We were honoured to have the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, join us for our 4th Annual Business Dinner, where he held the audience rapt with his fascinating and often personal insights about life as head of the UK’s central bank.
In an intimate and wide ranging conversation with BBC Business Correspondent Victoria Fritz, the Governor spoke about the future of banking, the rise of crypto-currency and the opportunities it presents to the charitable sector. He spoke animatedly about the steps the UK is taking to transition to being a carbon-neutral economy and reassured the guests about the bank’s preparedness in the face of continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
As well as expanding on some of the things he spoke about in his Mansion House speech, Mark Carney also reflected on the challenges of leading an institution like the Bank of England, the pressures of holding a public role and what he most admires about his adopted home. He was insightful and at time humorous and praised the UK for being a remarkable, creative, caring and innovative country that was also a thought leader and leading the way on fintech. Responding to a question asking for his advice to a young woman embarking on a career in investment banking he said the most important thing was to make sure you love it and not just because you think it sounds good.
Yasmine Moezinia, a member of our Business Dinner committee introduced Mark Carney and Victoria Fritz to the audience. She has worked with the Governor over the last couple of years and said, “I know him not just as the superstar Central Banker… but also as a brave defender of a facts and evidence based approach – and a visionary.”
The evening raised awareness of the way in which World Jewish Relief changes the lives of people living in the poorest Jewish communities in Eastern Europe and reaches out to people in need around the world, enabling them to regain their dignity and support themselves and their families.
Jonny Rosenblatt, co-chair of the Business Dinner committee, welcomed the guests and spoke movingly about his recent trip to Ukraine to see our life changing work. “The people we visited were just like you and me. People who share the same Jewish heritage, customs and lineage. People who had worked as doctors, engineers and nuclear physicists but are now living in cramped and dangerous conditions, having to survive on pensions of £50 a month. But through relatively simple interventions, World Jewish Relief has given these older Jewish people the safety and dignity they had lost”.
He also spoke about how proud he was to see staff in World Jewish Relief t-shirts responding to humanitarian disasters across the globe. “To me that is what it means to be Jewish. To stand up and support victims of war and persecution and to help those most in need, regardless of their faith or nationality”.
Paul Anticoni, World Jewish Relief’s Chief Executive, told the audience about how we are more interested in giving people hand ups rather than hand-outs, striving for Maimonides’ highest form of charitable giving by enabling people to become self-sufficient and no longer reliant on tzedakah, “In the last 8 years, our expertise has helped almost 9,000 Jewish individuals get into work or set up a business. By building their confidence, skills and introducing them to employers, we have an employment rate of 78% which would be the envy of any such initiative worldwide. Our target of eradicating poverty amongst these Jewish communities within a decade is achievable.”
Photo Credit: David Pullum