Posts Tagged ‘Tikkun Olam’

Hamantaschen for Haiti

February 28, 2010

This past week, OWUJews joined together to bake Purim treats and teach our classmates and colleagues about the holiday and its attendant traditions.  One of those traditions is doing community service.   For our part, we held Hamantaschen for Haiti: A Bake Sale.

Helping out and having fun.

LOTS of hands making LOTS of Hamantaschen!

Helping one another while helping others.

Wednesday night, half a dozen folks gathered in one of the commercial kitchens on campus.  Special thanks go out to Gene Castelli and food service for giving us space and putting up with us for a 2 1/s hour marathon baking session!  We rolled out dough, cut-out circles, scooped out jam, and folded our circles into triangles to form Hamantaschen.  These traditional cookies are meant to resemble he hat worn by Haman, the villian in the Book of Esther which Jews read on Purim, but which literally translates to “Haman’s pockets.”  In Israel Hamantaschen are known as Haman’s ear.  Either way, we’re eating our enemy, at least metaphorically, for whatever that means.  We made around 200 though it was kind of hard to count, and a few were lost to the taste testers…

Friday, we hosted the bake sale from noon-1pm in HamWil Student Center.  We
sold nearly 100 cookies before the event started through online pre-orders.  A few
of those orders were from Jewish faculty and staff whom, I’d like to believe, we provided a service in helping them celebrate the holiday.  By 1pm, we had sold out.  By all accounts, the sale was a success.  After covering our costs, we made
$176 to send to the American Jewish World Service for their efforts in Haiti.

The final element of our Purim festivities was the staging of a Purim Shpiel (or skit).  Using a script I borrowed and edited from The Little Minyan, we told the story of the brave Queen with a few pop culture references woven through to maintain our audience’s attention.  While it was a little tough to recruit actors, we managed to pull together a motley cast of characters to perform for a full house during the lunchtime rush in HamWil.

A hearty Yasher Koach to all involved in what I’m sure is the beginning of a new OWUJew tradition.


will YOU work for food?

January 26, 2010

This Fall, Lily Strumwasser, The President of OWU Hillel, introduced us to the program Will Work For Food (WWFF).  As you can read on the organization’s website, WWFF organizes volunteers to find people to sponsor them to do community service in their local communities.  The money they raise, goes to feed malnourished children in Darfur.  Since September, Lily and her friends have raised over $1,000.  They very well might raise another thousand this semester.

WWFF offers a response for those who question donating money to help those in need in other countries when here are people in the U.S. suffering.  With this program, volunteers work for two causes simultaneously.   It is an interesting scenario to consider as we support the recovery and rebuilding of Haiti abroad and digest news of cuts of domestic programs here at home.  WWFF suggests we needn’t chose local or global service, and as such, offers a real opportunity for Tikkun Olam or World Repair.

This Spring, the OWU chapter of WWFF and OWU Hillel will be organizing a series of opportunities to volunteer at free community dinners and other events in Delaware.  Keep an eye on your email for more information.  In the meantime, join the OWU chapter of WWFF.

One program I’d like to see the OWU chapter of Will Work for Food consider adopting, in conjunction with OWU Hillel is Challah for Hunger.  This would be a great service to the OWU Jewish community, great opportunity for students to bond (those of you who know me know that I believe in the uniques powers of the kitchen to bring people), and raise money for a good cause.