April 23, 2009 — The Hillel center at the University of Virginia will break ground Sunday on the Brody Jewish Center, a 10,000-square-foot addition to its existing building at 1824 University Circle.
The Brody Jewish Center will feature a dining room that will comfortably seat 180 students, plus study and lounge space, an expanded kitchen, and new offices and restrooms.
A reception at 10:30 a.m. will precede the groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. Both events are free and open to the public and the media. Guests will include U.Va. President John T. Casteen III; lead donors Dan and Nan Brody; and Edgar Bronfman, a businessman and former longtime president of the World Jewish Congress.
Hillel at U.Va. raised $2.3 million for the addition over the past three years. Construction will begin this summer, with the opening expected by the beginning of the 2010-11 academic year, said Brian Cohen, Hillel's executive director.
As funds become available, Hillel also plans to complete a $700,000 renovation of the existing Hillel building, built in 1914 as a private home.
Jewish life at the University of Virginia is thriving, Cohen said. Hillel sent 108 students to Israel this year. More than 500 students are now active in the Jewish community, with more than 50 students in leadership positions and more than 110 attending weekly Friday night dinners.
For information, contact Brian Cohen at 434-295-4963 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Hillel at the University of Virginia
Hillel at University of Virginia is the catalyst for Jewish life at the University. Hillel offers the approximately 1,800 Jewish undergraduate and graduate students at U.Va. the means to explore and celebrate their Jewish identity in a dynamic and comfortable environment.
Working with Jewish student groups, including the Jewish Leadership Council and graduate student groups, Hillel helps students find a balance in being distinctively Jewish and universally human by encouraging them to pursue tzedek (social justice), tikkun olam (repairing the world) and Jewish learning, and to support Israel and global Jewish peoplehood.
Each year, Hillel connects students to their community, their peers and their heritage through an array of social, cultural and community service programs. Hillel does not have members; all students are welcome to participate in Hillel activities.