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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9898

April 19, 2004
CONTACT: Amy Cowles

Hopkins Hillel Opens Doors to Baltimore's
First Free-Standing Hillel Facility

Johns Hopkins Hillel will celebrate the opening of its new facility, the Smokler Center for Jewish Life, Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building, on Sunday, May 2, at The Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus.

The building dedication of the will be held on campus at 11 a.m. in the tent adjacent to Garland Hall. Following the dedication 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 at Art Museum Drive.

The Smokler Center for Jewish Life, Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building is Baltimore's first freestanding 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 will also house both kosher meat and dairy kitchens, classroom and program space, an outdoor terrace, conference rooms, a multipurpose room, and staff and student offices.

"The Smokler Center will inspire and house a Jewish community that reflects the essence of our tradition," says Rabbi Joseph M. Menashe, Director of Johns Hopkins Hillel. "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 Johns Hopkins 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 also credited toward the university's "Knowledge for the World" campaign.

"I think that the Smokler Center will be a tremendous asset to student life at Johns Hopkins and look forward to its opening," said Susan Boswell, Dean of Student Life at the Homewood campus. "I envision this as a popular gathering place for all students and am certain it will be well used and much appreciated."

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 the Owings Mills-based Kroll Construction.

Johns Hopkins Hillel is associated with Hillel of Greater Baltimore, a constituent agency of THE ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore and Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. Hillel provides social, religious and educational services to undergraduate and graduate students in the greater Baltimore area.

News media interested in covering the dedication or in touring the center should contact Gerri Baum at 410-653-2265 ext.10 or gbaum@baltimorehillel.org.

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