One of WIZOUK’s principal donors says there are many reasons to support the organisation

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

One of WIZOUK’s principal donors says there are many reasons to support the organisation

David Dangoor is committed to WIZOUK and its awards initiative

David Dangoor, 74, a well-known Jewish philanthropist like his father, Naim, has supported the charity and its Commitment Awards for several years, and is excited that a new round of nominations will open shortly.

“It’s a personal story for me because my mum was involved for many years,” he says. “I feel like I’m carrying on something that she had done. For me, that’s important. I feel like I’m her deputy, as if I’ve been handed the baton.”

Dangoor’s philanthropy touches on a range of Jewish areas and organisations, including the Chaplaincy and the Union of Jewish Students, where his younger son Daniel has just been voted chair of the board of trustees from November.

“Family continuity is very much part of our methodology,” says Dangoor Sr. “It’s an aspiration. In the end, things will happen as they happen, but it’s nice to have the association. We’re conscious that the actual work is done by others.”

Further discussion about his children one day taking over from him brings a chuckle. “I’m not a spent force yet,” he says with a smile. “But yes, the day will come.”

The day for nominations for WIZO’s Commitment Awards is coming, too. The organisation wants to recognise inspiring women leading the way, equality in the workplace, girls’ and women’s education, women in leadership, inclusion and diversity in the media, and innovation that has changed women’s lives.

Maureen Fisher, chief executive of WIZO UK, says that the awards are for “people who are committed to making the world a better place in some way”. It’s not about money and donors but about using one’s “skills, flair, connections, professions, or passion. It may be that they’ve created an app or volunteer with people with learning difficulties”, she says, giving just two examples.

Given that this is the Women’s International Zionist Organisation, it is noticeable that this year’s awards have a more specific female focus than previous years, with eight of the past 11 winners having been men.

An original point of the awards, says Fisher, was for people to see that WIZO’s work “goes far beyond women and babies”, but she explains that this year’s return of focus back to women stems from Covid-19.

“Rewind to the pandemic and lockdown, and the global focus on the intensified violence and abuse of women, we felt that now was the right time to shine a light on all WIZO’s work with women over the years,” she says.

“From campaigning in the Knesset [Israeli parliament] for rules to improve the lives of women, to equality in the workplace and safety on the streets and in the home… it led us to develop a campaign – Women Leading the Way – to educate on this area of our work.”

Although the categories in this year’s awards are female-focused, the winners don’t necessarily need to be women. For instance, it is not just women who contribute towards equality in the workplace, she says. It all impresses Dangoor.

“WIZO has a huge number of dedicated volunteers, and you can tell there’s still a huge need for its work,” he says, speaking about the projects in Israel, such as sheltered housing for abused wives, which he recently visited.

WIZO is Israel’s largest social welfare organisation and Dangoor has sponsored several of its initiatives, including the Olive Tree exhibit, where 35 Israeli women from Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Circassian backgrounds came together through art. Having chosen the olive tree as their theme, the artists created an environment of tolerance, friendship and sharing in which to paint. Their exhibition travelled around the world, including to the European Parliament and the United Nations.

His Israel philanthropy is certainly not limited to WIZO. Partly because of northern Israel’s diversity, it is an evident joy of his that the Dangoor Centre for Personalised Medicine at Bar Ilan University has had such success around Galilee, where the university’s faculty of medicine is based. The area around Sfat has a high Israeli Arab population, he says. “That area had a dearth of medical practitioners. By educating medics in Galilee, the result has been that many Jewish and Arab doctors qualify there – and stay there.”

Furthermore, Bar Ilan is “a synthesis of the two sides of Israel, between those focused on religious traditions and those with a more modern secular outlook, between Jewish learning and the study of science and technology,” he says. This is increasingly important.

“Medicine speaks to everybody,” he explains. “For instance, cancer is the same whether you’re Jewish or Arab.” What differs, he has learned, can be a community’s approach to illness and medicine. “Some are reluctant to have vaccinations, or intimate examinations, or for their daughters or wives to have treatment, or even to keep taking antibiotics until the course is finished,” he explains.

“These can be big cultural challenges. Bar Ilan is well placed to deal with all that.” In this way, he says, “personalised medicine” can mean different drugs working for different people, or it can mean different approaches for different cultures.

He describes someone’s faith or belief as “their cultural fountain and a source of their identity” and loves working with people from different religions and cultures, including through his chairmanship of the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London’s Council on Faith, a role in which he met the late Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

The ethnic and religious diversity of Israel is also something to be cherished for Dangoor, yet the country’s growing divisions are a worry. What does he think of the protests and claims that Israeli ministers are trying to strip power from judges and hand it to themselves? He knows that other big British Jewish philanthropists have threatened to pull their money over the issue, and while Dangoor accepts that most Israelis see a need for some reform, he thinks Israeli ministers also need to “buy in by the majority” if they are to make such controversial changes without risking a terrible rupture.

“In a similar vein to what Golda Meir said about the Israelis and the Arabs, Israel can only survive if most of its polarised voters love Israel more than they mistrust each other,” he says. “It’s about respecting others who have a different opinion to yourself. Unity is more important that the specific outcome on which we disagree”. Amen.



Nominations are now open. Closing date is 31 July 2023


•             WIZO Major Achievement Award for an Inspiring Woman Leading the Way

•             Equality in the Workplace

•             Girls and Women in Education

•             Women in Leadership

•             Inclusion and Diversity in the Media (sponsored by the Jewish New)

•             Innovation that has Changed Women’s Lives

Judging panel

Claude Littner, Linda Plant, Andrew Bloch, John Ware, Sophie Eden


For more information on the criteria for categories, and to nominate visit or email



Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: