Unsung Heroes With Cindy’s Corners — Kosher Guru Takes Food, Masks and Testing To Hospitals and Communities In Need
During the COVID-19 epidemic, Jewish communities like the one I live in have been hit hard with victims of the coronavirus.
Now, as a congressional candidate, I have received many calls from the local press regarding the local neighborhoods.
There have been many of the frontlines early on, and continuing their efforts before, during and immediately after the Passover holiday. Their efforts are not restricted to Jews, and many, including those healthy, benefit from their efforts.
They deserve more than a thank you. They represent Jews at their best. They don’t seek public attention. They do their mitzvahs as a labor of love and are the ones always reaching out to help a friend or stranger.
Meet Gabriel Boxer AKA “Kosher Guru”
One would think someone who is a food ambassador and restaurant and event promoter would be sitting home frustrated at lost income and opportunities. Yet, Gabriel Boxer has never been busier.
According to Boxer, “Kosher Guru is about bringing Kosher to the masses in an fun, educational, and delightful manner filled with great entertainment. I strive to educate the world on anything and everything kosher, from food, restaurants, ingredients, personalities, chefs, bloggers, programs, destinations, supermarkets, events to so much more. I should all strive to enjoy anything and everything kosher in a fun manner without feeling the need to be embarrassed by anything in the foodie world. Loving your food experience with kosher is vital to the growth of it.”
Everyday day, nights right after Shabbos ends and every available minute during Chol Hammod, Boxer has made food experiences and coronavirus one mitzvah.
Boxer was one of the first to coordinate food for hospital essential workers, patients and families. Boxer arranges food for law enforcement, firefighters and all essential workers, Jewish or not. Food companies, restaurants and supermarkets and even mask companies have all been working with Boxer.
The Jerusalem Post recently featured Boxer and the Kosher Response Project.
The project aims to “show gratitude and perform random acts of kindness by delivering food packages to our heroes on the front lines.” Boxer was the first to really bring attention how many can help and his project has expanded to communities around the world, particularly in Jewish and kosher areas.
Boxer is a friend, neighbor and local hero. He is the son of Tim Boxer, a former New York Post columnist, and is longtime columnist for the New York Jewish Week. He is also editor of 15MinutesMagazine.com, is the author of Jewish Celebrity Hall of Fame, interviews of Hollywood stars about their Jewish roots.
I recently spoke with Boxer, a “unsung hero.”
What made you decide to step up and take a leadership role in helping out those in need during the coronavirus situation?
In a nutshell, I am a doer. It started when I was talking to a buddy of mine about his doctor friend who basically moved into the hospital to run a COVID-19 floor. He was working a 24 hour shift and I felt the least I could do was to feed his unit. My sister in law is a doctor on the front line at Winthrop Hospital. She was telling us about how amazing it was that so many places stepped up to the plate and started feeding the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, unfortunately none of them were kosher. I saw a need and ran with it. In essence through KosherResponse. I saw a way to both support our local kosher small business, and feed our hero’s at the same time.
Have you been concerned about your own health?
Of course I’m concerned, and I try to protect myself as best as I can. However these doctors and nurses are putting themselves out there taking care of us, shouldn’t we also take care of them?
Have you known anyone ill or who has died from COVID-19?
At this point I don’t think anyone doesn’t know someone. The whole situation is both sad and scary. Someone from our shul became an orphan within 2 weeks. One the restaurant owners I’m very close with lost his 45 year old brother. The list goes on and on. My heart goes out to those who are sick, and their families. This is also what drives me to do what I’m doing
What is your background in 5 Towns?
I have lived here for 16 years with my wife and four children.
What do you think about how our community has been affected by the virus?
At first Purim time, I don’t think we thought the virus was going to affect our lives, and, unfortunately, Purim was when it hit the hardest. Since then I have seen so much chesed from the restaurant owners donating food, to the people who have recovered who stepped up to donate platelets. There are also so many people volunteering to shop for others, feed others, check on the elderly, and help with my initiative. I also see a trend in the non kosher places donating, and overall most are just trying to do what they can to help the “war” effort. There is a lot of good being done amongst the darkness of this horrible disease, and I am proud to say I live in this neighborhood.
People can donate or volunteer here:
Cindy Grosz is the Republican and Conservative congressional candidates running in NY-04, including the communities of The Five Towns, Merrick-Bellmore, Long Beach, Oceanside and West Hempstead. She is a longtime activist for Jewish and Israeli causes and has been recognized by The National Council of Young Israel, Rachel’s Children Reclamation Foundation, the Queens GOP and others. She regularly volunteers with the Zionist Organization of America’s, the Republican Jewish Coalition and is a Jewish Advisor for the National Diversity Coalition for Trump. www.cindygrosz.com. firstname.lastname@example.org