Archives: leadership

Jeff reflects on his board service


Jeff Marks, Binghamton alumnus and Senior Associate at KPMG, reflects on his experience serving on the Board of Directors.

When I stumbled upon a student group called Challah for Hunger during my first month as a freshman at Binghamton University in 2009, I never imagined I would be writing this blog post to share with you my incredible experience serving as a board member.

From the moment I first encountered Challah for Hunger, I thought it was awesome that students were baking and selling challah bread to raise funds and awareness about hunger-related issues, and I instantly wanted to be part of the team. I was involved all four years of undergrad, including senior year as a chapter co-coordinator, and was part of the sales team during graduate school. After graduating, I stayed involved as a member of the Fundraising Committee and as a Chapter Advisor. When given the opportunity to apply to be part of the Board, I eagerly said yes! Why? I knew first-hand the positive impact Challah for Hunger has on the local, campus, and Jewish communities.

Over the last two years, I have been able to cultivate and practice invaluable leadership skills with some of the most talented and motivated people I’ve encountered including the organization’s Board, CEO and staff. I engaged in our relationship-building efforts as part of our Fundraising Committee and as a Board member, monitored financial performance throughout the year as a member of our Finance Committee, and crafted the Board’s meeting minutes to document key votes and decisions to continue the organization’s positive momentum while serving as Secretary on the Executive Committee.

I leveraged my experiences as a campus chapter leader to understand and contribute to the organization’s core values, operations, and strategic direction. I am proud to have served during a pivotal time for the organization, as we continue to grow and expand our campus chapter program and the Campus Hunger Project, which aims to address the issue of food insecurity on college campuses.

Along the way, I have made lasting friendships and connections with like-minded leaders. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team, and look forward to remaining involved and contributing to the continued success, growth, and positive impact of Challah for Hunger.

Thank you, Jeff, for your service!

Learning from the Campus Hunger Project

Since the Campus Hunger Project launched this summer, 32 chapters and counting have pledged to participate in the Campus Hunger Project, and our student volunteers have conducted 23 interviews of campus administrators to understand if and how their campuses support those in need. Sumner Schwartz, a junior and Challah for Hunger chapter treasurer at Occidental College, has been very active in the Campus Hunger Project:

Taking part in the Campus Hunger Project has been an eye-opening experience. I have learned so much about not only a problem that both my campus community and colleges around the country face but also how to bring about serious change. It’s been really cool interviewing key administrators–like the Director of Financial Aid and the Vice President of Hospitality Services–and coming up with changes that are going to help my fellow Oxy tigers.

…Through CfH I’ve learned ways to not only combat hunger in my community but how to bring about change. I’m really thankful for the strategies they have shown me in dealing with campus administrators and how to organize my community into creating real change. I know I’ll be able to use these tools and strategies in my future endeavors. 

Click here to learn more about the Campus Hunger Project. 

Sneak Peak: 2016 Summit!

82 days until the 2016 Challah for Hunger Leadership Summit! We have quite the conference planned for this year. Students from across the country, alumni, friends from MAZON, West Chester University, Montgomery Community County College, OneTable and more are all coming together for three days of knowledge sharing, advocacy, networking, and of course, challah baking!

We are excited to announce that we will be launching our new advocacy campaign at this year’s summit! Challah for Hunger and MAZON have partnered up to create an advocacy campaign focused on addressing hunger on college campuses. Students will have the opportunity to learn from local and national experts and develop strategies and skills to advocate for change.
Every day that passes brings us closer to our favorite part of the year! We are looking forward to seeing all the challah faces we can at the summit this July! Students can click here to register.
To learn more about the summit, email Loren.

Leadership Summit 2016

Exciting news update from Challah for Hunger! Save-the-Date for our 2016 Leadership Summit, taking place on July 29-31 at West Chester University, PA.

This year’s summit will bring together student leaders, alumni, donors, friends and partners for a weekend of skill sharing, education about hunger, challah baking, and many more fun activities.

Registration opens February 17, 2016.

Click here for more information!

New Chapter Spotlight: Gettysburg College

We are so excited to have Gettysburg College as one of our newest Challah for Hunger chapters! Gettysburg College decided to start a CfH chapter after an alternative break with Philadelphia Farm School. In an interview with co-president Michaela Edelson, she shares some highlights of her CfH experience so far.

“My favorite part of the Challah for Hunger experience is making the Challah dough. It is such a stress-relief to knead Challah dough for six minutes after a long school day. I also enjoy educating people on campus, both about hunger issues and about Jewish culture.” 

Click here to read Michaela’s full interview on the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation Blog.

Future Challah Leaders

Earlier this month, two of our leaders, Elana and Talia went to the BBYO International Leadership Conference (ILTC). At the conference they taught student leaders about service learning using Challah for Hunger as an example. Students worked together to create pitches and learn about advocacy with a “meal mapping” activity from our partner org MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. After learning, students took turns pitching ideas and events to each other as the event came in full circle – teaching to learning to teaching. We’re excited for these students to become future CfH leaders!

Welcome New Staff: Loren & Talia!

Let’s give a big challah-welcome to our new staff members:

Loren Shatten, Program Director, joins us from Repair the World Philadelphia. Click here to read her bio. 

Talia Berday Sacks, Program Associate, joins us from the University of Maryland. Click here to read her bio.

Elana Silberstein, our current Program Director, is stepping down to pursue a law degree from Temple University. What a smartie! We wish her the best.

Alumni participate in GESHER Festival of Jewish Life

Gesher Festival of Jewish Life is a program of JDCRegions. Hosted in Bulgaria, Gesher is a 4 day festival of Jewish learning and professional development, through various activities, lectures, discussions & workshops, which reinforce the diversity of each person’s Jewish identity.

This May, alumnae Amanda Winer and Sarah Glickstein represented Challah for Hunger at the festival. We asked Amanda and Sarah to share some photos and reflect on their experiences. Click here to see hear what Gesher was all about!

Thanks to alumna Kate Belza and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation for providing this opportunity!

Interview with Alumni Leaders

This week, we share a virtual interview with 4 Challah for Hunger alumni. Where are they now? What have they taken away from their Challah experience? How do they stay involved? 

Who’s in “the room” and what’s your connection to CfH?

Liz Smulian: I helped establish the Emory University chapter, and was president/co-president throughout my time in college. I am currently on the CfH Board of Directors as Fundraising Chair and will be the incoming Board Chair in August 2015.

Kate Belza: Founder and President, Challah for Hunger at the University of Virginia (UVa), Chapter Advisor for Elon, GW & FIU (2013-2014)

Jeff Marks: Chapter Advisor for [email protected] & [email protected], Member of the Board of Directors Fundraising Committee; [email protected], Former Chapter Co-Coordinator & Sales Team Member (2009 – 2014 during undergraduate and graduate school)

Rachel Hamburg:  Pomona College chapter founder, Chapter Advisor, member of alumni giving circle

Click here to read the full interview.