Emunah 2017 Dinner 13350. Speaker Jeremy Vine

Television and radio presenter Jeremy Vine helped British Emunah net a healthy £350,000 profit when he addressed 350 guests at its gala dinner at London’s Guildhall. The money will go towards therapies for vulnerable and at-risk children and to maintain its projects in Israel, where Emunah is the largest provider of children’s residential services.
New dinner chair Michelle Plainer welcomed everyone, saying her new role was “a big honour and responsibility but having visited Emunah centres myself, I felt strongly that I wanted to get more involved and do all I can to help the thousands of children and families in Israel who so desperately need our support.”
Mr Vine regaled guests with stories from his show on BBC Radio 2 and explained that “after 30 years at the BBC, I’ve realised that the audience has much better stories than me”. These included the man who tried to fly using 45 weather balloons and animal rights’ activists who “rescued” thousands of chickens from a road accident – and the birds were then taken to the abattoir!” During his talk, Mr Vine also said “it was fantastic to connect with [Emunah] a charity that I must confess I didn’t know much about and which does so much good work.”
Making the appeal was Menachem Machtayev who now works as a counsellor at Emunah Afula, the home where he grew up. He spoke of his past difficulties and how Emunah had helped to turn his life around and to break the cycle of violence and abuse. Later, he was joined on stage by his wife, Chen, and their baby daughter.
Two boys from Emunah Neve Landy children’s village received a standing ovation when they sang for the audience – both want to be professional singers. Musical director Dvir and counsellor Elad accompanied the teenagers on their UK visit, as did World Emunah director Shlomo Kessel.
Speaking of the evening, Jeremy Vine said: “The singing from the boys was stunning… and [Immanuel College] choir… Above all, I loved hearing what Emunah does in Israel.” Mr Vine paid tribute to Menachem and his “beautiful family – I can relate to that as I’ve got two beautiful daughters. It was wonderful to hear about your journey, where you’ve come from.”
Guests included Chief Rabbi Mirvis and Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Mark Regev – the latter proposed the loyal toast, saying: “I am also toasting Emunah for the work that you have done over the decades, for the work that you are doing today, and the work that you will continue to do tomorrow. You are helping to make Israel a better place.”
British Emunah chairman Rosalyn Liss thanked Jeremy Vine, noting he had donated his fee to Emunah and the Motor Neurone Disease charity.
Afterwards, dinner chair Michelle Plainer said it was “a fantastic evening – I am delighted with the amount raised and want to thank everyone who has supported us.”