Songs of Praise gets a taste of col­lab­o­ra­tive work

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY - BY ROSA DO­HERTY

IN FRONT of a cam­era crew from BBC’s Songs of Praise, Chris­tians and Jews cooked for the home­less in an early Mitz­vah Day ac­tiv­ity at JW3’s Finch­ley Road premises.

Re­spec­tive favourites such as mince pies and ap­ple strudel were on the menu and par­tic­i­pants swapped cook­ery tips.

Songs of Praise pre­sen­ter Con­nie Fisher had heard that “Jewish mums are no­to­ri­ously fan­tas­tic cooks” and was look­ing for­ward to sam­pling the re­sults of the ses­sion, al­though the main ben­e­fi­cia­ries were users of a lo­cal shel­ter.

Lib­eral rabbi Leah Jor­dan said she was for­tu­nate to work along­side “a good chef who was try­ing to teach me how to cook a strudel. I have a num­ber of skills but cook­ing is not one of them so it has been hum­bling.”

Her tu­tor was Loretta Ru­bins, 63, who was sur­prised to find that Rabbi Jor­dan “couldn’t even peel an ap­ple. More sur­pris­ingly, young peo­ple don’t think there is any­thing odd about that. I like to cook. I do it at home and com­mu­nally.”

She added that the event was also a mas­sive pos­i­tive for the com­mu­nity. “We get a really bad press so any­thing Car­rot and stick ap­proach: Con­nie Fisher in the kitchen at JW3 and ( Rabbi Leah Jor­dan picks up culi­nary tips from Loretta Ru­bins we can do to turn peo­ple’s minds, one at a time, has to be good.”

Chris­tian Lon­don School of Eco­nomics stu­dent Re­bekah Lee, 19, said it had given her an insight into how food and re­li­gion con­nect. LSE chap­lain and in­ter­faith ad­viser Rev Dr James Wal­ters noted that “in­ter­faith di­a­logue can of­ten bring up dis­agree­ments and those con­ver­sa­tions are much more fruit­ful if there are ex­ist­ing friend­ships and di­a­logue. So what bet­ter way to build those bridges than by col­lab­o­rat­ing on a so­cial project? Es­pe­cially with food.”

Mitz­vah Day founder and chair, Laura Marks, said: “We are us­ing cook­ing to bring peo­ple to­gether and to help a shel­ter. It couldn’t be bet­ter than that.” Ex­cerpts from the ses­sion are due to be broad­cast in Sun­day’s Songs of Praise.

‘I have a num­ber of skills but cook­ing is not one of them’

PHO­TOS: YAKIR ZUR

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