Curious what it means to be a Repair the World fellow? Here, current Detroit fellow, Alyah Al-Azem talks about taking a break from the daily grind for some Hanukkah nightlife, and muses about increasing volunteering during the winter holidays.

The holidays have a way of bringing people home from across the country, and it’s always fun to reunite with some old Jewish friends that you forgot you had. At least it was for me recently when I attended the 11th annual Latke Vodka event. This year the event took place in metro Detroit at the Majestic Theatre in Midtown. The event featured latkes (naturally), a DJ, bowling and live bands. It was great to see so many out-of-towners, and to introduce them to some of the new friends I have made since moving to Detroit.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how great the turnout was. People were spread out across the venue and yet every room seemed full. Thanks to some amazing sponsors like NEXTGen Detroit and the Detroit Jewish News, along with a great host committee, the night was a success and a lot of money was raised for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.

Seeing all of my friends at the event got me thinking about the possibility of recruiting more volunteers during breaks. Students come home from college with time to spare – it offers the perfect opportunity to spend some time in a meaningful and influential way. We all have our own traditions this time of year and volunteering could easily be a central one for many students.

The city of Detroit has both strong Jewish roots, and a need for extra attention from volunteers. Repair the World works to create service opportunities that impact the community in meaningful ways. I hope that by extending our reach to visitors of Detroit, we will inspire people home for winter break to get involved.

Find out more about volunteer opportunities in Detroit this December – and beyond! – at Repair the World’s Detroit Fellows Facebook page.