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At OBKLA Benevolence Is At Any Age

OBKLA billboard, downtown Los Angeles - photo OBJLA
OBKLA billboard, downtown Los Angeles - photo OBJLA

The Margaret Feder OUR BIG KITCHEN LOS ANGELES (OBKLA) is where you can channel your benevolence. This is what I did on Sunday, January 15, 2023. With some 50 other volunteers, young and not so young, together, as a team, instructed by Yossi Segelman, the Director at OBKLos Angeles.

Though we never met each other before, we prepared 1000 basic meals for the Los Angeles needy. Try it, and get a taste for more.

Introduction

Here is a short video introduction to OBKLA:

When I write, ‘try it, and get a taste for more’, I mean it.

This is my second time taking a few hours out of a restful Sunday to come into the OBKLA Center, on Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, and cut vegetables, scoop minced meat and shape it into small meatballs, prepare chocolate-chip cookies from deliciously fresh dough, label boxes and pack meals for their destination all over Los Angeles, from where the call of need for food has been received.

Tables are ready for volunteers to prepare food at OBKLA – Photo Nurit Greenger
Tables are ready for volunteers to prepare food at OBKLA – Photo Nurit Greenger
Ground beef ready for preparation into meatballs – photo Nurit Greenger
The writer at the tray of meatballs ready for cooking – Photo Nurit Greenger
Labeling OBKLA food boxes – photo Nurit Greenger

So What Is Our Big Kitchen Los Angeles All About?

Since I first volunteered to help OBKLA, in June 2022, they have moved to a larger, more spacious venue on pain street Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Steve Feder has been nominated to be the Chairman of the Board, and the OBKLA has been named after his late Mother, Holocaust survivor Margaret Feder.

What is the difference between OBKLA and other similar food helping hands?

The slogan is, “OBKLA feeds the stomach and the soul.”

The entire Big Kitchen presence is based on the helping hands of volunteers. It is restaurant quality food, prepared from scratch by a professional chef and put together by the volunteers’ sense of caring love and the human soul’s depth of humanitarianism to help those in need, to be ready for delivery. Though the prepared food’s destination is to anyone in need across Los Angeles, OBKLA has an industrial kosher run kitchen initiative, meaning, it conforms to the Jewish dietary regulations of kashrut.

Who Volunteers To Help?

The spectrum of volunteers widens all the time; they are from the very young to the elderly and from all walks of life. People learn about OBKLA mainly from word of mouth; by hearing the shared experience from others who already volunteered.

As of recently, a gigantic OBKLA billboard appeared on a high-rise building in downtown Los Angeles.

Billboard downtown Los Angeles – photo OBKLA
OBKLA billboard, downtown Los Angeles – photo OBJLA

OBKLA is a place for people to come together and prepare meals for a good cause. Being together with people who volunteer for the same purpose makes the OBKLA family grow. The volunteers are individuals, or a small group of family members or friends; corporation groups, school classes, house of faith or youth movement groups, and others. People who celebrate a birthday, a wedding or an anniversary of some sort, who wish to give back to the community prior to the celebration day, invite all their guests to volunteer at OBKLA. That get-together is special as the guests get to know each other somewhat, forming a great atmosphere prior to the upcoming special celebration event.

Bringing people together to do good is certainly a teaching moment. Believing in the power of giving is important – and that through giving you receive – is a path to do good all the time.

The main lesson is “Love your neighbor as yourself” ~ Leviticus 19:17

It teaches people to be sensitive. That they must love the other person as he or she loves himself or herself; hence, he or she must treat others the same way he or she would like to be treated.

January 15, 2023 – from left – Yossi Segelman, Steve Feder, Chaya Segelman – photo Nurit Greenger
January 15, 2023-the writer as a volunteer at OBKLA – Photo Nurit Greenger

Some Statistics To Be Proud Of

While during the COVID period activities were limited, in 2022 OBKLA has produced stunning statistics: with a chef on board, 26 charity partners, and 5,456 volunteers, the center prepared 27,072 meals and 52,280 cookies, and 25,640 packs of cookies.

At the end of the three hours work, a pile of delicious cookies are spared and are left on the table for the volunteers to take some as they leave the venue. Allocating take-out cookies comes under the banner: “Pay it forward,” which means, give them to somebody who would appreciate it and may make their day.

January 15, 2023 – Your OBKLA chocolate chip cookies all packed for delivery or to take home for “Pay it forward” gesture – Photo Nurit Greenger
January 15, 2023 – Your OBKLA dinner all packed for delivery – photo Nurit Greenger

This gesture may create a ripple effect. The volunteers will tell about their OBKLA experience and this way may cause the recruiting of others who will sign up to volunteer at OBKLosAngeles. The more volunteers help, the more people can receive and enjoy a nutritious and delicious meal prepared by people who care at Our Big Kitchen Los Angeles.

January 15, 2023 – OBKLA Margaret Feder memorial corner – Photo Nurit Greenger

During the 2006 second Lebanon War, Nurit Greenger, referenced then as the “Accidental Reporter” felt compelled to become an activist. Being an ‘out-of-the-box thinker, Nurit is a passionately committed advocate for Jews, Israel, the United States, and the Free World in general. From Southern California, Nurit serves as a “one-woman Hasbarah army” for Israel who believes that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.

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