Parliamentarians visit Our Big Kitchen

February 21, 2012 by J-Wire Staff
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The NSW State Liberal MP for Coogee Bruce Notley-Smith and the Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly Shelley Hancock are the latest high-profile visitors to Sydney’s Our Big Kitchen. 

Laya Slavin, Rebecca Jacob, Shelley Hancock, Bruce Notley-Smith and Rabbi Dovid Slavin

Bruce Notley-Smith reports:  RecentlyI visited Our Big Kitchen, a community kitchen run out of the basement of the Yeshiva Centre in Bondi with the Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, the Hon Shelley Hancock MP. We saw first-hand the great work done by the OBK team for the needy in our community.

The story of how Our Big Kitchen began is remarkable—an unwell lady was unable to provide meals for her family and the burden fell onto those in the community. Founders Rabbi Dovid Slavin and his wife Laya began a small operation enlisting the help of others to provide for the lady’s family—eventually inspiring them to make it a large scale operation.

Rabbi Slavin had a passion to make his vision come true, and as evident from the final product he surpassed all expectations. Bringing together tradesmen, businesses and volunteers he turned the Yeshiva Centre basement into the fully-functioning industrial kitchen that it has been running since its opening in 2005—all on donations of resources, goods and services and most importantly, people’s time.

The kitchen runs a range of great services available to those in the community to participate in such as a seniors group, challah baking, a monthly charity cook-in and a community service program for school students. OBK has a number of objectives: to provide meals for those who have nowhere else to go, to bring people together, to provide support for people to get on their feet and to strengthen the community.

I went away from my visit impressed with the hard work being done to help those in need and even more assured than I already was that there are things being done in the electorate of Coogee to make sure that everyone has not only a warm meal but are afforded opportunities to come together for a cause. I hope others are inspired by Rabbi Dovid and Laya Slavin’s selfless attitude, and I hope OBK moves on to bigger and better things in the future.

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