Lunch for Jami raises £65,000

On Wednesday 27th March a Lunch for Jami was held at JW3 in Hampstead. The Ladies Lunch, attended by 110 guests, raised over £65,000 for the mental health charity.

The Lunch was hosted by Daniela Pears, Susan Kahn, Sarah Kaye, Aly Mosheim and Susie Olins, who saw a need to raise awareness of mental health amongst their peers and created the annual event four years ago. Daniela said, “It was an absolute pleasure for me to host this Ladies Lunch for Jami once again. This year we’ve been raising funds for a vital new intervention to support our Jewish students on Campus who may be suffering with feelings of depression, anxiety or isolation, as well as normalising the conversation about mental health across the community.”

The guest speaker was Jonny Benjamin MBE, author of ‘The Stranger on the Bridge’. Jonny has lived with mental illness since childhood and now speaks publicly in an aim to help educate and break the stigma around mental health. He told the audience, “I think university is a key time for mental health issues coming to the fore. There are so many students suffering with their mental health and they don’t know where to go for support.”. He is delighted that Jami, in partnership with UJS and University Jewish Chaplaincy, are launching a pilot programme for students on Campus.

Jonny also talked about his own recovery and how crucial services – like those provided by Jami – are for enabling people to live a meaningful life, despite mental ill health.

"78% of all students are struggling with their mental health" (NUS)

Pesach Appeal 2019

There was only one thing preventing Matt from going to the shops

... stepping outside

Matt had a happy childhood, successfully made it through college, entered the world of work and then found his own place to rent.

When his panic attacks began, he became increasingly nervous in group situations at work and socially, constantly worrying about what people thought of him.

His low self-esteem led to him turning down invitations to see friends and refusing to attend Shabbat dinner with family.

Matt had a happy childhood, successfully made it through college, entered the world of work and then found his own place to rent.

When his panic attacks began, he became increasingly nervous in group situations at work and socially, constantly worrying about what people thought of him.

His anxiety led him to stop answering the phone and eventually the phone stopped ringing. His manager at work agreed he should take a ‘time out’ for a few months.

With no reason to go out, Matt stopped eating healthily and looking after himself. Staying at home behind his front door seemed like the safest place to be, but he was constantly terrified of his own thoughts.

Thankfully Matt’s sister persuaded him to get in touch with Jami.

Jami worked with Matt to assess his overall wellbeing and priorities, engage with his GP and create a practical plan to work towards recovery. He worked with a Jami Occupational Therapist to re-learn self-care – how to wash his clothes and eat regularly – and in time attended his first group at a Jami Hub.

A key milestone for Matt came when he joined a discussion at Jami’s Head Room Café, interacting with others in a social setting. Jami’s expert employment team also helped Matt to speak to his manager about what support he would need to return to work.

Things are really improving for Matt. He now feels comfortable to go shopping on his own again and is looking forward to joining his family for Seder.

You can help support people like Matt in the following ways:

Head On: Mental Health Awareness Shabbat 2019

Jami’s third annual Head On: Mental Health Awareness Shabbat delivered on its commitment to raise awareness – and remove the stigma – of mental ill health in the Jewish community.

16th January 2019

Held by Jami, the mental health service for the Jewish community, this year’s Head On Shabbat was 11/12 January.  Over 120 individuals, synagogues and organisations led activities, discussions and gave sermons about the importance of mental wellbeing. Most brave were the people who stood up in their communities for the first time to share the impact of mental ill health on their own lives, including two of our own Jami Ambassadors.

Head On deliberately takes place the week of Parashat Bo, which tells of the Plague of Darkness – a suitable launch pad for discussions on the nature of mental health.

Many synagogues held discussion groups led by mental health professionals.  At Edgware United, Sara Cooper, Head of Clinical Services at Raphael Jewish Counselling, discussed ‘Is there such a thing as Jewish Counselling?’; Psychotherapist David Brodtman spoke to the Hampstead Dennington Park Community; and Kol Chai Reform held a panel discussion with representatives from the Harrow Samaritans as well as the OLLIE Foundation.

Schools and communal organisations led their own events, including Clore Tikva Primary School running special assemblies to introduce the Mental Health Awareness Shabbat to their pupils.

After participating in the Shabbat, a member of Pinner United said “I’m sure people learnt a lot about mental health and Jami that they never knew.  It is just the start of discussions for our community and it’s got us all talking and thinking”.

