In Australia, Jewish, Muslim and Christian children team up to help combat historic flooding

Children worked at Our Big Kitchen to prepare food for people working to battle historic flooding. (Courtesy of Our Big Kitchen)

Henry Benjamin

(JTA) — A Jewish-run community kitchen in Sydney played host this week to an interfaith effort to combat the effects of historic floods that have pummeled the southeast coast of Australia.

Jewish, Muslim and Christian schoolchildren gathered at Our Big Kitchen to cook food and biscuits for frontline workers and victims of the flooding, the worst for the region in more than 50 years.

The students were brought together by the organization Together for Humanity, led by Zalman Kastel, a local Chabad rabbi, for Harmony Day, an annual event hosted by the community kitchen founded in 2005 by Chabad Rabbi Dovid Slavin.

“It is wonderful to see children working together as flooding does not choose or discriminate,” Slavin told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Our Big Kitchen is part of a local disaster response group that has pitched in locally when needs have emerged in the past. In January 2020, the kitchen hosted hundreds of volunteers who worked around the clock to prepare food for firefighters working to battle the worst wildfires in Australian history.