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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Walk a stride for relief

Chabad club members raise money to help Israel terrorism victims

By: Lindsey Howshaw

Posted: 11/20/07
The goal of yesterday's Israel Walk, sponsored by the Chabad Jewish Student Center, was simple but heartfelt: raise awareness for orphaned families in Israel. The first of what is slated to become an annual walk to honor families affected by terrorism yielded $2,000, as participants walked the UA Mall yesterday from 10 a.m. to noon. But the walk's
I feel very strongly about keeping Israel safe.-Steven Strauss,Chabad club leaderroots ran deeper than the event, as 30 members of Chabad were each paired with a family in Israel, for which he or she raised money. "Each student has their own story of what happened to the family they're sponsoring," said Rabbi Yossi Winner. Most of the family members are widows and orphans left after the head of the household was killed by a terrorist act, he said."I feel very strongly about keeping Israel safe," said Steven Strauss, a Chabad leader and a pre-business sophomore. Strauss sponsored a young boy and his mother who live in Mevo Dotan, a northern settlement of the West Bank. According to the e-mail Strauss received about his family, Yevgeni, the father, was murdered by terrorists, leaving wife Tanya to raise their son, Yigal. Chabad members receive little information about their families other than their names and living situation, Strauss said. Many of the families live in impoverished conditions, making direct communication difficult. "Here we are all the way in Tucson, Arizona, far away from Israel, more than 14 hours away by plane, and we're supporting these families," Winner said. Alex Hecht, a
When you see how many people in Israel have been impacted, it makes you feel good to be able to help people out. I have a good life, and the least I can do is raise money for a family in need.-Steven Strauss,Chabad club leadermember of Chabad and an undeclared freshman, also sympathized with the families' struggles. "It's a financial and emotional burden once a family member dies," Hecht said. Though the Chabad association has been around since only 2005, it has played a significant role in the lives of UA students, said co-director Naomi Winner. "Our motto really is that we're a home away from home," she said. Naomi and husband Yossi hold weekly Shabbat dinners at the Chabad house, 1025 N. Euclid Ave. They estimate that 80 to 100 students attend the Friday night events. "Besides having dinners or hosting parties, the students wanted to do something meaningful," Naomi Winner said, adding that this motivation led to the creation of the walk. In addition to the walk, yesterday's event also included music by a live DJ, falafel giveaways and a matzo-ball-soup-eating contest. Students could also shoot hoops at the basketball station or provide donations for surviving families. The first 50 attendees received free Chabad T-shirts and were able to watch the walk. "When you see how many people in Israel have been impacted, it makes you feel good to be able to help people out," Strauss said. "I have a good life, and the least I can do is raise money for a family in need."
© Copyright 2007 Arizona Daily Wildcat

1 comment:

LakewoodShmuck said...

so they were sober when they did this?