A freylekhn Purim, chag sameach!
By: Miriam and Rowan
“Okay, so this year I’ll bake a few more than usual,” I thought to myself after scrolling past a fundraising initiative I saw on Instagram called Hamantashen for Ukraine, a show of bakery solidarity for the people of Ukraine started by a bakery in Berlin. Profits and sales of hamantashen were to be donated directly by bakers to the Polish Humanitarian Action to help them assist Ukrainian refugees at the Polish border escaping the violence, and anyone could sign on to bake and sell. I set a goal of $360, which I figured I could achieve if twenty people purchased a dozen hamantashen at $18 per dozen. I used to work as a baker; I could scale up to 240 hamantashen, right? Within just two days of posting on social media, I had orders for over 400. And even after I took the post down, panicking slightly at the incredible response, orders continued to come in! I watched the numbers climb and climb, overwhelmed by the number of people reaching out to give Matanot L’evyonim in this way. People really wanted to help.
I enlisted the help of some wonderful new friends from our Introduction to Jewish Life course (hi Candice, Marlie, and Sam!), and together we rolled, filled, and folded, rolled, filled, and folded. The numbers were staggering. 15 dozen raspberry, 13 dozen apricot, 12 dozen poppy, and 9 dozen prune. 8 kilos of flour, 3 kilos of butter, 2 kilos of sugar, 25 eggs, and some vanilla later, we had baked over 600 hamantashen and far surpassed my initial goal of $360, raising over $1,000 to send overseas. This Purim, we are immensely grateful to those who contributed to the cause, humbled by the generosity of our community, and inspired by the fight of the Ukrainian people.
Miriam and Rowan Van Blerk (IJL 2021-2022)