New Date for Tree of Life Fundraiser

Feb 15, 2019

'Take a Bite Out of Hate' will be held Feb. 26 in the Performance Center.

tree of life

Cal U will bring together the campus community to benefit the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue tragedy. 

“Take a Bite Out of Hate: Cookies for a Cause" will take place from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Feb. 26 in the Performance Center.  The event was rescheduled from Feb. 14, when a power outage closed campus.

Cost is $2. Cookies will be prepared by Cal U Dining and Hospitality Services. Complimentary coffee and tea service will also be provided.

All proceeds will go to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh’s Fund for Victims of Terror. On Oct. 27, 2018, 11 people were killed in a mass shooting at the synagogue, located in the Squirrel Hill section of the city.

Cal U faculty members Dr. Emily Sweitzer and Dr. Christina Toras collaborated on the fundraiser. 

“The purpose of the event is to promote and celebrate tolerance,” said Toras, a legal studies professor and director of the Institute for Law and Public Policy. 

“This is a very open event for the campus and community to come together, engage in conversation, enjoy some cookies and help a good cause.” 

Sweitzer, a sociology professor, said the two disciplines are well suited to address the issues of tolerance and anti-discrimination. 

“We wanted to do something that shows our disciplines are more than just words — they’re community in action,” she said. “We believe this event will showcase the compassionate side of our students, campus and community and what it means to take a different ‘bite’ out of things.” 

The cookies — representing Mexico, Norway, Germany, France, South Africa, China, Italy, the United States, Poland, Scotland, Canada and Israel — are intended to be more than simply delicious.

“Our event is more symbolic,” she said. “What I mean is that the ethnic and cultural cookie variations introduce people to cultural, ethnic and religious differences, naturally,” she said.

“We’re hoping for a light atmosphere of enjoyment while remembering Tree of Life and all other instances of hate, prejudice, and discrimination.”

The Cal U String Orchestra, directed by Greta Schottman, will provide music, and children from Calvary Chapel Christian School in Brownsville will sing a medley. 

Preschool children from the Karen and Tom Rutledge Institute for Early Childhood Education will participate by creating a banner. 

The Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Education will conduct a Cal U Strong T-shirt raffle. 

“Take a Bite Out of Hate: Cookies for a Cause" is sponsored by the Office of the President, the Office of Academic Affairs, and the sociology and legal studies programs. For more information email or