Traditional Alternatives Foundation
The Traditional Alternatives Foundation is a grant making trust run by Lord Kalms and his wife. In the year up to 31 March 2009, the Centre for Social Cohesion received £195,000 from the Traditional Alternatives Foundation and was its only grant recipient. In 2010 it received £125,000, 75% of the Traditional Alternatives Foundation’s total donations that year.
The Traditional Alternatives was set up by a deed dated 14 August 1990. Its charitable objects state:
- Trustees shall pay or apply the income of the Trust Fund in furtherance of Education (including education in the Jewish Religion) Learning and Research for the public benefit, and in the promotion of programmes of lectures and study groups and other forms of seminars and discussion aimed at increasing knowledge of all aspects of Judaism and the Jewish communities both in England and overseas and in particular of Judaism in contemporary society including the production of materials for such activities and the dissemination of the useful results thereof.
The Foundation grew out of a series of conferences held in London in 1989-90 which were funded by Stanley Kalms and led by the future Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. The ‘Traditional Alternatives’ conferences were aimed at galvanising Britain’s Jewish community, but according to the Guardian journalist Madeline Bunting, Kalms became 'disappointed and frustrated by Dr Sacks slow progress'. In 1996 she noted that Kalms had 'withdrawn from the Anglo-Jewish scene in the past five years' and had shifted 'his interest and money to a radical Orthodox think-tank in Jerusalem.'
More recently Kalms has provided support to evangelical Christians within the conservative movement. He gave £300,000 to the Christian Conservative activist Tim Montgomerie to set up his Renewing One Nation group in 2000. The group, which was a forerunner to the think-tank associated with Iain Duncan Smith, the Centre for Social Justice, was officially non-denominational and ran alongside Montgomerie's Conservative Christian Fellowship from which most of its personnel were reportedly recruited.
In 2003 Kalms called on Jonathan Sacks to resign as Chief Rabbi, alleging that he had failed to provide sufficient support for Israel. Kalms, a member of Conservative Friends of Israel, was also highly critical of the current Foreign Secretary William Hague during the 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. After Hague described the Israeli assault as ‘disproportionate’, he compared Hague to an ‘ignorant armchair critic’ and wrote: ‘A tragedy is unfolding. The outcome is life or death to the Israeli state.’
Kalms’s Traditional Alternatives Foundation is not solely bankrolled by Kalms and has received funds from other right-wing foundations. In its 2009 and 2010 tax year, the Family Foundations Trust, formerly the Mintz Family Foundation, donated £10,000, which it described as ‘a contribution to their Centre for Social Cohesion’. At the same time it also provided funding for UK Friends of the IDF and UK Friends of the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers. Another foundation, the G R P Charitable Trust, donated £25,000 to the Traditional Alternatives Foundation in the 2008 tax year. It too has funded UK Friends of the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers, as well as the Israel-Diaspora Trust and the Anglo-Israel Association. More recently, in 2009/10, The Maurice Hatter Foundation, which is headed by the Labour Party donor Sir Maurice Hatter, and has mainly funded liberal Jewish organisations, donated £25,000. It previously donated £25,000 to Civitas in 2007/8 and has also provided some funding to the United Jewish Israel Appeal.
- Jane Hunt Cooke
- Flat 4
- 24 St James's Place
- SW1A 1NH
- Tel: 020 7499 3494
- Trust Deed constituting Traditional Alternatives Foundation, dated 14 August 1990.
- Douglas Davis, ‘From Christ’s College to the Chief Rabbinate’, Jerusalem Post, 29 May 1990; Madeline Bunting, ‘Powerful ally whose ardour cooled as drive for Jewish unity stalled’, The Guardian, 27 January 1996, p.4.
- Madeline Bunting, ‘Powerful ally whose ardour cooled as drive for Jewish unity stalled’, The Guardian, 27 January 1996, p.4.
- Chris Cook, 'Christian Tories rewrite party doctrine', Financial Times, 12 February 2010.
- Stephen Bates, ‘Chief rabbi accused of weakness on Israel and urged to stand down’, The Guardian, 20 December 2003, p.3.
- 'Kalms criticises Hague on Israel', BBC News Online, 2 August 2006.
- The Maurice Hatter Foundation, Trustees' Report and Accounts for the Year Ended 5 April 2010.
- The Maurice Hatter Foundation, Trustees' Report and Accounts for the Year Ended 5 April 2009.