The Cookbook and the Charities

The Wimbledon Synagogue Cookbook featured eight charities and good causes.Cover image 11.03.15

An interesting and varied range of organisations, these charities have inspired our contributors in different ways.

Some of the charities are directly related to food – Jewish food (Gefiltefest), the fair production of food (Fairtrade Foundation) and the provision of food and shelter to those who need it (Merton Winter Night Shelter, Faith in Action Merton).

The PANDAS Network, a medical support group, was dear to a contributor’s heart and, for her batmitzvah, she created her own fundraising cookbook (which we also featured in the cookbook) to support the cause.

The charity Meketa, (set up by Rabbi Sybil Sheridan) which assists families of Jewish origin in Ethiopia, helps to support these families’ Jewish way of life and we have featured on this blog and the book the vibrant and different way that the community celebrate Passover with communal matzah making (read more in the letter below).

Our very own Apples & Honey Nursery based at Wimbledon Synagogue has inspired a generation of children and their families with its creative approach to Jewish education, its weekly hallah making and using food and cooking as a way to experience the richness of the Jewish year.

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Finally, Mosaic Jewish Primary School, based at Wimbledon Synagogue for the first two years of its life, is developing its own Ofsted-outstanding approach to Jewish education as well as developing its own brilliant, healthy, kosher school dinners.

Our definition of community has been broad and inclusive and so (having sold over 600 copies) we wanted the proceeds of the book to benefit community in the way we have defined it – in terms of its outward interests, partnerships and values in the broadest sense. And so the Wimshul Cooks group decided to make donations to each of the eight charities and good causes that meant so much to our cookbook contributors.

You can click on the links below to find out more about the charities. Or, of course, have a flick through your cookbook to read the original articles and recipes (or order your book here!)

The Merton Winter Night Shelter (based at local faith venues including Wimbledon Synagogue through the winter months)

Fairtrade Foundation (Wimbledon is a Fairtrade Synagogue) (link to blog article)

Meketa (a charity that assists families of Jewish origin in Gondar, Ethiopia)

Faith in Action Merton (a local charity supporting homeless or precariously housed individuals, including by providing hot meals)

The PANDAS Network working to improve the diagnosis and treatment of children with PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections)

The Jewish food charity Gefiltefest with its annual food festival

Apples & Honey Nursery (Bursery Fund) an Ofsted-outstanding nursery based at Wimbledon Synagogue for over 20 years

Mosaic Jewish Primary School, a free school set up in 2013, temporarily housed at Wimbledon Synagogue.

Below are some extracts from some of the thank you letters we received:

Letter from MEKETA

Shalom Liz

Thank you so much for your interest in Meketa and for your donation from the proceeds of the Cookbook.

The contribution will be most useful to our work with the community, there are so many ways in which we can try to help them. It is probably interesting to you to know that as well as the hand-made matzah making which Rabbi Sybil described, the experience of Passover in Gondar is also very different from in England because there are no individual seders in people’s homes as they do not have what is needed to run a seder, but instead there is a mass seder in the synagogue.

Because they have been told not to eat their normal bread – injera – which is made from Tef the people do not eat very much at all at Pesach apart from the Matzah, as they cannot afford other alternatives. So the teacher running our after school club asked us if we should cancel the club during Pesach as the children will be weak as they are “fasting” – basically eating a couple of slices of Matzah and nothing else. So this year we bought potatoes and bananas to feed the 40 or 50 children in the club each day, so they could continue learning at school and in the after school club. And I hope that money such as yours will ensure this again next year.

Thank you again for your very kind donation.

Hila Bram

Project coordinator


Click the link for a letter from WDS Faith In Action

Letter from Apples and Honey Nursery

Dear Liz,

I wanted to write and thank you and all the Wimshul Cooks team for your donation to the Apples and Honey Bursary Fund which arrived in our bank account on Friday.

As with every step in the process of creating your amazing book, you have given real thought and care in deciding how to use the extra proceeds from the book and I can assure you that your donation will go to help another budding chef become part of our Wimbledon community.

Thank you again for your thoughtfulness and generosity and Kol Hakavod on a simply stupendous book!

Judith x


Dear Liz

What a lovely email to receive. Thank you so much.

And credit to you and your wonderful team for such a successful book launch.

All the best



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