Family & Education

First campus Pesach café pops up in Surrey

Students and staff are able to eat and prepare Pesach-friendly meals


Enjoying a meal at Surrey University's pop-up Pesach café (Photo: Surrey University JSoc)

For the first time, students at a UK university are enjoying a pop-up Pesach café.

With the festival coinciding with term time, Jewish students at the University of Surrey have taken over a café and industrial kitchen on campus, which offers a variety of Pesach-compliant foods.

Students are also able to make meals themselves in the kitchen, which has been especially prepared for Pesach.

Rebecca Green, a member of the university's Jewish Society expressed her appreciation for the café. "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 JSoc."

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."

The café, which is centrally located on campus, has become a hub of activity, providing a welcoming space for cultural exchange and communal gatherings.

JSoc chair elect Lee-Elle Horowitz stated: “Having the Passover café has 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 café has been welcomed not only by students, but also by staff and visitors. The latter included members of the local non-Jewish clergy, who learnt about Jewish life on campus when they paid a visit last week.

A University of Surrey spokesperson said that the initiative was “part of the University’s broader initiative to ensure all students feel supported and integrated into campus life, regardless of their religious or cultural affiliations”.

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