Orach Chaim and Masbia – A Long Standing Partnership In Feeding the Hungry
Masbia Soup Kitchen Network was first introduced to Rabbi Ben Skydell of Orach Chaim by Naomi and Steve Wolinksky about a decade ago. It started with a humble group volunteer event at Masbia of Flatbush where the synagogue arranged a busload of volunteers to come from the Upper East Side to Brooklyn.
The event transitioned from chartering a bus from Manhattan to Brooklyn to an in-house event at the synagogue. The event includes peeling, chopping, and preparing fruits and vegetables or packing recipe kits in the social hall of the synagogue, with both sometimes happening at the same event. Many synagogues, schools, and corporate offices all over Manhattan replicated this model, having been inspired by the events held at Orach Chaim for Masbia.
Currently, Orach Chaim holds annual in-house chop and pack events where the fresh produce and groceries go to feed the hungry at Masbia. Some of those events have been featured in the news. See here: PIX11 coverage in 2019 and NBC affiliates coverage in 2023.
Masbia’s ED, Alexander Rapaport, and Rabbi Skydell soon developed a friendship. Rabbi Skydell used his rabbinical knowledge to help write the introduction for the trendy Seder Plate microgreens that were sent as gifts to high-end donors.
Orach Chaim, a Modern Orthodox synagogue founded in 1879, has long contributed to Jewish life on Manhattan’s Upper East Side with members from varying backgrounds. The Shul is inclusive and has a warm and caring community. Their doors are always open.
Masbia Soup Kitchen Network was founded in 2005 to provide emergency food to people in need due to financial status or because of natural disasters via ready-to-eat nutritious meals and raw groceries free of charge. In 2009, after the great recession, Masbia opened more locations. The expansion was even mentioned on Saturday Night Live. Masbia was actually featured in People Magazine in 2014 as a “restaurant without a cash register”. Masbia is a grass-roots, hand-to-mouth organization where every dollar donated makes it into someone’s stomach in less than two weeks. Everything that is done at Masbia is done only because tens of thousands of people like you come together and share resources to make it happen.
To RSVP to volunteer at the upcoming free event click here.
To DONATE to the Orach Chaim & Masbia Partnership click here.