Israeli celebrity chef Omer Miller came to Nairobi, Kenya with the express purpose of cooking a special meal for 200 Kenyan orphans. Most of the children were removed from abusive families. This event was one of a series sponsored by the Israeli Embassy in Kenya focusing on assisting disadvantaged communities and was done in honor of the 50th anniversary of Kenyan-Israeli relations. In addition to featuring Omer Miller’s cooking, the event also included a show performed by the percussionist and composer Gilad Dobrecky. I was reported that the Kenyan children especially enjoyed the performance.

According to Kenya Buzz, Israeli Chef Omer Miller opened up his first restaurant in 2008, which was named Hadar Haochel and modeled on kibbutz cuisine. In 2011, Miller launched his second restaurant, known as Shulchan, in Tel Aviv. He is also the author of two Israeli cookbooks and has starred on several TV cooking shows. Gilad Dobrecky is a percussionist and composer and has been called “one of the world’s top percussionists” by Jazziz magazine. Dobrecky percussions can have been heard on the soundtracks of notable Hollywood films including: Kissing Jessica Stein, Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol and The Hunger Games.

Due to the AIDS crisis, over a million children in Kenya are forced to live without one or both of their parents. 46 percent of Kenyan orphans lost their parents due to AIDS. Over half of the orphans in Kenya are between the ages of 10 and 14, while 35 percent are between ages 5 and 9, with the remainder under 5 years old. Many have been the victims of rape, child labor, and other forms of exploitation, The Israeli government, by holding this event, provided these Kenyan children with pleasures that they usually don’t have access to.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has described Kenya as one of the “friendliest countries in Africa and worldwide.” Israel and Kenya share historic ties, with Israel being one of the first countries to recognize Kenya as an independent state and to establish diplomatic relations with the country. In 1963, Golda Meir, then foreign minister, laid the grounds for the Israeli Embassy in Kenya. At that period of time, Israel agreed to assist Kenya with agriculture and medicine. Later on, Kenya would assist Israel as she sought to rescue Israeli passengers who were being held hostage in Entebbe and Israel assisted Kenya following the 1998 US Embassy Car Bomb attacks in Nairobi.

To learn more about Kenyan-Israeli relations, see below!

By Rachel Avraham