Search

Food conquers the faith divide: Camden’s religious communities unite to feed homeless

09:00 21 June 2014

Cooking up a feast: (From left) Ziad Elhady, Rabbi Natan Levy, Fiona Seitler and her daughter Katie Koschland, Fahim Mazhary and Daniela Pears at the interfaith cooking event at JW3. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Cooking up a feast: (From left) Ziad Elhady, Rabbi Natan Levy, Fiona Seitler and her daughter Katie Koschland, Fahim Mazhary and Daniela Pears at the interfaith cooking event at JW3. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Whether they pray in a gurdwara, mosque, synagogue or church, volunteers and organisers of different faiths have been gathering in Finchley Road to cook up a storm and help the underprivileged.

(From left) Farzana Kosar, Ghonche Alavi, Kathy Lo Raso, Juliette Sonabend and Ateeq Parvaz. Picture: Nigel Sutton(From left) Farzana Kosar, Ghonche Alavi, Kathy Lo Raso, Juliette Sonabend and Ateeq Parvaz. Picture: Nigel Sutton

The JW3 community centre and charity Mitzvah Day, together with different faith communities, have run a series of sessions which offer the opportunity for different faiths to cook food for the homeless.

The event is run by Daniela Pears, newly elected Mayoress of Camden and interfaith chairman of Mitzvah Day.

People came from all over London including Hendon, Finchley, South Hampstead and Hornsey to offer their support and cooking skills.

Daniela said: “We’re here with a real love for cooking and building friendships along the way. Although we’re from all over London, we have one thing in common – helping those in need. It really makes a difference.”

Too many cooks spoil the broth? Not at this pioneering project to make food for the homeless. Picture: Nigel SuttonToo many cooks spoil the broth? Not at this pioneering project to make food for the homeless. Picture: Nigel Sutton

The Demonstration Kitchen is certainly a flurry of activity, with organisers milling around in the signature green Mitzvah Day T-shirts, volunteers fussing over pots of lasagne sauce and others painstakingly chopping apples for the crumble.

On the menu when the Ham&High visited on Monday was lasagne, Quorn with cous cous, macaroni and cheese and of course, the apple crumble.

The idea is for different faith groups to cook together and donate the food they make to local homeless shelters Doorstep and St Mungo’s.

“Everything cooked today will be sent straight to the charities the following morning,” Daniela explained.

Mother and daughter team Fiona Seitler and Katie Koschland. Picture: Nigel SuttonMother and daughter team Fiona Seitler and Katie Koschland. Picture: Nigel Sutton

It is to help out people who are often living on extremely low incomes, isolated and cut off from families and support networks.

This is all part of Mitzvah Day’s year-round strategy to engage and build relationships through social action with other faith groups.

They have previously held events at the JW3 Demonstration Kitchen on May 19, attended by Tulip Siddiq, former cabinet member for culture at Camden Council, and on June 2, when Camden’s new mayor, Cllr Lazzaro Pietragnoli was among the guests.

Farhim Mazhary, an active member of the Muslim community, explained how he attended the event on June 2 and came back because he loved the sense of community.

“Regardless of faith we must help the weak and underprivileged and this is a great way of doing that,” he said.

As she stirs a pot of lasagne sauce, Fiona Seitler, one of the Mitzvah Day team, introduces her daughter, Katie Koschland, and adds that she has even brought 10-year-old son Ben before.

Each session is targeted at a specific geographical community and ideally attended by people who would like to maintain connections afterwards.

And this isn’t the end for the ambitious Mitzvah Day team. Look out for an upcoming event in January 2015.

Senior project manager Michelle Bauernfreund is optimistic for the future. “The next one will be the biggest one yet,” she assured.

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 18:29
Headteacher John Dowd spoke at the tribunal. Picture: Nigel Sutton

An employment tribunal has today rejected a former teaching assistant’s claims that she was discriminated against because of her disability.

Yesterday, 17:42
James Flanagan was jailed for the assault

A Kentish Town man has been jailed for a “sustained, cowardly and vicious” attack which left a top sports journalist in a coma.

Yesterday, 20:38
Crouch End neighbourhood forum members Dave Winskill, Sally Mustoe & Mark Afford

Yesterday, 15:39
The proposed strike has been called off Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

A 48-hour Tube strike due to start tomorrow evening has been called off.

Yesterday, 15:31
Andy Sykes claims he saw a ghost in the early hours of the morning on Parliament Hill

A man claims to have had a ghostly encounter with a Victorian-style spectre on Hampstead Heath.

Yesterday, 14:56
Foodbank volunteers packing food for hungry residents. Picture: David Jones

A foodbank centre may be forced to close, after losing support from charity the Trussell Trust

Yesterday, 12:02
Former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband returned to his old school, Haverstock, this week. Picture: Jack Woodhouse

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband returned to his old Camden school as part of a national education campaign to encourage alumni to inspire current pupils.

Yesterday, 12:00
Noah Stoneman has reached the finals of the BBC young jazz musician of the year awards for 2016. Photo: Polly Hancock

The teenage jazz pianist has an eclectic musical taste, citing one of his greatest influences as American hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar.

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe