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INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY

Mitzvahs attempt to build 'world of peace'

By : Rabia Muhammad


BU President Lois B. DeFleur hangs a mitzvah card during Hillel/Jewish Student Union and Chabad House?s mitzvah marathon on September 11. The event, which asked members of the campus community to perform good deeds, lasted 12 hours.
Some students pledged to donate blood. Others gave spare coins from their pockets. A few promised to pray for the world, or simply call a friend to ask them to do the same.

But as each student signed up to do a mitzvah, or good deed, at the Mitzvah Marathon, they didn't forget the terrorist attacks two years before that brought them together that day.

"We want to do good deeds to brighten the world," said Natalie Benhamou, a junior from Flushing, who volunteered at last week's Mitzvah Marathon, which attracted about 1,000 students, faculty and staff.

The marathon was established last year on the first anniversary of the attacks, with the initial event lasting about 33 hours.

Last week's marathon only ran 12 hours but organizers say it offered more activities and attracted a larger attendance.

Participants could choose to perform one of about 14 good deeds but many promised to do more than one. They then signed their names on photos of some of those lost in the attacks.

The photos currently hang in front of the old University Union.

Visitors also were able to help construct a peace mosaic, a display made up of broken tiles. Piece by piece, tile was glued, eventually creating a picture of the world over a white dove.

"One person can't build a whole world," said Rabbi Yitzi Creeger. "But if every person does a little piece, (together) we can build a whole world of peace."
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Last Updated: 10/14/08