The Jewish women of the University of Colorado come together every year for Chabad Spa Night, a time of relaxation, and this year, tzedakah.
The event, which took place in CU’s University Memorial Center ballroom on October 13, 2010, featured makeup and hair artists, as well as yoga, massages and meditation. It also offered an array of fruit and candy.
Girls relate to Judaism in a feminine way,” Leah Wilhelm, the co-director of Chabad at CU said. “We need to nurture that.
Chabad asked for a voluntary donation to Sharsheret, which is an organization of cancer survivors dedicated to educating Jewish women about breast cancer and providing support to women going through cancer and their families.
Hedy Gurrentz, a recent breast cancer survivor and the mother of CU student Megan Gurrentz, spoke to the women about her experiences with cancer.
We have to get this down,” Gurrentz said. “You have to self exam.”
Gurrentz also said that the lump in her breast did not show up on the mammogram she had in June 2009. By giving herself a self-exam, Gurrentz said that she felt a lump and went back to the doctor in December.
“They did an ultra sound, which [the cancer] showed up,” she said. “It only showed up because I knew it was there.”
She was diagnosed in January and had a double mastectomy. She started chemo in the beginning of March and lost her hair, which is growing back. Currently, she’s on Herceptin, which is a cancer drug and has to remain on it until March.
Besides learning about breast cancer, the purpose of the event was to bring Jewish women together.
“This is a opportunity to give girls a chance to hang out with other girls in a relaxed environment,” Wilhelm said.
Wilhelm also said that the event has been going on for six years, which is as long as Wilhelm and her husband, Rabbi Yisroel Wilhelm, have been at CU. The event was advertised on Facebook and through the e-mail list, as well as by word of mouth. Chabad has one major women’s event during each semester, as well as a weekly Torah class on Wednesday nights.
Lauren Gilbert, a 21-year-old senior integrative physiology major, said that she enjoys going to Chabad.
“[I went tonight because of] its supporting cause,” Gilbert said. “It’s also a wonderful way to meet other Jewish women my age.”
She added that she had a massage and enjoyed delicious treats.
Becca Orin, an 18-year-old freshman open option major, came to the event because her sorority, Sigma Rho Lambda, encouraged attending.
She said that she enjoyed herself and had a massage, as well.
On Chabad, Gilbert added, “It’s my Jewish family away from home.”
For more information on Chabad visit the Jewish CU website.
For more information on Hedy Gurrentz e-mail her at Denverhedy@aol.com
For more information on Sharsheret visit their website.