Students returning to campus this fall have a new facility on Scott Lane devoted to taking care of the body — and a new building right next door dedicated to nourishing the spirit.
The Rothenberg Hillel House, named in honor of trustee Alan E. Rothenberg ’67 P’96 H’10, is expected to be completed during the fall semester, said Steve Arnett, director of campus planning and construction. The new 2,800-square-foot center for Jewish life replaces the old house on West Brooklyn Street.
“It was important to retain the same geographical spot on campus, because after working here for nine years, I have learned it is all about location, location, location,” said Hillel Director and Jewish Chaplain Marc Bragin.
The building was constructed by Bloomfield Architects, headed by Peter Bloomfield ’73, and complements the design of its new neighbor, the Cox Health and Counseling Center, which was designed by Gund Partnership. The center features a chapel — Hillel’s formal worship space on campus — storage for an ark and Torah, and two separate kitchens for kosher cooking.
Moveable walls provide flexibility within the building, allowing for a full dining table to expand into the chapel or for chairs to spill into the dining room for events such as Shabbat, which Bragin said Hillel will begin hosting every Friday.
“I think I’m most looking forward to allowing students who have not been active in Jewish life before to discover how vibrant and exciting and present Jewish life is on campus,” Bragin said. “I think Kenyon Hillel has so much to offer both Jewish and non-Jewish students about culture, about life, and about being a person who likes to be an active part of the community.”
Bragin continued, “That was really our goal — to be an open and welcoming space on campus for all people.”
By Henri Gendreau ’16