ALIE SCHREIBER ’13
The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Organizations all over the world hold fundraisers and events to raise awareness. In honor of this month, this past Friday night Trinity College Hillel hosted their seventh Annual Pink Shabbat.
This annual Shabbat is used to bring together people from all corners of campus to raise Breast Cancer awareness. Instead of having Shabbat services and dinner at Zachs Hillel House, this Shabbat is held in Hamlin Hall and is co-sponsored by eight other women’s groups on campus: Kappa Kappa Gamma, WGRAC, Zeta Omega Eta, Women’s Rugby, The Trinitones, the Women’s Cross Country and Track teams, The Ivy Society, and The Quirks. The event was very successful with over 170 students in attendance.
In preparation for the event some of the sisters of Kappa Kappa Gamma came to the Hillel house and baked pink challah to put on each table. They braided the challah as is customary, but then shaped the braid into a ribbon. These ribbon challahs were used for the blessing over the bread that is done every week on Shabbat.
At the event there were several speakers as well as performances by both the Trinitones and the Quirks. Two of the speakers this year were the local Israeli emissaries (Israeli’s who come to the United States to teach children for a year prior to entering the Israeli Defense Forces) to speak about what different campaigns Israel does during the month of October to raise awareness for this worthy cause.
It is traditional that every Shabbat a student delivers a d’var torah, a commentary on that week’s Torah portion. Historically for Pink Shabbat a Breast Cancer survivor has come to speak, but this year Hillel was so excited to welcome back an alumna of Trinity: Lily Pepper. Pepper spoke beautifully about the optimism that she maintained throughout her mother’s fight with breast cancer this past year.
She concluded her speech with a wonderful sentiment: “In the face of hardship, it is easy to lose optimism and hope, but they are essential in every aspect of our lives. I decided not to dwell on the worst-case scenarios, my fears, and my concerns, but instead I choose to be optimistic and share that optimism with the people around me. It helped me get through this difficult period. I know that one day we will find a cure to this horrible disease and because of this, I will continue to remain optimistic and hopeful.”
In addition to raising awareness, Hillel and Kappa Kappa Gamma worked together to sell 185 t-shirts the day before the event. All of the proceeds of the sales are going to an organization called Sharsheret, a group that dedicates themselves to providing support to Jewish women facing a breast or ovarian cancer diagnosis.