Monday, January 21, 2008


First "Soup Kitchen" for Jewish Needy Opens In Boro Park
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First ‘Soup Kitchen’ For Jewish Needy Opens In Boro ParkBoro Park, Brooklyn enjoys an international reputa-tion as one of the wealthiest enclaves of Orthodox and Hassidic Jews in America, but it is precisely because of this reputation that it also serves as a magnet for the “hidden poor” - marginal, homeless, transient and immigrant Jews who live on the fringes of the society, panhandle on its streets, and turn to individuals for charity and an occasional Sabbath meal.

Up until now, there has been - despite an extensive and impressive network of institutions that address other social welfare needs of the neighborhood - no concerted or organized effort to reach out to Boro Park’s subculture of drifters and vagabonds, which has grown significantly alongside the community.

Although “free soup kitchens were standard features of the European shtetl, the concept never made it across the Atlantic together with the transplanted Jewish remnants of the Holocaust. Two Reform Jewish agencies do operate free soup kitchens once a week in Manhattan, but they are mainly geared toward the city’s “minority” populace, with clearly differentiated needs from those of Orthodox Jews, who require rabbinically supervised kosher food

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