Soup Kitchen

Put your values to action by providing food and support to people in need around the New York campus neighborhood.

People smiling in the kitchen

Tzedakah in Action

Every Monday for over 30 years, the HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen has served warm nutritious meals to our homeless and hungry neighbors in the Washington Square area. The student-run Soup Kitchen exemplifies the central role that social justice plays in the life of the College-Institute. It is a tangible way that we fulfill Isaiah’s prophetic call to share our bread with the hungry and bring the homeless into our house. The Soup Kitchen works hard to sustain the whole guest. Monday night service includes live music from world-renowned jazz musicians, creating a festive atmosphere and elevating the experience that guests have while they enjoy their meals. Guests also have the opportunity to select items from our growing clothing and toiletries closet and to meet with NYU law students, who offer free legal aid.

The Soup Kitchen brings middle school, high school, and college students from congregations, schools, and companies throughout the tri-state area to the College Institute to explore Jewish values of social justice and gain an understanding of the endemic problem of hunger through hands-on service, study, and reflection.

For more information, please contact us at

The work of the Soup Kitchen is made possible through the generosity of our donors. The support of the students, faculty, administration, Board of Governors, Boards of Advisors, and friends of the College-Institute community ensure that the Soup Kitchen is able to provide meals to our guests throughout the year. We hope you will consider a gift to support this important work. Donate to the Soup Kitchen via our donation form.

If you prefer to make a donation by check: Please make your check payable to “Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion” with “Soup Kitchen” in the memo field and mail it to the following address:

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
One West Fourth Street
New York, NY 10012

Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah said…

“Without bread, there is no Torah. Without Torah, there is no bread.”
Mishnah Avot, 3:17

Every Monday evening, the Soup Kitchen welcomes approximately 100 guests – whether homeless or simply in need of a meal. In autumn, winter, and spring, we serve a hot meal, with an emphasis on nutrition: salad, main course, and side dishes, as well as supplementary fruit, cookies, milk, juice, coffee, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. During the summer, we serve bagged sandwiches, fruit, cookies, and drinks.

Volunteers from around the New York area, including high school and college students, help HUC-JIR students and community volunteers prepare and serve meals. In addition, volunteers assist in running our Clothing Closet.

We invite you to join our efforts. The following is our schedule:

Time Work
3:15 pm Begin hot meal and salad preparation. Set up the dining area and Clothing Closet.
4:15 Visiting volunteer groups arrive for education and orientation sessions.
5:00 Guests arrive – greeted with smiles, and offered food, clothing, toiletries, and more.
6:00 Guests leave. Volunteers clean up the dining room, kitchen, and bathrooms.
6:30 Recap – reflective learning (often with pizza, as provided by visiting volunteer groups).

*In the summer, we begin food preparation at 3:30 pm. We serve from 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm and clean up from 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm.

Does your youth group want to participate in a mitzvah? Please contact

Can’t come to HUC-JIR to volunteer? There are other ways to help! Our guests are in need of clothing, shoes, coats, and toiletries. Collect them, and we’ll be delighted to pass them out. To make a donation to the Soup Kitchen, please contact

For more information, please contact us at