‘Frontline needs we have to address’

‘Frontline needs we have to address’

JCA president Stephen Chipkin: 'I’m proud of the way our community has responded to COVID-19, and the way JCA has been able to step forward and use its reserves in a proactive way'

WITH JCA pledge cards beginning to arrive in mailboxes, president Stephen Chipkin has praised the strength of the NSW Jewish community while calling on donors to ensure vital services can continue while planning for the future.

Thanking donors for their past support, Chipkin said JCA “going out boldly and strongly” with an $18 million support package for constituents to meet the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic has been very well received.

“Many of our major donors regarded that as a very strong statement and were prepared to stand alongside us in the effort to get our community through,” he said.

“There are many frontline needs that we have to address. We can only do this as a community if people support us. It will get us though this and strengthen our community into the years ahead.”

This year, donors will again have the option to donate to specific programs, with those that support needs arising from the pandemic clearly marked on the form.

JCA president Stephen Chipkin. Photo: Vicki Lauren Photography

“In difficult times when the donors themselves are feeling affected – very directly in financial terms – there is a real need to justify and explain what the need is,” Chipkin said.

He conceded that this year’s campaign will not meet last year’s fundraising total of close to $14 million, saying $10 million will be “a fabulous result”.

“We had a very successful campaign last year. It was an increase of almost $1 million from the year before. By any measure you would say it was an outstanding result,” he said.

He said JCA’s first experience of specific project giving was a positive experience, though almost 84 per cent of donations still went to the general pool.

“Leaving allocations to people who are closer to the coalface has always been the JCA model. So there was an affirmation of that,” he said.

“On the other hand, there is no doubt that among new donors and younger donors, program giving was attractive.”

In terms of allocations by sector from last year’s campaign, 33 per cent has gone to Jewish education, 27 per cent to security and advocacy, 19 per cent to aged and community care, 14 per cent to culture, engagement and outreach and seven per cent to Holocaust history and heritage.

This year’s campaign being Chipkin’s last as president, he said it had been a privilege to lead the organisation.

“Through my time I’ve seen a growing engagement with the next generation and the position that JCA currently holds within our community has only got stronger. I’m proud to have been part of that,” he said.

“It’s a pity in a way that my last campaign is in isolation. It would have been nice to have shared the sense of growing community. That sense of connection that comes from being 1700-strong together in a room is a powerful rallying cry even before you say ‘please fill in your pledge cards’.”

But he said, “I’m proud of the way our community has responded to COVID-19, I’m proud of the way JCA has been able to step forward and use its reserves in a proactive way. 

“So there’s a lot of positives even in these difficult times, and I’m just happy to be part of a cohesive, collective community.”

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