New figures reveal a significant rise in spending by the Jewish Leadership Council, outstripping that of the Board of Deputies by nearly £500,000 a year.
Accounts for 2012 show that the JLC’s expenditure leapt from £650,000 to nearly £1.6 million, while the cost of the Board’s activities stayed roughly the same at just over £1.1 million.
The JLC’s increased financial firepower, according to newly appointed chief executive Simon Johnson, reflected the organisation “putting its umbrella over a number of initiatives”.
The council launched two new divisions — Lead, the young leadership training arm, and Partnerships for Jewish Schools, which covers teacher training and curriculum development — which partly took over work by other organisations.
It also significantly expanded its grant-making, awarding £437,000 to the Israel advocacy organisation Bicom, while funding other projects, including the new school campus at Redbridge.
The JLC raised more than £250,000 towards its community chest, which, among other things, has funded the Board of Deputies’ new programme for regional communities.
According to the accounts, the JLC spent nearly £134,000 on meetings and hospitality in 2012, £67,000 on travel and more than £53,000 on conferences. It also spent £50,000 on legal work.
The JLC’s staffing climbed from six to 10 employees — over the comparative period the Board’s fell from 15 to 14.
In its accounts for the same year, the Board reported: “Several years of cost savings have had a positive impact on the figures but, while these will continue in the future, it should not be assumed that there are many more areas in which expenditure can be cut.”
Over half the Board’s income comes from the £25-a-head voluntary levy on synagogue members, which yielded £683,000 in 2012.
An increase in the levy to £30 was recommended last month.