World Jewish Relief

Organisation profile

World Jewish Relief


As a UK based international Jewish charity, WJR is committed to meeting the needs of individuals and communities living in poverty, assisting them in the transformation of their lives and livelihoods. 

Last year, WJR supported programmes addressing the needs of vulnerable communities in 20 countries through 52 programes across the globe, reaching a remarkable 90,877 people.

Working through local partners, we focus exclusively on the more vulnerable sections of society; women, children, older people and those with disabilities, identifying solutions that both relieve poverty and additionally build on long term sustainable solutions. 

Established in 1933 as the Central British Fund for German Jews, the charity rescued over 100,000 Jewish people from Germany before WWII and was also largely responsible for organising the Kindertransport, bringing over 10,000 unaccompanied, mainly Jewish children, from Nazi-occupied Europe. 

Today, we continue this proud tradition of assisting vulnerable communities, now providing simple, but effective services to those most acutely affected by poverty. Most of this work takes place across the former Soviet Union, where WJR has developed a detailed understanding of client needs over the last 20 years. These initiatives have concentrated on the provision of homecare, food, winter relief and medical support to the elderly, families with young children and those living with disability, whose household income leves are insufficient to meet their most basic requirements. Our unique Gifts in Kind operation, sourcing new and nearly new clothing and other key goods in the UK for our recipient communities, provides and additional supplement to their meagre income sources.

WJR also recognises the importance of supporting long term sustainable programmes that enable clients to break the cycle of poverty and ultimately help themselves. Our livelihood development programmes provide parents, particularly single mothers, with the skills and opportunities to improve their emplyability while assisting with the burden of childcare. Other projects also enable children with disabilities, or young people from chronically deprived backgrounds, to benefit from a mainstream education and fully participate in the society to which they belong. 

Support is mainly focused on our extended Jewish family but, in accordance with the imperative of Tikkun Olam, healing the world, WJR is proud to support initiatives that assist those both within and beyond our own community. The criteria for the extension of our Jewish lifeline is as follows:

i) Responding to major international catastrophic disasters

ii) Supporting programmes in contexts that specifically resonate with the experiences of our own Community (genocide and religious persecution)

iii) Supporting partners in areas where there is a resident Jewish community