Brighton shul rooting for its challah-making Great British Bake Off star

Jurgen Krauss is not Jewish but is actively involved in Reform congregation of which his wife and son are members


Juergen and Matt.

Jurgen Krauss is well known among the Brighton Reform community for his challah-baking prowess.

Now the Sussex-based IT professional is showcasing his culinary skills to a wider audience in the new series of The Great British Bake Off.

The 56-year-old is not Jewish but is described by Brighton and Hove Reform’s Rabbi Andrea Zanardo as "a supportive husband and father to his wife, Sofia, and son, Ben, who are members of the shul”.

He has regularly joined them at synagogue services, both in person and online during the pandemic, and has led a baking session for the cheder’s parents’ committee.

Mr Krauss is also an accomplished trombonist, a talent he has passed on to his son, who was barmitzvah at the Reform shul in 2019.

“The barmitzvah was going to be celebrated both here and in a synagogue in Florida, where Ben’s maternal grandfather lives. But because of Covid restrictions it was not possible,” Rabbi Zanardo explained.

“Ben also blew the shofar in our shul on Rosh Hashanah and I know how proud his father was of him.” On that occasion, Mr Krauss walked alongside his son as he made his way to the bimah.

Originally from the Black Forest region in Germany, Mr Krauss moved to the UK in 2003. Unable to find traditional German bread in his adopted home, he decided to bake his own – and his passion for baking has grown ever since. As well as challah, he is also known for the celebration cakes he prepares for family and friends.

Rabbi Zanardo said the community wished him every success in Bake Off and looked forward to a future tasting of his challah and other specialities.



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