NU Challah for Hunger raises money to support gun control


Colin Boyle/Daily Senior Staffer

Students make dough for Challah for Hunger. The group made almost 90 challahs, sold for $5 each, to raise money for Everytown For Gun Safety, an organization created to promote gun control after the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

Emily Chaiet, Reporter

The Challah for Hunger chapter at Northwestern typically sells about 20 to 30 challahs per week, raising money for hunger support organizations Mazon and the Ark. This week, though, the group sold almost 90 challahs and donated profits to Everytown For Gun Safety, an organization created to advocate for gun control after the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

After the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Challah for Hunger and Northwestern Hillel decided to raise money for gun control this week instead of their usual charitable causes. Hillel president Samantha Max suggested that Challah for Hunger work with Bake Action Against Gun Violence, a campaign started by siblings from a town neighboring Parkland to raise money for various groups working against gun violence.

Bake Action Against Gun Violence has been selling hamantaschen, a dessert eaten on the Jewish holiday Purim, which takes place this year from Feb. 28 to March 1. Max decided that they could also contribute to the cause by baking and selling challah, which they already do every week.

“Mass shootings are something that we’ve all witnessed a ton of in our life time, which is kind of horrifying, but gun violence in general is something that is happening every day in our own communities,” the Medill senior said. “It’s really amazing that these teenagers in Florida are reminding us to be thinking and be more aware of this issue.”

A speaker from student-facilitated group Sustained Dialogue will come to Hillel on Thursday and speak about gun violence and how to deal with its emotional impact as they make the challah. Challah for Hunger members will also be writing letters to elected representatives advocating for gun control.

Challah for Hunger’s Facebook page has been posting articles related to gun control and the Parkland shooting throughout the week. Co-president Andie Linker said more people than usual have been encouraging people to buy challah and sharing the Challah For Hunger event page.

“It’s kind of interesting because we give to good causes every week,” the Medill junior said. “We usually give to hunger causes every week, but I guess since this one is so topical people are really wanting to support it in anyway they can, so giving $5 and getting a challah is a really easy way to do that.”

While Challah For Hunger is an organization created to fight against hunger, co-president Danny Cooper said that above all, it is a social justice organization.
On top of promoting gun control through Challah for Hunger and Hillel, Cooper, a former Daily columnist, said he will be participating in the planned March 14 walkout against gun violence at NU.

“It’s something that we all just care about,” the Medill junior said. “We recognize it as an issue that is not necessarily hunger-related, but we’re pretty socially active and we try to do things to advance social justice causes. … We try to advance things that we believe in and that we think Hillel should be supporting.”

This story was updated to clarify that the Challah for Hunger chapter at Northwestern, not the national Challah for Hunger organization, was raising money for gun control.

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