Sep 2010 Journal

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The future of the AJR

As we approach our 70th anniversary, we at the AJR are planning how best to continue to serve our members with the delivery of social, welfare and financial services to more than 3,000 individuals across the country.

From our origins as a self-help group to our current status as a modern, outward-looking organisation, our unique and specialist work with Holocaust refugees and survivors is unrivalled and we can rightly be proud that our life-changing assistance and intervention have helped to enhance our members’ lives.

Our dedicated Social Services team and committed Volunteers attend to the day-to-day requirements of those of our members with the greatest need while, through our regional groups, former refugees and survivors have the opportunity to socialise, hear from an eclectic mix of expert speakers, and be reunited with friends.

The AJR Centre in Cleve Road continues to provide a warm setting for kosher lunches, entertainment and outings and, judging by its correspondence columns alone, the AJR Journal reaches the parts that other publications cannot.

But all this comes at a great cost. As the AJR’s Chairman, Andrew Kaufman, highlighted at the AGM in June, the stark fact is that the AJR operates at a considerable deficit, with our expenditure almost £1,500,000 greater than our income.

This shortfall is met through the receipt of legacies and we cannot overstate our gratitude to those members who remember the AJR in their wills. Put simply, their forethought and generosity are enabling us to continue to provide our much-needed services.

Today, the membership of the AJR is an assortment of former refugees from Central Europe, survivors from the camps, child survivors, Kinder and second generation. Counter-intuitive as it may sound given that our first-generation members have an average age of 86, the AJR is looking firmly to the future and to how we can best continue to blend our continental heritage whilst preparing to be at our busiest in the coming years.

At this time of economic difficulty, it is likely that the most vulnerable in society will face cuts in welfare payments. Also, as with many other organisations, the returns on our investments have suffered during the worst of the present financial crisis.

We can also expect in the very near future a tailing off of support from the Claims Conference for our emergency and homecare programmes.

It is with these pressures in mind that we are asking you to consider leaving a legacy to the AJR. After ensuring that your families and friends are adequately provided for, a residual legacy to the AJR Charitable Trust will help to guarantee that our vital services can continue for as long as necessary.

Michael Newman

previous article:The Free German League of Culture
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