The Jewish Chronicle
Sadiq Khan joins family’s Seder
SADIQ KHAN was an active participant in a Zoom family Seder held by Hampstead couple Noeleen and John Cohen.
The London Mayor read several extracts from the Haggadah and spent more than an hour at the celebration, which also involved South African relatives of the Cohens.
Mrs Cohen, 58, had sent Mr Khan a Seder plate laden with all the essentials, including non-alcoholic charoset. “We are Ashkenazi so we have very traditional apple, walnut, cinnamon and sugar charoset, a recipe we all use, passed down and adapted over the years.”
The Mayor had been
“so warm and friendly from the getgo that it was really unnecessary to be nervous”, and he seemed at ease in a faith environment. As a practising Muslim, “faith is something he understands. He made us all feel at home. We made him feel at home. He was happy to read.”
It was also “a nice opportunity to have somebody who is representative of London at our Seder and we had a really lovely evening. Would we invite him back? Absolutely, if he can.”
Mr Khan had also discussed the Jewish roots of his first name.
“He understood what a tzadik was and that’s where his name comes from. And obviously there was some connection because he’s a Khan and we’re Cohens.”
Mr Khan said afterwards that as “Pesach is a sacred festival for Jewish Londoners, I was so honoured to be able to participate in a virtual Seder with Noeleen and her
Pesach is a sacred festival and I was so honoured to participate’
family”. Although the pandemic had forced many families to celebrate apart for a second year, “Jewish Londoners have consistently shown that our sense of community is not confined by walls.
“I look forward to the day Pesach can once again be observed in person and want to thank Noeleen Cohen, her family and all of London’s Jewish communities for embracing me so warmly.”
Mrs Cohen is a marketing consultant and co-chair of the Alyth Reform shul in Golders Green. Her husband John, 63, is a retired lawyer.
The Mayor’s participation was facilitated through the Jewish Labour Movement. “I’m very involved in my community and they knew we would have it [a Seder] and also that we would be having it on Zoom,” Mrs Cohen explained.