Thanksgiving dinners are being prepared for Harrisburg’s first responders (not an official title).


Thanksgiving dinners are being prepared for Harrisburg’s first responders (unofficial title).

For the 21st year in a row, members of the Kesher Israel Congregation of Harrisburg served a Thanksgiving meal to first responders on duty in Harrisburg.

At 11:30 a.m., as first responders from all over Harrisburg gathered at the city’s Bureau of Fire – Station 1, the synagogue began serving turkey, stuffing, green beans, and more.

After 911, the synagogue began the tradition to express gratitude to first responders whose holiday is dedicated to public service.

Thanksgiving is about being grateful, according to Ben Altman of Kesher Israel Congregation.

He explained, “It’s about our community as a whole, being grateful for these people.”

“Every day of the year, they put their necks out for us, but especially on a day when everyone is out with their families and enjoying a good meal.”

They’ve arrived in the hopes of assisting someone.”

According to Altman, the synagogue spent four hours in the Jewish Community Center kitchen on Wednesday night preparing six turkeys and other meal components.

They returned early on Thursday morning to complete the final preparations.

Due to the tight COVID-19 restrictions imposed last year, synagogue members pre-packaged meals and distributed boxes to first responders.

They took over the fire station’s kitchen this year, unloading meals for up to 70 people.

“I’m thankful that there are people out there who appreciate that we’re here for them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and that goes for everyone, our citizens, visitors to the city, and local municipalities,” said Brent Hill, a four-year Harrisburg firefighter.

The church is in the process of relocating, so this year was also a challenge.

Despite difficulties in finding a suitable location to cook dinner, members made it a priority to keep the tradition of feeding first responders alive.

After being at 2500 North Front Street since 1949, Ann Rosenberg, a volunteer at Kesher Israel Congregation, said the synagogue is moving to the former Riverside Methodist Church.

Because “population has aged and demographics has changed,” it was decided to find a new location closer to the majority of synagogue members.

“We had a misfortune on our hands.

For the past 20 years, we’ve been preparing meals in our own kitchen and delivering them to the first…

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