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September 22, 2011 - Image 93

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-09-22

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for college students by college students


MSU Hillel earns
top national


SEPTEMBER 22, 2011 / 23 ELUL 577

edu extra



U-M student is
putting together
cookbook for

Avery Robinson

Michigan State University Hillel
received the Indispensable
Campus Partner Award from
Hillel: The Foundation for
Jewish Campus Life for "foster-
ing a deep partnership with
the university, from student
recruitment to alumni and
donor relations."
Scott Brown, Hillel executive
vice president, praised MSU
Hillel Executive Director Cindy
Hughey and cited the Hillel for
creating partnerships through-
out the university.
In food services, MSU has
worked with the university to
create the school's first kosher
cafeteria. MSU Hillel has an
outstanding record in student
affairs, routinely partnering
with groups of all backgrounds
and serving as the Jewish
resource for the student gov-
The university joins together
with MSU Hillel to promote
advancement, co-sponsoring
events with the university in
the Detroit Jewish community.
In addition, MSU Hillel has
partnered with the Office of
Admissions and Scholarships
to sponsor an MSU admissions
night for admitted and inter-
ested students in the Metro
Detroit area.
"It's an honor for our Hillel
to be recognized by our peers
for the rewarding work we do
on the MSU campus," Hughey
The award was presented at
Hillel Institute, the annual con-
ference that brings together in
one location separate training
programs for Hillel profession-
als and student leaders. More
than 1,000 Hillel students,
professionals, lay leaders and
partner agency representatives
attended the July 2011 event,
held for the second year on
the campus of Washington
University in St. Louis.
Hillel is the largest organiza-
tion in the world with a focus
on university-age Jews, serving
young adults at more than
550 colleges and communities
in the North America, South

Hannah Alexander of Ann Arbor and her sister, Miriam. (front row, third
and fourth from left) joined others from Ann Arbor and Metro Detroit at
Community Challenge Day.

Challenge Day

The Jewish people would
not exist today if it were not
for food. I say this not just
because of the American deli
culture, the hamentashen and
latke debates or the beyond-
medicinal properties of chicken
soup, but because of our bibli-
cal heritage.
We are who we are because
Abraham welcomed the
angels into his tent for a meal,
because Jacob served a lentil
stew to Isaac, because the
Torah has specific prescrip-
tions for holy barbeque, and so
much more.
I was fortunate to grow
up in a home where Shabbat
meant incredible challah, farfel
and seven-layer cake; Passover
was brownies for breakfast,
charoset-making with my
brothers and chrayn (horserad-
ish root) that made you weep;
Shavuot was cheesecake. In
large thanks to my family's

Bridging 8 Mile event teaches people
to lower facades and cross boundaries.

By Hannah Alexander

Nearly 150 teens and adults from the Metro area, including Ann. Arbor, participated in Community Challenge Day events
held July 23-24 to kick off the Bridging 8 Mile initiative of the Association for Youth Empowerment in Detroit. Bridging 8
Mile was developed by everyday citizens dedicated to transforming Detroit, its suburbs, its people and the way we relate
to one another. Bridging 8 Mile was founded on the belief that when people unite for the greater good, positive change is
inevitable. Its ultimate goal is to connect communities, inspire compassion and take action.


hallenge Day is an experience devoted to
the celebration of you. We, as a community,
create an environment where people feel
safe and comfortable to step out of the box
constructed for us by social norms and BE the change we
wish to see.
Here I had the opportunity to cross the boundaries of
age, race, gender and religion and enter a world where
facades do not exist. It is said that the more love we give,
the more love will come back to us multiplied. This one
special day of love in motion can impact the way we treat
our family, friends and other.
The day of challenge is, in fact, a day of challenge and
puts these energies into movements. Every person inside
this room leaves with a profound new outlook on love and
relationships. The experience can serve as a rite of passage
for those who desire it, from the material world into the
world of meaning and compassion.
This Challenge Day specifically focused on Bridging 8
Mile in the Detroit community. We explored genetic human
differences as well as socio-economic stereotypes and pre-
conceived judgments based on the color of our skin or from

which side of town we come to school or work. Intimately,
we learned that a difference is simply a difference, and
cannot be categorized as a strength or weakness.
As a proud woman and Zionist Jew, I believe many peo-
ple view religion as grounds for discrimination. A person
can be ostracized very quickly because of his or her beliefs
based on the notion that different is inferior. Challenge
Day strives to push past these surface-level judgments and
unveil the true human being behind our rough corners and
I encourage people from all religious, cultural and eco-
nomic backgrounds to take part in a Challenge Day merely
for the experience to feel adequate, wanted, special and just
plain free. @

Hannah Alexander of Ann Arbor participated in Young Judaea
Year Course in Israel last academic year. She made aliyah this
summer and soon will enter the Israel Defense Forces. For
information about Bridging 8 Mile, go to www.bridging8mile.
org. For more on the Association for Youth Empowerment, go
to www.associationforyouth.org.

culinary magic, I embraced
Judaism. Many of my friends
and their families have similar
stories, which have strength-
ened their affinity to klal
Yisrael (the Jewish people).
As a student leader at the
University of Michigan Hillel,
I have encouraged students
to maintain a Jewish identity
and have invited others to
experience Judaism through
very traditional (though
unconventional) approaches.
Through this tradition of food
and shmoozing, I have hosted
fun and engaging events that
work to build this Jewish com-
There is a long tradition of
community cookbooks: syna-
gogues, JCC, Hadassah and
more to raise a few shekels
and enhance community. So
it seemed only natural for
Michigan Hillel to develop

EATING on 94

September 22 m 2011


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