The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here


Angie Jacobs dons her rubber gloves to get the house in order for Pesach

My husband makes Marie Kondo look like a slob. Colour-coded hangers – tick. Minimalist surfaces – tick. Electric shaver that I bought him for Chanukah 2002 still pristine and put back in box every morning – tick. Me a tidy person? Not so much. I hate to agree with my husband, but he is right when he says it’s actually lazier to be tidy, as you can always find things. In fact, the alphabetised filing system that he bought me in our first year of marriage (oh the romance) was life-changing as suddenly I could find ‘stuff’.

It will come as no surprise that he loves a bit of Pesach preparation. We don’t fully change over but it is a good chance for a clearout and a few bonding trips to the local tip. Told you he was romantic.

Some people change everything for Pesach, some change nothing, but most of us are some level of ‘inbetweeener’ For eight days a year, I kick myself for not marrying a Sephardi as despite not changing over, we do like to do ‘the essence’ of Pesach in that we don’t eat bread, rice and pasta etc. Chocolate is the fourth food group that is problematic as we do only buy KLP, which is particularly challenging. It is the one week of the year that I bake, though, so this calms the offspring’s moans for the first few days at least.

Two words that instill fear and dread in many Jews are ‘Pesach’ and ‘cleaning’, especially when used in the same sentence, the former often referred to simply as the ‘P’ word and one that you should not, under any circumstances, be the first to mention. I’ve done a little research and found that there are those among us who have different, ahem, ‘coping’ strategies. Some start the cleaning process in January, some never have chametz upstairs therefore immediately slashing the job in half, others have cleaners and helpful husbands and some fit it in with a house move. Then there are those who have a Pesach kitchen. Of course, ‘Pesaching’ at an all-exclusive kosher hotel is the dream and only slightly more expensive than buying all the required cleaning materials and KLP foodstuffs.

With more than four million followers on Instagram, Sophie Hinchcliffe, aka Mrs Hinch, is someone who would not be fazed by Pesach – in fact she’d probably embrace it. With the Hinch Army following her on social media, her own YouTube channel and three published books, it’s (soda) crystal clear that there’s plenty of interest in cleaning hacks and advice. From cleaning doors with fabric conditioner to pouring vinegar that I only ever thought was good on chips down the sink, she would have Pesach cleaning sorted quicker than you could say Dayenu. I’m considering becoming a Jewish Mrs Hinch – Mrs Spritz! “Nu, ya get your schmatter and ya schmear it over the work surface with a little bit of schmaltz and it comes up so clear you can see your punam in it. Who knew?”

Judi and Steve Herman litter picking their dog Biba


Our own house is our own business, but the outside world belongs to us all and it is our responsibility to keep it clean and safe. If everyone did their bit, we could really improve the cleanliness of the environment. There is nobody who believes this more than Judi Herman, Arts Editor at Jewish Renaissance. She and her husband bought each other litter pickers for their anniversary and now walk around their local area picking up all kinds of rubbish, making sure they bag it properly so that the birds and foxes don’t get to it. Judi and Steve, the self-titled ‘Litterati’ are encouraging the Jewish community to get involved with the Keep Britain Tidy campaign, whose seventh annual #GBSpringClean and #GBSchoolClean runs until 10th April 2022.

It’s not only cleaning that needs to be done, but eating. Chametz eating. I give my family such eclectic, mismatched, fusion meals to finish up all the forbidden stuff that by the time it’s actually Pesach, they’re delighted with what I serve them. “Meat, potatoes and green veg with no side of baked beans in a wholemeal wrap? Bring it on, Mum!”

Whether you go for just not eating bread or do the whole full-on deep clean and changeover, Pesach is a wonderful festival where we can all celebrate our Jewish heritage and this year, for the first time since 2020, we can do it with family and friends. When you sit down for your Seder, albeit exhausted, think about the millions of Jews around the world sharing the same experience.


A Pesach clearout would present no challenge at all to decluttering expert Russ Doffman at DeclutterUs or indeed her clients. A self-styled Sergeant Major when it comes to keeping a house tidy, she strives to create a utopia in her clients’ homes. Successful declutterers will have wardrobes with clothes and accessories easily accessible, arranged in colour or style order. Teenagers find that their revision notes and homework are neatly filed and readily reachable. Kitchen utensils, spices and ingredients are immediately visible on opening the cupboards and drawers.

Russ’s top tips for keeping your house in order are:

1.      Don’t buy so much stuff. Before buying anything, think about where you are going to keep it

2.      Don’t allow anyone in your house to leave anything on the floor

3.      Don’t keep more than one of anything

4.      Don’t hang on to clothes that you are never going to wear again

5.      Don’t buy any storage items until you need them and have measured the space they’re for

6.      Make a memory box for each of your kids to store treasured items from their childhood When they move out, give it to them

7.      Once you have decluttered – stay decluttered!


Before Russ gets to work…

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.