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Downtown Penn State Hillel Center Eyes Fall 2022 Opening

Penn State Hillel, the largest Jewish student organization on campus, has officially announced it’ll move downtown this fall.

Hillel’s new home, the Gutterman Center for Student Life, will soon open at the corner of Beaver Avenue and Garner Street. The 18,000-square-foot space will feature lounges, large event spaces, a commercial Kosher kitchen, and a private terrace on the second floor.

Check out the renderings below for a preview of what’s coming downtown soon:

Penn State Hillel formed in 1936 as a campus branch of Hillel International. It has been in several locations on campus in the past, and, most recently, had been operating out of the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center since 2003. 

According to Aaron Kaufman, Penn State Hillel’s executive director, now is the perfect time for an organizational expansion.

“We simply have to grow,” he said. “Our staff and students have far surpassed what we were able to accomplish at [Pasquerilla]. Our new home will be a great focal point for the Jewish community at Penn State.”

Hillel first announced the new building in 2018. It was originally slated to open last fall (and this spring), but construction was ultimately delayed due to the pandemic. According to Kaufman, the organization is targeting a grand opening in the fall but will host limited events this spring, including a celebration of Passover in late April.

Penn State Hillel serves many of the 5,000-plus Jewish students on campus. These days, Hillel runs a chicken soup hotline for sick students and hosts a Shabbat dinner every Friday night.

To learn more about Hillel and its new student center, visit its website.

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About the Author

Adam Babetski

Adam Babetski is a junior majoring in communications. He's from the only part of Virginia without tractors and southern accents. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBabetski for hot takes about sports. For serious inquiries, email [email protected]

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