Jewish Care announces merger with mental health charity Jami

The integration will maintain the Jami brand and will ensure services are secured for the future


Directors of Jewish Care, by Blake Ezra Photography

The UK Jewish community’s leading mental health charity, Jami, will be merging with the community’s largest health and social care charity, Jewish Care, the board of trustees of both organisations announced today.

In a statement sent out to supporters via email on Thursday, the respective chairs of Jami and Jewish Care’s boards of trustees, Adam Dawson and Jonathan Zenios, said: “11 years ago, communal charities Jami and Jewish Care came together to create a single mental health service for the Jewish community. The boards of trustees of both organisations have decided that now is the right time to fully integrate their services with each other.”

The statement said greater integration of services “will bring both organisations closer together and underlines their commitment to invest in mental health services for the community.”

Jami, having recently relocated their primary office to Jewish Care’s Amelia House in the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Campus to help share running costs, already shares some back-office functions with the charity.

The move will allegedly lead to “better use of community resources”, while ensuring the future of Jami’s “vital mental health services are sustainable and secured for the future.”

The statement adds that Jewish Care is committed to keeping Jami’s services unaffected by the integration and will look to transfer all 92 of Jami’s members of staff to the employment of Jewish Care, along with keeping “every single one” of Jami’s 280 volunteers.

Jewish Care CEO Daniel Carmel-Brown said they would continue using the Jami brand, which has “built up a fantastic reputation in the community over three decades.”

He added: “Keeping the Jami name is a strong part of who they are and what the community relates to. This is an exciting opportunity for both organisations and comes at a time when mental health and its prevalence continues to grow each year. Coming together means that we can ensure Jami’s services are sustainable for generations to come.”

Jami Chief Executive Laurie Rackind will step down from his role after 17 years of leading the charity. He will remain closely involved with the transition towards full integration of Jami services into Jewish Care over the coming months.

Rackind said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to have led Jami for the last 17 years, and I feel proud of the progress that has been made during my time here. Jami has transformed the way mental health services are delivered. Thanks to initiatives like Head Room, Jami delivers support on the high street while tackling the issues of stigma, changing the way the Jewish and local community think about mental illness and distress.

"The lone figure on the street that was once treated with disdain is now the person sitting in our café being supported with respect. None of this progress would have been possible without the support from the Jami board of trustees, my colleagues, Jewish Care, Jami’s supporters and volunteers, and the wider community.”

Jami Chairman Adam Dawson said the integration was “a natural development given how closely Jami and Jewish Care have worked over the last decade.

“It will expand our knowledge, expertise, and resources to enable Jami to continue providing hope and help to everyone living with mental illness and distress in the community. 

Jewish Care Chairman Jonathan Zenios, commented: “This is an excellent and exciting development, a reflection of both organisations’ commitment to continue investing in mental health services, and a natural progression for both charities to offer the very best mental health resources for our community. We can now look forward to build on the services already provided and ensure the community’s needs are met in the most efficient and effective way.”

Jewish Care has two care homes, the Jack Gardner and Sidney Corob House, that support people living with mental health illness. For the last decade, the charity has funded Jami’s mental health service with a grant of £700,000 per annum, and over 1,650 young people and adults currently benefit from Jami’s services.

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