On August 15, a group of 22 participants from the Manhattan Jewish Experience (MJE) volunteered at Meir Panim’s Free Restaurant in Jerusalem washing, peeling and dicing vegetables for a soup to be served at the next day’s meal. Led by Rabbi Marc Wildes and Rabbi Jonathan Feldman, this was MJE’s first experience as a group at a Meir Panim Relief Center.
Here’s what Howard Sachs an MJE participant and Meir Panim volunteer had to say about his experience at the Free Restaurant in Jerusalem:
“One of the highlights of the MJE trip to Israel this past summer, was when we visited Meir Panim’s Free Restaurant in Jerusalem. Seeing the less fortunate is never easy! But when you see them with a smile on their face eating, it brings you such joy.
Our MJE group took over the kitchen—we were cutting, slicing and dicing up carrots, celery and potatoes to make a soup. It was a great bonding experience knowing that we were doing a great mitzvah to helping others, which is what Judaism is all about. Love your neighbor. After we worked, some of us sat down, ate lunch and talked with those that were less fortunate and in need of hot meal. I strongly recommend anyone who visits Israel to stop by the Jerusalem Free Restaurant. It is ONLY 15 minutes outside the old city. As much as you are helping others, you are really helping yourself grow by either donating your time or giving a monetary contribution to Meir Panim. When you get to spend some time at Meir Panim and see the less fortunate, it puts your life into perspective.”