NY Daily News: Doctor donates profits from hand-crafted mezuzah sales to the hungry

Posted on: August 9, 2011


Handcrafted mezuzah cases designed by a pediatrician are doing more than protecting homes – they are helping to feed the hungry.

Dr. Alma Krupka Klein put $700 in checks in an envelope and sent it to Masbia, a struggling soup kitchen in Borough Park, Brooklyn, several weeks ago.

“It was like, wow, it came [at] a very perfect moment,” said Masbia director Alex Rapaport. “There was a burning utility bill on the table that day. That envelope saved us.”

It all started two years ago, when Klein moved to a new office in Fresh Meadows, where she needed 18 new mezuzah cases for the doors. After attending pottery classes, she decided to make them herself.

The mezuzah is a portion of the Old Testament that is held in a decorative case on the right side of every door in Orthodox Jewish homes. The mezuzah case usually is made of plastic or ceramic.

Klein`s patients liked the colorful cases and asked if the doctor could make some for them. She did – and decided to donate the profits to feed the hungry.

“It sounded like a very worthy cause,” said Klein, who sells the mezuzah cases for $36. “I get to do a hobby that I enjoy and all the money goes to a charity, so everybody wins all around.”

The ceramic works of art that come in flower and geometric patterns are displayed in a glass case in Klein`s waiting room.

“They are all different and I have a lot of fun with them,” said Klein. “We even had some non-Jewish patients purchasing mezuzahs for their friends.”
The donation came at the right moment for the soup kitchen, which traditionally receives fewer donations in the summer.

“The cash flow is very tight these days,” said Rapaport. “Our vendors are understanding, but we still have bills to pay.”

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