Hillel begins construction

By Krahenbuhl

Hillel, a center for Jewish life on campus, is starting again from the ground up. Demolition of Hillel’s former John Street location is complete and the construction of the new “Margie K. and Louis N. Cohen Center for Jewish Life” will begin in the next couple of days.

Joel Schwitzer is the Executive Director of the Hillel Foundation at the University and says that the old building wasn’t functioning the way it should for today’s students.

“It felt very much when you went in like a synagog. You walk in and you’ve got the sanctuary on the left and the social hall on your right, administrative offices here and there, and for many students it felt like the synagog they grew up in, which in 1950 was a great thing to be. In 2007, not so wonderful.”

The new building will feature a large student lounge, an upper-level barbecue deck, wireless internet access, dairy and meat kosher kitchens, a coffee bar, and much more space for programs than before.

Schwitzer says students are anticipating the new building’s arrival.

“Everyone is excited about the possibility of having an exciting new facility and something that they can really take some pride in as being a part of the Jewish community on campus.”

The eight-point-six million dollar project is expected to be completed sometime during the fall semester next year. Hillel’s temporary location is at 405 East John Street.