Creating The Tree Of Life

One of my favorite moments at UF Hillel this semester was our Mitzvah Day.

Over 50 students came out to Hillel on Sunday, February 25th to help clean up and beautify our building.

We painted the walls, worked on landscaping outside, painted a mural, put up pictures, and more. It was inspiring to see what a group of students can do together in just one day.

I am thankful that there are students on campus that care about UF Hillel enough to devote a day of volunteering their time during the weekend. The building looks so much better now and I think it is more welcoming to new students.

My focus for Mitzvah Day was being in charge of the mural. I drew the design on a piece of drawing paper and projected it on a wall in one of our service rooms in order to trace it. My design is of a tree of life with a chai symbol, which means "life" in Hebrew, in the middle. This mural is supposed to represent how our values are rooted in Judaism and how those values impact our everyday life.

Volunteers helped paint the mural during Mitzvah Day; however, we were unable to complete it on Mitzvah Day. A few UF Hillel interns and I worked on the mural for weeks after our official Mitzvah Day to get the mural just right.

Overall I would estimate about between all of us who worked on the mural, about 70+ hours of work went into creating, painting, and touching up the mural.

However, the hard work was well worth it as it came out beautiful and students can now enjoy the artwork during our weekly Shabbat services.

I think the mural has enhanced students experience at UF Hillel, as well as everything else that was achieved during Mitzvah Day.

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UF Hillel

Norman H. Lipoff Hall / 2020 W University Ave / Gainesville, FL 32603 / 352.372.2900

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