The Greenbaum

Center for Jewish Life

The Greenbaum

Center for Jewish Life

“Our vision is for the Greenbaum Center to be a showcase for Hillel activities on campus and to serve as a valuable resource for the entire Jewish community in Rochester.”


Make a gift today—and help us make
the Greenbaum Center a reality.

Make a Gift

Imagine this.

Imagine a place at the University of Rochester where our large community of Jewish students, faculty, staff, and community members can gather, celebrate, and strengthen their Jewish heritage and traditions together.

We’re ready to start building such a place, thanks to the generosity of David Greenbaum ’73 and his wife, Laureine, of New York City. They’ve pledged $2.5 million to establish the Greenbaum Center for Jewish Life. The University has offered the land. Several alumni leaders have pledged their support.

Our goal is to break ground in May 2020. But to do this, we must raise a total of $6 million ($5 million for the building; $1 million for an endowment). We’re more than half way there.

  • The Greenbaum Center will play an important role in enhancing the residential life of the more than 1,000 Jewish students enrolled at the University. That’s more than 20 percent of our entire undergraduate population. This is a growing community, eager to make a difference in the world. Additionally, the Greenbaum Center will serve as a resource to the entire Rochester area Jewish community
  • Partner with us, and together we can secure more than mere bricks and mortar; we can build a community where Jewish culture and programming is celebrated.

The Hillel Connection.

Through a partnership with Hillel International—the largest Jewish campus organization in the world—students at Rochester find a welcoming environment and excellent programs that foster communal exploration of Jewish religion, culture, values, and traditions. From social justice initiatives, to Israel advocacy and education, to Shabbat and Holiday services and meals, there are many opportunitiesto engage, learn, and grow. We aspire to do more, and we can—once we open the doors to the Greenbaum Center.

Right now, Jewish life and Hillel are housed within the Interfaith Chapel. But, that space is overflowing—in people, services, and capacity. There just isn’t enough room for our Jewish students to celebrate together, to serve together, and to study together. Keep in mind that the chapel was built in 1970. Back then, the University took a pioneering step forward and created a place that welcomed people of all faith traditions. It still does. Today, we have an opportunity to pioneer new ground again, by building a space dedicated to Jewish life that’s also welcoming to all students.


The planned 6,500-square-foot Greenbaum Center will be located on Wilson Boulevard, near the corner of Fraternity Road. It will offer a historic-looking facade, to blend with the beautiful buildings around it. Inside, it will house a multipurpose programming space, two state-of-the-art kosher kitchens, classrooms, a conference room, and staff offices. All of the interior spaces will be modern and bright and—by their very design—will invite community, collaboration, and connection.


The time is now.

Help us advance Jewish spirituality, community, and tradition at the University. Join the Greenbaums and other donors to ensure that the Greenbaum Center is built. Naming opportunities are available for spaces inside the center as well as to create and enrich our programming. Please consider partnering with us now to support Jewish life at Rochester.


Within the Greenbaum Center, we will offer a rich array of programming, hold community and faith-building events, and provide a vibrant place for students to gather, socialize, and deepen their faith. It will offer the right kind of environment
to properly:

      • Celebrate Shabbat and Holidays
      • Host our Challah for Hunger chapter (proceeds benefit local and national
        food charities)
      • Hold cultural programs such as our
        bagel brunches, cooking classes, and
        Hebrew lessons
      • Host guest speakers who can educate,
        inform, and inspire our students
      • Host allied student clubs like Rochester Students for Israel
      • Engage with the nearly 20,000 Jewish
        residents in the Rochester area

“The Greenbaum Center will give our Jewish students, faculty, and staff a place to call home, and provide a resource rich with programming and services to the Rochester area Jewish community. This is an invaluable opportunity to further nurture and engage our community, while helping students find deeper meaning and purpose.”