Shenley’s Rabbi Garber told us “the subject of good mental health and mental health awareness and support is so important and impacts all of us. Thank you for setting up and running this initiative”.

Jami provided the following resources to all those participating in Head On:

  • Mental health related sermons from United, Reform, Liberal, S&P Sephardi and Masorti Rabbonim
  • Youth activity pack
  • Key facts on mental health
  • Information on Head Room Education Courses and Workshops

The Jewish community often leads the way in many aspects of health provision, medical research and social care. With 98% of income coming from donations, Jami relies on the community’s support to deliver its essential services. Together we have an opportunity to tackle mental illness Head On breaking down the stigma, raising awareness of mental health issues and creating parity of esteem.

Click here for more information on Head On: Mental Health Awareness Shabbat

Young Jami’s ‘Lights On’ Launch Event

On Thursday 22 June, ‘Young Jami’, hosted their launch event at the Light House in Shoreditch for 150 young professionals.  The committee, chaired by Gabi Mendelsohn, is made up of 11 members in their early 20’s to 30’s who are all passionate about mental health and want to raise awareness amongst young adults.

The event was called ‘Lights On’ and the theme was ‘bringing light to mental health’. The committee’s mission is to shine a light on mental health, a subject that is often left in the dark and not openly spoken about.

Gabi Mendelsohn welcomed guests “We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health and our mental health, like our physical health doesn’t always stay the same.  Mental illness, just like physical illness, can affect anyone. We all know someone, or personally may be struggling with a mental illness – it is definitely an issue that affects us all.”

Guest speaker Luciana Berger MP, Labour’s expert and campaigner on mental health, spoke about how “we need to shift the emphasis from dealing with crises, to prevention of mental ill health and promotion of good mental health. This would mean faster access to talking therapy, more support from employers, and a more open attitude towards mental illness in society and the Jewish community.”

Simone Saidel, Peer Support Worker at Jami spoke about how she provides support for those experiencing mental ill health. “My role at Jami is to work with people, not for them, supporting them during their recovery journey. The rapport and trust I have built with those I work with and the change I have seen in many, has really proved how effective peer support work can be.”

Fantastic raffle prizes were generously donated, including a 2-night stay at St Anne’s Manor, a Jimmy Choo purse and necklace, restaurant vouchers and personal training sessions and a sports blender.

Guests left with a better understanding of mental health and a strong commitment to helping Young Jami raise awareness and vital funds that will help transform the landscape of mental health.


Mitzvah Day 2018

On Sunday 18 November The Jami warehouse in Borehamwood invited people to get involved in various Mitzvah Day projects. The response from the community was fantastic with different events taking place over the Mitzvah Day weekend.

Lighthouse London Church for the second year in a row kindly collected donations within the community to donate to Jami.

The Jami warehouse also ran an exciting upcycling project from the warehouse and various sites in the community. Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue held a candle making workshop using some of the many books donated where volunteers turned old books into stunning flame- free candles.

Ten-year-old Meir, who shared his tenth birthday with Mitzvah Day, wanted to get involved in Jami’s upcycling project after his parents heard a talk by Jami at their shul. They approached Jami to ask if he could hold his birthday party at the Jami warehouse on Mitzvah Day morning. Meir and his friends spent the morning sanding, prepping and priming chairs which they then transformed into fabulous new creations using different fabrics and materials and canvasses of art using old puzzle pieces.

In the afternoon, Borehamwood Masorti’s Bnei Mitzvah group also joined the upcycling project. All items made will be sold in the Head Room Café, Jami Warehouse and Social Enterprise Hub and online.

Another Jami project was to collect unwanted foreign change. Individual members of the community chose to support this initiative, as did Stanmore and Canons Park United Synagogue who asked their members for donations and had an open collection at the shul.

Woodside Park United Synagogue put on an afternoon tea and people from Jami were welcomed and provided musical entertainment.

Jami’s Annual Dinner 2018

Jami held its annual dinner last night at One Marylebone where over 300 guests attended to support the Jewish community’s mental health service. The annual dinner raised £350,000 which will go towards funding Jami’s vital services.

As the profile of mental health keeps growing nationally and within the community, Jami demonstrated during the evening how it is committed to ‘Transforming the Landscape of Mental Health’, by helping to reduce stigma, build resilience and create better health outcomes.

