Recently, Kangarusski volunteers hosted a Challah bake event at Our Big Kitchen for members of the We Are All Sydney (WAAS) leadership course. WAAS is a project of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies which brings together leaders of various religious and community groups and creates a platform for the groups to learn about each other and respect each other’s differences.
There were representatives from community groups from Australia, Israel, Pakistan, Sudan, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Argentina and Syria.
The purpose of the Challah bake was to educate participants about Jewish traditions, the meaning of Shabbat and the law surrounding kosher food, Jewish family values and Tikkun Olam. Kangarusski volunteers revelled in the opportunity to talk about their culture and values, especially after realising how little knowledge about Judaism participants had.
Guests and organisers alike were excited to learn about the similarities and differences in their cultures.
Rabbi Slavin, the founder of Our Big Kitchen, addressed the group and spoke about the incredible charity work undertaken by the kitchen daily and the impact this work has on communities in need. Kangarusski volunteers, who are regularly participants of OBK projects and charity events, felt a sense of pride in the role this organisation plays in the lives of other religious community groups.
Anna Maylis, ZFA’s coordinator for Kangarusski, spoke about what Kangarusski is, how it functions within the ZFA, and the work they do in the Russian-speaking and wider community.
Maylis said, “I was pleased to be able to tell this group about the work of Kangarusski, and the ZFA as a whole. Focussing on Israel advocacy, it was heartening to then see the guests engage on this topic later in the day, asking thoughtful questions about Israel, its influence in the Middle East, the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians, and the latest political developments with parts of the Arab world. The group broke off into small groups, during which all participants had an opportunity to express their views and get a better understanding of the views of others.”
The event concluded with a Russian twist and guests and organisers raised a glass to peace in the world.