Education and employment

Education and employment

Maurice and Vivienne Wohl were a deeply religious couple for whom both Judaism and the promotion of livelihood were very important. It was always a priority to foster Jewish education, from yeshivot in the early years of their philanthropy to schools later down the line. They felt Jewish learning and Torah went hand in hand with mikzo’ah – vocation – because they believed it was also important for people to learn a profession and support themselves and their families.

The Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Scholarships and The Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Electro-Optics Centre, Jerusalem College of Technology, Israel

The Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Philanthropic Foundation

With a comparatively high proportion of students from low socio-economic backgrounds, Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) endeavours to assist those of its students who are in financial need. The Maurice and Vivienne Wohl scholarships fund four-year degree courses for 10 Ethiopian and 10 Haredi women students at JCT, in areas from computer science and software engineering to nursing.

In 2014, the Foundation extended its support of JCT by providing funding for the upgrade of laboratories in its electro-optics department. As a leader in this rapidly advancing field, JCT has trained top-class graduates who are now in key positions in the defence industries and specialised research units of the Israel Defense Forces. Upgrading JCT’s facilities will help them continue their impressive record in this area.

The Wohl Secondary School Ivrit Programme, Jewish Curriculum Partnership, UK

The Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation

This initiative, run by the Jewish Curriculum Partnership (JCP), is aimed at updating and raising standards of Modern Hebrew teaching in Jewish secondary schools.

The four-year Wohl Secondary School Ivrit Programme aims to build on the success of the Wohl Primary School Ivrit Programme. Ten Jewish secondary schools are involved and JCP estimates that, on completion, it will impact approximately 4,000 students annually.

Its success hinges on the provision of ongoing professional development for teachers as well as a modern, structured curriculum, incorporating state-of-the art resources. It is hoped this scheme will increase students’ attainment and enjoyment of Ivrit and thus deepen their connection to Israel and their understanding of Jewish texts.

The Jewish Curriculum Partnership is a division of PaJeS – Partnerships for Jewish Schools – and is one of the world’s foremost Jewish Curriculum projects.

The Wohl Campus, London School of Jewish Studies, London

The Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation

When the London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS), previously Jews’ College, rebranded itself in 1999 it promised to be a ‘vibrant, modern Orthodox centre of Jewish scholarship and learning’. Within a decade it was already making its mark as a world-class centre.

The Foundation funded the expansion of its adult education programme and teaching faculty and LSJS now has a footfall of 5,000 people coming through the campus every week, with 900 attending weekly programmes and 30 synagogues across the UK running LSJS courses. It is also establishing itself as a centre for teacher training for the Anglo-Jewish community where students can gain teaching qualifications as well as BAs and MAs in Jewish Education.

Schools Projects, London

The Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation

Maurice and Vivienne Wohl felt it was their absolute duty to support projects which were at the heart of the Jewish community and promoted Jewish learning. Having no children of their own they also placed a priority on the welfare of young people. With the ever-increasing demand for Jewish school places in the UK, the trustees of the Foundations believe the development of Jewish schools and their learning provision is the natural progression of Maurice and Vivienne’s priorities.

They have supported projects in several Jewish schools in the UK, including the development of facilities at Menorah Primary School in Golders Green; the Wohl Beit Midrash at Beit Shvidler Primary School in Edgware and the redevelopment of Wohl IJPS (Ilford Jewish Primary School).


The Wohl Family Education Programme, seed, London

The Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation

Research by the adult and family education charity, seed, has shown that this generation of parents is more reliant on schools to educate their children in Judaism than previous generations. For this reason the Foundation provided funds to facilitate the establishment of a six-year Family Education Programme in 2011. This saw parents of children at Jewish primary schools being offered adult Jewish education so that they could support the teaching their children were receiving in school, thus breaking down the divide between school gate and home and enriching Jewish family life.

Demand for these programmes has grown year by year, increasingly attracting parents with a more secular profile and benefiting schools who, in turn, see more engaged pupils in the classroom.

Tevet JDC, Israel

The Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Charitable Foundation (through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee [JDC])

Tevet is a programme established by the JDC, in partnership with the Israeli Government, to promote workforce participation and to help provide employment for Haredi men and women in Israel. Tevet integrates the needs of the human resources industry and the Israeli business sector to provide knowledge-based tools and training to participants to increase their attractiveness to employers.

One of the most successful elements of Tevet is Mafteach, a series of one-stop shops where people can acquire vocational tools such as interview skills, and learning how to write CVs.

The Wohl Auditorium, TOM Youth Village, Hadera, Israel

The Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Philanthropic Foundation

TOM Youth Village, located south of Hadera is one of six villages supported by Youth Aliyah Child Rescue. It was founded for the educational and emotional needs of religious teenage boys who are unable to fit into a high school yeshiva environment and helps to prepare them for life by providing a vocational education. Named for its mission, Torah u’Mikzo’ah – Torah and vocational study, TOM epitomises these twin priorities of Maurice and Vivienne.

Their long association with the Village began through Maurice’s sister, Ella Latchman, in her role as chair of the AID Society. Over the years they have funded a swimming pool, two student dormitories and, most recently, a new multi-purpose 400-seat auditorium with separate conference facilities and a technology room.

Wohl Livelihood Development Programme, World Jewish Relief, Ukraine

The Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Charitable Foundation and the Maurice and Vivienne Wohl Philanthropic Foundation

Ukraine has the fifth largest Jewish community in the world and an estimated 35 per cent of the national population living below the poverty line. World Jewish Relief’s Livelihood Development Programme is a ground-breaking initiative with the goal of reducing the number of Jewish families and individuals living in poverty in three Eastern Ukrainian cities. It aims to secure the long-term future of these Jewish communities by removing barriers to work and reducing their dependence on the welfare services. The programme is facilitating this through the establishment of job centres within or adjacent to Jewish community centres; vocational and on-the-job training programmes and the provision of childcare facilities enabling parents – particularly single mothers – to return to work.