The new Israeli emissary in Leeds, Reut Mor, likens the local community to Jerusalem.
“It’s the biggest city in Israel but at the same time everyone knows everyone else and therefore is on hand to help,” she explained. “Coming to Leeds, I immediately sensed that close feeling, so I think I will connect very easily.”
Ms Mor is finishing a degree in psychology and education, prior to which she studied architecture. “I’ve been in the education field for a while now, working with teenagers and youth and managing a youth department at a community centre in Jerusalem,” she said.
Settling in at the office of cultural provider Makor, she has been “very impressed” by the communal set up.
“I’ve been made very welcome — people here are very kind. I will be creating new programmes for them with a strong focus on Israel and Judaism, of course. I’m guessing there will be lots of education on the agenda and a bit of politics.”
Ms Mor had never heard of Leeds before it was mentioned to her as her potential placement. “When I got the offer to come here, I immediately Googled the city and was bowled over. Wow, I thought, that really is a beautiful place, close to town and countryside. It’s strong on culture and sport.
“From what I can see, everyone here is working for the same purpose, which is really inspiring. You won’t see that everywhere.”
Ms Mor will be formally introduced to the community at Sunday’s Nosh Fest, where she will be rustling up some Israeli favourites.
“I wish I had a signature dish but most of the dishes I cook are traditional and very family orientated. For the festival I will be demonstrating a dish that my grandmother used to make at home. It’s delicious.”