Brooklyn News Corp: Park Slope Donor and Volunteer Sandy Reunion Dinner

Posted on: November 12, 2013


A year after Hurricane Sandy left thousands without homes and in need of basic amenities, several Brooklyn organizations are holding a reunion for volunteers and donors who came together during those trying times to lend a hand to victims of the hurricane.

The reunion is taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 12 from 7pm-9pm at Beth Elohim in Park Slope. Volunteers and donors who gathered in the weeks following the hurricane at Masbia, the John Jay High School and Park Slope Armory shelters, Congregation Beth Elohim, the Sandy Relief Kitchen, and through the Old Stone House and Park Slope Parents will come together to reconnect, reflect and share a dinner catered by Masbia soup kitchen network, that provided over 20,000 hot meals to victims at the Armory throughout their stay. The dinner menu will include foods that have a SAndy connection, such as Tzimmes, a traditional Jewish carrot stew that for logistical reasons became a mainstay in the food served to victims after the hurricane, and a chickpea soup based on a recipe given to Masbia Chef Ruben Diaz by food writer Melissa Clark that is regularly served at the soup kitchen and also during Sandy. All the meat is being donated by Aaron’s Best, the same brand that donated thousands of dollars’ worth of meat for Sandy relief.

“Sandy’s devastation throughout the city was answered by the thousands of New Yorkers, Americans and people from all over the world who came to the city, rolled up their sleeves, and did whatever was necessary to rescue, feed, shelter and clothe those in need,” said Rabbi Andy Bachman, Senior Rabbi at Congregation Beth Elohim. “ Our shared sense of purpose remains to this day as our volunteers comprise a new army of citizens committed to the eradication of hunger and poverty in our hometown. This work is, without question, a privilege and a blessing to carry out together.”

“As they say, it takes a village,” said Alexander Rapaport, Executive Director of Masbia soup kitchen network. “There were people who donated money, people who donated goods, people who volunteered their time, people who tweeted, people who blogged, and all of them made it possible to respond to the intense crises. During the chaos there was no way of saying thank you or to get to know each other, and we hope that this reunion will give us a chance to do that.”

The event will start by recognizing the elementary school kids from various schools throughout Park Slope who held a bake sale for Masbia’s Sandy relief efforts. Together they raised close to $10,000. The program will include artwork from evacuees during their stay at the Park Slope Armory YMCA, music by PS 321 music teacher Frank McGarry and other community musicians who donated their time at the John Jay shelter last year, and a photo slideshow. Starting at 6pm, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a one hour writing workshop to share their Sandy stories, led by the New York Writers Coalition.

If you are reading this and wish to attend the event, all are welcome to join us!