Our story starts with a family in need
Founded by Rabbi Doctor Dovid Slavin and Laya Slavin in February 2005, Our Big Kitchen (OBK) was born out of an experience that involved a woman at the Yeshiva the Slavins worked at. After becoming extremely unwell, the burden of cooking for her family was taken on by the community.
The Slavins decided to do some communal cooking. To do this, they borrowed a kosher kitchen and got together a group of volunteers to cook, do the food shopping, and pack and deliver the food.
During every cooking session a noticeable atmosphere was created. The electricity in the air in that borrowed kitchen was incredible. The community spirited venture felt like it was gaining traction. It was decided: it was time to upscale operations.
The Slavins realised a will to expand the kitchen in order to be of help to more people in need, simultaneously identifying a way to bring more people together to share the enriching, fulfilling experience that OBK offers.
Rabbi Slavin had a vision: to transform the basement of the Yeshiva Centre in Bondi into a large-scale industrial kitchen that would be used to benefit anyone in the community. Others shared his vision and appreciated his passion; a team of businesses, tradespeople and volunteers combined to make it happen.
As Laya Slavin puts it, “It became everyone’s project. Hashem’s hand at OBK was evident from day one – he has held our hand all along the way.”
Minimal money was spent in the actual building process. No government funding was provided. Rabbi Slavin single-handedly managed to secure a donation of services from the likes of builders, excavators, painters and electricians. The concrete floor was poured on September 11, 2001. An amazing milestone! Whilst the world was being attacked, OBK was coming to life.
The builders had to dig down very deep into solid rock underneath the earth. It was a major building task.
It was not only Jewish workers on site; members from the Greek and Italian communities were also very supportive of the project. The workmen really appreciated that the Rabbi was part of the building process too. He would literally wear a hard hat and pour the cement when an extra hand was needed.