SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – A Lubavitch-run kosher community kitchen gained halal certification.
Our Big Kitchen in Sydney, run by the Yeshiva Center, received halal certification Wednesday in the presence of New South Wales Premier Nathan Rees, who learned to make challah during his visit.
The kitchen has been used to help feed the needy as well as for emergency service.
“It is fantastic to see people of all faiths working together to further the important charitable work of Our Big Kitchen,” said Rabbi Eli Feldman of Sydney’s Young Chabad. “With both kosher and halal certification, Our Big Kitchen can service all segments of the Australian community."
Halal is the Muslim designation for food that is permissible to eat.
Sophie Abuta, a Palestinian Australian whose husband donated the kitchen tiles, said she hoped the kitchen would help Jews and Palestinians “cook our way to peace.”
Ikebal Patel, the chairman of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, also was in attendance along with Rabbi Pinchus Feldman, the spiritual leader of Chabad in New South Wales, and the heads of the kashrut and halal certification boards.
The kitchen was founded by Brooklyn-born Rabbi Dovid Slavin in 2007. Among the numerous dignitaries who have visited are Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Governor-General Quentin Bryce.