When Two Become One

In November, the UK’s Jewish community’s leading mental health charity, Jami and Jewish Care, the largest health and social care charity serving the Jewish community, issued a statement to announce their merger. 

The two organisations first came together 11 years ago to create a single mental health service for the Jewish community. Due to its success, The Board of Trustees of both organisations, felt that now was the right time to fully integrate their services.

Whilst the integration brings the two organisations together, Jewish Care’s CEO Daniel Carmel-Brown has stated that it would continue using the Jami brand which has “built up a fantastic reputation in the community over three decades.”

Jewish Care CEO Daniel Carmel-Brown, by Blake Ezra Photography

He added: “Keeping the Jami name is a strong part of who they are and what the community relates to. This is an exciting opportunity for both organisations and comes at a time when mental health and its prevalence continues to grow each year. Coming together means that we can ensure Jami’s services are sustainable for generations to come.”

Jewish Care are also committed to ensuring that Jami’s services remain unaffected by the integration and intends to transfer its 92 members of staff to the employment of Jewish Care, whilst also keeping every single one of its 280 volunteers. 

The statement also declared that Chief Executive of Jami, Laurie Rackind, will be stepping down from his role after 17 years of leading the charity, but would remain closely involved with the transition towards full integration of Jami services into Jewish Care over the coming months. In his time at the organisation, Laurie has transformed Jami into a leading mental health provider within the Jewish community and a recognised provider of pioneering service delivery models in the wider mental health and social care sectors.

He commented that it had been “an honour and a privilege to have led Jami for the last 17 years, and I feel proud of the progress that has been made during my time here. Jami has transformed the way mental health services are delivered”.

Laurie also praised initiatives such as Head Room café in Golders Green, for allowing Jami to “deliver support on the high street while tackling the issues of stigma, changing the way the Jewish and local community think about mental illness and distress”.

“The lone figure on the street that was once treated with disdain is now the person sitting in our café being supported with respect. None of this progress would have been possible without the support from the Jami Board of Trustees, my colleagues, Jewish Care, Jami’s supporters and volunteers, and the wider community”.

Jami Chairman, Adam Dawson, also paid tribute to Laurie’s work over the past 17 years in transforming the way mental health services are delivered, which have benefitted many thousands of lives, adding: “We owe a great debt of gratitude to Laurie; his contribution to Jami and our community has been enormous.”

Regarding the integration, Adam mentioned it was “a natural development given how closely Jami and Jewish Care have worked over the last decade. It will expand our knowledge, expertise, and resources to enable Jami to continue providing hope and help to everyone living with mental illness and distress in the community”.

Jonathan Zenios, Jewish Care Chair, commented that the merger was “an excellent and exciting development, a reflection of both organisations’ commitment to continue investing in mental health services, and a natural progression for both charities to offer the very best mental health resources for our community.”

He added that “we can now look forward to build on the services already provided and ensure the community’s needs are met in the most efficient and effective way.”

Both organisations agree the merger will bring many opportunities for both Jami, Jewish Care, and the whole community, including better use of community resources. Above all, according to the trustees, the merger will 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.”

For the Essex community, all services will continue as before including the Jami hub in Redbridge which provides in-person and online activities and support to increase social connection.  

To find out more about any of Jami’s vital services, please call 020 8458 2223, email info@jamiuk.org or visit jamiuk.org



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