The Jewish Social Justice Council (JSJC) hosted the 9th annual Sleepout for the Homeless earlier this month, from October 5-7. Sleepout for the Homeless is a two-night event designed to educate the student population about homelessness, which takes place in the UVA amphitheater during or around the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. To raise awareness for homelessness, students sleep outside in tents for one or two nights. Additionally, money is raised to support a local organization which helps to fight homeless in the Charlottesville area. This year the money was awarded to PACEM, and Families in Crisis.
This year's Sleepout was a huge success. Roughly 15 people slept out the first night, and about the same number of students slept out the second night. This year, JSJC was able to purchase three large tents using funds allocated by Student Council. This helped to provide sleeping accommodations for more students, as well as promote the Sleepout cause by having bigger, more visible tents in the Amphitheater. Even with rain the second night, the students toughed it out and stayed throughout the event.
Apart from sleeping out, events were held in the evenings of Oct. 5 and 6. On Oct. 5, there was a speaker from PACEM, a acoustic concert performed by members of O-Rec, a dinner-discussion moderated by sustained dialogue, and a movie showing held outside in the Amphitheater. On Oct. 6, there was a speaker from Families in Crisis, the annual WaJew BBQ followed by the annual interfaith dialogue (hosted by the Jewish Education Initiative), and a game of kickball led by the Jewish Social Connection.
Sleepout is an ongoing initiative, and JSJC can't wait to get out next year for Sleepout's 10th anniversary. Thanks to everyone who helped make Sleepout happen this year!
WaJew Class of 2016