42+ Penn State organizations hope to create a memorable day of service with first annual Nadav Ezra Day of Giving
Rebuild-U, Penn State’s first hands-on Jewish service group, launches the first annual Nadav Ezra Day of Giving on Sunday, October 16. The Nadav Ezra Day of Giving is a day dedicated to providing direct community service for our campus and surrounding neighborhoods. With partnerships and support from 42+ Penn State organizations we hope to create a memorable day for all people involved.
Rebuild-U, founded by Pittsburgh native, Rebecca Lerman, is an innovative new organization to Penn State! Inspired by her passion to grow community service, she hopes that Rebuild-U leaves an impact and legacy of meaningful service to the wonderful university and its surrounding that we call home.
The Nadav Ezra Day of Giving is dedicated to Nadav Ezra, former Sergeant in the Israeli Defense Force and close friend of Lerman. On January 4 this year, Nadav was killed in a car accident at the young age of 21. This day of service is in loving memory of Nadav who lived as a kind, selfless, and giving person. Nadav embodies the mission of Rebuild-U and we hope to repair our world in his honor.
“I met Nadav on a summer trip to Bulgaria while I was in high school. I had never met someone so young with the high level of maturity he displayed. Nadav had a unique outlook on life, pursing his dreams and passions before most of us even knew what our own dreams and passions were. Technology kept our friendship until I returned to Israel one summer with the Penn State Hillel Birthright trip. Nadav switched his shifts in the army and took a four-hour bus ride each way just to see me for two hours.” – Lerman shares.
Rebuild-U has worked closely with the State College community and local non-profits to establish a diverse selection of projects that students can select to participate in based on their passions and skills. Options include, Penn State Arboretum, Centre Learning Community Charter School, the Red Cross, State College Area Meals on Wheels, and much more! You can view the full, and sign up, here. Rebuild- U, and the 42+ student organizations, hopes that as an outcome, students will find projects they love and want to work with beyond October 16th.
“We thought along time about what to name the day of service. Over the summer, I was at home sending a message to Nadav (I still write to him) sharing details about the planning process. While writing, I was prompted to do a search for the meanings of the Hebrew names “Nadav” and “Ezra”. I found that “Nadav” means “gives” and “Ezra” means “helper.” It was perfect and the name was set.” – Lerman explains.
Rebuild-U would like to send a special thanks to the Nadav Ezra Day of Giving sponsors: Penn State Presidential Leadership Academy, Penn State Schreyers Honors College, State of State, Penn State Hillel, University Park Undergraduate Association, Penn State Panhellenic Counci, and the Interfraternity Council.
Special thanks to the supporting student groups: IFC, SPA, Social Justice Coalition, Women in Business, Residence Life, Order of Omega, Army ROTC, LTA, Baseball, Hockey, Rugby, Golf, PSATA, Men’s Basketball, Penn State Sapphire, Student Athlete Advisory Board, Passion with a Purpose, Sisters of the Runway, Omega Phi Alpha, CCSG, Graduate and Professional Student Association, Council of Lion Hearts, Lion Pantry, Pencils of Promise (PoP), Lion Ambassadors, Penn State Pre-Vet, Presidential Leadership Academy, and Students Supporting Israel.
The mission of Rebuild-U is to develop personal connections through hands-on service by reaching out to those in need and actively engaging the community locally and around the world. By utilizing Jewish values such as Tikkun Olam, repairing our world, we can work together to make a difference in the lives of others.