Hillel Students Dramatize Jewish Consciousness, Presence

Hundreds of students, faculty, Jews and non-Jews, Blacks and whites on the Brooklyn College campus were made conscious of the celebration of Purim, reported Rabbi Frank A. Fischer of B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation. Hillel students fanned out throughout the campus and distributed Shalakh Manot gifts in honor of the festival occasion. Walking from office to office they handed packages of “goodies” to everyone they met. Whenever they were faced with a question of surprise, “what is Purim?” they took the opportunity to hammer away at the theme of anti-Semitism and its corrosive effect not only upon the Jews but upon a total community. Miss Laurie Ordan, Hillel president, said “We blasted through to the consciousness of Jewish identity and Jewish presence as never before.” Many offers of contributions came from amazed recipients. The answer always was “no thank you, this is with the compliments of Hillel.” This dramatic Shalakh Manot program was but one aspect of an attack upon Jewish indifference and apathy. Throughout the week, hamantashen were “sold” with the proceeds in the form of contributions for the 50,000 poor of the New York area. This group, which has been sorely neglected because of the myth of widespread Jewish affluence, was espoused by the Hillel students. Large posters and thousands of pieces of literature told the story of the needs of the Jewish aged, indigent and neglected. Several hundred dollars were collected and immediately forwarded to the poverty areas of Williamsburg, the East Side, Boro Park and other poverty pockets in the city, for distribution through key rabbinic leaders for Matanot L’Evyonim.

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