Syrian refugees and St Albans Jewish community exchange culinary delights
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Syrian refugees and St Albans Jewish community exchange culinary delights

Three women from the war-torn middle eastern country cook Syrian pancakes and savoury filo pastry rolls as shul members bake traditional deserts

Irene Austin, Samah Nakhleh (HWSF) and Helen Singer (SAMS) giving welcome speech
Irene Austin, Samah Nakhleh (HWSF) and Helen Singer (SAMS) giving welcome speech

Syrian refugees joined culinary forces with Jewish families from St Albans Masorti Synagogue on Sunday, as they learned about each other’s cooking and cuisine. 

Describing a “hive of activity,” congregation members said three Syrian women cooked Syrian pancakes and savoury filo pastry rolls while three shul members made cheese scones, chocolate brownies and lemon drizzle cake. 

“We wanted to learn about each other’s cultures, and what better way to start than in the kitchen” said Helen Singer, who coordinated the event as part of a multi-faith day of social action. “Several SAMS families, including my own parents, were welcomed to this country as refugees so we were delighted to co-host this event.”

Syrian pancakes

After the baking, the family tea was laid out in the synagogue main hall, together with activities for young people upstairs, and 14 Syrian families from the local area came to the tea, joining young shul members in chess, table tennis and table football, with younger children joined in art activities. 

“It was a fantastic event,” said Irene Austin from Herts Welcomes Syrian Families. “Shared cooking is wonderful and it was so nice to share the different foods. Everyone really enjoyed talking to other people and hearing about their backgrounds. This sort of event is certainly the way forward.”

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