Mental health charity to become part of Jewish Care

Charity

The mental health charity Jami is to merge into Jewish Care, the organisations have announced.

The two charities began to integrate their services just over a decade ago, when they created a single mental health service for the Jewish community.

The organisations said the merger would secure sustainable mental health provision for the Jewish community.

The charities already share back-office functions, both operating out of Jewish Care’s office in London, to help with running costs.

Under the new plans the charities will fully integrate their services, with all of Jami’s 92 staff being transferred to Jewish Care.

Laurie Rackind, chief executive of Jami, will step down from the role after 17 years at the charity’s helm but will remain “closely involved with the transition” as Jami’s services are integrated into Jewish Care over the coming months, a Jewish Care spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the complexity of managing a charity in today’s environment amid the cost-of-living crisis and a rise in inflation were key factors in the decision to merge.

Jami, which is registered as the Jewish Association for Mental Illness, had an income of just over £4m in 2022, according to its latest accounts filed with the Charity Commission.

Jewish Care, which provides health and social care services to the older Jewish community in London and south-east England, had an income of £82.7m over the same period.

In a statement, Adam Dawson and Jonathan Zenios, chairs of Jami and Jewish Care respectively, said the merger would “ensure that the needs of the community continue to be met effectively, and the future of Jami’s vital mental health services are sustainable and secured for the future”.

Dawson said the merger was a “natural development” given how closely the two charities had worked with each other over the past decade, and the move would “expand our knowledge, expertise and resources to enable Jami to continue providing hope and help to everyone living with mental illness in the community”.

They added that Jewish Care would keep the Jami brand and ensure all services offered by the mental health charity would be unaffected by the integration.

Daniel Carmel-Brown, chief executive of Jewish Care, said: “Jami has built up a fantastic reputation in the community over three decades. Keeping the Jami name is a strong part of who it is and what the community relates to.

“Coming together means that we can ensure Jami’s services are sustainable for generations to come,” he said.

All existing Jami trustees will be given the chance to join an existing Jewish Care board sub-committee, and the chair of Jami’s clinical governance committee will be nominated to join the Jewish Care board as a trustee, alongside the current chair of Jami’s board.

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