‘We want to use our space to showcase everything veganism has to offer’
The Jewish Vegetarian Society officially launched its vegan centre at its Golders Green premises with an event attended by more than 300 people.
Thanks to a generous philanthropist and crowdfunding, the JVS has transformed the ground floor of its HQ to also incorporate a 15-seat meeting room and a large functions area.
And for the opening, by local MP Mike Freer, its garden was a “forest school”, where guests could learn about wildlife, cultivating vegetables and composting food waste.
Another MP at the event was Labour’s Kerry McCarthy, a vegan, and other guests included Shulamit Morris-Evans, a Jewish representative of Extinction Rebellion, and Jane Land and Matthew Glover, co-founders of Veganuary, which has inspired 250,000 thousand people to try veganism in 193 countries.
JVS patron and senior Masorti rabbi, Jonathan Wittenberg, and Reform educator Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers were among panellists discussing food ethics in Judaism in the 21st century.
In keeping with the JVS credo of sustainability, much of the kitchen equipment was sourced second-hand.
The rooms will be available to both the Jewish and wider community. “We want to use our space to showcase everything veganism has to offer,” said JVS director Lara Balsam.
They have been in demand for book and product launches, training days, charity events and film screenings. “We installed a state of the art projector and sound system as part of the project,” Ms Balsam explained.
Two minyans use the rooms for Shabbat services and youth organisation Noam has booked the kitchen for a pre-university cookery course.
All events at the kitchen will be vegan. And for those wanting a supervised function, JVS has kosher catering equipment and the services of KLBD-affiliated shomer Rabbi Eliyahu Goldsobel.