Ignoring valuable Charedi charities
In Lionel Salama’s article calling for a radical charity overhaul (JC, April 21) he makes a statement which is both irresponsible and can be taken as offensive. He states: “In a little over a decade, it is estimated that more than half of Jewish children in the UK will be born to Charedi families. At best, the mainstream community will stagnate; at worst, it will decline. By 2030, the relatively smaller mainstream community will have to support a larger Jewish community”.
A widely accepted definition of charity is the voluntary giving of help. No part of the community “will have” to support anyone. What makes Mr Salama feel that Charedim don’t contribute to charities? There are hundreds of small charities set up and run by Charedim that operate extremely leanly as opposed to the large mainstream Jewish charities of which Mr Salama speaks, which have huge costs and are cumbersome to operate. Moreover, in a 2016 JPR charity report, they found that Jews in general are more likely to give to non-Jewish charities then Jewish ones. In the same report, it identifies that the more religious give larger amounts and are more likely to give to Jewish causes, the most religious giving only to Jewish causes. Therefore as the “mainstream” declines, the evidence suggests contributions to Jewish charity will rise.
Lionel Salama asserts that when the Jewish Blind Society and the Jewish Welfare Board merged to create Jewish Care, Norwood Child Care was invited to join but Norwood’s lay leaders declined.
Norwood received no such invitation which in any case would have been inappropriate given the very different client base.
Brian Levy, Chairman Norwood Child Care 1986-1992, London NW3