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Reaching an Agreement with Penn Hillel

The University and Hillel of Greater Philadelphia have completed the necessary transactions for the building of Steinhardt Hall, the new home for Hillel at Penn. Hillel will construct its new 35,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility on land leased from the University on 39th Street, between Walnut and Locust Streets. Construction is set to begin immediately. Completion is expected in time for the fall semester of 2003. As part of the transaction, Hillel has sold its 36th Street building to the University.

Rabbi Howard Alpert, executive director of Hillel of Greater Philadelphia, expressed his pleasure with the successful conclusion of the agreement. "This is an exciting milestone for both Penn Hillel and for the entire University community," he said. "Our success is a testimony to the support and vision of Dr. Judith Rodin, and of Penn alumnus Michael Steinhardt, and to the hard work of many others." Rabbi Alpert singled out the project's Chairperson Edwin Berkowitz (C '49), and vice-chairs Albert Perlstein (W '57; GCS '96), and Stuart Rudoler (EE '86) for special accolade, stating that the project could not have reached this milestone without their efforts. He also expressed his appreciation to the many donors for making this vision into a reality.

The new building was designed by Jacobs/ Wyper Architects of Philadelphia. The construction manager is R. M. Shoemaker Co. and the project manager is The Staubach Company. Construction financing is being provided by Commonwealth Bank.

Penn is recognized as hosting one of the largest and most dynamic Jewish student communities in North America, according to Rabbi Alpert. When completed, Steinhardt Hall will be the programmatic and administrative hub for the 25 student organizations that operate through Penn Hillel and will provide a central gathering space for all segments of the Jewish and University communities at-large. The facility will include a living room, student lounge, contemporary Judaic library, sanctuary/auditorium with seating for 300, Beit Midrash (classical Jewish study hall), and Student Activities Center. Administrative offices for Penn Hillel and for Hillel of Greater Philadelphia will also be located there. The building will also house the Kosher Dining Commons for University Dining, with seating of 200 for lunch and dinner during the week and upwards of 300 on the Sabbath and Holy Days.

Hillel at Penn is a program of Hillel of Greater Philadelphia, which is a constituent agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and an affiliate of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. Hillel: The Foundation is the largest provider of service to Jewish University students in the world, with more than 130 affiliates in North America, South America, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the former Soviet Union.

Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 28, April 2, 2002


April 2, 2002
Volume 48 Number 28

Peter Skirkanich W '65, and his wife, Geri, have pledged $10 million to build a new home for bioengineering; it is the largest gift by an individual donor in the history of SEAS.
Dr. Jim O'Donnell will give the Baccalaureate address next month, his swan song at Penn after two decades, before becoming provost at Georgetown.
Have something you want to say about Penn's plans for the future? The open forum on the new strategic plan, Building on Excellence: The Next Agenda, is this afternoon.
Taxes have been around a long time, according to three of the Museum's experts on ancient civilizations. No wonder Franklin knew we could count on them!