At Central Synagogue

Volunteering in the Breakfast Program

Posted January 10, 2019

By Michele Klausner and Michelle Mandelstein

Centuries ago, the prophet Isaiah said, “Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be a bright as noon.”

Every Thursday and Friday morning at 6AM, nine sleepy but enthusiastic Central volunteers gather in the Community House to heed Isaiah’s call. We serve a hot breakfast and a take away lunch to approximately 120 New Yorkers each Thursday and Friday in desperate need of a smile, a meal and a place to be safe.
During 2018, we served a total of 32,000 complete meals to our guests. We accomplished this with 25 lay leaders and 500 individual congregants, some who volunteered once during the year and others who volunteered more often. We encourage you to give it a try!

One of the guests at our program left us a handwritten note last month. Here is what she wrote:
“Thank you for your warmth and kindness throughout the year as you restore dignity and give each one who walks through the door a fighting chance. Your smiles and efforts give us hope and peace of mind. We know someone greater is looking out for us through angels disguised as ordinary people - each and every one of you.”

If you would like to give it a try, please sign up via email to [email protected]. We can give you more details in reply. If being someplace at 6:00 am isn’t your thing, there are also opportunities to make sandwiches on Wednesdays at either noon or 6PM. These sandwiches are given out in takeaway lunch bags on Thursday and Friday mornings. However, there are many fewer Wednesday slots.

We would like to express our deepest gratitude to our Breakfast and Sandwich Making Program Committee Co-chairs Michele Klausner, Michelle Mandelstein, Rich Ostroff and Gayle Miller, along with the 30 dedicated volunteers and our Breakfast Program Coordinator Robert Alexander whose tireless efforts help to strengthen our community.