By Stephanie Burton
Students at the University of Delaware came together last month for "CommUnity" to raise more than $400 for Pakistani earthquake relief. The Muslim Student Association teamed up with Hillel to cook a variety of Indian, Pakistani, Moroccan and Israeli foods.
Over the past several months, many students at the University of Delaware have dedicated their time to Hurricane Katrina relief work. Members of the Muslim Student Association and Hillel student leaders felt that energy and effort needed to be focused on the people in Pakistan as well.
"I feel that our campus is full of people who are somewhat unaware of things that occur in the world, and this was one way that we were able to bring people together to make new friends and support a current issue," said Meredith Grabek, the incoming Hillel student president.
Around 75 students attended CommUnity, giving Muslim, Jewish, and Christian students, rabbis and faculty the chance to interact and befriend one another. Hillel's kosher kitchen was appreciated by all the students because kosher food is acceptable to Muslims who follow the halal dietary standards. After dinner, students took the remaining food to a homeless shelter. Starbucks baskets, gift certificates and other attractive items were donated for an event raffle.
Education was another major theme of the event. Each table had a tent with information and images about Pakistan and the earthquake.
"Idan, our Israeli emissary, put together three wonderful posters full of colorful pictures and information regarding Jews and Muslims living together in Israel. It was very informative," Grabek said.
Susan Detwiler, director at the University of Delaware Hillel, described the event as eye-opening and inspiring.
"People were brought together to do good for the world, to do God's work creating a future partnership. I had chills seeing how successful the event was," she said.
Muslim and Jewish students hope to make CommUnity an annual event because of their success not only raising money, but raising dialogue and communication between the faiths.
CommUnity was made possible by Hillel's Grinspoon Quick Turn-Around Grant.
Stephanie Burton is a senior at The George Washington University and an intern in Hillel's communications department.