Stu­dents wel­come state-of-the-art Hil­lel

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community Life - BY SI­MON FRIEND

A NEW era for Jewish stu­dent life in Lon­don was launched last week with the open­ing of a state-of-the-art Hil­lel in Eus­ton.

Hav­ing been based in End­sleigh Street for over 50 years, the non-res­i­den­tial Hil­lel has long been a land­mark for Jewish stu­dents in the cap­i­tal, as well as one of the few kosher food op­tions in the West End area. While the new premises in Eus­ton Road, close to Up­per Woburn Place, are only a few min­utes walk away, a great deal has changed.

There are brightly-coloured benches and ta­bles stretch­ing across the 4,000square feet site, which also in­cor­po­rates a kosher can­teen, study ar­eas, high-speed in­ter­net con­nec­tions and Wi-Fi zones. The open­ing party was at­tended by well over 100 stu­dents from Lon­don cam­puses, who en­joyed live mu­sic from a klezmer band.

UJS-Hil­lel chief ex­ec­u­tive Daniel Mar­cus said the user re­sponse had been “ex­tremely pos­i­tive. I be­lieve that th­ese new fa­cil­i­ties will in­spire more stu­dents to en­gage with their Ju­daism”.

Seb Van­der­molen, pro­gramme di­rec­tor for the new fa­cil­ity, stressed the po­ten­tial for so­cial net­work­ing and cul­tural and re­li­gious ed­u­ca­tion. It would be a “hub for all Jewish stu­dents in Lon­don, re­gard­less of their re­li­gious af­fil­i­a­tions or in­ter­ests, of­fer­ing a fre­quent and wide va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties from salsa to Yid­dish classes and, most im­por­tantly, weekly Fri­day night meals”.

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