Jews & Sports

from Big Mo's Sports Desk

Kosher food at Wimbledon

As Novak Djokovic of Belgrade (the 'hard-serving Serb') defeated former world champions Roger Federer in the quarterfinals and Rafael Nadal in the finals at the 2011 Wimbledon Tennis Championships, while the Williams sisters were both eliminated in the fourth round, Jewish tennis fans in attendance were able to watch on a full stomach, thanks to the return of a pioneering kosher food service.

It began in 2008 in the driveway of Rabbi Dovid and Sora Cohen, directors of Chabad of South London Campuses.

"When we moved to London to work with students in South London, we didn't know exactly where we were going to live," explains Rabbi Cohen, who co-directs Chabad of South London Campuses. "When we found a house just 300 yards from Wimbledon's Centre Court, we knew that we had to do something like this during the tournament."

It marked the first time since its inception in 1889 that there was kosher food at the world's oldest tennis championship, attended by half a million people every year.

The following year the operation moved to the Wimbledon Golf Club car park by "The Queue" and has been there ever since. In their trailer, excited consumers discovered a hot barbecue and cold sandwiches, as well as the traditional strawberries and cream [non-dairy], all super-kosher, every day of the two-week tournament (except Saturday, of course).

The Cohen's also offered an open home Friday night/Shabbat dinner on 24th June 24, and a special Shabbat program July 1-2 for the finals weekend.

The food items at the kosher stand cost only a competitive £2.50 a piece. "We're not here to make a profit we just want to provide a kosher service," the rabbi said. He added that non-Jews were also enjoying the snacks on offer. Then a smile broke over his face: "Don't forget, we're also halal approved."


[Compiled by Yerachmiel Tilles from different Chabad-Lubavitch websites, plus a few snippets of quotes from articles in the Wimbledon Guardian (and a photo) and the London Financial Times.]


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