UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE SENIOR MELDS PASSION FOR PHILANTROPY WITH JUDAISM
Every college senior is doing this. As they approach their last semester of college, they reflect upon their college career and their future ahead. University of Delaware senior Brooke Wershaw eagerly awaits her future in the nonprofit field.
Seeing her sister survive childhood cancer, Brooke saw firsthand the impact nonprofits and healthcare organizations have on those they serve. Wershaw discovered her passion for fundraising and nonprofit work through UDance- UD’s largest student-run philanthropy that raises funds and awareness for childhood cancer.
Only until recently did Wershaw’s passion for philanthropy meld with her Jewish identity. As Hillel’s development intern, she gained a greater understanding of what Hillel provides for students beyond holiday services and meals.
Brooke delivered soup to students who were feeling sick for UD Hillel’s Matzah Ball Soup Hotline service and considered this experience to be one of the most rewarding parts of her internship. “Being able to serve as a helping hand when parents aren’t there to help their sick child helped me learn how vital Hillel is to a Jewish college student and their family,” said Wershaw.
As part of her internship Brooke also grew UD Hillel’s Giving Tuesday campaign, which raised more than $16,000 to support Shabbat dinners this year. She inspired other students to join her in making phone calls by sharing with them how special Shabbat at UD Hillel is. Wershaw even filmed a fun video where she stopped students walking around campus to ask them to strike a match, a great opportunity to then tell them about the Light Up Hillel for Giving Tuesday Shabbat campaign.
Her senior year internship with Hillel not only helped her gain practical job skills but also reaffirmed her passion for nonprofit work and for Judaism. Wershaw is excited to graduate this spring in the hopes that she will find a job doing what she loves. No matter where she will be employed next year, Brooke says she “…looks forward to advancing the Jewish value of tikkun olam¸ or ‘repairing the world’ into [her] post-college career and also into [her] everyday life”.