ALBANY – Amitai Goldmeer, son of Sandra and Jeffrey Goldmeer, as part of an Eagle Scout (the highest rank in scouting) project recently built a food pantry cabinet in the parking lot of Temple Israel, 600 New Scotland Ave., Albany. He is a student at Shaker High School. Amitai Goldmeer is a member of troop 1701.

Amitai Goldmeer stands next to the food pantry cabinet that he built at Temple Israel in Albany.

The food pantry is open stocked with non-perishable items. Temple Israel congregants have been contributing food supplies to stock the pantry and extra supplies have been stored in the synagogue so that the pantry can be refilled as needed.

Rabbi David Eligberg, spiritual leader of Temple Israel, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted our interconnectedness even as it exacerbated food insecurity doubling the number of people, almost 80 million across the country, who are in need of food banks and more dependent on emergency food aid. Judaism teaches us that every life is sacred, and we are obligated to do what we can to help others, that we are obligated to be concerned with the plight of fellow human beings and actively involved in addressing their needs.”

Executive Director Rachael Schertzer said, “As a community minded institution, Temple Israel is proud to house this Community Food Pantry. No one should suffer from hunger, and hopefully this effort can help members of our neighborhood and the larger community who may be in need during these difficult times.”

Anyone interested in contributing non-perishable food items to help the effort continue may contact the Temple Israel main office at 518-438-7858.