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Hillel sells challah, gets fit for vets and hunger awareness

Photo by Laura Fitzgerald

By Laura Fitzgerald, For The Miami Student

Miami University's Hillel Jewish organization is putting on a CrossFit event to honor veterans and raise money and awareness for hunger.

The CrossFit event, set tentatively for April 8 at Millett and Yeager Stadium, is called a MurphOut, in honor of Michael P. Murphy - a recipient of the Purple Heart and the Medal of Honor in Afghanistan. The event is named after the specific workout that was developed by CrossFit Inc. as a tribute to the veteran, Rabbinical Fellow Aaron Rozovsky said.

Rovosky said Hillel has also talked to other organizations about involvement in the event such as ROTC and Alpha Epsilon Pi and has contacted diversity affairs.

"We're reaching out to as many people as possible," Rovosky said.

The other goal of the event is to raise awareness for the weekly Challah for Hunger sale, Rovosky said. Challah for Hunger is a bake sale of challah, traditional Jewish braided bread.

About six times a semester, between five and 15 students volunteer on Thursdays to bake bread and sell it the next morning at Hillel's Arthur Beerman Student building, located at 11 E. Walnut St. All proceeds go to the Oxford Community Food Bank, Cincinnati Meals on Wheels and Mazon, a hunger advocacy group, sophomore marketing intern Alyssa Williams said.

Religious Vice President of Hillel junior Ryan Fuldauer said that as of last fall, Challah for Hunger has raised about $1,500 total, or about $500 a semester. This is its third year.

"I love doing it and I always have a reason to do it and knowing that the money goes ...

to a good cause is a positive for me," Fuldauer said.

Buyers can donate as much or as little as they want, but the recommended price for a loaf of bread is $5, Fuldauer said.

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"And, volunteers will teach students new to challah baking how to bake the bread," Fuldauer said.

Hillel does other events throughout the year, such as weekly dinners and pink Shabbat, an event that raises awareness for breast cancer.

Hillel also provides social, cultural and religious resources and events for non-Jewish and Jewish students alike, Fuldauer said.

According to Williams, there are approximately 1,000 Jewish students on Miami's campus.

"We work to provide a safe place for Jewish students and non-Jewish students," Faulder said. "Anyone is welcome."

Fuldauer said Hillel caters to all degrees of Judaism, from those who identify as cultural Jews to those that are very religious.

"The Hillel kids who attend regularly are very devoted to what they do and what they believe," Williams said. "It's a good community. They're very tight knit."

Hillel also provides cultural opportunities for non-Jewish students. RA's have come to fulfill cultural requirements and Asian students have come to experience a different culture.

"It provides people with a different cultural experience in a way that they feel like they're not going to be asked to join that culture," Fuldauer said.