MESH Report May 23, 2023

It’s sad to say that in recent weeks the request for meals from MESH which supples meals to the food insecure population off Montclair has risen from 30 to 50 per week.

Today’s team of Co-chairs Aileen Grossberg and Lynne Kurzweil, ably assisted by faithful volunteer Susan Rosenblatt, valiantly produced 50 tasty, filling meals. Our wonderful custodian Carlos helped us leave the kitchen as spotless as it was when we began.

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Books Bloom for Jewish American Heritage Month

April flowers bring May flowers like the beautiful irises at Presby Garden and flowering trees that grace Montclair streets and front yards. Short Story Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month as well as a plethora of other daily, weekly and monthly celebrations of special interests from the ridiculous to the sublime all occur in May.

You might not know it, but it’s also Jewish American Heritage Month. Every year since 2006, May has been recognized in Congress, by the president and by public institutions as a time to celebrate and educate about Jewish American history and achievement. Continue reading

MESH Report May 16, 2023

Master Chef Joan Zief cooked up a down home feast for 32 of our MESH guests. Along with Sous Chef, Lynne Kurzweil, the main dish included tilapia with a roasted garlic and herb panko crust, homemade baked macaroni and cheese and sautéed greens (collard and mustard). Rounding out the meal was a slice of whole grain bread, clementines, cookies, peanuts, taffy, a water bottle and a breakfast bar for the morning. Continue reading

MESH Report April 18, 2023

A semi homemade meal was on the menu this past Tuesday. Chef Lynne, along with co-chefs Aileen Grossberg and Alex Kent, prepared Fish Fillets with Cheesy Mashed potatoes and Aileen’s made from scratch Apple Coleslaw. A colorful and healthy Fresh Fruit Salad, hearty long roll, 6 Oreo cookies, a breakfast bar and water bottle. Regular teen helper, Jaden, was on hand to help portion and pack. In spite of a few kitchen snafus, the 30 meals were ready for transport by Lynne to The Office at 4:50pm.

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Thoughts on Food

As our tables groan under the weight of the Passover feast; as we loosen our belts around our bellies bursting with matzah balls, gefilte fish and brisket; as we issue the invitation that all who are hungry are welcome at our table, let us truly remember the hungry.

Mazon: a Jewish response to hunger has created a virtual Hunger Museum replete with exhibits, a cafe and soon to open restaurant:

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Outstanding Jewish Women

If you’ve ever pushed a stroller up a curb cut or used a ramp to avoid stairs or needed an extra wide door to navigate with a wheelchair, you probably have Judith Heumann to thank. Judith Heumann , who passed away just a few weeks ago, was one of the people instrumental in getting Section 504  of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 signed into law. This act gave accommodations to people with disabilities and changed thousands of lives for the better- not only those with disabilities.

It is Women’s History Month, a good time to recall Judith Heumann’s accomplishments along with other outstanding Jewish women who made the world a better place or proved that women were brave and strong and bold like the Maccabees. Continue reading

MESH Report Mar 14, 2023

The Shomrei MESH A Team was at it again on Tuesday!  Aileen Grossberg, Lynne Kurzweil, Alex Kent, Susan Rosenblatt and Shomrei Teen Jaden shopped, prepped, cooked, packed and delivered a simple, nourishing, filling and, most important, tasty hot meal for 30 MESH guests meeting at the former location of The Office on Bloomfield Avenue.

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MESH Report Mar 7, 2023

Shomrei was abuzz this past Sunday. The Social Hall and Gallery were packed with multigenerational families crafting, bouncing, playing, munching. In the kitchen, the Purim carnival team was heating up pizza on the dairy side and on the meat side the Lefkowitz Family was cooking up a feast for MESH. First time MESH volunteers Vicki, Allen, Alex, Max and Shomrei friend, Ben, prepared a hearty and healthy meal in true Shomrei style. On Tuesday, our guests feasted on Vegetarian Chili over Rice, Spring Mix Salad with Carrots, Pepper and Tomatoes, homemade Cornbread, homemade Brownies, Clementines, Granola Bar and Hamentaschen. Lynne, Aileen and super teen helper, Jaden, warmed up, portioned and packed and Lynne delivered the meals to The Office. Yasher Koach to the Lefkowitz family for helping to perform this important mitzvah! Continue reading