UJIA raises £1million to support Israel experiences for young people

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UJIA raises £1million to support Israel experiences for young people

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett gave the keynote speech at Kensington Palace event attended by 350 guests

UJIA CEO Mandie Winston. (C) Blake Ezra Photography 2023
UJIA CEO Mandie Winston. (C) Blake Ezra Photography 2023

UJIA raised around £1million at its annual dinner and campaign launch on Wednesday 27th September, the first it has staged since before the pandemic.

350 guests attended the event in the royal surroundings of Kensington Palace where former Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett gave the keynote speech, as covered by Jewish News.

Organisers predicted that a sum in the region of £1 million would be raised from the dinner, with the money going towards much needed funds to ensure that young British Jews could take part in life-changing educational programmes in Israel.

The dinner comes as UJIA announce a new campaign with a focus on promoting a sense of belonging to the Jewish people among young British Jews through Israel engagement and visits to Israel.

Left to right: UJIA CEO Mandie Winston, UJIA Chair Louise Jacobs, former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, UJIA Trustee Karen Goodkind. (C) Blake Ezra Photography 2023

In her heartfelt appeal speech, UJIA CEO Mandie Winston said “1 in 6 participants in teen summer tours required significant financial assistance this summer. The equation is very simple.  The more funds that UJIA raises the more young people have a quality Israel experience that allows them to feel that they belong to the Jewish people.”

“Many of them will become the rabbis, educators, communal professionals and volunteers that our community will need in order to thrive. They will not take being Jewish for granted and they will pay it forward”, she added.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said: “We need a strong Jewish diaspora to strengthen Israel, it’s true. It makes a huge difference. That’s what we are about. Jews take care of Jews. If a Jew in Morocco is hurt, I feel pain. That’s why I think what UJIA is doing is amazing. It’s the single most effective way of keeping young Jewish people connected to Israel. Kol hakavod. Keep it up and write big cheques to UJIA!”

UJIA President Sir Trevor Chinn also made a dedication to the late Ruth and Michael Phillips, in honour of their longstanding contribution to the organisation.

(Naftali Bennett. C) Blake Ezra Photography 2023

UJIA Chairman, Louise Jacobs said: “We are so thrilled to have been able to hold an annual dinner for the first time in years. We are grateful to our incredible supporters who tonight made a commitment to the future of our community and the young people who will shape it.”

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