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Brooklyn, NY - Masbia Once Again Serving Meals To The Hungry In BP

Published on: November 15, 2016 10:10 PM
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Brooklyn, NY - Seven months after closing the doors of its Borough Park location, Masbia Soup Kitchen is once again open for business serving meals to the hungry, this time at a new location.

Located right near Borough Park’s Shomrei Shabbos synagogue at the corner of New Utrecht Avenue and 54th Street, the new Masbia location opened for business last Wednesday. Just one day earlier, Masbia’s executive director Alexander Rapaport invited three local rabbis, Rabbi Isaac Tirnauer, rov of the Shomrei Shabbos synagogue, the Kossover Rebbe, Rabbi Shraga Feivish Hager and the Hivnover Rebbe, Rabbi Avraham Friedlander, to the location to hang a mezuza on the door.

Rapaport said that Masbia’s budget is typically very tight, making it difficult to find additional funding to renovate the soup’s kitchen new property.

“It is very hard to do all the catch up that we are doing,” said Rapaport.  “The truth is that we are constantly chasing the amount of meals we served last year, but every year the numbers keep growing.”

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Masbia had hoped to open its doors this past summer, but a series of setbacks delayed the plan by several months.  Still, the timing seems to have been divinely ordained, explained Rapaport.

“This week’s parsha talks about Avraham’s tent which was open to guests on all four sides,” said Rapaport. “The tent in our logo is that same tent, with openings to everyone on all sides.”

On its first night Masbia served just five diners on its all new china, a popular pattern used on a movie set that was donated by Carmona, NY.  Thursday night saw seven people coming in for free meals. By Monday night, that number had grown to 40 and Rapaport expects that number to rise steadily.

In addition to weeknight meals, Masbia’s new location will be providing emergency grocery bags, with a three day supply of nutritious foods including items like beans, rice, pasta, oatmeal, nuts and vegetables.  The contents of the bag will vary from week to week and Rapaport said this week’s bags may include eggs, chicken, diapers and toothbrushes.  The facility will also be open on Shabbos, with Rapaport conducting a test run last weekend with his family.

“We ended up having guests,” said Rapaport.  “A family came and joined us, someone who lives in Borough Park that we had never met before.”

While the soup kitchen may be officially open for business, further improvements are still in the works, including large walk in refrigerators and freezers on the lower level, with separate dining and grocery areas on the main floor to ensure that soup kitchen has a restaurant feel, preserving the dignity of those who come to enjoy a hot meal.

As work continues on Masbia’s Borough Park location, Rapaport is also facing another challenge:  finding a new home for the soup kitchen’s Queens site, which was forced to close months ago.

“We are already on the street in Queens,” said Rapaport. “We are giving out meals in front of our old location in a van.  For now we staying near the old place so that people know where to find us.”

 


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Read Comments (8)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 15, 2016 at 10:39 PM Liepa Says:

Mi K'amchu Yisroel !!!

G-D bless !!!

2

 Nov 16, 2016 at 01:49 AM Kol Hakovod! Says:

You do great work.

3

 Nov 16, 2016 at 10:54 AM Anonymous Says:

Problem is that they have to let anyone come in. There was such a scary looking clientele coming that the poor Jews were afraid to come.

4

 Nov 16, 2016 at 11:23 AM babig Says:

it is wonderful that this being done. however, I was very upset to see - at the Flatbush location last year - a lone of very unsavory looking people, certainly not frum. why are we doing this. let them go to their local church etc.

5

 Nov 16, 2016 at 03:01 PM CL Says:

Reply to #4  
babig Says:

it is wonderful that this being done. however, I was very upset to see - at the Flatbush location last year - a lone of very unsavory looking people, certainly not frum. why are we doing this. let them go to their local church etc.

I fully agree. I have yet to see a heimishe person on the long line on Coney Island Ave. While everyone deserves these services, I'm always thinking that its a crime to use Jewish poverty money or holocaust-related funds. At least those that run it make a living.....

6

 Nov 16, 2016 at 09:12 AM Anti soup kitchens Says:

This whole concept of soup kitchens and food pantries in the year 2016 in the USA and especially in the Frum community is an embarrassment. The proper, sensible, and dignified way to help the poor in todays day and age is with money so they can meet their needs and climb out of poverty. Money to pay for their immediate needs and money to start a business or get an education so they can get a job. Yes it would be more expensive then giving out free food but it would be a real solution rather then a band aid. Also it is my opinion that most of these free food programs and not for profit poverty industry organizations around the country are really mainly there for the financial benefit of the directors of these organizations who tend to earn very high salaries. They also tend to be heavily dominated by left wing social justice types who want to promote a particular ideology. Bottom line if you were so poor that you did not have food in New York City how would you like to be helped. Free Food? or a substantial loan to help you get on your feet? Lets stop making ourselves feel good that we are helping the poor by giving them a free meal when we ought to be doing a lot more.

7

 Nov 17, 2016 at 02:37 AM CL Says:

Reply to #6  
Anti soup kitchens Says:

This whole concept of soup kitchens and food pantries in the year 2016 in the USA and especially in the Frum community is an embarrassment. The proper, sensible, and dignified way to help the poor in todays day and age is with money so they can meet their needs and climb out of poverty. Money to pay for their immediate needs and money to start a business or get an education so they can get a job. Yes it would be more expensive then giving out free food but it would be a real solution rather then a band aid. Also it is my opinion that most of these free food programs and not for profit poverty industry organizations around the country are really mainly there for the financial benefit of the directors of these organizations who tend to earn very high salaries. They also tend to be heavily dominated by left wing social justice types who want to promote a particular ideology. Bottom line if you were so poor that you did not have food in New York City how would you like to be helped. Free Food? or a substantial loan to help you get on your feet? Lets stop making ourselves feel good that we are helping the poor by giving them a free meal when we ought to be doing a lot more.

Where are you going to get the money and how are you going to distributr it? Are you going to teach a homeless person how to invest monry??Ridiculous!! I agree that this particular food kitchen/pantry does not help the frum community, but I don't think that Tomchei Shabbos enriches its directors

8

 Nov 17, 2016 at 06:30 AM Anonymous Says:

Why did they close in Boropark? Why did they close on Queens?

When you pass by the location on Coney Island Avenue you definitely get the impression that they do not serve the frum community. It appears that many of the people who use the C.I. Ave. facility couldn't even care about kosher, just free food. If Masbia is about a kosher kitchen for the poor, you can close up C.I. Ave.

9

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