By COREY KILGANNON MAY 12, 2008 The poor and hungry people at the Masbia soup kitchen in Borough Park hardly fit a bums-and-bag ladies stereotype. The storefront, on 14th Street in central Brooklyn, in one of New York’s largest Hasidic communities, serves only hot kosher meals. Its operators say it is the only soup kitchen of its kind in the city, and at first glance it seems to have a dress code that is also unique. The men — and it is mostly men — wear dark suits, white button-down shirts and black hats. “From a distance, they may look no different than a rich man, but if you look closer, you can see the difference,” said Mordechai Mandelbaum, a co-founder of the soup kitchen who was also dressed neatly in the traditional Hasidic garb on Thursday night. Indeed, closer scrutiny of some of the patrons revealed subtle signs of hardship: a slightly smudged shirt, a somewhat rumpled suit, a bruised felt hat. The few women were generally seated away from the men and dressed in traditional skirts and wigs, some with small children.
Tuesday, December 11th, 2007 On Sunday, December 9, the Fifth Day of Chanukah, Masbia graciously hosted a festive Chanukah Party and it was a dazzling hit! The doors opened, the guests of honor, women and children, entered and they were inspired by the delightful atmosphere. Food and friends, fun and family combined to create a spectacular experience.Masbia wanted to reach out and share the miracle of the Festival of Lights. Masbia wanted everyone to have an opportunity to enjoy the magic of the Chanukah. Masbia wanted to provide an ambiance of warmth for both body and mind.This gala gathering was another significant milestone in the success story that is lovingly known as Masbia.