Doug Krikler, Chairman, welcomed guests and explained  “Jami’s challenge as an organisation, and our challenge as a community over the next few years is to focus both on early intervention and building resilience across all generations – whilst continuing to provide direct support to ever increasing numbers of individuals in our care, who need the specialist intervention of a dedicated and committed mental health service.”

During the evening guests heard speaker, Lord Stevenson CBE, speak about his work in the mental health sector and what he’s learnt. He also gave a personal insight into his clinical depression and the differences between thriving, struggling and being ill.

View the photos


At the event, Jami’s new fundraising was shown in which seven people who are supported by Jami shared their experiences by reading the letters they had written. One service user, Jon, said “Being diagnosed with depression has affected every tiny atom of my life. I’ve lived through great highs and huge lows. Lows where I’ve even tried to end my life. I’m alive today because of Jami.”

Watch the film


A huge thank you to all of our advertisers for supporting our dinner brochure and to Jennye Seres and Emma Hart for helping secure adverts and shape the content.

View the brochure

“Being diagnosed with depression has affected every tiny atom of my life. I’ve lived through great highs and huge lows. Lows where I’ve even tried to end my life. I’m alive today because of Jami.” - Jon, Jami service user

Jami’s whole population approach to suicide

Our community is affected by suicide like every community. Death from suicide is shocking and causes much heartache, pain and sorrow. Together we can strive to preserve life as well as acknowledging the trauma that a suicide brings to a family and the wider community. 

Jami is committed to a whole populations approach, which means working

with everyone, to prevent suicide, raise awareness and learning across our community on this most sensitive and taboo of subjects.

We are presenting two forthcoming educational events. The first event  “The Ripple Effect” on Tuesday 16th October in Edgware, 7.00 -9.00pm, is aimed at educators of all kinds including teachers, youth workers and educational leadership, Rabbis and other communal leaders. This evening will look at coping with the aftermath of a suicide and how to respond effectively to community need in the wake of a suicide. We will also look at a concept relatively new to the UK called  ‘postvention’, activities which reduce risk and promote healing after a suicide.

The second, Breaking the Taboo: How to Talk Openly about Suicide, Tuesday 13 November, 6.30 – 8.30pm, is for anyone in the community who wishes to talk about this difficult subject in a supportive environment and takes place at our Head Room Café in Golders Green.

We hope that these educational and community spaces can bring further help and support to our community.

As a postscript we regularly train community members in Mental Health First Aid which includes information on suicide prevention.

To book onto our courses click here.

Booking not required for the Head Room Café event.

Rosh Hashanah Appeal 2018

Labels are for jars. Not people.
Please help us remove them.

Mark lives with severe anxiety, making it difficult for him to communicate or focus on simple tasks.

Jami supported Mark to build his confidence and set himself small personal goals. Mark started volunteering at the Jami warehouse, learning new skills and putting structure back into his day. Mark then felt ready to get back into paid employment, so Jami helped with his CV, interview preparation and found him a job which he very much enjoys.

Sara has Bipolar Affective Disorder and due to her fluctuating moods was often unable to manage day to day responsibilities.

A Jami Occupational Therapist worked with Sara to identify her needs, hobbies and interests and supported her to develop a meaningful weekly structure. Sara now attends and volunteers at a weekly community craft group and is able to budget her finances and look after herself at home.

Due to Harry having Schizophrenia he hears voices and has always felt anxious about not being accepted.

Jami’s hub coordinator suggested Harry come to a weekly group. At the first group he only stayed for 10 minutes. Each week he would stay a little longer and now he attends 3 groups on a weekly basis and socialises with new friends over a hot meal at lunch time.

Samantha has depression. She became isolated, sitting home alone for days.

Jami paired Samantha up with Ruth, a befriender who visits Samantha fortnightly. They meet for coffee, watch a film, or go shopping. Samantha looks forward to their meetings which make her feel less alone, gives her someone to talk to and fun activities to enjoy. Samantha now has the confidence to go to the local shops independently.

can pay for attendance at an education seminar on managing anxiety and depression
can fund a case worker to conduct an initial one-to-one assessment session
can help groups of patients in hospital during Yom Tovim to celebrate with traditional food and services
can fund a month of peer support led sessions at one of our hubs aimed at inspiring a sense of hope and recovery for someone like Harry
can fund eight sessions with an Occupational Therapist to help someone like Sara manage her daily life
can train a group of people in Mental Health First Aid
Your support at this time of year will make a positive difference – Thank You.