Celebrating 26 Years of the HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lauren Levy and Kenneth Feibush, fourth-year cantorial students and Co-Coordinators of the HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen, write:

Lauren Levy and Kenneth Feibush

On March 12, 2015, we gathered to celebrate 26 years of the HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen’s commitment toward hachnasat orchim (welcoming guests).  The theme of the fundraiser this year was “A Few of Our Favorite Meals.”  Students and faculty were challenged to contribute their personal recipes for some of our guests’ favorite vegetarian meals – macaroni & cheese, vegetarian chili, and tuna casserole.  As people tasted the various dishes, we voted on our favorites in each category.  Prizes were awarded to Sarah Magida for her mac & cheese, Jordan Shaner for his vegetarian chili, and (humbly) me, Lauren, for my tuna casserole. 

In addition to the cook-off, we also had our traditional heated auction.  Some highlights included a Yankees game with Rabbi Norman J. Cohen, Ph.D.; dinner with the Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D.; and flying with Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D.; plus various handmade items and tasty treats.  Another feature of our extraordinary evening was the debut of a documentary about the HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen that previous Co-Coordinator Ryan Daniels created as part of his senior thesis.  This screening was followed by personal stories from Rabbi Ellen Lippman, one of the original founders of the Soup Kitchen, who was able to join us for the evening. 

Eric Abbott, Sarah DePaolo, Rachel Heaps, and Daniel Reiser setting up the Soup Kitchen Celebration

Our fundraiser was a huge success, thanks to dedicated students, staff, and community members, who were led by this year’s Fundraising Co-Chairs, Sarah Dafilou and Sarah Magida.  The event alone raised about $3,000 and donations continue to come in both online and through the mail.  It is not too late to contribute - we still could use your financial support! Please click here to donate online or mail your check payable to “HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen” to: Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, One West Fourth Street, New York, NY 10012, attention: Soup Kitchen.            

Your generous donations enable us to continue the amazing work of previous generations and expand to serve the ever-changing needs of our neighbors in the Village.  While our guests may initially come for a warm-balanced meal, some clothes, and some toiletries, they leave with a heightened sense of humanity and a broader sense of community.  As we teach our visiting youth volunteers, one of our goals at the HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen is to create a place that feels like everyone’s favorite local restaurant – with welcoming servers, satisfying food, and friendly company.  You are always welcome to join us on Monday evenings to see the gratitude that exudes from every one of our guests.  Please rest assured that your donations make a huge difference in so many lives. 

Thank you for your continued support!


Learn more about the Soup Kitchen >

Be in touch: hucsoupkitchen@gmail.com


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu