A building that bonds

Stephanie Mathias

Hillel Jewish Student Center opens doors for entire campus community to enjoy

Members of the Jewish community gathered for the grand opening of the Hillel Jewish Student Center last night. Those who attended were welcomed to warm food, friendly faces and a brand new atmosphere, including a place to sit, watch television or play poo

Credit: DKS Editors

he new Hillel Jewish Student Center had its grand opening last night at its new location at 613 Summit Street. The building possesses several symbols throughout its architecture. The address number represents the 613 commandments in the Torah, the Jewish

Credit: DKS Editors

In its old building, Hillel would never have had room to hold a barbecue indoors, but in its brand new student center, they had one with plenty of room.

Hillel hosted a well-attended housewarming barbecue last night from 5:30 to 8 in its new location at 613 Summit St.

Hillel’s History:

&bull Hillel was founded in 1923 at Illinois State University by Abram Sacher, a professor.

&bull In the late 1960s, the Canton, Akron, Youngstown and Cleveland Hillel groups came together to help create the Kent Hillel.

&bull Kent Hillel was taken over in 1970 by Rabbi Gerald Turk.

&bull Hillel is named after one of the most important Jewish leaders, the Babylonian sage known as Hillel the Elder.

&bull Hillel provides both religious organizations and social programs for all Kent State and Akron students. No membership is needed.

Source: Rabbi Alan Lettofski

“The new building opens up many new programming possibilities,” said David Danenburg, senior intervention specialist major. “It will increase the opportunities for involvement, not only for Jewish students but for everyone.”

Danenburg said he had never seen attendance so high at an event and was impressed with the student interest generated by the new student center.

Jon Sweet, Hillel’s engagement associate, has seen the new building grow from the ground.

“It will be like a second chance,” Sweet said.

Sweet said the new building will allow more students to come to the building, even if they are not Jewish or have never been to Hillel.

Andrew Reaven, sophomore integrated life science major, had a different view on how he thought students would benefit from the new building.

“This building is more comfortable, and we won’t have to be cramped into small rooms just to hang out together,” Reaven said.

He also said he would enjoy having pizza with Rabbi Chaim Feld in a quiet place. The event used to take place in the library because the other Hillel building was too small.

Sophomore theatre major Lindsey Ryb said she likes the new building because it is a better atmosphere to meet people and hang out.

Rabbi Alan Lettofski has been on the Hillel board since 1982, and he has seen the move from the house on Lincoln Street to the new one on Summit Street.

“It’s amazing that Kent Hillel got this beautiful building,” Lettofski said. “It’s astonishing, and the new building is so well planned.”

Contact religion reporter Stephanie Mathias at [email protected].