World Jewish Relief
Fleet Street, UK
Closing date
22 Sep 2020

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Contract Type
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World Jewish Relief is the UK Jewish community's international development and humanitarian agency, tackling Jewish poverty and reaching beyond our community. We meet the physical and emotional needs of older Jewish people. We empower those out of work or living with a disability to become self-reliant. We respond to the immediate and longer term recovery needs of those affected by catastrophic disaster worldwide which have recently included Haiti, Myanmar, Mozambique, Indonesia and the Philippines

Every year we assist around 42,000 people through an impressive array of over 100 programme in 18 countries, implemented in close partnership with local organisations primarily in the former Soviet Union. With a growing expertise in older person care, livelihood development and humanitarian assistance we have set ourselves ambitious corporate targets. Our most recent refugee livelihood programme has asssisted over 300 refugees in the UK and garnered significant media attention.


We have a remarkable heritage. Founded in 1933 as the Central British Fund for German Jewry to assist Jews fleeing Nazi oppression in Europe, we assisted 65,000 Jews to escape Germany and Austria, instigated the famous Kindertransports and brought 732 concentration camp survivors to the UK post war. Even with our historic past today we are an agency that looks forwards, confident that we apply modern, innovative solutions with exemplary standards to contemporary problems. We work beyond our community, inspired by the Jewish values of caring for the stranger and recognising the dignity and potential of all people. Everything we do has a Jewish reason.

  • Our Vision is an end to Jewish poverty and global suffering.
  • Our Mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable Jews and lead the
  • Jewish response to humanitarian crises.


This is a voluntary, lay leadership role.

The primary role of the Chair is to provide leadership to the Board and ensure that Trustees fulfil their duties and responsibilities for the values, proper governance, sound strategy and financial sustainability of World Jewish Relief in line with our charitable objects, strategy, policies, and UK legislation. To hold the Chief Executive to account for delivering the strategy and annual plans. Equally, the Chair must support, guide, and where appropriate challenge the Chief Executive in a constructive manner.

Chair the Board meetings, in particular:
  • Provide leadership to the organisation and its Board, ensuring that World Jewish Relief delivers on its objects and strategy, in line with its culture of warmth, collegiate responsibility and integrity.
  • Ensure that the Board makes clear decisions on strategy, policy, financial stewardship and risk exposure.
  • Ensure that the Board spends adequate time across the range of its duties, covering fiduciary, strategic and succession thinking.
  • Monitor the implementation of the Board decisions.
  • Ensure that the Board is working well together, regularly refreshed and incorporates the right balance of skills, knowledge and experience needed to govern the organisation effectively.
  • Monitor the performance of the Board and its members.
  • Develop the Board and ensure that members are properly inducted and supported.
  • Plan the annual cycle of meetings with the Chief Executive
  • Establish and build a strong, effective and constructive working relationship with the Chief Executive, ensuring they are held to account for achieving agreed strategic objectives as delegated to them.

  • Maintain oversight of all Standing Committees of World Jewish Relief.
  • Ensure effective management of World Jewish Relief's financial and non-financial resources for the benefit of our charitable objects.
  • Ensure that there are systems in place to provide financial accountability and assurance.
  • Lead on the appointment and management of the Chief Executive, including carrying out their appraisal, setting objectives and providing support.
  • Ensure World Jewish Relief develops a robust annual plan, and monitor performance against it.
  • Ensure that the Board reviews major risks regularly, and that systems are in place to manage and mitigate risks.
  • Ensure that the Board is meeting all of its legal obligations, for example in respect of safeguarding.

External Representation:
  • Act as an ambassador for the organisation and raise World Jewish Relief's profile.
  • The Chair of World Jewish Relief sits on the Jewish Leadership Council Board that meets quarterly.
  • World Jewish Relief holds two seats on the Board of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee of which one is always held by the Chair. This will require attendance at approximately one or two meetings per year in New York.
  • The Chair is encouraged to join the Council or Management Board of World Jewish Relief's
  • flagship partner the Jewish Community Centre in Krakow Poland.


  • Demonstrate a strong and visible passion and commitment to World Jewish Relief, its strategy, mission, vision and values.
  • Has personal gravitas and be comfortable in a public-facing ambassadorial role.
  • Exhibit strong interpersonal and relationship building abilities.
  • Demonstrate tact and diplomacy, with the ability to listen and engage effectively.
  • Excellent communicator, negotiator and influencer.
  • Strong networking capabilities that can be utilised for the benefit of World Jewish Relief.
  • Ability to foster and promote a collaborative team environment.
  • Have strong leadership and facilitation skills, able to bring out different voices across the group and guide people to reach a genuine consensus.
  • Ability to commit time to perform the role well, including attending events outside of office hours.

  • Experience of operating at a senior strategic leadership level within an organisation.
  • Successful track record of achievement through their career.
  • Experience of being a Trustee.

Knowledge and skills
  • Broad knowledge and understanding of the international development sector and current issues affecting it (desirable).
  • Strong leadership skills, ability to motivate staff and volunteers and bring people together.
  • Ability to manage different groups of stakeholders with very different perspectives.
  • Financial management expertise and a broad understanding of charity finance issues (desirable).
  • Good understanding of charity governance issues


  • There are four Council meetings a year with one away day on a Sunday. The Chair traditionally attends both Allocations and Nominations Standing Committee meetings that each meet quarterly and also chairs the Remunerations Committee which meets once per year. A formal monthly meeting with the Chief Executive is encouraged as is regular informal communication with staff members within the professional team.
  • It is hoped that all Council members will occasionally make field visits overseas to our projects and engage on a regular basis with key staff members on specific issues related to their portfolio.
  • Council and committee meetings are usually from 17:30 onwards, though some are early morning from 08:30 onwards. Many meetings take place either at World Jewish Relief's offices or in central London.
  • This is an unremunerated role though reasonable expenses will be reimbursed if required.

Applications by 15th September
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