Arleen and Mike Lipstein of New York have always had a strong connection to Israel intertwined with their involvement in Jewish affairs. When Arleen and Mike wanted to memorialize Arleen’s father, Sidney Reznik z”l, they knew immediately what their plan was going to be. “Dad understood what it meant to be hungry as he grew up during the Depression,” said Arleen. He loved Israel and cared deeply about Israel, its people and the land, but especially its impoverished citizens.”
After researching organizations and consulting with family members Jeffrey and Jodi Reznik, and Barbara and Richard Simon, as well as family friends Pessi and Asher Reimer, they turned to American Friends of Meir Panim. Imagine how pleasantly surprised they were when they discovered that Mr. Reznik had been a supporter of the organization. “This is perfect; clearly we are on the same page and for sure we know deep in our hearts that Dad would approve the decision we made to memorialize him with a plaque in the Meir Panim Restaurant-Style Soup Kitchen located in Jerusalem,” Arleen said.
In May, the Lipsteins traveled to Israel and planned a special visit to the Jerusalem Branch.
“When we saw the plaque it was profoundly moving and emotional. We were so gratified to have decided to do this – it simply felt so right.”
While the Lipsteins were familiar with the set up beforehand, when they observed the branch in full operation they were touched.
“It is so disheartening to see just how much the restaurant clients need Meir Panim’s critical services, but at the same time, the experience was so positive. The clients take their usual spots and literally are served like one would be in a restaurant located in New York or anywhere else for that matter. Clearly, maintaining a strong sense of dignity is a big priority for Meir Panim.”
Upon her return to the United States, Arleen said, “I take great solace in knowing my dad’s memory is being perpetuated in Jerusalem, in a place that makes a difference in hungry people’s lives every day.”