This story comes to us from Challah for Hunger, a not-for profit organization with over 85 active chapters around the globe, mostly based on university campuses, that bakes and sells challah bread and uses the proceeds to support social justice causes.
Ellie Zimet recently joined Challah for Hunger as a Program Associate. Get to know Ellie below!
1. What lessons did you learn as a Repair the World Fellow in Philadelphia that you will bring with you to your work at Challah for Hunger?
I think the biggest lesson I learned from my time with Repair the World: Philadelphia was about the importance of respect, compassion and community in this type of work. Both of the sites I was paired up with during my time as a Fellow, Broad Street Ministry and Our Closet, focused on providing services to individuals in a respectful, dignified way.
I could see the impact that had on both the guests (the term used to refer to clients) receiving the services and the volunteers helping to provide them. The guests received better quality support and generally had a more positive experience, and volunteers interacted more directly with the people they were serving and learned more from them.
Ultimately, it helped to build stronger communities within each organization. In our debrief sessions, many of us commented that, thanks to this model, we were more motivated to understand how systemic issues affected poverty and food insecurity, as well as work to create change.
2. What do you think is the biggest misconception about the issue of hunger, either locally or globally?
I think it's easy to assume that hunger only looks one way, or only happens far away from our own communities. The way that hunger impacts people can look very different, and it happens in different places for different reasons. I think it's important for us all to understand both local and global food issues and the ways that our individual choices and actions can have an impact.
3. What’s the best piece of professional advice you have ever received?
Have confidence in yourself and your work! You and your accomplishments will always look better if you believe in them (and yourself) as much as your coworkers/stakeholders/audiences do.
4. What’s your favorite challah flavor? What’s your favorite challah memory?
I haven't experimented much with flavors yet, but I'm excited for our chapters to teach me some new recipes! So far the most intriguing I've heard is Phish Food (like the Ben and Jerry's ice cream). My favorite challah memory is making it with my mom for Rosh Hashanah when I was younger.
5. Where can you be found on a day off?
Exploring Philadelphia with friends, searching for dogs with kind owners who will let me say hello, or watching a goofy movie on Netflix.
The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is proud to empower emerging leaders to explore their values, identity and new ways to strengthen their communities. We believe that as we work together to repair the world, it is important to share our diverse experiences and perspectives along the way. We encourage the expression of personal thoughts and reflections here on the Schusterman blog. Each post reflects solely the opinion of its author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Foundation, its partner organizations or program participants.