David Dein MBE sits down virtually with Nick Ross for Jewish Care

30 Sep 2020

Jewish Care hosted an uplifting and entertaining online event with TV and radio presenter, Nick Ross, in conversation with David Dein MBE, former vice-chairman of both Arsenal Football Club and of the Football Association.

This was part of a new series called ‘Jewish Care Presents…’ hosting guest speakers for community members via Zoom, followed by live Q&A sessions. The series is enabling the audience to continue to be engaged and entertained while we are unable to physically gather in groups and is attracting older people from across Jewish Care services who are unable to attend our community centres due to Covid19, as well as those in the community who are new to Jewish Care.

Nick Ross’s father was a German Jewish refugee, who came to the UK in 1933, soon after Hitler came to power. The TV presenter and broadcaster, who presented Crimewatch for 22 years, opened the conversation by telling the audience, “Last year, my wife Sarah and I visited Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre and I shared my life experiences as a journalist.  We had a wonderful afternoon interacting with these extraordinary people and I’m really pleased to be back, albeit virtually this time.”  

Introducing David Dein, to the audience, Nick said, “His enthusiasm is infectious. He’s devoted to his family, football and he’s devoted to helping people, before and since Covid. He’s a mensch.”

David’s father was from a small town near Kiev and his mother came from Poland. As the Zoom took place soon after Rosh Hashanah, he gave a New Year message to the Zoom audience, saying, “To everyone listening from the Holocaust Survivors’ Centre and to everyone at Jewish Care, you have my utmost respect and I wish you a happy and healthy new year for many years to come.“

Sharing their love of good humour, Nick and David told jokes and covered highlights and stories from the football entrepreneur and businessman’s career at both Arsenal Football Club and the Football Association.

Talking about how he first got involved in football, Dein said; “I first went as an 8-year-old to the game and I got sucked in straight away by the colour, the noise and the atmosphere. It’s gladiatorial and it’s something very special. Then I went to play for my school and county team.

“I used to be in the stands at Arsenal and eventually became a season ticket holder. Later on, I bought a share in the club and I noticed that 15% club of the club’s shares had never been issued. So, I used a bit of Jewish Chutzpah and applied for them. I sent a blank cheque and got asked to come in for an interview and it went from there.”

Dein spoke proudly about the popularity of women’s football today, saying “I am a very proud and passionate promoter of women’s football which is going so well. I’m very happy to be associated with the game.”

Since retiring from football, David Dein has given talks at all 119 prisons in the country and has started ‘The Twinning Project’ running FA accredited courses with local football clubs in prisons to give prisoners skills to equip them to find work on release.

Speaking after the Zoom event, Jewish Care’s, Rachelle Lazarus, Holocaust Survivors’ Services Manager, said:

“I’d like to thank Nick Ross and David Dein MBE, for giving their time today to support Jewish Care and all those older people who are staying at home at the moment whilst the organisation’s Community Centres are closed due to the pandemic. Being able to feel connected to the community and knowing that other people like David and Nick are happy to give their time, is a huge boost and really appreciated by our members and audience of older people at home.”

If you would like to see more of the Jewish Care Presents series, email JCPresents@jcare.org to register for free.