Hillel program delivers free care packages to sick students


Daily file photo by Binah Schatsky

The Hillel building. Hillel is offering free care packages for sick NU students through its social justice group, Kadima.

Ella Jeffries, Reporter

Northwestern Hillel’s social justice group, Kadima, reinstated their program “Sick Soup Delivery” for Winter Quarter as part of their mental health and wellness initiatives. 

Kadima delivers packages to sick students that include soup — with vegetarian and gluten-free options — tea, Kleenex, Advil and throat lozenges. 

“It’s really a lovely opportunity to connect with students who we maybe don’t see as often, as well as folks who are not Jewish in our community,” Doppelt Director of Engagement Natalie Dibo said. “It’s also really powerful to have a program creating cohesive community building and is for students, by students.”

Dibo ensures students who request a package receive it and that students who make the packages have the supplies they need. 

Kadima delivers the packages to students outside of dorms or academic buildings. In accordance with NU’s COVID-19 protocols, students who are in on-campus quarantine housing cannot have packages delivered to them.

Every quarter, Kadima focuses on a different aspect of social justice. Kadima President and Founder Eliana Davis said the club is based on the Jewish value of repairing the world. The McCormick junior said Kadima’s members saw this program as a way to uphold these values by creating a stronger community. 

“Hillel has been running this delivery program for several years now but with store-bought soups,” Davis said. “As a club, we came up with the idea to make the soups ourselves and give them a more personal touch while also performing Jewish acts of good deeds.”

Last week, Kadima partnered with Challah for Hunger, another Hillel social justice group, to host a two-day event to make soup for the packages, open to all NU students. The first day included a small group of Kadima students chopping vegetables and making the dough. On the second day, more students came to help roll out the dough, cut up chicken, assemble the soups and package and label everything. 

Medill sophomore and Kadima Programming Chair Stephanie Markowitz helped get the program running again by promoting it throughout Hillel and by word of mouth around campus. She said she hopes the program continues into next year because it has been valuable to have people come together, creating comfort for students who need it. 

“I feel like winter is a time when everyone really needs a program like this the most,” Markowitz said. “Mental health impacts everybody, so it’s a nice way to bring people together, and you really feel like you’re getting something done.”

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Twitter: @ellajeffriess 

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