Today, elected officials, donors, and those in desperate need for a meal will join Masbia and Metropolitan Council on Jewish overty (Met Council) in opening Williamsburg’s first kosher soup kitchen – the Orenstein-Met Council Masbia Kitchen. With nearly a 60% rate of Jewish poverty, Williamsburg is a center Jewish poverty in Brooklyn, including over 30,000 needy Jewish individuals. Local nonprofits report a recent spike of over 30% in food stamp enrollment and requests for food assistance, highlighting the need for a kosher soup kitchen in this neighborhood.
The Orenstein-Met Council Masbia Kitchen, located in the main part of Chassidic Williamsburg, has the capacity to serve over 50 individuals at a time, and boasts a beautiful decor including French doors and new wood flooring. Hot meals will be served twice daily – the food will be distributed from another kosher soup kitchen opening in Flatbush and reheated on-site.
Together, Masbia and Met Council are opening three kosher soup kitchens to serve the increasing need – besides Williamsburg, kitchens are set to open in Flatbush and Central Queens, areas with growing populations of Jewish poverty.
Present at the opening will be Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblymembers Vito Lopez and Joseph Lentol, and Councilmember-Elect Steve Levin. Alexander Rapaport of Masbia, William Rapfogel, CEO of Met Council, Rabbi David Niederman of UJO of Williamsburg, and Henry and Susie Orenstein, the donors for which the kitchen is named, will lead the festivities.
Rabbi Niederman of UJO of Williamsburg noted, “As a result of the economic downturn, many in the Williamsburg Jewish community desperately need a kosher soup kitchen to get hot, nourishing meals. Fortunately, Met Council and Masbia are answering the call of those who need it the most.”