FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2017
Contact: Ari Gauss
Executive Director, North Carolina Hillel
(919) 942-4057 | firstname.lastname@example.org
RALEIGH, NC – North Carolina Hillel is pleased to announce that it has signed a lease on a new space on Hillsborough Street to serve as the center of Jewish life at North Carolina State University starting this spring. The new center for Jewish life, the first ever on campus, will continue to build NC State’s reputation as a welcoming and diverse community with thriving Jewish life for current and prospective students and their families.
The new Hillel at NC State space is located at 2408 Hillsborough Street, in close proximity to the D.H. Hill Library, many academic buildings and the vibrant shops and restaurants on Hillsborough Street. The 2,400-square-foot space features a lounge, conference room, ping-pong table, study spaces, and kitchen.
“Just as a Jewish community is centered around communal gathering spaces, or as a family is centered around a home, it’s important to have a Hillel space that not only fosters and inspires connections, but also provides an avenue for safe and open discourse. Having a space to call our own will help us to accommodate community members of different Jewish backgrounds, in addition to having a truly Jewish space on campus,” said student Lee Daniel ‘20, religious and cultural chair of Hillel at NC State.
Recognizing that Hillel at NC State had grown significantly since NC Hillel added staff in 2014, NC Hillel convened a group of students, alumni, parents, faculty, and community leaders in March 2016 at the first Hillel at NC State Strategic Planning Summit. Securing a home on campus for Jewish students was identified as a top priority by Summit participants, and the vision has become reality less than a year later, thanks to several generous supporters.
“One thing we’ve learned is that students appreciate consistency, regularly holding events in the same place at the same time each week. Much of our programming will now be in this space, so students won’t have to wonder anymore which campus venue we’re using for Shabbat or other programs,” said Julie Harris, assistant director of Hillel at NC State. “There is already a strong Jewish community at NC State, and this is the perfect space for us as we continue to grow, giving us more visibility on campus. We want it to be a place where everyone feels welcome, and we hope to partner with all of the other faith-based groups to help build a stronger interfaith community on campus. Having a home to invite people over helps a lot with that.”
All Wolfpack students are welcome at Hillel events, and now with the community’s new space just off campus, there’s something for everyone and it’s all easily accessible. From Shabbat celebrations to service projects to Purim parties, students can find a welcoming, pluralistic home at Hillel at NC State, regardless of their level of ritual observance or Jewish background.
Hillel at NC State is part of the statewide network of Hillel organizations supported by the North Carolina Hillel Foundation. Other core campuses in the North Carolina Hillel network include UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte, UNC Greensboro and Appalachian State University.
Since implementing its strategic plan to better support statewide campuses in 2013, North Carolina Hillel has successfully added professional staff at NC State, UNC Charlotte, UNC Greensboro and Guilford College, supervised by a Director of Statewide Initiatives to coordinate statewide strategy. It also hired a campus rabbi at UNC Chapel Hill. As a result, student engagement and leadership development have increased significantly at all core campuses, and North Carolina Hillel led the field in a recent national survey measuring the impact of local campus Hillel organizations.