Lulu's love of gefilte fish at UJIA dinner
Lulu with Karen Harris, chair of the UJIA women’s committee
Lulu has revealed how she acquired a love of gefilte fish.
The British pop icon addressed a UJIA women's brunch at London's Saatchi Gallery which raised £100,000 for projects for young people in the UK and northern Israel.
Speaking to the JC, the Scottish singer recalled that she was just 15 when her single Shout rocketed up the charts in 1964. Her Jewish manager Marion Massey was anxious to find a protective living environment for her in London and so she ended up staying with Ms Massey's mother in St John's Wood until her marriage to Bee Gee Maurice Gibb.
"I called her Auntie Janey and she taught me about gefilte fish. She could make fried and boiled," she said.
I learnt so much about Judaism and it was wonderful
"She was such a kind woman and a really wonderful cook. I learnt so much about Judaism living with her, and it's something I never would have known growing up in Glasgow. Everything I learnt was really good - it was wonderful."
Another legacy of her time with Mrs Massey is her regular Sunday treat of smoked salmon bagels.
As well as keeping her youthful looks, the 61-year-old has also retained Jewish management, her interests currently being looked after by Steven Howard. "The best managers are always Jewish," she said.
She has "many Jewish and Israeli friends" and has visited Israel. "It really is a beautiful place. I love it there."
Lulu was keen to support a charity working with young disadvantaged people.
"I am passionate about education, I think especially because I left school at 14, because I was so desperate to be a singer. But I educated myself and read a lot."
After the 250 guests finished brunch and viewing the gallery's Newspeak exhibition, Lulu was interviewed by beauty journalist Jo Fairley and answered audience questions. She also treated the crowd to impromptu renditions of Shout and other hits.
UJIA women's committee chair Karen Harris said: "Every year we try to develop a creative event that's different from the norm." Joanna Lumley had been last year's speaker. "I am delighted that so many women came out to support UJIA's work here and in Israel."