Pesach: Rabbi Kastel asks the first question

April 1, 2014 by Henry Benjamin
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TV and radio personality Jonathan Coleman kickstarted the Jewish House campaign to make Pesach within every Jewish person’s reach by donating a box of Matza at a Coles supermarket.

Jonsthsn Coleman, Rabbis Nochum Schapiro and Rabbi Mendel Kastel

Jonathan Coleman, Rabbi Nochum Schapiro and Rabbi Mendel Kastel             photo: Henry Benjamin

The campaign asks those shopping at Coles to buy an extra product and drop it in a bin which is collected by Jewish House where they make up food parcels for those in need.

Coleman, who was born in London’s East End, told J-Wire about his memories of Pesach in the London suburb of Southgate where he lived until his family moved to Sydney.

Rabbi Mendel Kastel asked the first question…what is your Pesach message, Jono?”

A Pesach message from Jonathan Coleman:

J-Wire asked Coleman what Pesach meant to him.

“It’s a time for reflection,” the star responded. “It’s a time to make a list of the good things and the bad things and giving myself time to stop and think about other people apart from myself.  And to take a little time to drum a few more lessons into my children not that they’ve ever listened to me! I’ve turned into my father and I find myself now saying all the things he used to say to me. It’s very strange. I went to see “Noah” recently. You take in a story like that and how the story has been passed on from parent to children from generation to generation. With the fast paced life we live, it just makes us a bit more aware of all our own destinies. The beginning, the middle and the end. I have fond memories of all my family in SOuthgate. All our fondest memories are of taking time out to be with members of the family. Harry Farbi was a member of my family and the first celebrity I ever met…he was the mayor of Southgate! Friday nights generated special memories. My mother was always prepared to feed extra guests whom my father would bring home for Shabbat dinner. And the Seders were no different.

The Jews are very generous people and that is what the Jewish House campaign is all about. It’s a major feature of the Jewish way of life to look after those in need. And also being big enough as the Jewish House does to say ‘You’re not Jewish? It doesn’t matter. You’re welcome to come in and share whatever we have. It’s all about love for your common man and woman.”

Coleman was accompanied  at Coles’s Lindfield store by Rabbi Mendel Kastel the CEO of Jewish House and Rabbi Nochum Schapiro of Chabad North Shore.

This is the third year Jewish House has worked in conjunction with Coles. Last year Jewish House distributed over 200 food parcels to those in need…adding a little brightness to the candles on the Seder table.




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