Thousands of people across the community from the age of 1-100 took part in Jewish Care’s biggest Great Jewish Bake Day this year. Fun was shared and new connections were made between old and young whilst vital funds were raised. Moneys raised will help to fund Jewish Care buses that take older people, who would otherwise be isolated, to and from home to community and day centres.
Children from 30 toddler groups, nurseries, schools, brownies and cubs groups held bake sales or visited older people in eight Jewish Care homes and community centres to decorate and enjoy countless cupcakes together. The children designed posters, baked and sold out of cakes at after-school bake sales across London. Hundreds of metres of bunting were strung up in homes and gardens as people hosted Bake Day tea parties for their friends and neighbours, opening their homes to Jewish Care clients in sunny Southend.
2015 Masterchef finalist, Emma Spitzer, judged a lively baking contest at Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre in Hendon that supports survivors and refugees from the Holocaust. Emma said; “When asked today if I could come and meet you all and eat cake it wasn’t a difficult decision to say yes. I am delighted to have visited this Centre today where I have met a wonderful group of people. This is an incredible place run by incredible people and I am honoured to be here to celebrate Bake Day with you”.
Residents of Betty and Asher Loftus Centre enjoyed their own bake off cooking some of their own favourite recipes. A bake sale was organised at the Dennis Centre for people living with dementia in Redbridge. Centre manager Zoe McGurrell said, “We had such a lovely morning at the Bake Day sale on Friday morning at the Memory Way Café with family, carers, staff and volunteers, we all enjoyed a cup of tea and cake and there was such a great atmosphere all morning.”
Meanwhile also in Redbridge, the Messy Mischief group of mums and toddlers joined members of Jewish Care’s Redbridge Jewish Community Centre and Stepney Jewish Community Centre together with pupils from Wohl Ilford Jewish Primary School and Clore Tikva Primary School to ice cakes and put the sprinkles on hundreds of cupcakes.
Shai, 10-year-old, Clore Tikva pupil, said, “The best part is to be with the older people…and I like the icing and eating too!”
Ida Sharp, 94 who attends the Centre twice a week said, “I am lucky to have a wonderful family, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who come to visit me at home but I rely on the Jewish Care bus to get out the house so I can see people and enjoy activities at the Community Centre two days a week. It’s given me a new lease of life.”
At Jewish Care’s Michael Sobell Community Centre in Golders Green, baker for the stars Rachel Rachel came to sprinkle some star quality on cupcakes with Year 9 JFS students and was joined by Jewish Care Vice President Debbie Fox for a fun get together over cake.
JFS year 9 pupil, Asher Hayes, 14, summed up the experience, saying “I really enjoyed getting to know the older people at the centre. My friends and I decorated some cakes with two men called Joseph and Benny, both from Iran who were very good friends. It was inspiring for us to meet two close friends who shared a lot in life and to talk and bond with them. Bake Day was a fun experience and really uplifting, I would definitely like to do it again.”
Meanwhile, children from Nagilla Nursery who love getting together every week with the older members from Jewish Care’s Edgware & Harrow Community Centre as part of their JOY, Joining Old and Young programme, iced cakes at their special Bake Day activity. Community Centre member, Judy Benton, said, “The children are lovely, I love to get involved with them each week when I come to the centre. They make me feel useful. Some of them don’t have grandparents of their own or they don’t see them, so I like being a Grandma for them. It is a joy to spend my time with the children and always lifts my spirits.”
After dusting off the sprinkles at the end of the day, Jewish Care Vice Chair, Debbie Fox, said, “The Great Jewish Bake Day is in its 5th year and we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part to make this year, the best Bake Day ever. Bake Day isn’t just about eating cake, although that’s a big part of it – it’s an event that brings the community together, having fun and connecting with each other, whilst raising much need funds for Jewish Care.
“The money raised will go towards our Jewish Care buses that drive older, isolated people in our community to and from our community centres each day and on outings to places of interest that would otherwise be inaccessible. These buses are a real lifeline, supporting older people in our community to lead meaningful lives.”
Bake Day in Numbers
- 5000 people took part in some way or other in this year’s Bake Day
- 29 schools, nurseries, cheders, brownies and cubs groups baked a difference
King Solomon High School
Akiva Jewish Primary School
Alma Jewish Primary School
Beit Schvidler Primary School
Clore Shalom Primary School
Clore Tikva Primary School
Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School
Golders Hill Primary School
Hertsmere Jewish Primary School
Kerem Primary School
Moriah Primary School
Nancy Reuben Primary School
Rosh Pinah Primary School
Sacks Morasha Primary School
Wohl Ilford Jewish Primary School
Wolfson Hillel Primary School
Beth Shalom Reform Synagogue Cheder
Nagilla Nursery School
Gilah Nursery School
Chigwell & Hainault Synagogue Nursery
4th Southgate Brownies
6th Stanmore Brownies
9th Pinner Cubs Group