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While making challah is easy, starting up an organization on any college campus is not. But that’s what freshman Adena Leon set out to do at the beginning of this school year, starting KU’s very own Challah for Hunger chapter.
Challah for Hunger is a national organization that brings people together to bake and sell challah in an effort to raise money and awareness for social justice causes, like the global hunger crisis. Adena found out about the organization a few years ago from a friend at camp and loved it immediately.
“I just knew it’s such an important cause and such an important thing to be aware of. I thought this is such a great organization -- it’s gotta be at KU,” Adena said. “Then I got here for orientation, I met Jay, and I said ‘do you guys have a Challah for Hunger chapter’ and he said ‘I don't know what that is’ and I said ‘well let’s do something about that’.”
With training from the website and help from her friends Miranda Brim and Sydney Strauss, the three got to work. Adena got in touch with the national organization and their team walked the girls through the process of starting it up. With funding from Hillel, Adena saw her hard work come to life.
“It’s an incredible organization, and for me not to be passionate about it, just doesn’t seem right."
“It’s an incredible organization, and for me not to be passionate about it, just doesn’t seem right. Everything about it and the work they do is so good and so important, and I think everyone should see that.” Adena said. “People should be aware of what can be done and what you can do to help others.”
Adena has been working closely with Hillel staff members Jay Lewis and Tori Luecking to help her with Challah for Hunger and it’s successful startup. This included tabling at Rock Chalk Shabbat and hosting challah bakes at Tori’s apartment. With the help of her new Jewish community, Adena hopes to have the chapter tabling on Wescoe by second semester.
“Its definitely given me stronger ties to Hillel. Its given me somewhere to go, somewhere to express myself Jewishly, somewhere for me to get involved and to meet other people,” Adena said. “Hopefully throughout the year we will sell challah at certain Hillel events, but our goal is to get to Wescoe so we can be a campus-wide organization.”