Big Cheque for Our Big Kitchen

August 18, 2010 by Henry Benjamin
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NSW Premier Kristina Keneally visited Our Big Kitchen at the Sydney Yeshiva Centre yesterday and came with a gift from the State of $20,000.

Cooking class - premier teacher Photo: Henry Benjamin

Following a tour of the premises during which she switched on a super mixer purchased with the Government grant, Premier Keneally donned an apron and chef’s hat and got down to some old-fashioned food preparation.

Following her tour , the OBK director Rabbi David Slavin addressed the guests welcoming the regular users of the kitchen which included school and community groups, disabled and seniors groups and special guests the Gift of Life’s Shula Endrey-Walder, Danny Grynberg representing Harry Triguboff and Richard and Fay Andrews.

The Premier cooking for the kids Photo: Henry Benjamin

The Premier was welcomed by Rabbi Pinchus Feldman, head of the NSW Chabad. She admitted to being “inspired, touched and sometimes nearly moved to tears” when she listens to Rabbi Feldman speak. She spoke about the “sense of warmth, sense of community” in The Big Kitchen which should never be taken for granted. She told the story of an earlier visit as a Minister enduring the discomfort of a head cold. Back in her office in the city, she was as surprised to receive from The Big Kitchen the universal Jewish cure for headcolds….chicken soup.  She added: “I have never forgotten that single act of kindness towards me.”

She presented the cheque for $20,000 mentioning the work Our Big Kitchen does in the broader community including providing food to the State Emergency Services. She said that Our Big Kitchen “fills the gaps that the Government simply can’t”.

Rabbi Slavin thanked  the Premier for the financial help mentioning that it was not the first time the Government had assisted before announcing four new projects for Our Big Kitchen.

Starting the new mixer Photo: Henry Benjamin

The garden developed on the premises is now producing food for the Kitchen…and the Kitchen’s waste was being recycled to fertilise it.

Rabbi Slavin then announced that Community Offenders Order Scheme  run by the Department of Corrective Services had now registered Our Big Kitchen as an approved location at which offenders can work for the community’s benefit instead of receiving a custodial sentence.

He announced Nicky Klugman as the Education and Youth community education manager

The fourth new project is in the field of counter disaster work in which The Big Kitchen will form a pivotal role in the wider community. Rabbi Slavin told J-Wire: “We are working with government agencies and the potential is there for us to play a part in bringing relief to communities anywhere in the world suffering from catastrophic tragedies…and I mean anywhere.”

The Premier and the grant from the State Photo: Henry Benjamin

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