She Has the Gift of Helping Others

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A Gift of Life program set up at Temple University Hillel has come up with three matches for bone marrow donors and those in need.

Mitzvah Hero: It’s a match! Marissa Rosenfeld of Yardley has a gift for helping others, and the 21-year-old graduating senior at Temple University has used that virtue to establish and coordinate the Gift of Life bone marrow donor program at Temple University’s Hillel. In less than two years and 500 swabs of participants’ mouths, the program has identified three matches for those in need of donors.

What It’s All About: Her involvement with Hillel stemmed from joining its members on a 2013 summer trip to Israel sponsored by Birthright, a trip on which she discovered not only the beauty of Israel and a desire to become more active in the Jewish community but also information about the national Gift of Life program. Representatives of the program offered a seminar at a special program held in Jerusalem, Rosenfeld explains. Within months, she had set up the program at Temple Hillel, an act the social work major calls “the most positive experience of my college career.”

Not a One-Time Thing: “I have always been doing mitzvah projects whether it was” for her   Bat Mitzvah “or volunteering with my family,” says the daughter of Karen and Leonard who, along with siblings Bari and Jesse, are members of Congregation Brothers of Israel in Newtown. “But this was the first one that I truly got to make my own. It was my chance to do a mitzvah project as a leader and help other people help others.”

Good for Her: Her role with Gift of Life at Hillel has provided its own rewards: “It has helped me learn what aspects of Judaism are important to me. I have been able to grow through this experience as a more confidant person, knowing that I am meant to help others in any way I can.” The program “has opened so many doors for me in the Jewish community, and I look forward to what the future has for Gift of Life and myself!”

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