Hillel will celebrate on Sunday the opening of its new
facility, the Smokler Center for Jewish Life, Harry and
Jeanette Weinberg Building.
The building dedication will be held at 11 a.m. in a
tent adjacent to Garland Hall. Following the ceremony,
guests are invited to a reception and open house at the
Smokler Center, located at 3109 N. Charles St., across from
the Homewood campus.
The Smokler Center for Jewish Life, Harry and Jeanette
Weinberg Building is Baltimore's first free-standing Hillel
facility, offering students a multitude of ways to become
involved in Jewish life. Students can relax in the Phi
Sigma Delta Lounge, plan programs in the Student Leadership
Suite, play games in the Commons, study and read in the
Library and pray in the Beit Midrash. The
16,000-square-foot building also houses kosher meat and
dairy kitchens, classroom and program space, an outdoor
terrace, conference rooms, a multipurpose room, and staff
and student offices.
A terrace offers students an
outdoor spot for studying, eating or just hanging out. On
the holiday of Sukkot, it will become a sukkah.
PHOTO BY HPS/WILL KIRK
"The Smokler Center will inspire and house a Jewish
community that reflects the essence of our tradition,"
Rabbi Joseph M. Menashe, director of Johns Hopkins Hillel,
said last week. "I sincerely hope that all members of the
Johns Hopkins University community will look upon the
facility as a home that will spark meaningful social change
and a place to find a diverse Jewish community devoted to
learning and spiritual growth."
The center is named for alumnus Irving Smokler and his
wife, Carol, who in 1999 made a generous contribution
launching a campaign for the project. The building is also
named for the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, which
committed funding designated for construction and a
challenge grant for the center's endowment. Contributions
to the campaign, a cooperative effort of Hillel of Greater
Baltimore and the university, are credited toward the
university's current Knowledge for the World fund-raising
Susan Boswell, dean of
student life at the Homewood campus, said, "I think that
the Smokler Center will be a tremendous asset to student
life at Johns Hopkins and look forward to its opening. I
envision this as a popular gathering place for all students
and am certain it will be well used and much
With its wood ark and audio-visual
equipment, the multipurpose room can be used for prayer
services, meetings or movie viewing.
PHOTO BY HPS/WILL KIRK
According to Marc B. Terrill, president of The
Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, "The
opening of this new facility is significant not only for
the ways it enhances campus life at Johns Hopkins but for
the way it enhances Jewish life throughout Baltimore. The
Associated is proud of the work Hillel does to engage
college-age youth, and we celebrate its continuing growth
and success. We look forward to this building enabling
Hillel to open dialogues between all races, creeds and
cultures on campus."
Construction began in November 2002. The building was
designed by Kann & Associates Inc. of Baltimore and was
built by Kroll Construction of Owings Mills, Md.
Johns Hopkins Hillel is associated with Hillel of
Greater Baltimore, a constituent agency of The Associated:
Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore and of Hillel: The
Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. Hillel provides social,
religious and educational services to undergraduate and
graduate students in the greater Baltimore area.
The university has approximately 450 Jewish