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  • Hillels of Georgia

An Update from Emory's Repair the World Service Fellow

Hi, everyone! I am Cosette Drook and you may remember me as Emory Hillel’s Repair the World Service Fellow as part of their Serve the Moment Campus Corps. When I first wrote about my role, I had yet to host my first service opportunity as part of the ten week program. Now, already on to week eight, I have had the opportunity to engage with so many of you as we have worked to serve the Atlanta community.

In February we baked cookies and wrote letters for Emory Healthcare workers. Beginning in March, we have collected money to buy food and clothing for the Atlanta women’s shelter, Rebecca’s Tent. We are still collecting single serve breakfast items, lunch items, snack items, and female pajamas as well as accepting donations on Venmo @hillelsofgeorgia. And this Thursday (3/18) at 5 p.m. I will be hosting with the Tzedek committee “Buddies and Blankets” at the Emory Marcus Hillel Center. We will be tying blankets for the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout the last eight weeks, it is that the act of service is so closely tied to Jewish traditions and holidays. I recently spoke about Rebecca’s Tent at Hillels of Georgia’s “Quaranspiel” at Purim. But what does service have to do with Purim? Of the four mitzvot of Purim, one of them is matanot l’evyonim, or giving to those in need. As we approach Passover, the story of Exodus can serve as a reminder to why service for others is so important. Recently, in a discussion with Hillels of Georgia Jewish Learning Fellowship, we discussed the Hebrew word for Egypt, Mitzrayim, which means “narrow straits.” We were then asked to consider what the mitzrayim are in our lives and what hope and freedom from these “narrow straits” looks like to us. How can we help others overcome their mitzrayim? Through service, we can work to help one another overcome our struggles and find our Yetziat Mitzrayim or redemption.

While my time as Service Fellow may be coming to an end in the upcoming weeks, my passion to work with the community will not. This has been far from a one man job and would not be possible without the amazing Emory Hillel community. I thank all of you who have taken the time to get involved and learn more about the projects we have worked on this semester. And I wish you all a happy and healthy Passover in the upcoming weeks!

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