Salaam Shalom Kitchen
We are a joint Muslim/Jewish project founded on the belief that working together across communities and perceived boundaries helps build community cohesion and break down barriers.
The steering group and trustees of Salaam Shalom Kitchen are predominantly from the Muslim and Jewish Communities but this is not a requirement for being involved. We are pleased to welcome anyone who wishes to get involved.
Saj Mohammed Is Director & co-founder of Himmah, a social justice charity working for poverty, race and education equalities. During a meeting with Rabbi Tanya Sakhnovich, in 2015 discussing Muslim and Jewish community relations, the idea for SaSh Kitchen was conceived. A joint social action project that demonstrates both faiths values of compassion, dignity and service to others. Sajid has been co-chair and trustee since the start of the project and is still an active member.
I have worked as a member of the steering group at SaSh since it started and am proud and pleased of our achievements. I became been co-chair of the project in 2016. I am an active member of Nottingham Liberal Synagogue. I do a lot of the ‘behind the scenes’ work for SaSh, and get down to the project as often as I can, and love it when I do. Being involved with SaSh is a way for me to undertake Tikkun Olam – the Jewish commandment to heal the world. I love that I have made new friends through SaSh, and make a small but important difference in the world.
I have been a steering group member of SaSh since 2017. I am also Vice Chair of Himmah. I wear a number of hats. I work for the Civil Service as a Training Manager and on weekends as a presenter at a local Muslim radio station. By being involved in SaSh, I am able to play my part in helping to take care of those in need in our locality.
I have been involved with SaSh since 2016, initially helping to serve food, socialise with guests and wash up. Since retiring from work, I’ve been delighted to be able to play a more active role: on the steering group, as a trustee and ” hosting” at SaSh about once a month. I also represent SaSh at the Nottingham food poverty group. I am a secular Jew for whom being Jewish has always expressed itself in political action, to challenge discrimination and oppression and try to create a fairer and more equal society. SaSh is a great way for me to put these principles into practice, whilst making new friends and learning more about Nottingham’s diverse communities.
I have been involved with SaSh as an occasional volunteer since 2018 and am delighted to then have become a member of the steering group. At SaSh , I enjoy serving food with other volunteers and talking to the guests in an environment which is spirited and friendly and that has an incredibly positive vibe. I am a hospital pharmacist and have 3 children in secondary school. They have all volunteered at SaSh and seen the benefits of taking part in charitable work which is integral to our Islamic values. I am completely inspired by the positivity that SaSh generates; in breaking down barriers and bringing diverse groups of people of different backgrounds and faiths together to help the vulnerable in the local community.
Our ethos is to bring together volunteers from many communities, to make friends and work for social change. We have a wide range of people who volunteer at the project offering a few hours of their time to help. Volunteers may be interested individuals or from organisations.
We are delighted to be supported regularly by members of the Catholic community of St. Barnabus Cathedral, who have continued to support us with volunteers and cooking off site when needed. In addition, we receive support from the Pakistan Forum, which occasionally provides meals for us.
We are able to provide grocery bags to our guests thanks to supermarket surplus donations via Fareshare and Neighbourly, from Aldi, Lidl and Sainsbury. Trent Vineyard and the Hygiene Project have also donated personal products.
We also receive support from Nottingham Liberal Synagogue, Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham University students, Jsoc, cathsoc and Isoc, and various Muslim organisations, including the Pakistan Forum, Pakistan Centre, An Nisa Network, Al Zahra Institute. Many other organisations have volunteered or hosted evenings in the past. We have several local restaurants who very kindly regularly provide delicious cooked food for free to support us. We gratefully thank Masala Junction who has provided food several times during the covid pandemic.
We welcome individual volunteers from the student population and the wider community. We are able to accommodate one or two young people at a time who are working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Awards, but please be aware under 16’s are not allowed in the kitchen. We are operate between 3 and 7 pm 52 weeks a year and we need volunteers to help prepare food and pack the grocery bags. We also need people who arrive at 5pm to interact with our guests and to give out hot food and groceries, and then to help with clean-up. We also need drivers to collect donations from supermarkets and Fairshare.
Offering a few hours of your time once or twice a month would help us a lot, and is an opportunity to make new friends and do something significant and useful. If you are interested in volunteering, or if you want more information, please contact us.
The Salaam Shalom Kitchen was a joint idea and initiative started by Nottingham Liberal Synagogue and Himmah, a Nottingham based Muslim charity. It was initially started with a grant from ‘Near Neighbours’ in 2015. Since then we have relied on small donations from local people and organisations. We became a registered charity in 2016. We were delighted in 2017 to be awarded a grant from National Lottery ‘Awards for All’. We continue to look for further funding options to ensure the long-term continuation of the project.
In 2017 we were recognised nationally when we won the Mitzvah Day: 365 Award. Some of our team travelled to London for the awards ceremony, knowing we had been shortlisted and were delighted and honoured when we won.
Mitzvah day is a Jewish run charity that supports organisations to undertake social action. Every year there is a big push for one day of social action; encouraging people of all faiths and backgrounds to take part. However the ethos is to continue worthwhile social action all year round.
SaSh was awarded the 365 award: “For the community or organisation that impresses with social action and or building relationships all year round”. We had big competition from other excellent projects, so were really delighted to be honoured and recognized for the work we do.