By Meira Kirschbaum
UConn students, Danielle Schindler and Chantal Ghalchi take a moment to chat with UConn President Philip Austin before the start of the re-dedication ceremony.
Hillels at the University of Connecticut and Virginia Tech are getting new homes. Hillel at Virginia Tech broke ground on a new facility while Hillel at the University of Connecticut opened its new Trachten-Zachs Hillel building.
At Virginia Tech, the university president, provost, donors and students attended a luncheon where several students spoke about the impact Hillel had on their lives. Dennis Kirschbaum, associate vice president for campus advancement, spoke on behalf of the global Hillel movement. Afterwards, people donned hard hats and picked up shovels to break ground at the site.
More than 350 attended the re-dedication ceremony at the University of Connecticut Hillel. The new Trachten-Zachs Hillel building features a conference room, kosher kitchen, large assembly space, office, and recreation center. UConn Hillel Executive Director Gary Wolff expressed gratitude to the Trachten and Zachs families for making the building possible. In a speech, Hillel Senior Vice President Tim Cohen thanked the donors, the university and Hillel students on behalf of the Hillel movement.
"The students'] excitement for Hillel is a good indication of how much this space is needed," says Wolff. "We are hoping that the students will utilize Hillel as a home, a resource, and a cultural place to have Shabbat, holidays, and other social opportunities. We truly are what the students would like us to be."
Meira Kirschbaum is an intern in the Hillel Communications Department.