COJO Resumes Post-Passover Pantry Services - The Jewish Voice
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Monday, September 25, 2023

COJO Resumes Post-Passover Pantry Services

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COJO Resumes Post-Passover Pantry Services

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Recently the Aur Torah Sephardic Minyan located in the New Springville section of Staten Island hosted the Staten Island Council of Jewish Organizations first post Passover food distribution. Mendy Mirocznik, President of COJO thanked, “Rabbi Aharon Zeev, Spiritual Leader of Aur Torah, President Oshri Reuven and the Aur Torah congregational family for being the Synagogue with a big generous heart which truly appreciates and values the work of COJO.” Mirocznik went to explain, “that as we as a society grapple with the unprecedented surge in inflation and the cost of living the pantry’s services are more crucial than ever. Perhaps one of the sharpest results of the soaring inflation is its impact on supermarket shelves.

Good hardworking people who never dreamed of facing the daunting challenge of how can I afford groceries, pay rent, mortgage and bills are grappling with the grim reality of making ends meet. There is just so far in how their paycheck can be stretched. The cross section of seniors to families with young children facing this reality is frightening. However, COJO has a responsibility to Staten Island and we are committed to doing whatever we can to alleviate the best as we can this stressful reality. Thanks to the advocacy of Rabbi Zeev, President Reuven and the support of the Aur Torah Congregational family, COJO is assisting our fellow Staten Islanders.

The special thank you goes to the great Iva Reuven, our esteemed and highly respected Pantry Director. Iva’s answering the clarion call of action, dedication to Staten Island and being there for everyone and having the energy and heart of getting it done is the secret to the pantry’s success. I dare say, without Iva there is no COJO Pantry. Iva thank you for being a personal inspiration to me as well as having joined the ranks as a general on the war on poverty.”

Mirocznik, further thanked the NYPD, Captain Eric Waldhelm, commanding officer, Pct. 121, Sgt. Xin Jiang, Pct. 121, Community Affairs Officer Sean Mondello, Pct. 121, and Community Affairs Officer John Sibal, Pct. 121 for their assistance in making the food distribution a success. Mirocznik also thanked Terry Troia, president, Project Hospitality and Gloria Novoa, director of Volunteers for their partnership in making this important Pre-Pesach food a reality.

Iva Reuven, COJO Food Pantry director stated,  “We are pleased to partner with  Met Council, Food Bank NYC and City Harvest on this important initiative to provide ongoing food assistance to our community members in need. ” Reuven, emphasized,  “I am particularly proud of my Service Committee and their dedication to help alleviate food insecurity in Staten Island. I truly feel blessed to work with  Mendy Mirocznik, President of COJO, Scott Maurer, CEO and Executive Vice-President of COJO, Terry Troia, president of Project Hospitality and Gloria Nova, director of volunteers of Project Hospitality for their help and assistance. It truly is an honor to work with such great partners in arms. Hopefully, there will be a turn around and the economy will improve and the need for pantry services will dissipate. However, COJO and my hardworking team are committed to the long haul and I want to assure Staten Island that we will continue to do whatever is necessary to help as best as we can.”

Rabbi Ahaon Zeev commented, “As Rabbi of Aur Torah, I am proud of my Synagogue and truly pleased with the work of COJO, Mendy Mirocznik, Scott Maurer, Terry Troia, Gloria Nova and our special treasure Iva Reuven. I am proud of how COJO, Project Hospitality and the NYPD work together for the welfare of our borough. I am honored to call Staten Island home. We truly have some great people who dare to care loving here. These people inspire me as a Rabbi.”

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