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Modesto synagogue again gives first responders a Christmas meal

Paramedics Jon Segale, left, and Matt Borges take part a holiday meal thanks to the volunteers at Congregation Beth Shalom in Modesto on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015.
Paramedics Jon Segale, left, and Matt Borges take part a holiday meal thanks to the volunteers at Congregation Beth Shalom in Modesto on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015. aalfaro@modbee.com

For an eighth year, members of the Modesto synagogue Congregation Beth Shalom made lasagna to serve to first responders working Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

On Wednesday evening, Joyce Gandelman, Miriam Bermann and Jeanette Rosenthal had a little assembly line working in the CBS kitchen to make 30 trays of vegetable lasagna. Large pots of a chunky sauce – full of mushrooms, onions, celery, garlic, tomatoes and more – had been prepared, and the women filled aluminum pans with the sauce; noodles; and mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan cheeses.

The congregation anticipated feeding about 250 people. Police officers, sheriff’s deputies, firefighters, paramedics, EMTs and other emergency-service providers were invited to visit the Sherwood Avenue synagogue from 6 to 11 p.m. Christmas Eve and noon to 6 p.m. Christmas Day. They were served the lasagna along with salad, bread, beverages and desserts. The biggest number of meals would be served to American Medical Response ambulance crews, Gandelman said.

CBS members also made some dinner deliveries, starting about 5 p.m. Christmas Eve. “We deliver to first responders who can’t get out, like the guys who work in the jail, honor farm and safety center,” said Gandelman, vice president of the CBS board of directors.

Congregation Beth Shalom is at 1705 Sherwood Ave. It got the idea for the first-responder dinner when members heard of a synagogue in the Southwest offering one.

Deke Farrow: 209-578-2327

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