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  • Hillels of Georgia

New Hillel UGA Building Opening This Fall - Campaign Has Raised More Than 80% of its Original Goal

ATHENS, GA., (March 6, 2023) –Hillels of Georgia (HGA) and Hillel UGA are pleased to announce the public phase of their capital campaign to develop a new facility, centrally located across the street from the UGA campus. Hillel UGA will serve as home to its 1,500 Jewish students, its programs and activities as well as support other university initiatives and serve as a gathering place for the Athens Jewish community. To date, HGA has raised over $6.4 million, more than 80% percent of its $8 million capital campaign goal, with the lead gift coming from The Marcus Foundation.


The purpose of the capital campaign is to create a welcoming and highly functional place to call home. In 2021, HGA’s Board of Directors determined Hillel UGA had outgrown its current location. After looking at expansion and other renovation options, it was clear that the best path forward was to seek a new home — as a way to accommodate Hillel’s growth while also creating a place to welcome, convene and collaborate with the broader university and Jewish community.


“Following the lead of the generosity of The Marcus Foundation, the quiet phase of the campaign raised significant commitments from Sanford Orkin, Ann & Jay Davis, Helen & David Zalik and other lead gifts. We are using this momentum to reach out to other family and friends, alumni and the Athens and Atlanta communities. We are confident that together we will achieve our goal”, said Wayne Keil, Interim CEO.

“We are so excited with how our building and program plans are taking shape and with the momentum building for our fantastic new home,” said Hillel Campus Director, Jeremy Lichtig. “We are confident it will allow us to expand our reach and deliver excellent meaningful programs to our incoming and continuing students. Having the building located across the street from our freshmen dorms is a real opportunity for dramatic growth and engagement!”


Michael Coles, HGA Board Chair noted, “We’re building a world class Hillel at the UGA campus. People will be coming from all over the country to see this building that will give Jewish students and others, a home away from home.”

HGA officially began construction of the new facility (the former Baxter Street Bookstore) on April 24, 2022. Hillel UGA will include 10,000 square feet of programming, communal and open multi-use space, a new modern kosher kitchen, state-of-art technological services to enhance students’ experience, and is scheduled for completion in August. A series of celebratory opening events are now being planned.


The Public Phase leadership team is in formation and includes Michael Kogon and Stacey Fisher, representing HGA, along with Chase Flagel, student representative, Marc Cohen and Beth Friedman, parent representatives.


To participate or for more information, contact Wayne Keil, Interim CEO at 470-905-1800 or via email at wayne@hillelsofgeorgia.org, or visit the UGA Capital Campaign website at www.hillelsofgeorgia.org/hillelcenter

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