The University of Virginia Hillel Awarded Major Matching Grant

May 5, 2008 — The Hillel center at the University of Virginia has received a $250,000 matching grant to its capital campaign. An anonymous family foundation has awarded Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life a $5.6 million grant to benefit 17 Hillel Foundations in 12 different states that are currently undertaking capital campaigns.

The challenge grant matches capital gifts of at least $25,000 to the University of Virginia Hillel. Gifts must come from new donors or from existing donors who more than double their previous gift. All gifts to Hillel's capital campaign count as gifts to the University of Virginia's capital campaign. Hillel hopes to complete its fundraising for this campaign by early 2009.

"This is an incredible act of generosity," says Brian Cohen, executive director of the University of Virginia Hillel. "An anonymous family foundation has made this contribution to benefit Hillels at universities that have no connection to their family. Now we need the support of U.Va. alumni and parents to match this generous grant."

The University of Virginia Hillel has raised $2.1 million of the $3 million it needs to renovate and expand its building, located at 1824 University Circle. It hopes to complete the 12,000-square-foot project by 2009.

Jewish life at the University of Virginia is thriving. 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 about U.Va. Hillel's capital campaign, contact Brian Cohen at 434-295-4963 or