Rabbi Yosef Langer & Moshe Langer are a father & son duo who have devised various innovative ways to help and support the SoMa community. Recently interviewed by CBS News, the rabbis shared their love for their neighborhood and spoke more about their initiatives.
The Giving Kitchen is one of their initiatives which gives free food to the elder and unhoused folks on SoMa. Started by Rabbi Moshe Langer in 2018, the Giving Kitchen gathers volunteers to hand out warm soups and hygiene kits around the neighborhood. Rabbi Moshe shares that he was inspired by his father to begin this program. "The main ingredient that we put in our chicken Matzo ball soups is love," the young Rabbi shares. He was inspired by his father, who one day stopped and gave water to a man on the floor. The man came back, thanked him, and expressed how the cup of water saved his life.
Rabbi Yosef Langer has been a key figure in opening and supporting Chabads in Northern California. Together, The rabbis created a mobile Mitzvah service where folks can enjoy a tour of San Francisco while attending a Mitzvah service in a cable car. This program has been running for 16 years, and it's accessible to the public with one catch: perform a random act of kindness.
The rabbis also host annual Super Bowl parties for the homeless to have a safe and welcoming space to enjoy the pastime.
The elder Rabbi, Yosef Langer, has been involved in community support since 1975 and firmly believes in doing a small good deed daily, as he believes a simple good morning goes a long way. Rabbi Yosef Langer also played an integral role in having the annual Menorah celebration at Union Square, which was the first public Menorah lighting outside of Israel.
The father and son duo was presented the Jefferson Award recently for serving the SoMa neighborhood and community. If the team isn't working side-by-side, you can likely find them blowing on a shofar for special occasions or birthdays. Rabbi Yosef Langer has earned the nickname "Rally Rabbi" for blowing the shofar for the San Francisco Giant games on Jewish Heritage nights.