Special to the Ledger
NEW LONDON – Connecticut College has received two gifts totaling $600,000 to support a director position for the newly constructed Zachs Hillel House, the College’s center for Jewish student life and related intercultural programming. The college is currently working with Hillel International to recruit a qualified individual for the position.
The gifts include a $350,000 grant from the David and Barbara B. Hirschhorn Foundation to support the cost of the director’s compensation over five years, and a $250,000 lead gift from Elizabeth B. and Arthur E. Roswell to establish an endowment for a Hillel director position.
Trustee Emerita Barbara Blaustein Hirschhorn (’50) and Elizabeth Blaustein Roswell (’52) are sisters; Barbara’s son Daniel B. Hirschhorn (’79) is also a former College trustee and was the primary facilitator of this gift.
“We are delighted to help Connecticut College hire its first full-time Hillel director,” said Betsy Ringel, executive director of the Blaustein Philanthropic Group. “We are confident that the right professional will provide leadership and direction for Connecticut College Hillel, establishing the new facility as a gathering place for students seeking to enrich their Jewish experience.”
The new director will develop and oversee programming for the Zachs Hillel House, including religious services, lectures, study sessions, traditional meals and celebrations, as well as informal opportunities to build community. The director will also continue to nurture the collaboration with the Jewish Federation of Eastern Connecticut and the Coast Guard Academy, which have long-standing relationships with the college.
Connecticut College Hillel is one of the largest student groups on campus, with more than 200 members. In January, the college opened the new Zachs Hillel House, a 6,700-square-foot building made possible by a leadership gift from philanthropist Henry M. Zachs. The facility includes a conference room, library, study space, kosher kitchen, and recreational space.
“The opening of the Zachs Hillel House is another milestone for the college and a visible sign of our commitment to a diverse and inclusive community on this campus,” said Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron during the recent ribbon-cutting event for the Hillel House.