JLC and major donors launch new £3m+ initiative for Jewish social care charities COVID-19 response

A group of major philanthropists and family foundations have partnered with the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) to launch an initiative targeting £3m as urgently needed support for Jewish social care charities - with half of that sum already committed.

This joint work will enable organisations to sustain their direct care services, which provide essential support for over 10,000 people across our community including cancer patients; children with life-limiting illnesses; vulnerable children; people with physical and learning disabilities; young people with significant emotional needs; victims of domestic abuse; and adults experiencing mental health problems.

The demand for charities’ services has never been greater and the pandemic’s financial fallout has caused the loss of millions from charities at a time when they need more resources than ever before. Indeed, the JLC surveyed 31 charities including nine social care providers, of which eight project lost income this year totalling £5m; 4 have reduced staff; 8 have or expect an increase in demand for services; and 7 are facing cash flow disruption. In partnership with the JLC, major funders will work together to asses and respond to these pressing needs.

The JLC is aiming to raise at least £3m for this communal priority with half of that figure already pledged. It is expected that substantial further resources will be available through this collaboration to strengthen vital communal services caring for some of the most vulnerable groups affected by COVID-19.

A group led by JLC Chair Jonathan Goldstein will be comprised of Baroness Ros Altmann CBE, Sir Mick Davis, Robert Gibber, Henry Grunwald OBE QC, Dame Gail Ronson and Hilda Worth will work together to analyse the needs and allocate support. This will be based on a robust and evidence-based application process, working to a series of comprehensive criteria, to ensure the funds go where they are most needed. This group will be supported by financial professionals.

This initiative comprises one facet of the JLC’s broad range of work to support the community through this crisis, which also included the establishment of the Emergency Community Fund in partnership with Work Avenue for families whose financial situation has been impacted by COVID-19. The JLC and many of these philanthropists and foundations have also supported the Jewish Homes Emergency Appeal.

Commenting on the need for collective responsibility and collaborative action, Jonathan Goldstein, JLC Chair said: “At its heart, the JLC drives greater cooperation across the Jewish charitable sector. Our entire community recognises that now is the time to join forces and help one another through this crisis. I am hugely grateful that many of our community’s most generous supporters have joined the JLC in this collaborative spirit to deliver immediate and substantial support to our social care sector.”

Baroness Ros Altmann CBE said: “Our community, our country, indeed the entire world has not faced such a public health and economic crisis in any of our lifetimes. Extraordinary circumstances require creative and flexible responses. The Government has stepped in throughout many parts of the economy and health sector, yet gaps remain, and many vulnerable people still rely on our social care charities. With charities facing very difficult circumstances for raising funds, this wonderful JLC initiative aims to help the front-line services who care for some of the most vulnerable in society”.