Johnson Family Center for Jewish Student Life

Hillel@80: Strategic Plan Coming to Fruition, Building Project Officially Breaking Ground

On Nov. 1, thanks to a lead gift from the Lynn and Gloria Johnson Family Foundation, Hillel began work on their first full renovation since opening in 1955. The new “Minnesota Hillel: Johnson Family Center for Jewish Student Life” will be updated with handicap accessibility, rooftop amenities, a new recreation/basketball space, modern technology,

The Martin and Esther Capp Event Center (seating for up for 185) and dozens of spaces that will offer students new ways to study, gather, learn and grow. With the opening of the new space in August 2020, Minnesota Hillel will finalize its current five-year strategic plan, and start working towards a future where EVERY student makes a meaningful connection to Jewish life, learning and Israel while on campus, and where EVERY high school student sees the U as one of the best places in the country for Jewish student life.

In 2014 Minnesota Hillel set an audacious goal of becoming one of the top centers for Jewish student life in the country. Since then student engagement has grown ten-fold and Hillel has been honored locally and nationally for excellence and innovation. Minnesota is currently recognized as the top Hillel for Israel education and engagement, holds the title of most innovative student group on campus for their Israel Exploration Mission for non-Jewish students, and employs a Director who is recognized by Hillel International as an Exemplar of Excellence. The Hillel@80: Building for the Future Capital Campaign is the final step in the initial phase of Hillel’s growth.

The campaign to fund the project, titled Hillel@80: Building for the Future, kicked off at Hillel’s Maroon and Gold Shabbat in May with the announcement of Campaign Chairs Elliot and Eloise Kaplan, Debbie Stillman, Max Stillman, Sophie Stillman, and Zoey Kirshbaum.

An official groundbreaking and hardhat tour of the project will take place at Hillel, 1521 University Ave SE, on Dec. 15 from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

The Hillel@80 Capital Campaign has raised $5.7 million of its $8 million goal to-date. To learn more about the campaign, or how you can help, please reach out to [email protected] or [email protected] today.