Warning over Charedi poverty


The umbrella organisation for strictly Orthodox charities has warned that the Charedi community is on the brink of "massive, frightening changes" and that poverty will grow to levels "beyond living memory".

Interlink reported a £41,000 surplus for the financial year at its annual meeting, following two years of deficit. It raised £2.39 million for the community and helped 19 organisations to secure public sector contracts last year, 11 more than envisioned.

Private donations dropped by more than half this year to £304,000 but the four major charitable trust donors, including the Wohl and Pears foundations, maintained their giving.

Chairman Jacob Grosskopf said: "Relations between our community and the public sector are stronger than ever. And we have finally and successfully turned around our financial situation and are generating a surplus.

"But Orthodox Jewish community organisations are at the threshold of massive and frightening changes.

Many of the government’s messages are an open invitation to our community

"Charitable donations and income from fees will take a knocking as government austerity measures take effect.

"Larger households in particular will be slammed by harsh benefits cuts and we will see levels of child poverty in the British Jewish community that are beyond the living memory of most of us.

"Despite these harsh realities, we also see opportunities. Many of the government's messages are an open invitation to our community. They want greater localism and local determinism. We, the community, are invited in as business partners."

Interlink director Chaya Spitz reported "a hard year for many organisations and for those of us who look to charitable trusts and foundations for income. It's harder than it has been before and there is probably worse to come.

"But there are organisations that have seen their incomes growing from public authorities in the form of contracts for health, social care and welfare. We plan to be more proactive than in the past in seeking out new funding."

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