August 17, 2016
By Liza Schoenfein
“Not months, maybe not even weeks, maybe days,” he said then. “As soon as the place is basically set up — because we’re not going to play games with people’s lives.”
Six weeks later, the site has yet to open and Rapaport finds himself in the middle of a complicated situation.
Masbia, which serves hot, kosher meals to the needy in a restaurant-like setting, has three locations, two of which are in transition: one in Rego Park, Queens, which is in the process of moving (half a mile away); one in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn and a third in heavily-Orthodox Boro Park. The original Boro Park site lost its lease and closed in the Spring of 2015. Masbia has been paying $5,000 a month in rent on a new space a block from Shomrei Shabbos, a 24-hour synagogue, since January 2016.
What’s holding up the opening?
“A major cash-flow crunch,” according to the effusive and seemingly tireless Rapaport. Aside from a regular shortage of resources and a significant increase in the number of meals being served year over year, there has been a holdup in funds Masbia relies on from City Council member items, which make up 10% of its operating budget.
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