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Friends of Israel raises $1K for children’s charity

Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 01:02


Caroline Geiling/ The Tufts Daily

Tufts Friends of Israel (FOI) last week held its annual Valentine’s Day−themed fundraiser to raise money for Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), an Israeli nonprofit that supports children with heart disease.

FOI members were stationed at tables in the Carmichael and Dewick−MacPhie Dining Centers and the Mayer Campus Center over the course of the week and collected over $1,000, FOI Co−President Aliza Shapiro said. The money raised is an improvement over the $700 to $800 raised during last year’s tabling, she said.

FOI’s effort was a part of SACH’s Valentine’s Day campaign across college campuses nationwide to come up with $100,000 to fund 10 kids’ surgeries.

“[SACH is] an Israeli−based organization that does wonderful things in terms of heart surgery and bringing treatment to medical clinics in their home countries,” Shapiro, a sophomore, said. “Hopefully our increased contribution will help them reach their overall goal.”

Students who donated could enter a raffle to win prizes including gift certificates to the Rez Café, Dave’s Fresh Pasta, J.P. Licks, Redbones Barbecue and Boston Burger Company, five Tufts Student Resources Fitness classes, a lunch with University President Anthony Monaco and a free night at Tufts’ Loj.

The tables also sold shot glasses that purchasers could decorate for $3, as well as baked goods, Cultural Chair of FOI Shoshana Oppenheim said. FOI sold condom roses in last year’s campaign.

FOI aims to raise $1,600 through various fundraisers this year, $600 more than last year’s goal, Oppenheim, a sophomore, said. The campaign is still a few hundred dollars short, a void FOI hopes to fill through a ticketed party hosted by Zeta Psi.

Zeta Psi Philanthropy Chair Michael Weinberg said that due to schedule changes following the Feb. 8 blizzard, any plans for such a party are tentative.

“If the open party date doesn’t work out, we’re really hoping that we’re going to work with [FOI] to have some other event that we can raise the money for, because we’re so committed to helping them reach their fundraising goal,” Weinberg, a sophomore, said.

Beyond the aid it provides children, Oppenheim said FOI contributes to SACH because of the organization’s medical sustainability objective.

“It’s about all of these countries and all these communities,” she said. “SACH provides those steps for countries to achieve their own medical standards.”

For the campaign, FOI partnered with Tufts Hillel, Challah for Hunger, the Leonard Carmichael Society and Zeta Psi. Zeta Psi, which has partnered with FOI for the past three years for the campaign, initiated the partnership, Oppenheim said.

“It’s a nice thing to have every single year, the continuity,” Weinberg said. “They’re always great to partner with.”

Weinberg believes the partnership is successful because it involves several different on−campus communities, increasing the student population that can be reached with the charity.

“I’m glad to get the word out on campus,” Shapiro said. “I’m glad it’s starting to create a memory on campus in terms of us celebrating this organization and fundraising for it. Hopefully we’ll continue to draw presence.”

To conclude the Valentine’s week campaign, Tufts Hillel hosted a Shabbat dinner last Friday, Oppenheim said. There was a discussion before the service to relate SACH to Jewish values. During the service the leader paused intermittently to relate certain prayers and songs to the fundraiser.

After the ceremony, there was a dinner that members from all partner organizations attended.

“[It was] a nice culmination, seeing how far we had come since the beginning of the week,” Oppenheim said.

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