Temple’s Deli Day 2012 – In the News
April 18, 2012
“Deli Day Event Serving Lunches to Needy”
By: Peggy Ussery | Dothan Eagle
Published: April 18, 2012
Temple Emanu-El’s Deli Day with its corned beef sandwiches has been satisfying hunger for years.
But this year, the synagogue hopes to also help feed those who have difficulty feeding themselves by asking people to donate the cost of a lunch to be delivered to others in need.
“It’s just another way of enhancing this as a community event,” said Rob Goldsmith, who chairs the annual Deli Day.
The idea came out of suggestions from people who in the past have wanted to donate lunches to others because they did not care for corned beef but still wanted to give to a good cause. In Judaism, such anonymous acts of kindness are called “tzedakah,” Goldsmith said. The synagogue contacted Wiregrass United Way 2-1-1 for suggestions of organizations that could help them connect with people in need. The synagogue will deliver lunches through Grace Applied Ministries, Living Hope Community Center, Love in Action Ministries, the Ark, Momma Tina’s Mission House, Dothan Rescue Mission, Habitat for Humanity, and Glen East Senior Housing.
Of the 400 pre-orders Temple Emanu-El has received for its bagged lunches, more than 50 are for donated lunches.
“It really is loving kindness,” Goldsmith said. “… We expect at least 250 of the 1,500 lunches will be donated to our friends in the community.”
Since it was reinvigorated four years ago, the number of Deli Day lunches sold has climbed from 1,000 lunches to this year’s anticipated 1,500 lunches. The corned beef actually comes from Detroit and is prepared by Max’s Deli in Birmingham. Individuals come each year to eat lunch at the synagogue and employers often treat their employees, Goldsmith said. The event, he said, has moved beyond a fundraiser for the synagogue to become a community event.
“It’s the cultural thing,” Goldsmith said. “Food is very important to Jewish people, and it’s a source of celebration. And it tastes good … if it’s prepared correctly.”
During Deli Day, volunteers gather at the synagogue that morning to assemble the sandwiches and bag lunches that include chips, a cookie and a kosher pickle. The sandwich is piled high with a ¼ pound of corned beef.
“There are no calories I’m sure,” Goldsmith joked. “Maybe a couple.”