From J-Wire by Roz Tarszisz
It was a perfect day to enjoy the winter sun at Sydney’s Bondi Beach as politicians, past and present, business leaders and representatives from a wide cross-section of the community including Dame Marie Bashir, former Governor of NSW and Phillip Ruddock, ex Federal MP, gathered to honour Rabbi Dr Dovid Slavin of Our Big Kitchen (OBK).
Waverley Council’s Local Hero Best of the Best Bronze Plaque was awarded to Rabbi Slavin who collected the Local Hero Award in 2013.
Among those at the ceremony NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton and NSW Shadow Minister Walt Secord.
Awarded by Waverley Council every four years, the recipient is chosen from the last four Heroes as part of its “Recognising Our Community Leaders” walk located on the promenades of Bondi Beach and Bronte Beach and the plaque will remain in place permanently.
“Anyone who wants to walk on Rabbi Slavin is welcome to come down here” Mayor Sally Betts joked.
Rabbi Slavin, who founded Bondi’s OBK in 2005, also volunteers for the NSW Ambulance Service, Cancer Institute of NSW Ethics Committee. He co-founded Gift of Life Australia.
Betts said “that Waverley is blessed to have such a man in its midst” and praised the work of OBK which looks after anyone in need.
Betts talked about her gratitude to Rabbi Slavin and his family both in a professional and personal capacity and said he had been a friend and mentor to her.
“His wife Laya is equally amazing. It was a special and happy event and everyone was there to mark the occasion and the huge contribution of Rabbi Slavin to the community” Betts told J-Wire.
Rabbi Slavin is proud of the role he has played in establishing OBK as well as directing Yeshiva College and his role as a chaplain to the NSW Ambulance Service and Gift of Life. He said: “At OBK we aim to make giving enjoyable even fun.”
He said he and Laya regard themselves as only the facilitators and are honoured by Waverley Council’s decision to recognize their communal efforts . They feel that the generous gesture salutes the wonderful work of so many who give of themselves to help others.
A congratulatory letter from Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was read by Kathy Henderson, Waverley Council’s Director of Recreation.