Bloom Hillel at The University of Alabama asks for your Support
In the 1930’s at the request of President George Denny, Bill Bloom a member of the Tuscaloosa community helped rent a house on University Boulevard so Jewish students would have a place to gather on campus. In 1951, many Jewish leaders came together to raise funds to build a Hillel Student Center on 10th Avenue across from the stadium. To meet the needs of a rapidly growing Jewish student body, with assistance from many donors and the University of Alabama senior administration, the Bloom Hillel Center opened in April 2011.
The most exciting development for Jewish life on campus has been our move. We are near the other religious communities on campus in an area affectionately known as the “God Quad”. We are also fortunate to share a courtyard with the community’s new temple. The Bloom Hillel Center is located at 380 9th Street – one block south of University Boulevard across from the Bryant Museum.
During the past decade, the Jewish student population has doubled and UA continues to aggressively recruit Jewish students throughout the state and country. This past fall we welcomed the largest number of Jewish freshman in four decades. Approximately, 900 students at the University of Alabama have identified themselves as Jewish and we expect that number to double in the next 10 years.
Our request for your help is simple, but our need is great.
We never dreamed we would grow so fast that we are already short of space. Much effort from the administration, our trustees, student leaders and Lisa Raymon Besnoy, our incredible Executive Director, have all factored in our phenomenal success. Students are in the building every day and we see between 110 to 150 students each Friday for Shabbat dinner, 80-100 every 2 weeks for Sunday brunch and over 140 for the High Holidays.
They come because Bloom Hillel is their home away from home – the place where they find friendship and food, can celebrate their religious and cultural heritage, learn new things and prepare for the future.
Why is this important to you as a parent, alum or friend?
The answer is simple because we are making sure that Judaism and its values continue to be celebrated as we help these students grow into our future community leaders.
Will you be part of our effort?
We seek donors who understand our need and want to provide support for the expansion of our building and programming. We are doing our part to make sure that Judaism remains a vital part of our cities and towns but we need your help – no gift is too large or too small.
For more information on how to Donate to Bloom Hillel call 205-348-2183 or email Lisa at Lisa.BamaHillel@gmail.com.
Gifts can be made to the Bloom Hillel Expansion Initiative by visiting Give.UA.Edu/Hillel or by Check send to Bloom Hillel, 380 9th Street, Tuscaloosa, AL. 35401