Report from Captain Linda Ariel:
The Carol Starr MESH Cafe welcomed twenty-four guest on this cold wintry evening. Sarita Eisenberg and Sarah Steindel were co-chefs and created a delicious and generous repast, some of which was re-purposed from the Honor Night dinner for Nick Levitin. The menu included appetizers of carrot salad, couscous, and cucumber salad with cheese and crackers on the side, the main course of middle eastern fish stew, baked salmon, roasted broccoli, rice, bread and butter, and finally fruit salad and cookies as dessert.
When Sarita greeted the group and announced what was on the menu, she recounted, “Our guests applauded… And when I asked if anyone wanted to say a blessing, one woman said ‘In Hebrew?’ and proceeded to recite the Hamotzi prayer in Hebrew!”
The guests then asked Sarita to translate the prayer, which she did. She shared that it was an amazing moment for everyone.
We were fortunate to have many volunteers helping to make this evening even more special. Emil Steinberg and Megan Harr graciously served our guests, and Lou Hammerman did his usual wonderful job in washing the pots, pans, and other items used in preparing the food and serving. Teens Jonah, Amalia, and Elana were enthusiastic in setting up the cafe, plating and serving the food, and being attentive to requests for seconds.
As always, the MESH staff of Adrienne, Bonny and Joe joined our ranks in facilitating a warm welcoming atmosphere.
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.