Brooklyn NY-December 30, 2011
By Yaakov Hawk
THE JEWISH STAR -- Masbia this past Monday night to be treated food, gifts and live music. Philanthropy for the Future, hosted this incredible night at Masbia, helping Masbia feed almost double the amount of people that they usually feed at their Midwood location.
This incredible event was run with a budget of zero dollars, as Masbia is currently facing tremendous financial strain. When PFF founder Yaakov Hawk approached Alexander Rapaport, director of Masbia with this idea it was a difficult decision for him to make, knowing that events like this, frequently go over budget and it was his responsibility to make sure Masbia can keep serving meals to New York’s hungry.
As Mr. Rapaport said “Although we’ve had Channukah events and treats in previous years, weeks ago we had decided not do anything special this year due to our financial situation”. After Hawk reassured Mr. Rapaport that “zero means zero”, knowing that Masbia does not have money to supplement to this project, Mr. Rapaport happily jumped on board. After seeing PFF’s work in progress, raising money, finding a band to play and collecting hundreds of toys to give out to Masbia’s guests and that PFF was really working hard, Mr. Rapaport agreed to buy special sufganiyot for the nights guests, but just as Mr. Rapaport was about to pay for the sufganiyot, a complete stranger in the bakery asked him how much he was spending on them replying “85 dollars” the man wrote him a check for 86, truly a Chanukah miracle for Masbia.
To make the Channukah celebration more joyous, PFF decided to give out to toys and bring in a live band to elevate the spirits of the guests. The over 200 toys that were distributed, were collected in the DRS Channukah Toy Drive as well as from Build - A - Bear for Tzedekah in Beaver Lake this past summer. The band, Betach comprised of members from community schools DRS and Rambam donated their time to liven the spirits of Masbia’s patrons. As keyboardist Yaakov Feldstein put it “We felt that on Channukah we need to give back a little to the community and the smiles we put on peoples faces really makes a lasting impact” and the guests felt the same way with one guest thanking us for “Giving my family a night of happiness, presents to make my kids happy and great food for our stomaches”.
The event itself, was one of Masbia of Flatbush’s busiest nights according to manager Joyce Morales. One of the most noticeable things in Masbia Monday night, was the large number of families with many young children, who generally do not come out of embarrassment. But this night was different, volunteers made everyone feel welcome, with warm greetings and gifts, to give everyone the greatest Chanukah gift of all, Happiness.