Campaign Dinner 201410 Jun 2014
1,000 guests attended Jewish Care’s annual campaign dinner, sponsored by Investec, raising a record breaking £4.4 million.
The stars of this year’s dinner were the organisation’s clients, four of whom took centre stage to be interviewed by the 157th Speaker of the Houses of Parliament and first Jewish person to take on the role, The Rt Hon John Bercow, MP.
Hettie Tauber (98), Freddie Knoller (93), Max Levitas (99) and veteran volunteer, Annette Yarrow (86), talked about the changes they have seen over the years, offering words of wisdom to future generations along with gratitude to guests for supporting the organisation that is their lifeline.
Stepney Jewish Community Centre member, and battle of Cable Street veteran, Max Levitas spoke of the importance of fighting against racism and fascism whilst urging guests to move back to their roots in Tower Hamlets;
“Before the war there were over 50,000 Jewish people in Tower Hamlets, today there are only 1,300. Come back to Tower Hamlets, I need you, we need you”.
Knitting enthusiast Vi & John Rubens House resident Hettie Tauber, who raises money for Jewish Care through selling her goods, said she didn’t know where she would be without the organisation;
“If it wouldn’t be for Jewish Care where would I and other older people be? What would we do?”
When asked what advice she would give the next generation, Brenner Community Centre volunteer Annette urged others to take her lead;
“I along with other volunteers have set a pattern for volunteering. I need to know you will follow this pattern, it is really rewarding and it will change your life."
Holocaust Survivor Centre member, Freddie Knoller talked about the importance of being positive;
“I am alive today because I am an optimist. I would recommend to young people to be positive, love people and preach love not hate.”
Following a standing ovation for the clients and Speaker of the House, Lord Levy, President of Jewish Care, thanked them for sharing their time and snapshots with the guests;
“These people, the stars of our evening, with 376 years between them, they are what Jewish Care is all about. They represent different facets of the organisation from our homes to day centres. They are why you are here this evening."
With a further change to business as usual, the appeal speech, traditionally given by a Jewish Care Trustee, was made by client and 82 year old Holocaust Survivor, Ivor Perl.
Ivor first came into contact with the Jewish Welfare Board, the predecessor of Jewish Care, when he arrived to the UK at the age of 13 having been liberated from Auschwitz where most of his family had perished. A member of Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors Centre, Ivor has himself been supported over the years by the organisation. When his wife Rhona was diagnosed with dementia and he needed support he once again turned to Jewish Care. He talked of the important role Jewish Care has always played in his life;
“When I think back on my 82 years, I reflect on the fact that Jewish Care has been an extension of my family, from my early years as an orphaned teenager and today supporting me and my darling wife Rhona. I feel blessed to have Jewish Care."
Introducing this year’s film, made for the first time by staff and volunteers, Jewish Care, Campaign Dinner Chair, Nicola Loftus said;
“The film you are about to see takes you straight to the heart of Jewish Care and will show you a snap shot of what we do 365 days of the year. It’s a home movie if you like, with no frills, just genuine Jewish Care clients, volunteers and staff."
She continued by talking about the importance of the organisation and the reach of its work across the community;
“Virtually all of us here will, at some point, need to rely on Jewish Care directly or indirectly, and so when families can’t cope on their own, that’s when Jewish Care steps up to its responsibility to our community and becomes our real extended family.”
The notion of the Jewish Care family was strong throughout the evening only to be topped off by a surprise performance from Kathy Sledge of Sister Sledge who sang a medley of top hits including her best known classic “We Are Family”. Images of the ‘Jewish Care family’ were shown on the screen behind the performer who encouraged guests to join her on stage to celebrate the work of the special family of Jewish Care.
Lord Levy, joined Chairman Steven Lewis, Chief Executive Simon Morris, clients, staff and guests on stage to dance and sing alongside the American star who spoke of her admiration for the work of Jewish Care;
“I am honoured to be here tonight. This morning I visited your campus in Golders Green, I felt so much love there and I feel it again in this room this evening. A special thank you to you all, the wonderful people behind Jewish Care. You are a complete family. I am going to sing this song again and this time remember Jewish Care and remember we are family.”
Speaking after the event Steven Lewis, Chairman of Jewish Care said;
“The £4.4 million raised at last night’s dinner is a fantastic start towards our annual £15 million fundraising target. Without the generosity of individuals in the community we would not be able to provide the range of much needed services.”
“It was great to see younger faces at the dinner. One of our biggest challenges over the coming years is to reach out to the future of the organisation and pass onto them the responsibility of supporting and leading Jewish Care so we can continue to provide vital services for the entire community.”