From Captain Linda Ariel:
It was a brisk Tuesday evening
on November 5, 2019, and we were blessed with many more volunteers than we had initially anticipated. This allowed the group of Shomrei MESH hosts to run a seamless kitchen and service crew for our 24 guests and to accommodate the four take-away dinners for people for whom we did not have room to seat.
Dinner started with salad with rolls shmeared with margarine and was followed by chicken chickpea stew, delicately spiced with cinnamon, cayenne, and herbs, roasted broccoli and carrots, and rice. The vegetarians were accommodated with vegetable patties in lieu of the stew. In the end, there was even enough food to allow for seconds for guests who wished. Dessert consisted of fruit salad and Oreos; bags of pretzels were donated by Carolyn Lack for distribution to our guests as they left at the end of the meal.
In addition to the the cook, Sarah Steindel, and her assistants, Beryl Hiller, Chaya Kotlowitz, and Charles Steindel, Susan Rosenblatt and teens Noah, Jonah, and Jared assisted with serving and clean up. The wonderful MESH staff of Bonny, Joe, Darren, and K’hari were invaluable as well. Lucy, the chaplain in training from MESH, was with us and added to our guests’ greater sense of 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.
Linda has been a member of Shomrei for over three decades. Over the years, she has been Hebrew School Co-Chair, Program Chair, and Social Action Chair and co-chaired the first Shomrei retreat at the Nevele. Linda also led Tot Shabbat and Tot Rosh HaShana for many years. Linda has lived in Israel where she graduated from Hebrew University and then upon returning to the States received her master's degree in social work. Probably the most special and precious bit of information that she has to share is that her three sons are independent caring people with values that she respects.
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