Benefit promotes Jewish culture, food
Helen Grant, The Oklahoma Daily
OU Hillel buzzed with conversation and Jewish music as the Oklahoma Jewish community came together to raise money for three charities.
Daniel Smith, architecture senior and event organizer who has helped with the Latkes for Love event for the last four years, said it has been successful.
Hillel has raised more than $5,000 in two years, Smith said.
The money was raised through tickets sales for the event. Smith said after all the costs of the event are covered, all of the remaining money is distributed evenly to the three charities: Save a Child’s Heart; Sharsheret, which benefits breast cancer awareness; and Keseht, which benefits disabled children. These charities were selected because they are supported by Alpha Epsilon Pi — a Jewish fraternity, Smith said.
Musician Elad Katz provided guests live, traditional Jewish music while they sat laughing and eating Israeli salad, matzo ball soup, kugel and latke.
While Latkes for Love fell on Hanukkah this year and is influenced by the Jewish holiday, it isn’t based solely around the holiday, Smith said.
Hunter Overton, Sooners for Israel political director, attended the event to inform himself about Jewish culture and try a latke for the first time.
“I wanted to get a feel for another culture not represented enough at OU,” said Overton, journalism sophomore. “I had no idea this was here until tonight.”
Shayna Daitch, Hillel president emeritus, said she visited a hospital wing in Israel that was funded with charity money.
“It’s amazing to think someone is alive because of the money you gave to help them,” said Daitch, international security studies senior.
Smith said the money will be counted during finals week, so they won’t know how much money raised until then.
However much money they raise, Smith said that the Jewish tradition of tzedakah, or charity, will be upheld.
“It’s a mandate saying we need to give back,” Smith said. “Someone will be helped by this.”