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19th January 2021

Statement from Richard P Woolf, Acting Chair, Zionist Federation of UK and Ireland

Since Paul Charney resigned as the Chair of The Zionist Federation of the UK and Ireland in May 2021, the lay leadership of the Zionist Federation has been working with its professional staff to gain clarity about the state of the Federation’s finances. It has sadly now become apparent that in addition to inheriting significant liabilities, the inherited business model of the Zionist Federation is financially unviable.

While the National Council and the Zionist Federation leadership are confident that the Zionist Federation can be rebuilt, in the short-term it will be necessary to take drastic cost cutting measures, which include the prospect of making staff redundant. Following proper employment procedures, the Zionist Federation will therefore be consulting with its staff on ways to avoid compulsory redundancies.

We recognise that this is a challenging moment in the history of the Zionist Federation, but the current lay leadership of the Federation is fully committed to rebuild the organisation to ensure that it can fulfil its important role of giving British Jews a strong voice within the international Zionist movement and promoting Zionism with the British Jewish community and in wider British society. In order to be able to achieve these goals, the Zionist Federation will review its business model and has already put in place discussions on creating an incorporated organisation with a proper governance structure to ensure full transparency into the future.