The Jewish Museum joined the National Portfolio in 2017 and has since been allocated £880,000 split equally between the four years until 2022.
Withdrawal from the Portfolio, the Museum believes, will provide the opportunity to “explore a new, sustainable business model without the funding requirements set out by the portfolio” and comes in the wake of its director and chief executive officer, Abigail Morris, announcing she will be standing down.
Lord Young, who serves as chairman of Jewish Museum London, says the organisation remains “committed to working closely with the Arts Council and taking the necessary steps to ensure we fulfil the Jewish Museum London’s mission to combat antisemitism through exhibitions, events and education.”
Explaining the arrangement now in place, Joyce Wilson, London area director of Arts Council England, stated: “We have agreed to the request from the Jewish Museum London to leave the National Portfolio. We will continue to fund the organisation at the same level of investment while it takes time to review its business model. We are also awarding additional funding to support planning for the museum’s future and the care and preservation of its nationally outstanding collection.
“We have agreed this exceptional course of action because of the organisation’s strategic significance nationally and its important work with the museum sector, local people and the wider Jewish community.”
The same level of investment will be received from Arts Council along with an additional £100,000. Extensive support will also come from the Arts Council and National Lottery Heritage Fund while the Museum reviews its model and organisational structure over the next two months.
Abi Shapiro, the Museum’s chief operating officer, and its director of development, Sam Clifford, will step in as interim co-directors until a new CEO is appointed.
The outgoing boss Abigail Morris says she is proud of the work undertaken during her eight stint as director. Under her leadership, she added, “we have transformed the Museum and have become recognised for our outstanding, award-winning exhibitions and education programmes. In turn, not only have our visitor numbers rocketed, we have brought in new, younger and more diverse audiences, many of whom had no previous contact with Jewish life.”