REVERE – The Consulate General of Israel to New England came bearing 1,600 falafel sandwiches around the Greater Boston area for “Operation Falafel in Numbers” on Thursday, April 15, in honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel Independence Day.
One of the stops for the consul general, Ambassador Meron Reuben, was a visit to Hebrew SeniorLife’s Jack Satter House senior apartment complex on Revere Beach.
The complex’s community rabbi and chaplain, Lior Nevo, said they were contacted the day before that someone from the consulate would be stopping by with falafel sandwiches for everyone.
“It was very lovely,” Nevo said of the visit outside and in the lobby of the sprawling apartment complex, where Reuben was greeted by about 50 residents and staff. “It was a very sweet event,” she said. “Very spontaneous.” Nevo said Reuben talked with residents who were ecstatic to meet him.
“I didn’t even know the consul general would be there,” Nevo said. “It was a nice surprise.”
Jack Satter House resident Shirley Sowsy said Reuben arrived along with four bodyguards to greet residents for the 73rd anniversary of Israel’s Independence Day.
“He was the most charming man that any of us met in a long, long time,” Sowsy said. “He speaks beautifully, and his knowledge is very, very impressive.” Sowsy noted the visit was a complete surprise. “We took a picture and we were very, very excited to see the ambassador.”
Asia McDougle-Stamey, the Boston-based consulate general’s director of public relations, said the operation involved 1,600 falafel sandwiches, 800 pitas, 115 pounds of chickpeas and six institutional donations. The falafel vendor for the day was The Chubby Chickpea Food Truck of Sharon.
They made stops at Hebrew SeniorLife in Brookline, the Jack Satter House, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the Chelsea Police Department, the Pine Street Inn homeless shelter and Boston Police Headquarters in Roxbury.
In addition, there were several lightings and flag raisings in the region, including: the lighting of the Zakim and Longfellow bridges in Boston; the Fore River Bridge in Quincy and Weymouth; the
Burns Bridge in Worcester and the Sakonnet River Bridge in Jamestown, R.I.; along with the raising of the Israeli flag at Boston City Hall.