Sunday, May 28, 2006

Money, Sex and Jews

What a combination.

Here's just part of the story:-

Outcry at Desmond’s charity role
By Daniella Peled and Bernard Joseph

Religious, political and communal leaders and women’s rights campaigners have expressed serious concern this week at the announcement that Northern & Shell chairman Richard Desmond is to be the next president of Norwood, the community’s leading child- and family-welfare charity.

Mr Desmond has been a supporter of the charity for more than 20 years and donated £2 million to its Annie Lawson School in 2004. He is to succeed Sir Trevor Chinn, who has served as president for 10 years and will become life president. Mr Desmond said his primary focus would be “to re-invigorate Norwood’s donor base.”

As well as publishing the Express and Star titles and OK! Magazine, Mr Desmond’s company — which sold its adult magazine titles in 2004 — also owns a number of adult pay and subscription TV channels, which include Red Hot Raw, Red Hot Climax, Red Hot Only 18 and Television X.

Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet, of Mill Hill Synagogue, who holds the family portfolio in the Chief Rabbi’s cabinet, told the JC: “I was especially disturbed to learn that Richard Desmond was to become president of Norwood. I don’t have a problem with the man per se and I think it is wonderful that he chooses to donate so much money to Jewish and other charitable causes. But to be official figurehead of a family charity is considerably more problematic. There are certain compromises that should never be made, no matter what the financial gain. Norwood needs to think carefully about the message it is putting out there.”

June Jacobs, former chair of the International Council of Jewish Women, life president of Jewish Child’s Day and a life member of the League of Jewish Women, said: “I would never want anybody who makes money from porn, and putting down women in many ways, taking a responsible role in the community. As someone who fights so much for women’s rights, I’m upset and I find it hard to understand how a person who made money in this sort of press should be given a role in this most respectable Anglo-Jewish organisation.”

A former senior employee of the charity also expressed “very strong” opposition to the appointment: “It is an example of double standards — on the one hand, the charity does excellent work in promoting healthy relationships within the family and fights hard to tackle abuse at all levels. On the other hand, it has the dilemma of needing cash to fund its services. But on balance, this seems to be an unfortunate decision.”

Another former senior figure in Jewish welfare told the JC he was “bemused and slightly puzzled” when he heard of the appointment. “Bearing in mind his other business interests, it’s strange he should be president of the largest Jewish family and children’s charity.”

Eric Moonman, former vice-president of the Board of Deputies and chairman of the Zionist Federation, noted: “Mr Desmond must be made very much aware of the baggage he carries and he will have to prove himself.”

Rosalind Preston, former president of the National Council of Women of Great Britain, said: “I think it was a strange appointment because of what I know about his reputation nationally. I don’t know his reputation personally or in the charity world.”

Lady Jakobovits, patron of a number of leading Jewish charities, said she didn’t know Mr Desmond personally but was “desperately waiting for the day when society will rediscover morality and live by it.”

Well, having lived in London for two years and knowing some of those quoted, let me just say that June ("Missing-a-Few-Buttons") Jacobs and Eric ("Socialist-Baggage-Weighted") Moonman have very little moral contribution to make to this story.

(Kippah tip: Greenslade)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

No one says he made money frm kiddie porn, nu?