The prospective new chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council has pledged to launch a review of charity spending in order to save £10 million a year.
Jonathan Goldstein, the sole candidate to succeed Sir Mick Davis as head of the umbrella body next month, said Jewish charities could eliminate wasteful duplication through closer collaboration.
The community’s more than 2,000 organisations were “far too many to support”, he said at at a hustings on Monday night where he presented his manifesto to representatives of the JLC’s affiliate organisations.
As an example of overlap, he cited the several invitations he had received over the past few months to different dinners attempting to raise funds for the same cause, fighting antisemitism and anti-Zionism on campus.
“I am not knocking any one organisation. I just question whether we as a community of only 300,000 people should be working in those silos as opposed to working together,” he said.
If elected, he planned to set up a comprehensive review headed by a leading business figure, which would be charged with finding ways of saving £10 million a year.
Although unopposed, he still requires a vote of confirmation from the JLC council, which meets the week after next.
Mr Goldstein, 50, is the chief executive of property investment company Cain Hoy and a former vice-chairman of Jewish Care. He chairs the JLC’s education division, Partnerships for Jewish Schools, as well as the trust which raises fund for the Chief Rabbi.
“As an Ilford boy, who lived and studied in Manchester, I believe I am able to understand and represent a wide cross-section of the community,” he said.
Believing that diversity is one of the community’s “greatest strengths”, Mr Goldstein said the JLC should work for equal representation within its ranks for women as well as for members of the LGBT community, while also building bridges with the growing Charedi population.
Stressing the need for greater investment in Jewish education, he called for the adequate teaching of modern Jewish and Israeli history in Jewish schools.
On visits to Jewish day schools, the last two Israeli ambassadors had told him they were “disappointed by the level of knowledge our children have of modern Israeli history. They don’t understand the sequencing of the wars, they don’t understand the impact of the Six-Day War and the Occupation, they don’t know even know about Entebbe and Lebanon etc,” Mr Goldstein said.
“We have to make sure our children are well educated,” he said