Center for Jewish Life
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.”
–David Greenbaum ’73
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.
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 Shabbat and holiday celebrations, learning opportunities, social action projects, community gatherings and social events, Israel travel, and more, there are many opportunities to 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.
What will it include?
The planned Greenbaum Center will house a multipurpose programming space, two state-of-the-art kosher kitchens, a conference room, a Beit Midrash study/prayer space, and staff offices. Spaces are being intentionally designed to best support evolving Jewish student needs today, tomorrow, and long into the future. All of the interior spaces will be modern and bright and—by their very design—will invite community, collaboration, and connection.
Within the Greenbaum Center we will offer a rich array of programming, and provide a vibrant place for students to gather, socialize, and deepen their connection to Jewish traditions and community. It will offer the right kind of environment to properly:
“The Greenbaum Center will have a transformational impact on Jewish life on campus. It will ensure Jewish students have the space they need for programs, Shabbat, holiday celebrations, and events, but also to socialize and connect with each other, and with Jewish community.”
—Joy Getnick, Executive Director of Hillel at the University of Rochester
The Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation recently established a $500,000 challenge to support the construction of the Greenbaum Center for Jewish Life on the University of Rochester’s River Campus. The Farash Challenge is designed to encourage other donors to join in helping to build the center, which will be the new home for Hillel at the University of Rochester and a resource for all students and the broader Rochester Jewish community.
“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.”
–Sarah C. Mangelsdorf, President
G. Robert Witmer, Jr. University Professor
To speak about a gift to the Greenbaum Center for Jewish Life, or to receive a list of available naming opportunities, please contact Jared Longmore, Sr. Director of Advancement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.