I’ve been Tzedek’s Chief Executive for nearly three years. It has been an amazing time of change and growth. When I look back over these last three years, I am particularly delighted by our overseas development work and our work at home with the UK Jewish community.
Last year, we directly brought 5,000 beneficiaries out of extreme poverty. This means that indirectly, we brought some 50,000 people out of poverty. We did this by working in partnership with NGOs in India and Ghana in the areas of education and livelihoods. We work with families and communities, supporting them to learn vocational skills, such as tailoring and weaving, and providing them with access to microfinance schemes that gives them the means to start their own businesses. This allows families to keep their children in school, instead of in the field. This synergistic effect – at a family and community level – makes our work impactful, meaningful and sustainable.
I am particularly delighted that we have now taken our development work to the next level in Northern Ghana where we now have a multi-year programme to reduce poverty across the district of Tolon, (population 85,000). And in India we have co-developed a leadership development programme for our partners in our networks in both Northern India and Southern India. This will increase the impact, reach and sustainability of these NGOs and their projects and programmes, bringing more people out of poverty, year on year.
In the UK, we have continued to engage widely: from the children in Jewish primary schools who take part in our Twinning Programme to the overseas study programmes we run in partnership the Office of the Chief Rabbi. We run a wonderful work experience programme in the summer, offer internships throughout the year and have volunteers and supporters of all ages, ranging across the community.
This is the impact we have had as a small Jewish charity based in Golders Green. It’s quite incredible. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have been part of my Tzedek journey – the Tzedek team and Trustees, volunteers, partners in the UK and overseas, supporters and friends.
I wish Tzedek all the best moving forwards and wish great success to Tzedek’s next Chief Executive, Kira Blumer, who will join us in February.
With my very best wishes,
Dr Judith Stanton