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Maureen Lipman leads lockdown cook-along highlighting small acts of kindness from Buenos Aires to Ilford

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 May 2020

The event was hosted by charity Mitzvah Day.

The event was hosted by charity Mitzvah Day.

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Actress and TV personality Maureen Lipman was joined by 400 people of all faiths and backgrounds for a lockdown cook-along to help someone in need.

The event was hosted by charity Mitzvah Day. Picture: Yakir ZurThe event was hosted by charity Mitzvah Day. Picture: Yakir Zur

Maureen was joined by an imam, a reverend, two rabbis, an MP, and a BBC Radio star as part of the event on Tuesday (May 12), via Zoom and Facebook Live.

It was part of the new Every Mitzvah Matters interfaith volunteering scheme created by the charity Mitzvah Day.

The initiative is intended to highlight and encourage how even the smallest everyday acts of kindness that people do for each other can be transformative for both the receiver and the giver, especially during the coronavirus crisis.

Maureen made a special bean and barley soup for her neighbour Niku. Picture: Yakir ZurMaureen made a special bean and barley soup for her neighbour Niku. Picture: Yakir Zur

Those cooking could either follow Maureen’s special bean and barley soup recipe or make something of their own choice, using whatever ingredients they had in the house.

Participants then gifted the dish as an act of kindness – whether to a vulnerable or elderly neighbour or an isolated family member who would appreciate the personal touch of a home-cooked meal.

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Maureen made her soup for Niku, a Romanian neighbour who can cook only by microwave and has few amenities.

She said: “Whenever the pterodactyls who circle my terrace decide to simultaneously dump on the top of my car, Niku gets out the power hose, thus allowing me to see through crusted windows.

“My rich protein layered soup is my thank you for his kindness and a recognition that life is not universally kind to everyone equally.”

Samuel Segal, 12, of East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue was cooking for his grandmother who was recently released from hospital.Samuel Segal, 12, of East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue was cooking for his grandmother who was recently released from hospital.

After chatting with people from as far as Portugal and Buenos Aires, Maureen asked if anyone from other exotic locations was on the call and Lorraine Silver from Ilford spoke up.

Maureen said: “Ilford would be very exotic to someone in the Philippines maybe!”

Twelve-year-old Samuel Segal, of East London & Essex Liberal Synagogue in South Woodford, who is due to celebrate his barmitzvah in June, was one of many youngsters taking part.

Susan Rothstein of Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue showing off her dish.Susan Rothstein of Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue showing off her dish.

He said: “The cook-along was so much fun and it was nice to ‘meet’ a celebrity in a virtual way.

“It also felt good to make something for my grandma, who recently returned from hospital, as she likes to try my creations!”


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