The owners of the JC have this week placed it into liquidation. It has been agreed that the paper will be sold to a Consortium led by Sir Robbie Gibb, former Head of Communications at 10 Downing Street. This brings to an end decades of ownership by the Kessler Foundation, a registered charity, and marks the beginning of a new chapter in the almost 180 year old life of the JC.
The Consortium’s very generous offer should see all identified creditors paid in full, including staff, and they have given assurances that they intend to invest millions of pounds to secure the future of the paper. Despite our efforts, it became clear that there was insufficient appetite within the donor community to provide enough money for the Kessler Foundation to match the Consortium’s offer.
The past weeks have been very difficult for the JC’s staff and I would like to thank all of them, and in particular the unsung heroes whose names do not appear in bylines, for all their hard work in keeping the show on the road and for handling the uncertainty with stoicism.
I would also like to thank the Trustees of the Kessler Foundation for their support throughout my time as Chairman and, in particular, Robert Gibber and Michael Goldberg, who have given up much time and been cool heads as we have grappled with the issues facing the paper.
I have previously thanked the generous individuals who have bankrolled the JC with anonymous donations this past year. The good news is that, under the terms of the Consortium bid, all the money that has been donated will be repaid to the Kessler Foundation which will be able to reuse the same charitable funds within the Jewish community a second time. Those donors can be proud that their combined generosity allowed the JC to survive long enough to help to see off Jeremy Corbyn and friends, one of the greatest threats to face British Jewry in the JC’s existence.
I would also like to say a public word of thanks to our friends at the Jewish News for the constructive and open way in which they entered into the merger discussions.
My time as JC Chairman has now come to an end and I wish the paper every success under the control of Sir Robbie Gibb and his Consortium members. I will of course remain an avid reader and supporter of the JC and I look forward to the seeing the fruits of the Consortium’s new investment in the years ahead.
Former Chairman of the JC