By Donna Newman
Temple Isaiah in Stony Brook established a new tradition this year, gathering a multi-generational group of congregants to cook up soup and vegetarian chili for people in need of support.
Cantor Marcey Wagner envisioned the community service event to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and enlisted Social Action Committee Chairperson Iris Schiff to help with the details.
The morning of Jan. 15 began with a reading of the story “As Good as Anybody” — written by Richard Michelson and illustrated by Raul Colon — about the friendship that formed between civil rights leader King and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. The two men faced similar challenges growing up and shared a belief in the value of every human being. Heschel joined the civil rights movement and marched at King’s side in Selma in 1965.
Congregants brought fresh and canned vegetables to the synagogue and all the ingredients needed to make comfort foods. Everyone participated in the effort. After the chopping and mincing and blending, while the Instant Pots cooked, the children created greeting cards and small challahs to be delivered with the containers of food. The challah prep was under the tutelage of consummate baker Linda Jonas and the greeting cards were facilitated by artist Deborah Fisher.
The freezer is now stocked with portions of soup and chili to be delivered to the homebound, mourners and people who are ailing. They will also be available to families visiting the temple’s food pantry.
Temple Isaiah is located at 1404 Stony Brook Road, Stony Brook. For more information, please call 631-751-8518.