The 2021 Kindness Day Coffee House event was hosted in the Rapaporte Treasure Hall in Goldfarb Library on Nov 8. The event was the university’s kick-off to their Kindness Day events, according to the Kindness Day events page. The two-hour event hosted eight performances, including five a capella groups with a full crowd.
“Honestly, I just hoped that some people would show up,” Makayla Widger ’24, part of the Kindness Day Event Committee and emcee of the event, said in a conversation with The Brandeis Hoot. “My expectations were completely surpassed! I am so impressed with everybody who performed, with our turnout, and I’m so happy that people enjoyed it. I just want everybody to have a really good time and support each other, because that’s the meaning of Kindness Day,” she said.
Company B opened the night, performing “Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest, engaging the crowd into clapping along to the beat of the song. Following them was Up The Octave, who performed three songs. Their final song was a “2000s diva mashup medley,” featuring artists like Britney Spears, Avril Lavinge and Lady Gaga. When they sang “Toxic” by Britney Spears, many students in the crowd who were orientation leaders began to dance along.
Manginah performed next, performing three songs, two in English and one in Hebrew. Widger joked that the group was “manginah-mazing.” Miles Goldstein ’25 then performed two songs with a friend, leading a singalong to “We Shall Overcome” by Pete Seeger.
Sophia Koolpe ’24 followed, singing two songs, including an original song called “Two Faced” that featured an electric guitar. She said it was the first time she was performing the track live. Next up was Too Cheap For Instruments, who sang three songs, including “All Is Found” from “Frozen 2.”
Jesse Blackman ’22 earned a large round of applause from the audience after a performance of “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” by Randy Newman. Blackman dedicated the performance of the piece to a friend. She utilized a piano for both songs as she sang. Closing the night was “Starving Artists.” The group performed three songs, ending the night with “Unloving You” by Alex Aiono.
The theme of this year’s Kindness Day is “Brandeis Kindness Day: Back Together Again,” according to the Kindness Day page. This theme is meant to recognize and celebrate the “reunification of the Brandeis community after two long virtual semesters,” according to the page.
Thursday, Nov. 11 is the university’s 12th annual Kindness Day celebration. “We look forward to celebrating the kindness that exists in the Brandeis community and we want to invite you to play a part! Everyone (faculty, staff, and students) has the amazing opportunity to add to this wonderful event. Kindness … pass it on,” according to the page.
In celebration of Kindness Day, the university set up events for community members all throughout the week, from Nov. 8 to Nov. 11. According to the events calendar, events included writing Kindness Cards, the Be Kind to Yourself Fair, Kindness Day Coffee House, Usdan Neighborhood Social, Kindness Day Service Fair and other Kindness Day festivities.
Other events happening on campus include club tabling from clubs including: Brandeis Democrats, BeWise, Pre-Dental Society, Brandeis Orthodox Organization and others, according to the events page. The Student Union is offering a friendship bracelet-making event for community members and Brandeis Hillel is hosting a Take-a-Note, Leave-a-Note event where community members can exchange kind notes.
The Department of Community Service (DCS) is celebrating student volunteers and leaders for Kindness Day, according to the page. To celebrate, they invited students to pick up a gift from their “Box of Sunshine” in their office in Room 201 of the Shapiro Campus Center (SCC). According to the page, DCS wants “to let [students in service] know that [they] are making a huge difference in these partnerships and are appreciated by [DCS].”
Kindness Day was started by a faculty member 12 years ago, according to the Kindness Day page. The purpose of the event is to promote morale, build community and encourage community members to perform small acts of thanks and kindness, according to the page.