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JSU Bagel Fundraiser

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On Friday, February 10, 2012, the Jewish Student Union raised $241.25 for the Jewish National Fund by giving away free New York style bagels from Bagel Palace to the Oxford College community and asking for donations.

In observing the Jewish religious holiday Tu Bishvat, the JSU raised money for the Aleh Negev project. Tu Bishvat is a Jewish holiday held on the 15th day of the Hebrew month Shevat, which lies around early February on the Solar Calendar.

Another name for this holiday is “Rosh Hashanah La’llanot,” which translates to the “New Year of the Trees.” Though this holiday focuses on nature, mainly fruit-bearing trees, the JSU decided to raise money for a project coordinated between the JNF and Aleh Negev.

Aleh Negev created a community helping individuals with severe disabilities while still making them feel at home. Instead of limiting people to live in hospitals with a less friendly, warm environment, Aleh Negev creates a welcoming environment filled with Zen open to those in need.

Aleh Negev allows individuals the chance to live a full life similar to the smaller scaled L’Arche communities around the United States. It is a home to over 500 adults with disabilities. Furthermore, Aleh serves annually over a thousand children and young adults as out-patients.

A few interesting features Aleh Negev offers are therapeutic gardens, hydrotherapy pools, vocational training, and animal therapy including therapeutic horseback riding and a safari petting zoo. With extensive research supporting each of these wonderful, accessible opportunities, residents can gain heightened sensory awareness and self-confidence along with receiving positive brain stimulation.

Moreover, not only has this commendable community helped those being treated, but it also has given nearby local residents jobs and volunteer opportunities including positions in administration, education, rehabilitation, and supportive care.

To the volunteers who helped raise money and the philanthropists who gave to this cause on the Oxford campus, Co-President of JSU Ellen Attori said, “A special thank-you to everyone who volunteered their time, money, or other efforts to our event.  We couldn't have done it without you.  You're the best!”

Co-President of JSU Emily Farek added, “The fundraiser went really well, and I am very excited that we got to help the Jewish National Fund's Aleh Negev Project. I am also so grateful for the help of our wonderful volunteers from JSU, and all those generous enough to donate money to our cause.”

One volunteer Skylar Green adds, “It was a delicious and fun way to help make a difference in the Negev.” Additionally, Attori notes, “It's a great cause and there was a lot of enthusiasm from our peers, so I think we really made a difference today.”

At Emory’s inaugural on-site session of LeaderShape one of the phrases taught was, “Leadership is having a healthy disregard for the impossible.” As we have seen a group of young minds making the change they want to see in the world, we have witnessed Oxford students displaying a healthy disregard for the impossible.