MESH Report Oct. 12, 2021

On Tuesday afternoon, Lynne and Aileen prepared 20 Grab N Go Meals. Shirley Grill contributed dessert then helped with packing and delivery. The eco friendly bag contained a hearty portion of Fish Sticks with ketchup, baby carrots and grape tomatoes with a hummus cup for dipping, a club roll, a banana, and mini brownies black and white cookies and an 8 oz water bottle and a plastic silverware packet including salt and pepper. The meal was nutritionally sound, complete, tasty, easy to put together and relatively inexpensive. Continue reading

MESH – We’re Back!

MESHMESH started officially on Tuesday, October 5. For the time being, we will be preparing take-away meals for 20 people using simplified menus and a centralized drop off for food at the Salvation Army on Trinity Place in Montclair. The process will be different from our fondly remembered in house Carol Starr MESH Cafe. However, our guests will still be receiving a hearty, nutritious meal prepared with care and consideration

Lynne and Aileen did a trial run on Tuesday, October 5 to make sure that basic cooking utensils are readily accessible and that commonly used seasonings are in stock. The hearty meal consisted of macaroni and cheese, roasted broccoli, three bean salad, hard roll, apple, chocolate chip cookie, breakfast bar and 8 oz water bottle. We included the necessary containers, bags, plasticware, condiments, salt and pepper packets. Continue reading

Being There for Family Promise

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As so many of you know, Shomrei has hosted homeless families with young children in our synagogue since 1988 as part of the Interfaith Hospitality Network (now Family Promise). Twice a year, for a week at a time, for over 30 years, 50 caring volunteers have cooked food for the families, entertained the children and slept over as nighttime guardians. Because of the pandemic, we have not hosted families since December 2019 and the entire congregational shelter network remains shuttered. For 18 months, Family Promise (FP) has been sheltering families in hotels and shifting more resources into its other missions — stabilizing those on the verge of homeless with rental assistance  and case management. FP needs even more financial support to continue to support vulnerable families, particularly as the moratorium on evictions is lifted and many more parents and children face homelessness.

Even though we can’t host families for now, we can be there for them and for Family Promise. Here are two wonderful opportunities to help: Continue reading

Refugee Assistance Update Sept 2021

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Dear Shomrei Friends,

Here are some major items for your careful consideration. We realize there is a lot here, but there is a lot of need.

1) The Westfield Fun Club has informed us that many of the refugee families that both they and Shomrei have been assisting were severely affected by Hurricane Ida. The apartment complex where they live in Elizabeth was badly flooded and many have lost most of their belongings and cars. They have now been displaced and are being housed in temporary shelters and hotels by the Red Cross. The Fun Club is working with the IRC to help them begin the long and difficult process of dealing with FEMA and the state. If you would like to help, please consider making a financial donation to Temple Emanu-El, 756 East Broad Street, Westfield, NJ 07090, and earmark the funds for the Westfield Fun Club. In addition, one family is without any clothes or shoes. If you have the following, please contact the Fun Club at email hidden; JavaScript is required. All clothes should be washed, folded and neatly packed. Please donate like you are giving a family member the clothes. Continue reading

Refugee Assistance: Helping Afghan Families

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We have been researching the best ways to provide support to Afghan families who are being resettled in our region. As a start, we are teaming up with the grass roots organization One World, One Love, which has done amazing work with many refugee families during the past few years. The organization is now starting to help the Special Immigration Visa (SIV) families who are arriving in our area from Afghanistan — 10 families (approximately 50 people) so far, with many more expected to come. They have asked us to help provide the following items for the new homes that are being set up for the families: Continue reading

Shomrei’s Thanksgiving Food Drive 2020

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During the pandemic, many citizens have lost their jobs, have had their work hours cut, and have found that the limited resources they had no longer suffice. In times like these, it is fortunate that Montclair has caring institutions to support people until the national economic crisis improves.

At Shomrei, we have been concerned about the ever-expanding food insecurity in our town. One of our ongoing efforts has been our work in providing weekly dinners for people through MESH.

The Shomrei Social Action Committee created a subcommittee during Summer 2020 that would focus on food insecurity. One of our first initiatives was to connect with the Human Needs Food Pantry to collaborate on their annual Thanksgiving collection. Continue reading

MESH Report, Fall 2020

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Dear MESH Supporters,

image (1)Even though it’s been over seven months since we’ve been able to welcome guests to the Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei, Shomrei has continued to do the mitzvah of providing meals to food insecure members of our community. Through the generosity of numerous congregants, we have been able to fund 40 takeaway meals from Villa Victoria Restaurant on Park Street in Montclair, every Tuesday in May through June and resuming again in September.

image (2)Villa Victoria is a convenient location to reach and, according to Dr. Gwen Ames, Executive Director of MESH, our guests LOVE the food they receive. The guests in the photos agreed to have their pictures in Shomreiweek because they want to show us their appreciation.

If you would like to contribute to Shomrei’s MESH fund to ensure that we can continue to do this vital mitzvah, donations are always welcome.

To make a donation to MESH, go to: shomrei.org/donate

Healthy regards,
Lynne and Aileen

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About MESH:

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. While in-person service has been discontinued, donations from each institution are being used to provide hearty, nutritious meals for the hungry. Shomrei’s turn is on Tuesday nights. Please help fulfill this crucial mitzvah by making a donation at: shomrei.org/donate.

Have questions?

Contact:
Email Lynne Kurzweil or call (973)746-0816
Email Aileen Grossberg or call (973) 744-3836

Refugee Assistance Update: Continuing Our Support

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As we announced in our last update, the Westfield Fun Club, working with the International Rescue Committee, has asked us to “adopt” some refugee families in need of food and household essentials for the summer.  Thanks to the generosity of our community, we have been able to commit to supporting three food-insecure families, at a cost of about $100 a week for eight weeks.  Each of the families is headed by a single mom, and has one or two children.

Continue reading