If you’ve spent any time on campus recently, you many have seen a bunch of Jews raising money for charity. If you were around late last month, you certainly heard us yelling about our delicious, warm, cream cheese filled bagels. The Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi partnered with Hillel for a philanthropic bagel selling event called Bagel Balagan. According to a Jewish Jewish studies major, balagan is a Hebrew word for cluster****, but in a good way.
Imagine: you are heading to Coffman Memorial Union to use your Flexdine at Panda Express. This lunch is why you woke up for your 9 a.m. math lecture, participated in some serious note taking, and followed that up with a lab – Panda Express is your reward. So you leave the labs in the Tate building, walk across the winding silver bridge, catch a glimpse of the Minneapolis skyline and are 50 yards from Coffman’s front door when you spot a bagel stand.
“If I pretend I’m texting then they will not bother me,” you think to yourself. But I’m sure that as you walked innocently past the stand you made the mistake of looking up from your phone and making eye contact with one of the bagel boys. “Excuse me, you look hungry. Would you like to buy a bagel?”
“No thank you,” you respond politely while trying to walk away.
“Oh, okay. I just thought you’d want to bring Israeli innovation into Africa to help build clean water supplies and improve education by paying only $3 for a bagel and coffee,” he responds. Bagel boy knows he has you now.
As your heart swells, you give in and buy a French toast bagel smothered with cream cheese and a steaming cup of Bordertown coffee.
It is that kind of Jewish persistence and stubbornness, which we probably get from our mothers, that helped Alpha Epsilon Pi and Minnesota Hillel, in two days, raise over $950 for the charity, innovation: africa.
I implore you to donate to these on-campus philanthropic events whenever you can. Often times you can meet some cool people and get some cheap and, okay, moderate tasting food (I won’t try to claim it’s always good food). But if you don’t have cash or are running late to class, here is one trick that I’ve seen many students use. It’s a simple two-step method:
Step one, take out your phone. Step two, call your mom. But if you actually call your mom, you’ll be stuck on the line for 15 minutes talking about if you are eating right and sleeping well. You’ll also get asked at least twice why you don’t have a girlfriend yet. So I guess in the end, buying a bagel is just a safer bet.
Another event his past Sunday pitted the best Jewish and non-Jewish athletes on campus against each other in a basketball tournament organized by Hillel and Sigma Alpha Mu, to raise money for Hoops4Judy. In addition to raising over $350, the tourney brought people together.
Overall, the tournament went great – the competition was classic. There were two types of teams that competed. The first was the Jewish teams. These were that teams that were captained by the Executive Director of Hillel, or the fully Jewish teams trying to recreate their 4th grade JCC championship run, or the other guys just trying to get their “Hanukkah” body ready. The other teams consisted of big-boned St. Paul farmers and frat stars. To everyone’s surprise a fraternity with great athletics beat out the 5’8” Jews. There is always next year to beat “those” people.
In the past month, Hillel and their partners have raised over $1200 for various philanthropies. More philanthropy events will be going on around campus so keep your eye open and get involved. From practicing your salesman to practicing basketball, not only will you be participating in a fun philanthropic event, but you will be developing valuable life skills that every college Jew needs.