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Buckhurst Hill Enjoys 'Café Chabad'

Friday, 27 March, 2009 - 10:30 am

For smaller communities outside the major hubs of Jewish life, the lack of good quality kosher food and restaurants is a perennial problem. However, when Rabbi Odom and Henny Brandman moved to Buckhurst Hill, Essex, over three years ago, they were determined to find a solution.

"One of the problems for the local Jewish community when we came here," explains Rabbi Brandman, "was that there was nowhere kosher to eat out locally without driving almost an hour or more to North West London."

Responding to the needs of the community, the Brandmans worked in conjunction with the local residents to establish Café Chabad.

"We had the idea to quite literally turn the Chabad House into a kosher restaurant for the night," says Rabbi Brandman.

The events have been extremely successful running approximately every second month for the past two years. Each time members of the local community volunteer their time to cook and serve an entirely different menu. Previous events have offered food from around the globe, including Israeli, Italian, Mediterranean, Indian, Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Nonetheless, old favourites, like fish and chips are also popular.

The local community has responded with high demand and the events have even attracted diners from other surrounding communities. Sometimes large numbers have made it necessary to find a larger venue such as a local hall.

"This is a fantastic service to the community and the food is delicious... if only we could do it more often," says one customer.

"When we find a more suitable venue, we would like to try putting on these evenings more often," says Rabbi Brandman. "Perhaps even on a weekly basis."


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