University launches pop up Pesach cafe

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University launches pop up Pesach cafe

Festival marked by unique initiative at Surrey campus

Passover Cafe, University of Surrey, April 2024
Passover Cafe, University of Surrey, April 2024

Students at the University of Surrey took over a cafe and an industrial kitchen to transform it into the UK’s first pop-up Passover Campus Cafe.

The initiative, designed to support Jewish students, staff, and visitors during the unique convergence of the festival with the academic term has been met with overwhelming positivity and community engagement.

Rebecca Green, a member of the University’s Jewish Society (J-Soc), said: “It’s been so lovely to have the Passover café available, especially at Friday night dinner when it was so nice to be able to use the space to cook and eat together as a J-Soc.”

This sentiment was echoed by Rabbi Alex Goldberg, Dean of religious life and belief, who has been with the university for over two decades. He said: “This is the first year in my 21 years that I recall the entirety of Passover falling in term time. It’s been great to be given this facility for students, staff, and visitors to pop in, munch matzos, cook and chill with a coffee. Students working together to build a home from home is wonderful to see.”

Passover Cafe, University of Surrey, April 2024

Ethan Malekar, an executive member of J-Soc, said: “It has been genuinely an incredible Passover on campus thanks to the Passover Café at the University of Surrey. The best part was having a safe space to keep kosher for Passover over the holiday.”

Passover Cafe, University of Surrey, April 2024

J-Soc Chair elect Lee-Elle Horowitz said: “Having the Passover café made keeping Passover so much easier. It was also amazing to feel so supported by the university during the holiday, to have a space to come together and celebrate.”

The Passover Café, located centrally on campus, offers a variety of festival-compliant foods and a kitchen for those observing the dietary laws. It has become a hub of activity, providing a welcoming space for cultural exchange and communal gatherings.


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