Sometimes alone and sometimes accompanied by their mothers, these children and families come from a diverse group of backgrounds that share one thing in common -economic struggle, says Ifat Shlomi, who currently runs the soup kitchen.
“Each day there are more and more people, more new faces,” she says.
Intended to be a place for children to get a hot dinner, the soup kitchen, which launched just a week before Rosh Hashanah, is open on weekdays from 4:30-7:00pm and serves hot meals including meatballs, schnitzel, chicken, potatoes, fish and soup. It opened under the auspices of Rabbi Moshe Yazdi, a rabbi in Israel who runs an anti-poverty organization there called Amude Hashalom. Rabbi Yazdi visits Los Angeles on occasion to fundraise and teach, and on his most recent visit in June, he observed that the poverty in the Orthodox community here was becoming unbearable for many families. Under his watch and using donated funds from American Friends of Amude Hashalom, Ifat Shlomi launched the soup kitchen. However she hopes that other organizations and individuals will step up to partner and allow the soup kitchen to flourish.