Community Leaders Secure the Future of the Jewish Chronicle

Around 20 community-minded individuals, families and charitable trusts have donated to enable the Jewish Chronicle (JC), the world’s oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper, to continue serving the public while protecting its editorial independence.

Community Leaders Secure the Future of the Jewish Chronicle
Stephen Pollard: “The donors know who they are and we at the JC express our profound gratitude to them.”

The JC has received the funding via its parent charitable entity, the Kessler Foundation.

Clearance for the financial injection from The Pensions Regulator was fundamental to the restructuring and ensuring that all matters surrounding the JC’s pension scheme were resolved, say the publishers.

Upon completion of the transaction, the existing governance structure – which has guaranteed its editorial independence – will be retained. This structure comprises the Kessler Foundation (the charitable foundation which controls the JC) and the Jewish Chronicle Trust (which was established to maintain editorial independence of the newspaper).

The composition of the JC Board will change following the transaction. Alan Jacobs will become the new Non-Executive Chair, replacing Stephen Grabiner, who has served in this role for the past six years. Mr Jacobs will be joined by David Kershaw, the CEO of M&C Saatchi, as a Non-Executive Director. Current Executive Directors Raymond Harrod, Stephen Pollard and Debbie Rose will all remain on the Board.

Clive Wolman, Chair of the Kessler Foundation said: “In recent months, we received several interesting approaches, both commercial and philanthropic, to refinance the JC and resolve its pension fund deficit. We are very grateful to those who took the trouble to put together bids. In the end, we and the JC Trust decided that our primary consideration had to be to preserve the editorial independence of the JC, particularly at a time when its journalists are playing such an important role in exposing antisemitism in British politics. The Kessler Foundation is also appreciative of the huge unpaid contribution made by the JC’s outgoing chairman, Stephen Grabiner, over the last six years in applying so effectively his long experience in newspaper management.”

Commenting on the news, Stephen Pollard, Editor of the Jewish Chronicle, said: “The JC owes a huge debt of gratitude to Jonathan Goldstein, who assembled the group of donors that has secured the future of the paper and ensured its ongoing independence, and to Alan Jacobs and their solicitor, Michael Goldberg, who have put in considerable time and effort to bring Jonathan’s idea to fruition. The names of the charitable donors have been kept anonymous so we are able to continue reporting on the community without any possible conflict of interest. The donors know who they are and we at the JC express our profound gratitude to them.

I would also like to thank outgoing chairman Stephen Grabiner, who has been the most wonderful adviser and friend. No editor could have had a wiser, more helpful or more supportive chairman.”

Alan Jacobs, the new Chair of the Jewish Chronicle, said: “The editorial independence of the JC is paramount. In 1841, the paper published its first edition and I am delighted that, through the generosity of our donors in 2019, the JC will be able to continue to serve our community for many years to come. I look forward to working with the JC’s great editorial and commercial teams in deepening our engagement with our readership as we write the next chapter in the storied history of an independent Jewish Chronicle.”