Lunch & Learn – A spiritual oasis in the heart of the West End

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For over 10 years now, every Thursday, people have been attending the weekly Lunch and Learn programme located at Great Portland Street Synagogue and continue to do so. During lunch time hours, business men (and occasionally women), visitors to London, tourists and the like have been enjoying stimulating and thought-provoking Torah insights accompanied by delicious home made sandwiches and hot soup at the famous Great Portland Street Synagogue.

The idea began over a decade ago when a business man by the name of Shlomo Godsi decided that the West End would not only be a place where Jews would visit or come and work and return home, but should be a place where people could gather together for half an hour (before or after afternoon prayers) amidst the hustle and bustle of the West End and be able to learn some Torah insights in the comfortable and tranquil setting of the Central Synagogue.

Rabbi Mordechai Nissim, a resident Rabbi and educator in Hendon would commute each week in to town to deliver talks on all aspects of Jewish life, from daily living laws and issues of keeping kosher to insights on the weekly Torah portion and festivals. A decade on and Rabbi Nissim continues to charm his audience with his Jewish insights whilst Lunch & Learn has grown remarkably and now attracts over a dozen regular visitors each week. Lunch & Learn also boasts of a resident in-house chef in Roger Cohen who’s freshly made sandwiches and delicious aroma generating hot soup continue to attract further people to participate in the weekly sessions.

In an ever changing business world where many change jobs or move to different areas of the city, it is quite remarkable that Lunch & Learn at Great Portland Street has continued to operate and even expand during this time and it is clear that it will continue to attract and inspire many more people in the West End for years to come.

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