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A month of getting your hands dirty

    Challah for Hunger kneads your help. The fast-expanding global charitable movement — which raises money through the baking and sale of challot, will be running several events this month where you can learn to make challah before selling it. The events include a Valentine’s Day special at JW3 on February 14 and the second annual Challahpalooza at Edgware Masorti Synagogue on February 16 where you can get creative with flavours. Info: www.challahforhungerlondon.com.

    Free sushi rolling, spicy curry creations, making your own sauerkraut, and soup masterclass are part of a food skills offerings from Claire Berson at the first Jewish Timebanking Day at the LJCC on February 16. During the day — organised with the Board of Deputies and JVN — each hour of learning any skill is free, provided you promise to donate an hour of your time for a voluntary activity in the future. To register email raisa@ljcc.org.uk.

    Looking ahead, Denise Phillips will be demonstrating Persian vegetarian recipes for Purim at the Jewish Vegetarian Society (JVS) on March 4.

    And also looking East, Azerbaijan’s Jewish community is set to have its first kosher restaurant. Land in the capital city of Baku has been earmarked for a three-story Jewish cultural centre with a restaurant to serve the 20,000-strong community.

    Gefiltefest 2014 already has an international flavour: from the US — Joan Nathan, Gill Hovav from Israel and from the Czech Republic Michal Hromas — demonstrating old-style apfel strudel made from a transparent pancake of dough.

    To wet your appetite, Gefiltefest has a signed copy of Claudia Roden’s beautiful book The Food of Spain to give away. Visit www.gefiltefest.org for information on how to win that and a collection of cookery books worth £250 just by voting in JC-Gefiltefest bagel poll.

    Michael Leventhal is the founder of Gefiltefest www.gefiltefest.org

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