On a warm and humid evening, we welcomed 24 guests for a sumptuous meal consisting of a green salad with buttered challah on the side, Moroccan baked salmon with rice and lentils and roasted broccoli and carrots, and a dessert of fruit salad, cookies, and chocolate cake. Our chefs extraordinaires were Sarita Eisenberg and Sara Steindel with assistant chefs of Lou Hammerman and Charles Steindel. Susan Rosenblatt and Linda Ariel pitched in as well with the preparation of the many dishes.
Setting up and serving were Shomrei teen Amalia and MESH staffers Joseph, Adrienne, and Bonny.
The mood was convivial among our guests, and there were many compliments on the presentation and taste of the food. I noticed that people lingered at the tables, chatting with their peers. They appeared to be reluctant to leave after the dessert. It seemed like the guests felt at home at Shomrei, and that we were a community within a community.
The Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei (Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless) is a cooperative effort between the MESH organization and local synagogues and churches. Volunteers at each institution cook and serve hearty, nutritious meals for the hungry. Shomrei’s turn is on Tuesday nights. A good meal, and perhaps as important, social interaction and companionship offer respite to those who need it. Please help fulfill this crucial mitzvah by volunteering.
To sign up to help, go to shomrei.org/mesh.