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Big Jewish Summer Fete 2019: 'Fun, all inclusive' programme of free events returning to Highbury Fields

PUBLISHED: 11:50 20 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:43 20 May 2019

Rabbi Mendy at the Big Jewis Summer Fete 2018 in Highbury Fields. Picture: Chabad Islington

Rabbi Mendy at the Big Jewis Summer Fete 2018 in Highbury Fields. Picture: Chabad Islington

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A mystical rabbi story, beguiling folk music and free mixed-martial art lessons will feature at the Big Jewish Summer Fete in Highbury Fields next month.

Chabad Islington is running it's third annual festival, which will bring the community together for a free celebration of Jewish culture on June 30.

The vibrant line-up includes live performances from London Klezmer Quartet and the London Jewish Youth Orchestra, a story about The Baal Shem of London, a Jewish speakers corner, Kraav Maga combat classes, a Middle Eastern henna ceremony and much more.

Rabbi Mendy Korer of Chabad Islington told the Gazette: "It's our third year now doing the event and we have got to see the impact it has had on the community. They're able to have a fun, educational, all inclusive and interesting programme. Whether it's intellectual, visual, or sensory - it's something we are really proud of and we're looking forward to putting it on again."

Storyteller Vanessa Woolf has spoken of her "excitement" on being commissioned to perform at the festival, where she will explore the story of Rabbi and mystic Hayyim Falk, also known as the Baal Shem of London.

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The enigmatic 18th century figure is shrouded in folklore, and Vanessa has been pouring over old books and parchment scrolls to discover as much about him as possible.

She told the Gazette: "The big challenge with storytelling is always what angle you take, it's never neutral.

"He was a rouge and a hero. Perhaps he had magical powers, maybe he was just a con man, maybe he was a hero and saviour - from the evidence it's extremely difficult to tell. This is the challenge I particularly enjoy as a storyteller, so I'm confident I will be able to do him justice."

The fete will run from 1.00pm to 6.00pm. You can find out more information here.

The event has been supported by David Uri Memorial Trust and the Virgin Money Foundation.

Chabad Islington was established by Rabbi Mendy and Hadasa Korer in 2011 and is the only Jewish institution in the borough.

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