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Rabbi Dr Dovid Slavin

Big Love Legend: Rabbi Dr Dovid Slavin

11 Apr 2022
Face of really handsome guy that your parents would approve of

jayrad

amaysim's digital marketing guy

Say hello to our Big Love Legend for April, Rabbi Dr Dovid Slavin, long-time amaysim customer and Founder of Our Big Kitchen (OBK) - a community run, non-denominational, industrial kitchen where meals are prepared for distribution to needy people across Sydney.

Like all our Big Love Legends, we want to shine some light on the inspiring work he's doing and help spread the Big Love. That's why last month amaysim volunteered to to help out, joining the wonderful volunteer staff to help create 450 meals for the Salvation Army.

You can watch the video of our time helping out below:

While we were there, I was fortunate enough to sit down with Rabbi Dr Dovid Slavin to talk about Our Big Kitchen and the incredible difference they make to the lives of so many.

OBK cooking

Can you tell us a little bit more about Our Big Kitchen and who you cook for?

We prepare close to a thousand meals a day for distribution to those in need, such as homeless and women's refuges. But it's also about saying thank you to police, fire, ambulance, SES and a host of other charities that we send to.

How does Our Big Kitchen make a difference?

Food is a great connector and a great leveller, and the most primary thing that people need. In a country like ours there is so much food around, yet it's still being dumped, and people are dying from embarrassment, disengagement and from isolation. So the kitchen provides the meals to feed people, but also the opportunity for people to connect with each other. That's very, very important.

OBK cooking

Where does the food you use to prepare the meals come from?

The food comes from different donors, but there are primarily two. One is FoodBank, which is set up all around the world rescuing food from going to landfill. Some is packaged food that can no longer be sold through traditional distribution due to impending expiry, and some is fruit and vegetables because either too much has been grown or it's not pretty enough to make it to the supermarket.

Another organisation worth mentioning is Second Bite who work here in Australia very closely with Coles. Basically anything they cant sell will be given to Second Bite for distribution to charities like ours, and we're very thankful for that as it gives us the raw ingredients.

So what we're doing is taking products destined for landfill and taking time that would otherwise not be used in a meaningful way and bringing them together for the benefit of those who really need to be fed.

OBK cooking

What does Big Love mean to you?

We have choices - do we want our focus to be on purpose or on pleasure? Those are choices and we as people are somewhere in the middle of both of those. Do we want to be right or do we want to be happy - and very, very often you can't have both.

So Big Love to me means even in a situation where you're right to feel slighted and right to feel upset, to turn around and say "I'm going to give that person the benefit of the doubt" and ultimately it's not the others who are the recipients of that positive attitude, but yourself.

OBK cooking

How can people get involved?

Volunteers are the backbone of this organisation. All the staff do here is maintain the place so the volunteers can do what they need to do.

So we have two types of involvement. One is companies doing team-building. It's a planned day where staff come in and all the food that is created is branded with their logo.

The other is volunteers who come in on a regular or irregular basis and cook, but volunteers is also the skills - marketing, graphic design, IT, plumbing, fixing, painting - the volunteers are really our lifeblood and we are incredibly indebted and feel incredibly blessed to have met wonderful people who volunteer graciously and feel the kitchen as their own.

It's not "My Big Kitchen" or "His Big Kitchen". It's "Our Big Kitchen". The first moment you walk in here as a volunteer the kitchen becomes yours.

You can discover more at the OBK website - www.obk.org.au

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