Barbe-queues as UJIA courts South Africans

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY - BY ROSA DO­HERTY

A TRA­DI­TIONAL South African bar­be­cue in the grounds of a Tot­teridge man­sion pro­vided a taste of home for ex-pats on Sun­day.

Or­gan­ised by UJIA as part of its out­reach work among over­seas com­mu­ni­ties in Lon­don, the Big Braai at­tracted around 260 hun­gry pa­trons, among them Bar­bra and Brian Davis, who came to Eng­land 16 years ago and now live in Hamp­stead Gar­den Sub­urb.

“It is per­fect,” said an im­pressed Mrs Davis. “Ev­ery­thing has been done so well, from the food to the com- pany. The only thing dif­fer­ent is the weather.”

Her hus­band said they had no re­grets about mak­ing their life in Bri­tain. “We are very happy to be here. Our kids have had an amaz­ing ed­u­ca­tion in the UK. And we travel back and forth of­ten be­cause we run our own sa­fari range. We’ve got lots of South African friends here in Lon­don, so it is a great idea from UJIA to get us all to­gether.”

Guests were treated to tra­di­tional dishes such as boere­wors (sausage), pap and smoor (a tra­di­tional por­ridge/ po­lenta) and peri peri chicken in a menu de­vised by JW3 chef Josh Katz.

Broth­ers Jonathan and Daniel Levine con­fessed they had “only come for the boere­wors” and were “dev­as­tated” to find sup­plies had run out. “I wanted to cry when there was none left,” Jonathan s ai d. “That is how im­por­tant food is in our cul­ture.”

His brother added that they were UK born but their par­ents were from South Africa.

“We make our own bil­tong [cured meat] at home so I guess we do feel quite South African, even though we have only been there once.” Their par­ents, Glenda and Charles, came to Lon­don in 1988 and Mrs Levine said the Big Braai fare passed muster. “In Bri­tain there is not

‘I’ve known some of the people here since I was four’

much of a chance to get to­gether like this, maybe be­cause the cul­ture here is very busy. But this is fan­tas­tic. I know quite a few people here. Some of them I have known since I was four.”

Deb­bie and Bryan Ko­brin came to the UK 40 years ago “af­ter a friend of ours was shot dead. We de­cided that for the chil­dren’s sake there was not much of a fu­ture in South Africa,” Mrs Ko­brin ex­plained.

“This braai is ex­actly how it would have hap­pened on a Sun­day af­ter­noon back home. You wouldn’t know who was com­ing, much like this. It is much more ca­sual there.”

Younger guests were en­ter­tained with fun- fair stalls manned by Habonim-Dror vol­un­teers, bouncy cas­tles and a swim­ming pool.

U J I A ’ s N a t i e Shevel out­lined its work in the Galil and also talked about his own South African back­ground.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant to reach out to the South African­com­mu­nityan­den­gage you in the work we do,” he said. “It’s our first braai but I hope there are many more and that we get to see you at our an­nual din­ner.”

Big Braai guests tuck­ing in and ( above) hav­ing a ball in Tot­teridge

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