Helping Syrian Refugees

Written by Savannah Binder, Student

Through my affiliation with Hillel, I had the opportunity to help with a cause in which I have been interested for a while: refugees. Due to the efforts of the World University Services on campus (or WUSC), the University sponsored the tuition of two Syrian Refugee Students this year. As the sponsorship only covers the students’ tuition fees, the Multi-Faith Resource Team (of which Hillel is a part) and WUSC came together to create a night of fundraising, food and entertainment. I was very proud to see the rest of my Hillel team come out to support the event, filling up a whole table of ten and supporting the fundraising efforts further by ‘purchasing’ a winter coat through the ‘Fill the Dorm’ fundraising activity. To give you a taste of the fundraising, Fill the Dorm manifested as an image of a dorm room projected up on a screen. People and groups could then ‘buy’ an item and hence, ‘fill’ the dorm room. Held in the beautifully decorated Peter Clarke Hall, the evening was definitely a memorable one. In addition to Syrian style cuisine, there was a Syrian dance troop and theatrical performance, as well as an informative speech on the crisis and history of Syria. At the end of the night, one of the students sponsored by the University gave a beautiful account of how she ended up on this campus. With 300 people in attendance, and a total of $13,000 raised, I would say the evening was definitely a success! Being part of the planning committee, I was able to see the passion, effort, and commitment that went on behind the scenes, and which made the whole evening possible. Nothing has made me happier than being able to support such an important cause, and being able to represent Hillel at the same time. I think it is so important for Hillel to show support for global issues such as this, and I am making it my personal mission that we continue to do so!