Staten Island Food Pantry Wraps Up Successful Summer with 2022 Food Distributions - The Jewish Voice
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Staten Island Food Pantry Wraps Up Successful Summer with 2022 Food Distributions

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Staten Island Food Pantry Wraps Up Successful Summer with 2022 Food Distributions

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On Wednesday, August 31, 2022, at the Aur Torah Sephardic Minyan, located in the New Springville section of Staten Island the Staten Island Council of Jewish Organization (COJO) wrapped up its final food distribution for Summer 2022.

“As a community Rabbi, I am thrilled and excited that as we conclude Summer 2022, and enter Elul 5783, and usher in the High Holiday period that we as a community are able to transition from summer vacation to a time of serious spiritual retrospection,  reflection and growth. I am delighted to say that I witnessed firsthand how our partnership at Aur Torah Sephardic Minyan  with COJO has enhanced Staten Island for the better. The pantry and its services help set the tone to prepare ourselves for repentance and to become better loving and compassionate people.

I thank our President Oshri Reuven his wife Iva Reuven, Chairperson of COJO’s Service Committee for being the leaders who they are. Oshri and Iva have activism and Chesed in their DNA and I salute how Iva is able to assemble her hard-working team on hot grueling and boiling summer days in the service of helping others. Iva you truly are making a difference for the people of Staten Island. Iva and Oshri you are both gems and you help spread vitamin unity and vitamin love which is sadly so lacking at times in this world. Thank you Iva, your dedicated Service Committee Team and Mendy Mirocznik, COJO President for making this happen. As a congregation, Aur Torah stands behind the work of COJO and we are proud to support COJO in its mission in spreading love, warmth and unity,” so remarked, Rabbi Aharon Zeev, Rabbi, Aur Torah Sephardic Minyan.

Mendy Mirocznik, president, COJO thanked, “Aur Torah Sephardic Minyan, Rabbi Aharon Zeev, President Oshri Reuven and the Synagogue family for their generosity, big heart and support that made the summer 2022 food distributions possible. Truthfully, we must acknowledge and thank the key person Iva Reuven one of Staten Island’s great community leaders, I boldly say that thanks to Iva there is a COJO pantry. Iva takes her responsibility at COJO seriously and she understands the reality of  inflation and the skyrocket price for the cost for food. She is a person who engages the public and witnesses firsthand the need for families to eat and their struggle in making ends meet and how they grapple with food insecurity.

Over the course of the summer Iva and her Service Committee worked hand in hand and together with an amazing collaborating team full of great partners made COJO’s Summer 2022 pantry services a reality and a lifeline for so many. On hand for the final Summer Food Distribution for 2022 was Terry Troia, President, Project Hospitality, Gloria Novoa, director of volunteers, Project Hospitality, Dr. Stephen Wakschal, president, Congregation Temple Emanu-El, David Handler, Director of Enrollment, Beanstalk Childcare Academy, Gaby Contreras Torres, Beanstalk Childcare Academy Outreach Coordinator, the NYPD, Department Chaplain Tahir Kukai, Captain Eric Waldhelm, Commanding Officer, Pct. 121, Officer Daniel Murro, Pct. 121, Community Affairs Officer John Sibal, Pct. 121; Community Affairs Officer Scott Gusenfitter, Pct. 121; and NYPD Community Ambassador Jermaine Williams who blended the diverse peoples of Staten Island as one family for the purpose of engaging in acts of kindness, love and unity. Rabbi Zeev, we at COJO cannot thank you enough that as one of Staten Island’s premiere Rabbis you took precious time from your hectic schedule to influence the community to come together with the goal of connecting and making the people  we were able to touch feel special. It is thanks to your leadership that Staten Island is a great place to live.

Mirocznik, further thanked, “Congregation Temple Emanu-El President Dr. Stephen Wakschal for, “Temple Emanu-El’s kindness and generosity in housing COJO’s executive offices and food pantry since 1989. It is thanks to Temple Emanu-El’s generosity and providing COJO a home that we are able to service the borough as well as we are. We at COJO look forward to seeing our great partnership continuing to help further enhance Staten Island and the quality of life for this wonderful place called home.”

Iva Reuven, commented, “I have witnessed since the start of Covid and now entering my third year of working with COJO the important need to be there for as many people we can uplift and give hope to. Although, we are transitioning to a healthier world the only way we can successfully move forward is by infusing love and care for others in our lives. Thank you Rabbi Zeev, Mendy, Terry, Gloria, NYPD and my great team for inspiring me to push forward. I know that together we are making a difference and this truly is a great healing and growing process.”

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