Academy BJE and Our Big Kitchen in Purim Initiative

March 7, 2011 by Henry Benjamin
Read on for article

The first sign of Purim was loud, boisterous and joyous as more than 160 primary schoolchildren from non-Jewish schools baked homantashen in Our Big Kitchen.

Homantashen on their way

Happy bakers

The children joined by their parents packed the commercial kitchen to capacity in the basement of the Sydney Yeshiva in Bondi, coloring Purim masks as well as preparing the traditional cakes.

Monique Klein is PR/Marketing Director at Acadamy BJE [Board of Jewish Education].  She told J-Wire: “We currently organise religious education and Hebrew lessons at over 80 NSW primary and secondary schools but this initiative involved six primary schools in our local area. Last year, we set up an organising committee with  parents from the schools and it is the first time we have got children and parents from different schools together in the one place.”

The children are pupils at Bellevue Hill, Clovelly, Rose Bay, South Coogee, Vaucluse and Woollahra public schools.

Our Big Kitchen manager Rebecca Jacobs said: “This is the first time we have every seen anything like this. We have had individual schools in before but never six at one time. Everyone enjoyed themselves and the spirit of Purim was obvious.”

Kitchen CEO Rabbi Dovid Slavin added: “I think this is the beginning of Purim for the world…I certainly am not aware of any other function preceding this one…it was amazing.”


Rebbetzin Laya Slavin, Academy BJE CEO Rachele Schonberger, Rebecca Jacobs and Monique Klein

Klein added: “Hopefully, this will be the beginning of many initiatives to bring Jewish schoolchildren from non-Jewish schools together. In these hard times, more and more people are faced with the financial problems experienced in sending their children to a private school. We hope that these functions will deliver a sense of community to the children and their families.”

There over 2,000 Jewish children in NSW non-Jewish schools registered with Academy BJE.

…and as for the Homantashen? They are heading home to grandparents, parents and brothers and sisters. The spirit of Purim is on its way.


One Response to “Academy BJE and Our Big Kitchen in Purim Initiative”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    This should be expanded to other schools to, it’s a wonderful idea and the children have a great time; so to the adults that Iv’e seen.
    Come forth Jewish families and take the initiative.

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