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Brighton & Hove Jewish Welfare Board

Colour photograph of Middle street synagogue circa© Gordon Kay

Middle street synagogue

The Brighton Hebrew Philanthropic Society was established in 1846. Its purpose was to provide ‘relief’ to those Jewish residents in financial need. In the first year £66.94 was raised, and 183 people were helped to the tune of £22.90. By 1934 the constitution confirmed that the objectives were “to assist in helping the Jewish poor,… Read more »

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The Brighton Hebrew Philanthropic Society was established in 1846. Its purpose was to provide ‘relief’ to those Jewish residents in financial need. In the first year £66.94 was raised, and 183 people were helped to the tune of £22.90.

By 1934 the constitution confirmed that the objectives were “to assist in helping the Jewish poor, resident and casual, by temporary relief, by assistance to procure employment, by making grants of money as gifts or as loans, and by visiting at their homes.”

One hundred and seventy years on, and the Brighton & Hove Jewish Welfare Board is still providing financial assistance to members of our community who are experiencing financial hardship. Our role and objectives have not changed very much – in fact the only thing that has really changed is that we no longer offer employment assistance. I am happy to say that our client list has shrunk considerably and we currently assist 36 individuals or families on a regular basis.

We also offer one-off grants to people who do not need our regular support but have a specific short-term need. Our net income, in 2014, from donations, investments and rents from the two houses that the Board owns, amounted to £73,312. Our charitable disbursements amounted to £76,546.

The Welfare Board is an integral part of the community. Throughout its 170-year existence it has helped individuals and families, organisations and institutions, all that make the Brighton & Hove Jewish community what it is today. We work to ensure that people can be part of communal life no matter what their income.

It is that commitment to those less fortunate members of our community and the desire – in 1846 and today – to protect their dignity that has I believe ensured the consistent presence of a charitable fund in Brighton & Hove for all these years.

For without tzedakah (charity and justice) and chesed (kindness), no community can survive.

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