Fundraiser for ‘mensch’ who died aged 48 tops £20,000 in hours

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Fundraiser for ‘mensch’ who died aged 48 tops £20,000 in hours

Tributes flood in for popular academy trust co-founder Dean Jayson with money being raised for small Israeli charities.

Dean Jayson
Dean Jayson

Friends and colleagues of a Jewish man from Essex described as “the ultimate mensch” have raised more than £21,000 for a range of small Israeli charities after his death at the age of 48.

Dean Jayson, who co-founded the Jewish Community Academy Trust (JCAT), was lauded by those who knew him, including Michael Goldstein, chair of JCAT and President of the United Synagogue.

“Our community has been deeply shaken by the sudden loss of Dean,” he said. “Though words on a page cannot do justice to everything Dean was or did for so many people, I would like to attempt to thank him for the extraordinary impact he had on those he met.”

A senior manager in the IT industry, Jayson was co-vice chair of the JCAT Trustee board, having been on the governing body at Wolfson Hillel, and was described by those who knew him as “the life and soul of the party”.

Friend Suzanne Baum said: “Dean was the ultimate mensch. A best friend, father, husband, and son. Loyal, fair, intelligent, loud, kind, hospitable, outspoken, funny, passionate, and a mentor to my eldest son.”

Goldstein said Jayson “made monumental contributions” to the success of JCAT, adding that “he cared greatly about the education of our children, as demonstrated by the sheer volume of hours he committed to his various roles”.

His wife Judianne has asked that those wishing to give money in him memory should donate to Myisrael, which was set up in 2008 “to connect UK donors with small but inspirational charities in Israel that had previously fallen under the radar”.

By Wednesday afternoon, more than 280 donors had raised £21,000. Writing online, Judianne paid tribute to her friends who had supported her and her children.

“They have never left my side, cooked for me, supported my grieving children, changed my sheets, picked up dog poo from the garden, spoken to the coroner, picked me up from the floor when I couldn’t cope, created groups to support my children forever more, got them therapy, Babybel lights or sushi when they asked, made me endless cups of tea, ensured that I ate, made rotas to feed me and support me after the shiva ends, I could go on.”

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