “extreme hard Brexit” would stem the flow of potential staff —“there’ll be a massive social care deficit.

“That’s why the result last week in the election is good news in one sense, which is Theresa May now has not got the power to have an extreme hard Brexit.

“She’ll have to listen to those of us who are saying London needs immigration.” Social care, the NHS, construction, finance, tech and culture were among a host of areas where EU talent was needed.

In his speech to the dinner, Jewish Care chairman Steven Lewis pointed out that 15 per cent of its 1,400 staff were from other EU countries. “Managing their anxiety about their future has been a key focus.

“It is estimated there are over 90,000 carer vacancies across the UK, so you can see just how hard it is to ensure we have the right calibre of people caring for our community.”

In a tough financial climate, Jewish Care remained committed to providing new and enhanced facilities, Mr Lewis added.

Its second independent living apartments facility would be built in Hendon; planning permission was being sought for a Redbridge development.

And plans were progressing for a new campus on the site of the Princess Alexandra home in Stanmore, an opportunity “to provide an outstanding range of accommodation for the south Hertfordshire community”.

The project will cost £45 million, of which £9 million still has to be raised. Beyond statutory support, Jewish Care needs to find £15 million annually from supporters to maintain services.




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