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Hillel Society is looking forward to the expected summer completion of Pesky Family Chapel and Multi-Purpose Room, a 500-square-foot addition to its headquarters at 524 Clinton Terrace.

The addition was made possible by a $100,000 donation from Alan Pesky ’56 and Wendy Pesky and will nearly double the space of the first floor of Hillel House. It will enable the society to expand its library and eating space, as well as hold Shabbat services, lectures, and larger events not previously possible because of limited space.

In addition to the facility expansion, Hillel Society is concentrating its efforts on building a Jewish Life Endowment Fund. With a goal of $2 million, the fund will increase the quantity and quality of Jewish services offered to students.

“The purpose of the Jewish Life Endowment Fund is to support a wide variety of religious and cultural opportunities and activities for Jewish students or anyone interested in Judaism at Lafayette,” says Robert I. Weiner, Hillel director, Jewish chaplain, and Thomas Roy and Laura Forrest Jones Professor of History.

Both Weiner and Hillel President Seth Kaufer ’02 (Kingston, Pa.) are proud of the strides Hillel Society has made over the past year and are enthusiastic about this semester.

“We’re really excited because our organization is exploding membership wise,” says Kaufer, “That’s why we needed the new addition.”

Weiner adds, “We now have over 100 paid members and attendance at weekly Shabbat dinners is at an all-time high. Every Friday night, over 40 students pile into the house and we expect that between 200 and 300 will visit over the course of the year.”

Along with the weekly Shabbat dinners held every Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Hillel House, which are free for all students and faculty, Hillel has a number of programs scheduled this semester.

A second screening of The Nasty Girl, a film based on the life of activist Anna Rosmus, who uncovered the Nazi past of her hometown in Bavaria, will be held 8 p.m. today in Keefe Hall Commons.

The keynote speaker for Women’s History Month, Rosmus will talk about her work in documenting anti-Semitism 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the auditorium of Kirby Hall of Civil Rights.

Rabbi Martin Rozenberg will lead Shabbat services 4:30 p.m. Friday in Hogg Hall. A chicken dinner will be served 5:30 p.m. at Hillel House.

Hillel is participating in the Allentown Jewish community Center’s 2002 Jewish and Israeli Film Series. The films One Day Crossing and Sobibor will be shown 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the auditorium of Kirby Hall of Civil Rights. One Day Crossing is a short film about a young Jewish woman who poses as a Christian and attempts to save her family from Nazis during the war. Sobibor was the location of the only successful uprising in a Nazi extermination camp. The film is a documentary that merges new footage with a 1979 interview of Yehuda Lerner, a survivor who was taken from Warsaw at 16 and escaped from eight camps over six months. He describes how he and others planned and executed an uprising at Sobibor. There will also be a Havdalah service and light dinner before the screening (times to be determined). Tickets are free for students. Prior films shown on campus for the series have included Jihad for Kids and Promises on March 3.

Annual officer elections will be held noon Sunday. New positions have been created to serve the group’s increasing size. Those who wish to run should provide their name, class year, phone number, email address, and desired position to Eric Stauffer ’02 at Available positions are president, vice president, treasurer, religious chair, secretary/email, publicity chairs (two), social chair, mitzvah/social action chair, LINC/inter-group delegate, web page organizer, Shabbat Committee (two), House Committee (two), music chair, programming chair, and recruiting liaison.

Claudia Stevens, assistant professor of music at the College of William and Mary, will present “An Evening with Madame F,” a one-woman dramatization of the life of Fania Fenelon, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, at the Williams Center for the Arts. In the presentation, the elderly character reflects on her disturbing past as a member of an all-woman orchestra at the Auschwitz death camp, relating how she survived by performing for Nazi camp officials while fellow prisoners were sent to their deaths. The compelling dramatization includes vocal, piano, and drum performances. The vocal material was performed at the Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen camps.

An interfaith Seder is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, in the Farinon Center Marlo Room.

This semester’s past events included “The Spirit of Purim: Music, Food, and Conversation,” an evening of storytelling, songs, and Jewish wisdom by Reb Chaim, Jewish Chaplain of Broward County, Fla., on Feb. 24. A light dinner was provided

Ludwig Muhlfelder reflected on his memoirs, Because I Survived: An Autobiography, discussing his experiences with the Holocaust in relation to the continuity of the Jewish people on Feb. 27. Proceeds from sales of the book at the College Store benefited the Muhlfelder Holocaust Scholarship Fund.

For more information on these events and other Hillel programs, contact Kaufer at 610-253-6444 or Hillel House at x5174.

Categorized in: Students