Hillel House
Renovation and Expansion

Raised to Date: $1,847,436
Goal: $3.5 Million

L'Dor V'Dor
(From Generation to Generation)

A Plan for the Next Generation of
Muhlenberg College Hillel

View live construction

The history of Jewish life at Muhlenberg College is rich and unique. A college of the Lutheran Church, Muhlenberg is proud that at no point in its history was there a “quota” on the number of Jewish students. At times when other academic institutions openly discriminated against Jewish students, Muhlenberg’s religious values fostered not only tolerance but an embrace of all students. That history has created the unique Jewish community that exists at Muhlenberg College today.

Hillel at Muhlenberg College now faces an extraordinary challenge. Rather than worrying about how to entice young Jews to participate in Jewish life, the Muhlenberg Hillel staff spends their time concerned with how to accommodate the overwhelming numbers of students who flock to its programs. Many weeks the number of students who want to participate in Shabbat Dinner far exceeds the numbers who can fit in the existing  Hillel House.  Currently students hold religious services in attics and eat Shabbat Dinner on every available surface.  Sadly, but routinely, some students turn away because it is simply too crowded.

Fortunately, the administration of Muhlenberg College understands that it is intolerable to have students who want to participate in Jewish campus life discouraged because of the limitations of the current Hillel House. Together with Hillel staff and student leadership, the College administration has created a vision for a renovation and expansion of the existing Hillel House that incorporates a magnificent addition including a Shabbat Dinner Hall with seating for over 300, a dedicated sanctuary, an institutional kitchen, additional student and staff office space and a student-designed lounge. The total project is estimated to cost approximately $3.5 million, not including additional academic space that is part of the design.

See a 3-D Motion View of the new Hillel House

Commitment to this important project is growing each day. In February 2008, a fully renovated Rhoda Plum Memorial Kitchen was named. Muhlenberg College’s dedication of over $600,000 in funding allowed upgrades of existing space to begin in summer 2008. We began the school year with a $1 million challenge gift from a Muhlenberg family. Momentum is building daily.

For more information on the Hillel House renovation and expansion project, click on the case statement and supporting documents at right, or contact Patricia Mittleman, Jewish Chaplain and Director of Hillel, at 484-664-3244 or pmittlem@muhlenberg.edu.

To make a gift to the Hillel House renovation and expansion project, please click here. When prompted, fill in your contact and billing information. In the gift designation drop down menu on the second page, select "Other" and type in "Hillel House Renovation and Expansion."