Mitzvah helps kosher eateries simultaneously
By Deb Silverthorn
Jewish professionals on the front lines fighting COVID-19 can now have delicious donated kosher meals thanks to Kosher19.
“There are many feeding those on the front lines, but many Jewish professionals can’t take part, as generous as the donations may be,” said Dave Weinberg, who co-founded the New York-based nonprofit with Dani Klein and Bethany Mandel. “We created Kosher19 to allow those keeping kosher to also feel and receive that appreciation,” he said. The organization has raised more than $83,500 since Passover and has provided nearly 10,500 meals across the country.
Participating vendors are sending food not only to the one or few who keep kosher, but for the units and teams they work with. Each delivery is accompanied with a gift of kosher food and a note of gratitude, signed with encouragement to “keep doing what you’re doing and stay safe.”
Kosher19’s first local donation came from Evan and Susanne Rosenhouse of Dallas, both former Yeshiva University classmates of Weinberg’s.
“We wanted to be a part of this grassroots way of helping both our caretakers and our restaurants,” said Suzanne. “I shared it to our sisterhood group and the word spread.”
Chaya Adelman, a surgical oncology nurse at Medical City Plano, is married to Yitzy and the mother of three young children: Hila, Sonny and Zach. She’d read of Kosher19 and wrote in for support; her request was answered twice over.
Overall, Adelman said that while there had been a lot of meal deliveries, she couldn’t participate. “I’m happy for my co-workers, but I couldn’t enjoy it.” Then her unit received two meals from Fino! “Hot and delicious kosher meals, enough for my unit, were amazing and so appreciated,” she said.
Elliot Azoulay, an emergency room and trauma nurse at Methodist Dallas Medical Center was thrilled to have meals show up, unexpected, from both Fino! and Midtown Pizza.
“What we’re doing isn’t easy but it’s what we have to do right now,” said Azoulay, the husband of Rivka and father of teens Rachael and Yitzchak. “It’s a big kiddush HaShem (sanctification of God’s name) that members of our community are sending us strength in meals.”
Kosher19 founder Weinberg said that the respect they feel for the front-line professionals is being delivered along with the meals.
“Our frontliners are out there and their efforts aren’t going to slow down any time soon,” said Weinberg. “We’re collecting and dispersing around the country and hearing back from so many how much being thought of means.”
Fino! and Midtown Pizza have both been asked to participate, and owners say they have delivered more than was requested or paid for.
“It’s a good feeling to be a part of the doing good however we feel the spirit that is around us right now,” said Joey Ohayon, owner of Fino! “I appreciate Kosher19 and its donors supporting the kosher restaurants in a way that allows us to support our medical teams.”
Midtown Pizza co-owners Sharon Kabelio and David Taylor were glad to add the bells and whistles to the order that came in.
“There really isn’t a way to say ‘thank you’ with words for the support of us as a restaurant,” said Taylor, “while allowing us to provide for our health care workers.”
For more information, visit visit Kosher19.com.