Ezer Leyoldos

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Ezer Leyoldos's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Ezer Leyoldos is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


IrvingLichtman, Managing
Haredi family walking
Ezer Leyoldos is a charity based in Stamford Hill, the centre of an
ultra-Orthodox Jewish and predominantly Haredi community.
This community is estimated to be 30,000 strong and growing
at a rate of five per cent a year. Managing Director Irving Lichtman
The Parliamentary Review
about their range of services
available to support Haredi people in Hackney and Haringey.
I was raised in New York, before studying Jewish law. I moved to the UK in the
1980s to teach Jewish studies and expanded into property management, becoming
involved in various complex social issues in the community. I studied aspects of
family law in order to support families involved in public or private litigation cases.
Because of my direct experience of complex family situations, I was approached by
Ezer Leyoldos to take on a voluntary support role at the charity. In 2012 I became
managing director, with responsibility for ensuring that we met the needs of the
local Haredi community, finding sufficient funding for services and an ongoing
involvement in all complex family matters on an advisory basis.
Haredi families tend to be large and because of their strict adherence to Orthodox
Jewish law, many will have little or no exposure to the outside world. Often, they
lack the education and skills to improve their circumstances or access support from
secular services. They often live in impoverished and crowded housing conditions.
Parents can become easily overwhelmed with the pressures of providing for
their families and may lack the resources and skills to adequately parent their
children. Issues such as poverty, mental and physical health issues, children with
learning disabilities, the impact of divorce and separation upon the children and
bereavement are especially challenging. We go a long way to fill that gap and offer
these families support in accordance with their beliefs.
»Managing Director:
»Established in 1981
»Located in Stamford Hill,
»No. of employees: 16 core
staff, 15 facilitators and family
support staff and 21 short
breaks workers
»Services: Family support on
a short or long-term basis.
Includes postnatal support,
parenting support and skills
training on a one-to-one or
group basis, emotional support,
counselling, short breaks
for children with disabilities,
referral to other community
and statutory services
»111 children with additional
needs are currently accessing
the shorts breaks service
Ezer Leyoldos
Highlighting best practice
We were established by a women’s
community group, who were
determined to give families the support
they needed, particularly after the
birth of a baby. They initially offered
practical support, including cooked
meals, domestic help and childcare
arrangements. Although support
at vulnerable times had enormous
preventative benefits, additional, more
complex issues were identified, such as
postnatal depression, neglect, family
breakdown, disability and isolation.
Therefore, the services were expanded
to meet those needs, including
supporting vulnerable families in order
to prevent more complex and extensive
problems from developing.
Range of services
It is estimated that there are 90 births
a month in the Haredi community
of Hackney and Haringey. Mothers
who are convalescing after giving
birth, incapacitated due to ill
health or overwhelmed and having
difficulty coping with their new
baby can access support. We are
commissioned to provide services to
vulnerable children and families in
the community. We work closely in
conjunction with children’s centres and
statutory services. Cases are reviewed
regularly and closely monitored by
the local authority. A high level of
support, funded solely by voluntary
contributions, is also provided to
vulnerable families who might not
meet local authority thresholds.
We employ a team of trained family
support workers, who are often
orthodox women who have raised
families of their own and are able to
pass along skills and techniques they
have acquired. They provide practical
and emotional support to family
members with mental health issues,
physical illness, disabilities, challenging
behaviour or learning disabilities. They
are also able to act as advocates for
families who cannot access relevant
organisations in the wider community
because of language and cultural
barriers. The support is hands-on,
intensive and offered within the home
environment. All support workers
receive supervision resulting in a
professional and co-ordinated service.
We support parents to develop their
skills in providing adequate care for
their children, keeping them safe
and improving family relationships.
This can be either on an individual
basis or through referral to culturally
appropriate parenting skills workshops.
We are commissioned by Hackney-
based disabled children’s services to
provide “short breaks” for children five
to 18 years with special educational
needs and disabilities. A one-to-one
respite provision is offered after school
and during the holidays. Children can
access a range of culturally appropriate
activities, enabled by trained support
workers from the local Haredi
We commission culturally appropriate
therapeutic services to vulnerable
children and families who would
not otherwise utilise this support.
Orthodox therapists trained in family
therapy meet with individuals or
couples experiencing a range of
challenges affecting their ability to
parent or maintain a stable marriage.
We have equipped a therapy room and
We support families with
young children
One of the healthy
and nutritious side
dishes prepared by
We commission
services to
children and
families who
would not
otherwise utilise
this support
offer a play therapy service for young
children experiencing emotional and
behavioural difficulties, services that
we plan to develop as they are funded
by voluntary contributions.
Supporting families
Our team have developed positive
working relationships with Hackney
and Haringey health and social care
teams, and we work closely with
the local children’s centres to offer
culturally appropriate early intervention
services. Our assessments and views
in particular cases are used as vital
evidence to support families. We have
established policies and procedures
developed in line with statutory
guidance, as well as offering training
for staff and volunteers that includes
safeguarding and working with
children with special needs.
In 2017, we were awarded a “good”
rating by the CQC, in respect of safety,
effectiveness, care, responsiveness and
leadership. As part of the inspection
they reviewed various records and
contacted service users and their
families for feedback. The CQC
reported that people using the service
were very positive about it and that
they received the right support as they
were consulted about their provision.
As the ultra-Orthodox Jewish
population in north London increases,
so does the demand for our services,
highlighting the large number of
vulnerable families with long-term
complex needs. Although we are
contracted to provide some services by
two local authorities, the contracts far
from cover the cost of what is offered.
Therefore, we rely on charitable
donations from the community to
supplement the cost.
We envisage a community where
families are secure functioning units so
that families in need have immediate
access to culturally appropriate
services. In order to achieve this, we
hope to extend our therapy services,
increase our professional staffing,
develop group support and increase
our joint work with local authority
children’s centres in the provision of
universal and targeted services.
Our home-based and hands-on
parenting support service for the
Haredi community is entirely unique.
We aim to enable and empower our
clients to function independently,
while we involve service users in
the planning and evaluation of our
work. We accept referrals from the
community, from health and social
care professionals, schools, friends and
neighbours. We will support anyone
that identifies themselves as needing
support, irrespective of whether they
meet the threshold for local authority
funding, raising the funds from within
the community to support these
clients. Finally, we will never turn away
a Jewish soul.
Our home-
based and
service for the
community is
In 2016/17 we provided:
»8,600 freshly cooked meals, prepared by 150 volunteer cooks, from
the community. Food is donated by local caterers and businesses.
Limited by dietary requirements, mothers remain at a significant
disadvantage when looking for a quick option in food preparation
for their families
»More than 1,500 hours of household assistance and cleaning help
»Volunteer support to help with dinner and bedtime and to provide
mothers with some respite


This article was sponsored by Ezer Leyoldos. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister