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At Central Synagogue

Volunteers Serve Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner at PS 188 to Deserving Students

Posted November 26, 2019

Written by Richard Ostroff

On Thursday evening November 21st, under the leadership of Central member Miriam Herman, along with Suzanne Maltz, Paul Aronoff and myself, we had the pleasure of leading Central’s 8thAnnual Pre-Thanksgiving dinner at PS 188. This event, the result of an ongoing partnership with the Educational Alliance, is always a special day on our calendar.

After assembling 25 eager volunteers from Central in an adjacent room, the always amazing Principal Suany Ramos informed the troops about the wonderful mission of PS 188. This included information about the school’sbefore- and after-school programs which so richly serve these young students, of whom more than half live in shelters.  After dividing the volunteers into groups (Food Scoopers, Food Runners, Beverage Bosses, Cake Cutters, etc.) we received a talk and prayer from Rabbi Dan Ross, a first time participant of this yearly volunteer event.

Soon after began what we refer to as “One Hour of Chaos!” During that time there was a spontaneous and furious burst of activity. Close to 400 energetic children were seated and enthusiastically served heaping plates of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and broccoli, along with juice boxes and water bottles. The noise level reached a joyous ear-splitting level as the volunteers enthusiastically not only served but interacted and spent time speaking and joking with the kids. This is where I believe it’s a toss-up as to who was having more fun! As some of the parents and caregivers arrived, we made sure that they were also offered f food. No one was overlooked. Then countless servings of cake were distributed and finally whoever wanted more was sent home with even more.

We were thanked repeatedly by the children, the parents, and Ms. Ramos. The real feeling, quite frankly is that we, as members of our very special Central Synagogue, should have been thanking them for the honor of serving them.